Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rampant inflation on grocery aisles prompting citywide belt-tightening

With food prices soaring, dieting may be the only way to save money at the grocery store. The cost of basics like milk, bread, potatoes and bananas has jumped in the past year, forcing families to nix luxuries, steer away from organic goods and buy more house brands. "I think it's affecting everybody," said Elize Joseph, 48, a nursing attendant from Flatbush, Brooklyn. "To spend $40 on groceries is nothing. It doesn't go a long way". The weak dollar, rising cost of wheat, corn, soybeans and milk and higher energy and transportation costs have all contributed to driving prices up. According to the US Department of agriculture, eggs cost 25% more in February than they did a year ago, and milk and other dairy products jumped 13%, while chicken and other poultry rose nearly 7%. "You can cut back on buying clothes and shoes but you can't do that with food. You have to eat," Joseph said.

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