Cost of basic household items going up


The price of raw materials is up, profits are down, and big companies have already cut to the bone during the recession, so there's nowhere left to go but to the consumer. According to The Wall Street Journal, last week retailers were told to expect price increases next month on items like Scott tissue (up 7 percent), Charmin tissue (up 5 percent), and Glad trash bags (9.5 percent).

Raw material costs are expected to be twice as high as predicted, so diaper prices will also be going up. Diaper giant Kimberley Clark will increase the prices of its Huggies diapers by 7 percent, wipes by 3 percent, with the same increase expected for Procter and Gamble's Pampers diapers and wipes. That could mean an opportunity for the smaller competitors if they can keep their prices down.

However, big companies are counting on brand loyalty from parents who might switch on other products, but not when it comes to their babies' bottoms.

"I would probably still continue buying the same diapers that I buy currently and that I buy for my older child because I like it and they fit him well," said mother Amy Smith.

Two-and-a-half-month-old Alex's mom gets around the high cost of diapers by finding online bargains.

"To be honest, the prices rise up, but convenience is really important for me, I don't have time," says mother Tran Le. "So anything that will save me time also compensates for the price."

Online shopping also saves a bundle at the pump. Rising fuel prices are partly to blame for rising food prices. So far, the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market vendors have been able to keep prices down. Fifty-nine-cent organic lemons in a store are five for a dollar at the Farmer's Market, but who knows how long that will last.

"We would fill up with about $2.60, $2.80, something like that before," said Joseph Serna of Twin Girls Farms. "I just noticed the last time we fueled up it was more like $3.40 for the price of diesel."

As far as produce is concerned, your local small market may be the best bet in the coming months. The proprietor at Noriega Produce in San Francisco tells ABC7 that he expects to keep prices down by dealing directly and locally with the growers.

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