Price Hikes Forcing Many To Cut Back

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Gas, groceries, rent, and even health costs, most of us would call them necessities but some are still cutting back because of the rising cost of those necessities. The price of eggs is up 50 percent from two years ago, just one of many reasons folks are cutting back on whatever they can.

Price hikes on everything from gas to dairy products are forcing many Eastern Kentuckians to cut back on travel and cross extra snacks off their grocery lists.

"With the prices going up on the milk, eggs, the whole nine yards, it's really tough," said shopper Dwayne Bowling.

It's tough on grocers too. Save-A-Lot Store Manager Billy Roberts tries to stock his shelves in Hazard with lower-priced goods than other grocery chains. He says these days there's not much room for profit.

"We haul all of ours in on trucks, they come from Winchester, which we pay a fuel charge for that, which adds into everything else. It's all connected," Roberts said.

Just how connected? Last month costs jumped across the country in rent, hospital operations, clothing, and gas. The national average was $2.29 a year ago, today it's $3.19 in Hazard.

"The price of gas is just outrageous. When you live on a fixed income, it's really hard," said Madeline Ritchie.

Ritchie is trying to get the most from her miles.

"I try to come out when I really, really have to. Usually it's to go to the doctor or to the store," she said.

Experts say crude oil costs are about to drive a tank of gas even higher. If consumers continue to cut back, lower demand could cause other prices to drop.

Gas prices in many parts of Eastern Kentucky are higher than the national average right now, which is $3.04.

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