First Gas, Then Food? Gas Prices May Drive Up Cost Of Food And S - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

First Gas, Then Food? Gas Prices May Drive Up Cost Of Food And Services

Posted: Updated: Feb 21, 2012 12:19 AM PST
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Shoppers have seen prices for some foods rise as much as 30 percent over the past year.

With gas prices surging in the past week, consumers say it's just a matter of time before prices of food and other services go up as well.

"I think for sure the food prices will go up with the gas prices going up. And you're right, making changes, doing all my errands at one time, trying to save as much money as I can," said Jackie Alviso, of Fresno.

Shoppers already know the drill - higher gas prices means it'll cost more for food to get from the farm to the table, and that means eventually, the grocery bill will follow the way of gas prices.

For many, cutting back is the only solution.

"Buy a little less food, cut back on more extravagant luxuries like cable and maybe cut the phone service a little," said Bob McArthur, a Fresno resident.

Locally-owned restaurants say it's tough balancing the cost of doing business and keeping their prices low for their customers.

The manager at Yosemite Falls Café on Blackstone and Shaw says they haven't seen a decrease in the number of customers eating out…yet.

"We try our hardest not to raise prices. We don't want to lose our customers," said Sunnie Riojas, manager of Yosemite Falls Café.

The restaurant chain opened in 2008 – and just this year it started charging more to keep up with rising costs.

"We have never done it in the past, this is our first time, we have raised them just a little bit," said Riojas.

So far not enough to deter their customers.

But many people point out, we've been through this cycle before, and are optimistic that what goes up, will eventually come down.

"I'm sure once the gas prices come back down, grocery prices will also follow suit," said McArthur.

One economic analyst estimates an increase of a-dollar-a-gallon at the pump could mean consumers and businesses will pay an extra $20 million for goods and services every day.

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