NEWINGTON, Conn. — Thanksgiving is now just two weeks away, and while COVID-19 canceled many families' plans last year, it's causing different problems this year.
Shoppers are getting sticker shock at the grocery store. High prices are the result of increased demand, but not many products.
"Manufacturing has been pent up. So, we're getting back to a regular economy, with production and yet they aren't getting the supplies in. So, we have an awful lot of demand chasing too few goods," said Leah Hartman, finance program coordinator at the University of New Haven.
That means many stores are also struggling to keep shelves stocked, so people are trying to get their ingredients as early as possible.
"I grabbed some gravy and stuffing already so, I mean, it's coming soon," said Kelly Clark of Middletown.
"I was just thinking in my head while I was shopping that I have to start planning my menu now so that I can see what I'm going to need and what I'm really going to cook," said Nicole Germaine of Newington.
At Stew Leonard's in Newington, goods from local vendors help them stay fully stocked despite the current challenges.
"There have been some price increases. The cost of fuel is going up, the cost of feed, labor shortages and everything else," said Curt Potter, store director at Stew Leonard's.
"We're working together to make sure the supply chain keeps going, and again, our shelves are going to stay loaded," he said.
He does recommend getting your turkey early, especially if you are planning a larger gathering.
"Turkeys are in short supply. Prices going up and if you want a bigger turkey, you should definitely come now. Get the turkey, get it in the freezer and have it for your Thanksgiving," Potter said.
The timing of the jump in prices has been tough on many families.
"We need to do something for the holidays. Some people can't afford the extra at this time of the year. So, somebody needs to do something to get the prices back in sync to where they should be this time of the year," said John Padgorski of Meriden.
However, experts said the prices will be sticking around through the end of the year.
"We've seen an unprecedented level just in October, but it's expected to soften by the time we get to January and February," Hartman said.
The U.S. is currently facing the highest inflation rate since 1990, with a jump of 6.2% since last year.
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