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Inflation Driving Up Cost Of Living

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Many Americans are feeling the squeeze and sticker shock at the grocery store.

We're all paying more for everyday items than we have in decades, as we're seeing the highest inflation in 40 years.

"I need to make a good conscience choice of what we do with the money, especially now since prices have skyrocketed," said Karen Hartman.

Hartman and her husband live in Butler County and are feeling the pain of historic inflation as everything they need is now more expensive. They're retired and on a fixed income, and that has forced them to change how they live.

"The price of milk is crazy. Our daughter lives in Ohio so she usually purchases it for us and we get it from her because it's over a dollar less in Ohio," said Hartman.

Grocery prices soared 6.5% last year, marking the fastest paced food inflation in over a decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. For example, a carton of strawberries will cost you around $6.70 up from $4.43.

Some shoppers are reacting by trimming their grocery list and trading to less expensive brands. The Hartmans have turned to the food bank.

They're not alone.

Chris West with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank said just in the last few weeks, more and more people have been calling in who need help. A lot of those are first-timers.

"People are already having to make choices between the food they buy and the bills they pay and the medication they have to take and when the prices are rising, that squeezes their budgets even more," said West.

In addition to groceries, Hartman said the price of gasoline is hurting them. She said they have six grandchildren who are involved in a lot of activities. But, unfortunately, she said, they can't afford to travel to see them.

"A lot of things our heart desires are not going to be available and we're going to have to be content," said Hartman.

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