On Your Side: Grocery prices going up

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Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW)- When you hit those grocery aisles, you may notice the prices hitting your wallet a little harder.

"Maybe I'm not catching the sales, but the way the prices are normally it's hard for us," said shopper Tonja Schulz.

According to the consumer price index, inflation went up .2 percent in march and 1.5t over the last 12 months. While that may not seem like a lot, the amount of money people spend at the grocery store has seen its largest increase since 2012. That means things like meat, eggs, milk, even fruits, and vegetables are costing you more.

"A little improvement in the economy. The grocery stores have been able to pass on those increase in prices to consumers themselves. Whereas before it was eating into their profits," said Financial professor Simon Medcalfe.

Tonja Schulz, a mother of four says she spends 800 dollars a month on groceries, and as her children grow she expects her grocery bill will as well.

"I have four little kids and that kind of adds the bill up if you buy a lot of milk and we do," said Schulz.

- A gallon of milk costs $4.18
- A carton of eggs costs $2.09
- A pound of ground beef costs $3.89.

Economists say the weather could be playing a role in driving these prices up.

"There were some droughts that caused some problems with some beef cattle and some fresh fuit and veg coming out of California," said Medcalfe.

With summer just around the corner, kids will be home during the day. Meaning more money will be needed to feed those hungry mouths. For summer programs like the Boys and Girls Club they are also feeling the pinch.

"We want to feed all the kids regardless, and as many kids as possible," said Levi Smith with the Boys and Girls Club.

Levi Smith serves about 500 kids snack and lunch everyday during the summer. He says he's seen the toll higher grocery prices take, and knows it can be hard on families. Smith says his mission is making sure no child goes hungry. No matter the cost.

"An open site during the summer, they don't have to be a member, but they can come in and we'll feed them," said Smith.

The Richmond County Board of Education says they also offer breakfast and lunch to kids at no cost during the summer.

If you want to information on the Boys and Girls Club summer program call 706-504-4071.

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