Gas or groceries?

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POSTED: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 4:25pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 5:30pm

Experts say the average U.S. household will spend about 25 percent more on gas this year compared to last year.

When these gas prices started going up, some people stopped driving long distances and took closer vacations.

But for some people, those cuts aren't enough to fill up at the gas station.  While housing and car payments are set, many drivers say the grocery budget is flexible.

With prices at the pump and on the shelf climbing, the choice between gas and groceries is a tough one.  "Eventually we're gonna see more activities through our agencies as the families get into that pinch to where they have to start making decisions on which of their variable expenses they have to start cutting," says Dennis Cullinane, Executive Director of East Texas Food Bank.  

Kim Novak says to save cash, her family recently cut down their grocery bill by more than half.  "It's not fair that the gas prices are affecting everything we do," she says.

Executive Director of People Attempting to Help, Christina Fulsom, says, "People will do without other things to make sure there's gas in the car to get to work."  She says PATH has had more people of all incomes coming in looking for food in the last couple of months.  "It's something we call situational poverty-- where all of the sudden there's a huge rise in the cost of gasoline. Those who were making it month to month can no longer do that," says Fulsom.

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Our family will be thankful when the college semester is over. My husband teaches part time at Kilgore College and drives there from near Diana 5 days a week. I have a daughter who is also taking classes at the Longview campus 2 nights a week as well as work...Not having the extra miles to drive in two weeks will be great. We also eat at home for all but one meal a week to save more since groceries have gone up too.

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