ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — With inflation still raging, prices continue to soar across the country.

From food, gas, rent and travel, Americans are dealing with costs that are rising at the fastest pace in decades.

Bay area residents also are feeling the squeeze.

On this edition of To The Point Already, Bay News 9 anchors Rick Elmhorst and Roy DeJesus talk with Bay area residents about how inflation is impacting them and what they are doing to combat behavior-changing prices.

Isaiah Chavez said he recently spent 40% percent more on gas during a driving trip to Georgia.

He said the skyrocketing gas prices have him rethinking discretionary spending.

“It really hit me so hard,” said Chavez, who is single and a homeowner. “I had to think I might not have enough money to go on another vacation.”

Chavez also said his food budget that has almost doubled in price has him eating a home a lot more.

And there are more signs that people are cutting back, shifting to lower-priced or alternative items, if not skipping some purchases altogether.

By most measures, consumers have downshifted from last year’s blowout spending, which was fueled by stimulus checks and other government aid after the brutal pandemic recession.

Some economists warn that steady consumer spending won’t likely last in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive credit tightening. And if consumer spending stays strong, the Fed might eventually have to jack up rates even further to cool the economy and slow inflation.

Meanwhile, other Bay area residents we spoke with find themselves struggling to buy food and medication, taking on extra work to make ends meet and even considering ending retirement with part-time work.

“I’m struggling,” said Bay area resident Barbara Chandler, who drives about 50 miles to get to work. “On my days off, I have to work Instacart (deliver service) just to get extra money just to put gas in my car. It’s very frustrating to have no time to spend with my family. The wage doesn’t go up, but everything else goes up.”


Spectrum Bay News 9 anchor Rick Elmhorst sits down with the people that represent you, the people fighting for change and the people with fascinating stories to ask the hard questions.

Catch up on our latest To The Point Already podcast episodes.