New Yorkers tell painful tales of inflated food costs while grocery shopping


Inflation may have cooled slightly — but the still-high prices are hitting consumers hard.

The Post talked to New Yorkers at city grocery stores about how the rising costs of food staples are forcing them to change their habits and cut back.

Here are their stories:

Joey Rafanan, 76, East Village, Manhattan

Inflation is difficult for the retired doctor to stomach because it forced him to cut back on his favorite food — eggs.

“I used to eat eggs every day for my breakfast, [I was] always buying eggs. I would eat scrambled eggs five days a week,” he said. “I would eat boiled eggs at night as a snack, watching TV, but now I can’t do it, it’s too much.”

Rafanan, who was shopping at Trader Joe’s in Union Square on Thursday, even had to downsize the eggs he does eat.

New Yorkers tell painful tales of inflated food costs while grocery shopping
Joey Rafanan has had to downsize the eggs he gets.
Gregory P. Mango

“I used to buy jumbo eggs, but now large or regular. Now I mix eggs with tomatoes, with potatoes,” he said. “I would buy [bigger] eggs and meat every week, but now I cannot afford it.”

Fran Carpentier, East Village, Manhattan

The freelance editor and mom of a young son said milk is constantly draining her wallet.

“Did the cows go on strike and I missed it?” she said. “I pity anyone who’s raising young children and has to buy a lot of milk.”

Fran Carpentier
Fran Carpentier said she’s alarmed by how much it costs to put food on the table.
Gregory P. Mango

Lately, she’s been cutting back on bovine-based grub, including butter and steak, due to sky-high supermarket prices.

“I am every day alarmed at how much it’s costing me to put food on the table,” she said — adding that even her Thanksgiving dinner was more sparse. “This year, I just didn’t go as crazy as I normally do.”

Dianne Paige, 63, Nassau, Long Island

To save money at the market, the 63-year-old nanny substitutes meat-centric meals for pasta several times a week.

“I’m not buying in bulk like we used to, especially ground beef. Beef is crazy [expensive],” she said. “I’m buying a lot less meat.”

Inflation has taken its toll on food prices at the grocery store.
Inflation has taken its toll on food prices at the grocery store.

Along with forgoing the burger staple, she said she eats more leftovers and tries to waste less.

“Where we used to go to the supermarket every week, I don’t do that anymore. We try to stretch everything out and [go] every other week,” she said. “We cook for two days, three days, and that’s what we eat. We do more pasta. Just making adjustments.”

Yerevant Kasparian, 52, Queens

The office manager has been forced to skip specialty seafood and other treats due to the rotten economy.

“For New Year’s, instead of getting smoked salmon, we got sausages, basic things, nothing extravagant,” Kasparian said. “As far as the meats, you’re cutting down to the basics. Not as extravagant as far as snacks.”

Yerevant Kasparian
Yerevant Kasparian has been forced to skip out on specialty seafood like smoked salmon because of inflation.
Gregory P. Mango

For breakfast, he said he eats “more oatmeal, more cereals” and has scaled back to buying eggs every other week.

“You’re just trying to budget yourself better,” he said.

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