From pawnshops to grocery stores, shoppers aim to save cash amid rising inflation

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A report released Friday by the federal government shows inflation in May was rising to a level we haven’t seen in four decades. That means you pay more at the pump, at the grocery store, and just about everywhere.

“Our grocery bill definitely went up, and then the gas to make it happen,” said local customer Erin DeSantis.

“I was actually looking at my bag thinking, ‘Okay, I got a bag here and I spent $60,'” said fellow customer Melissa Logan.

Raleigh shoppers say the high prices have made them more selective about what they add to their basket. To save a few bucks here and there, they made cuts to their grocery lists.

“A lot of fresh stuff, because it’s expensive and if we don’t eat it fast enough, it comes back,” DeSantis said.

A customer who lives out of state but spent the week in Raleigh spent Friday loading a cooler into her car to take advantage of the cheapest prices here.

“I live in a town in South Carolina, we don’t have Trader Joe’s, so we all have to go somewhere else,” Gina Greer said.

All buyers agree on one thing: they are looking for different ways to save a few pennies here and there.

“[I even look at] the cost per ounce, per quantity,” Logan said.

“We market products, we know we buy pretty much the same things all the time, so we know what the right 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 grateful they can find what they need.

“That’s a lot of money,” DeSantis said. “I’m just grateful that we can afford to buy pretty much what we need, and a few treats along the way.”

While some people are trying to save money, others are trying to make money and hence go to local pawnshops.

“We’re getting new customers every day,” said Brian Moulton, chief compliance officer at National Pawn and Jewelry on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh.

At the store, there is usually a steady stream of people coming 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 items, right down to TV and gaming systems.”

With record levels of inflation, even more people are combing through their own stuff, seeing what they can do without.

“If they have extra expenses, especially since gas prices are high, if they have a ring in the bottom of a drawer that they no longer use, they can bring it to us and get some money,” Moulton said.

But it’s not just about cashing in, shoppers can save a few bucks by getting discounted items including TVs, electronics, and tons of jewelry. The prices of these items at a pawn shop remain stable, unlike some big box stores.

“Right now, with inflation, a lot of it comes from supply and demand, and pawnbrokers don’t know that,” Moulton said.

Some other tips experts suggest when it comes to saving money are to cancel all unnecessary subscriptions and pack your lunch rather than buy.

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