Customers Fight Inflation | God's World News
Customers Fight Inflation
News Shorts
Posted: February 26, 2024
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    Shopper Stuart Dryden selects food at a grocery store in Arlington, Virginia. Mr. Dryden spots big price differences between branded products and their store-label competitors. (AP/Chris Rugaber)
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    Stuart Dryden looks at the store-label cream cheese at a grocery store in Arlington, Virginia. (AP/Chris Rugaber)
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Prices for food and other necessities rose a lot in the last few years. Customers aren’t happy. They changed the way they shop. And companies took notice.

Inflation happens when money loses value. It can’t buy as much as it used to. Prices go up. (Sometimes companies put less product in a package to avoid raising prices. Read about “shrinkflation” here.)

Prices for many products are about 19 percent higher than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s an example. If a family pack of chicken cost $10 in 2019, it might cost $11.90 now. When you buy groceries for a week, all those price increases add up.

So many grocery shoppers needed something to change. They stopped buying name brands and started buying store-brands instead. Some switched to discount stores. Others pick up fewer snacks or fancy foods.

Sometimes, when people see rising prices, they make more purchases. They hope to buy things before prices go up. That can make inflation worse. As supply (the amount available) drops, prices rise.

But this time, more people acted like Stuart Dryden. He lives in Arlington, Virginia. He took a trip to the grocery store. He saw big price differences between Kraft Heinz products and store-brand foods.

Mr. Dryden loves cream cheese and bagels. A 12-ounce tub of Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese costs $6.69. But the store brand cream cheese tub is just $3.19.

A 24-pack of Kraft Singles cheese slices is $7.69. The store label pack is $2.99. And a 32-ounce Heinz ketchup bottle is $6.29. The generic (store) alternative is $1.69. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and shredded cheese products have similar price gaps.

“Just those five products together already cost nearly $30,” Mr. Dryden says. The alternatives came out to about $13.

Companies like PepsiCo and McDonald’s see that consumers are looking for bargains. They say they will avoid raising prices. That’s a win for shoppers!

The Bible has a lot to say about how we should use money. It is an important tool. But it is also easy for humans to put our trust in it rather than in God. (Matthew 5:24) Even when prices rise, God cares for us.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” — Hebrews 13:5