Consumers grapple with increased costs of food, energy

The groceries A.J. Keller bought earlier this week are costing him more than he can chew.

"It's doesn't look like much," Keller said, pointing to the few plastic bags of food he bought at a grocery store, "but this is 40 bucks."

The Swansea resident is angry over the increasing cost of food, which he said has affected his lifestyle. Belleville residents Dolores Taylor and John Burghardt have also witnessed higher grocery bills.

"The meat, for one thing, is higher," Taylor said.

"Every time you come, it's up 10, 20 cents," Burghardt said. "But what are you going to do? You've got to eat, so you're going to have to buy it."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported that grocery food costs are expected to increase by 3 percent this year. This comes after a year when shoppers only witnessed a 0.3 percent increase in grocery prices in 2010.

Coming on the heels of rising gasoline prices, it's a one-two punch that is leaving consumers feeling dazed.

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