RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A report out by the federal government Friday shows that inflation in May was rising at a level we haven’t seen in four decades. That means you’re paying more at the pump, at the grocery store and pretty much everywhere.
“Our grocery bill has definitely gone up, and then the gas to get there,” one local shopper, Erin DeSantis, said.
“I was looking actually at my bag, thinking, ‘Okay, I have one bag here and I spent $60,’” another shopper, Melissa Logan, said.
Shoppers in Raleigh say the high prices have made them more selective in what they add to their cart. To save a few bucks here and there, they’ve made some cuts to their grocery lists.
“A lot of the fresh stuff, because it’s expensive and if we don’t eat it quick enough it goes back,” DeSantis said.
One shopper who lives out of state but spent the week in Raleigh event spent Friday loading up a cooler in her car to cash in on the cheaper prices here.
“I live in a town in South Carolina, we don’t have a Trader Joe’s, so we all have to go somewhere else,” Gina Greer said.
All shoppers agreeing on one thing: they’re looking for different way to save a few pennies here and there.
“[I even look at] the cost per ounce, per quantity,” Logan said.
“We market shop, we know we buy pretty much the same things all the time, so we know what the good prices are on the things we buy the most,” DeSantis said.
But after seeing the total and swiping the card, shoppers say they’re just thankful to be able to find what they need.
“It’s a lot of money,” DeSantis said. “I’m just grateful that we can afford to buy pretty much what we need, and some treats along the way.”
While some people are trying to save cash, some are trying to make cash, and so they’re heading to local pawn shops.
“We get new customers every single day,” Brian Moulton, the Compliance Officer at National Pawn and Jewelry on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh, said.
At the shop, there’s usually a steady flow of people going in to sell items for cash.
“We get a lot of jewelry and diamonds,” Moulton said. “We also get luxury items, such as handbags, designer stuff, all the way down to television and game systems.”
With inflating hitting record highs, even more people are combing through their own stuff, seeing what they can live without.
“If they have some extra expenses, especially since gas prices have been high, if they have a ring in the back of a drawer that they’re not using anymore, they can bring it to us and get cash,” Moulton said.
But it’s not just cashing in, shoppers can save a few bucks by getting discounted items, including TVs, electronics, and tons of jewelry. Prices for those items at a pawn shop stay steady, unlike some big box stores.
“Right now with inflation, a lot of that is coming from supply and demand, and pawn shops don’t experience that,” Moulton said.
Some other tips experts suggest when it comes to saving money is to cancel any unnecessary subscriptions and to pack your lunch rather than buying out.