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Research: Shoppers are flocking to dollar stores for canned goods

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

Shoppers are increasingly feeling the effects of soaring inflation in the US. Some say they are switching to dollar stores and buying in bulk to try and combat rising prices, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Elayna Fernandez, a mother of four, told the Journal that she had recently bought a Walmart Sam's Club membership so she could bulk buy items such as shampoo and conditioner. Fernandez also said she had switched to own-private label brand items for groceries such as granola bars and almond milk. In addition, she replaced one of her daughter's night lights with glow-in-the-dark stars to save on electric costs.

Lily Penelope, a San Antonio resident, told the Journal that they could not afford the cost of groceries paired with the transport it costs to get them to the nearest H-E-B store. Now Penelope, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, says they are mainly eating canned vegetables, chicken, and peanut butter from a nearby Discount Variety Retail Chain Dollar General that didn't stock fresh produce.

Only 2,300 Dollar Generals out of 18,000 across the US supply fresh groceries, a Dollar General spokeswoman told the WSJ. As Insider's Mary Hanbury reported, Dollar stores have existed in the US for decades and started to take off in the post-World War II economy. In the modern era, many have raised prices in line with inflation, however. Representatives for Dollar General did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment outside normal working hours.

A spokesperson told the Journal: "While Dollar General isn't a full-service grocer, we consider ourselves today's general store by providing nearby and affordable access to daily household essentials, including the components of a nutritious meal."

Penelope said their health and quality of life had reduced after making the switch. "I'm in a position where I'm having to choose between making meals I can afford and putting my health on the line," they told the Journal.

As of June 2022, inflation was at the highest rate since November 1981, Insider reported. Food prices have also been creeping up throughout the year, with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a year-over-year rate of 10.4% in June.


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