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I left home in a good mood, but it soured when I stopped for gas. It cost $4.19 a gallon for the cheapest gas. I frowned, swiped my card, got half a tank and drove off, thinking about inflation and my shrinking bank account.
When it was time to join my husband for lunch, I headed out to one of my favorite pizza places. I called in our regular order: a mini pizza with Italian sausage and extra cheese for me, and a mini pizza with pepperoni, bacon and extra cheese for him. Don't judge. We get the exact same thing every few weeks, so I know the price by heart: $11.53.
Photo: Getty Images.
But when the person on the phone taking the order said $16.87, I confidently checked him — then he checked me right back. He said the company's prices had increased as of May 1 due to the "supply chain."
I paused for a moment to have a conference with myself.
Disgruntled me: "I'm not paying that. That's crazy. That's not supply chain. That is capitalistic exploitation."
Hungry me (thinking about mozzarella): "Well, I did already order. Might as well pay for this order, then make a decision later about those so-called supply-chain induced price increases."
Hungry me won, and I proceeded with my order. When I arrived to pick it up, I asked the cashier about the price increase again. He said nonchalantly it's because prices are just going up. Not by that much, I quickly responded.
While I waited, I asked him about the cost of a small Italian sausage pizza with extra cheese. He said: $17. I was used to paying about $11.72.
Photo: Getty Images.
A nearby customer waiting for her food asked me if I had ever perused their coupons. I shook my head. I didn't want a coupon; I wanted to be free from price gouging. I simply didn't want to be taken advantage of, and I don't want to help pay for the CEO's new yacht. Or whatever it is CEOs buy with our money.
I wanted to know, like many Americans, whether I'm paying more due to actual supply chain issues, or is it simply corporate greed?
We don't need the Consumer Price Index to confirm what we already know. But do we really even know why the prices of food, gas and nearly everything has skyrocketed? Who or what's to blame? Is it the war in Ukraine? The coronavirus pandemic? Climate change? China? Big Oil?
Amid all the fretting over inflation, a steady stream of companies has posted record profits, while my coins are steadily dwindling.
President Joe Biden said he wants every American to know that he's taking inflation very seriously and it's his top domestic priority. In his May 10 remarks, Biden blamed inflation on the pandemic and "Mr. Putin's war in Ukraine."
Regardless of the reasons, opportunists are even price gouging baby formula amid nationwide shortages, according to Newsweek.
My husband and I enjoyed the delicious mini pizzas, but I'm certain the restaurant won't see us again for a long time. To do my part to fight inflation — and prepare for when those pizza cravings hit again — I Googled: How to make restaurant quality pizza at home.
Top Banner: Holtsville, N.Y. Alexis Nicolas of Islandia, New York, fuels up her car at the BP gas station on the Long Island Expressway North Service Road in Holtsville, New York, on February 23, 2022. (Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM via Getty Images)
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