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How CT consumers struggling with sharply rising prices learn to stick to necessities, do without. ‘You’ve got to make adjustments.’

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Hartford Courant, July 2022

Nicole Lemoine has a few strategies to escape the full impact of inflation that’s driving up the cost of food and groceries. The Manchester resident pushes her cart along a supermarket’s outlying edge where fruit and vegetables, fish, meat and dairy items line the aisles and avoids many costly and unnecessary items on the shelves in the central area.

“You have to shop the store perimeter to save money and eat healthy,” Lemoine said outside Stop & Shop in Manchester where she was recently unloading bags into her vehicle. “You just have to say no to things.” She skips chips, snacks and processed foods. “No Pop-Tarts,” Lemoine said. Same with paper plates that she said are selling for $18 a package. She also avoids purchasing items not marked down.

“We have to buy everything on sale,” Lemoine said. The weekly grocery tab for herself, her husband and four children between the ages of 9 and 18 has climbed to $350, possibly $400, from about $250 a few months ago, she said.

Like most everyone else, Lemoine is losing purchasing power in the worst inflationary spiral to grip the U.S. since the early 1980s and is figuring out how to get by. Corporate executives are carefully watching changes in consumer behavior to determine whether adjustments are needed to preserve revenue and profitability.

Continue reading at the Hartford Courant.

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