PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Higher gas prices are hurting consumers in a lot of ways, but there’s also been an impact on the price of groceries.

Inflation is back and it couldn’t come at a worse time.

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Lots of people are still out of work, no cost-of-living increase for seniors and there have been few pay raises for many working Americans. But very high oil prices – coupled with bad weather and a weak dollar for produce from overseas – is taking another hit on our wallets.

As gasoline prices approach $4 a gallon, Sally Hudson has noticed that the prices of a lot of grocery products are going up, too.

“Gasoline maybe; the price of gasoline,” said Hudson, of Dormont. “Nobody can go anywhere with the price of gasoline.”

Higher gasoline prices make it more expensive to transport meat, produce, and all kinds of products to your neighborhood grocery store.

Before this year is over, meat prices will rise six to seven percent, poultry 2.5 to 3.5 percent, and fish 4.5 to 5.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Consumer will notice that at the check-out counter, along with price increases for other products.

The Department of Agriculture says eggs and dairy are going up 4.5 to 5.5 percent, fruits up three to four percent, and vegetables up 4.5 to 5.5 percent.

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It’s not just the high cost of gasoline that’s boosting the price of meat and produce at the stores; when it comes to processed foods, it’s also the rising cost of everything that’s in the box.

Expect cereals to jump another three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half percent.

But one product many Americans call a must is taking a big price hike.

“The price of coffee is more than doubled in the last year,” said Jordan Nicholas, of Nicholas Coffee. “There’s no sign of it coming down anytime soon.”

Local grocers know consumers can’t afford higher prices and try to hold the line, but not always able to. So, what’s a person to do?

Cutting back on what you buy is certainly one approach. Looking for better deals is another.

There are several strong grocery chains in this area, so this might be a good time to check them all out. But don’t expect any price relief soon.

Until gasoline prices drop significantly, you won’t see much of a difference at the grocery store.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture
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