Grocery shopping still tough for some in SWFL due to prices

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:
Inflation is still hurting people’s pockets especially when it comes to grocery shopping. (CREDIT: WINK News)

High prices are still eating away at budgets, but for the second straight month, inflation eased up.

It dropped by two-tenths of a percent between July and August.

At grocery stores, the sticker shock is still there, but there are signs of hope walking down the aisles.

For the first time, prices for some staples are down.

Grocery shopping has become a burden for the Pechts, living on a limited budget.

“We have so much to spend on groceries and every time we come everything goes up,” said Johanna Pecht, a shopper.

They are trying to find bargains any way they can.

“We have to cut out certain things that we need to have and we go from Walmart to Aldis,” Pecht said.

Although there are signs that inflation overall is cooling down, food prices are still climbing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, groceries in August went up 13.5%, a .4% increase from the month before, but it all boils down to what you buy.

Meanwhile, milk and eggs at Southwest Florida grocery stores are beating the odds.

The prices for milk and eggs all went down at Target, Walmart and Publix, three stories that WINK News has been checking on for more than a year.

At Walmart, milk dropped 40 cents. And eggs are now more than a dollar cheaper at $3.22 for 18.

The same goes for eggs Publix eggs, from $6.49 in August to $5.09 earlier this week.

A gallon of milk at Target went down 20 cents. And eggs are now $3.19.

But FGCU economist Dr. Victor Claar said everyone should be cautiously optimistic.

“The bad news is the house is still on fire,” Claar said. “The good news is, it’s not quite as hot as it’s been in the last couple of months.”

Plus, a potential railroad worker strike could once again impact the supply chain. There’s already a shortage of workers.

“When the supply of something is smaller, prices go up in order to ration out what’s currently available,” Claar said.

But Pecht said her wallet can’t get squeezed anymore.

“We cut out things that we would like to have or that we need to have,” Pecht said.

Hopefully, the next go around, she can afford to buy those items.

Economists expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates again to help taper down inflation.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said a railroad strike would cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion a day.

A deadline to resolve a contract dispute is set for Friday.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.