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'Ridiculous' gas and grocery prices add strain to holiday weekend shoppers

Pandemic-era prices are just part of the challenge for shoppers who say some items are out of stock.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Gathering with family and friends this Memorial Day weekend will likely cost more this year with the price of everything from food to gas still on the rise.

For Matilda Lowe-Robinson and her husband Abraham, the search for groceries for their holiday gathering took them to three stores.

"I went to Walmart, then I went to Food Lion and now we came here to Piggly Wiggly looking for some chitterlings," Lowe-Robinson said.

"We finally found it," Abraham Robinson added.

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Pandemic-era supply chain issues are just a part of the challenge for shoppers this holiday.

The cost, up from inflation and the war in Ukraine, is another.

"Already, for a small amount of food, I've spent a little over $100," Lowe-Robinson said.

Connie Edmonds, another shopper, was also feeling the effects Saturday.

"It kind of makes you go into a depressed stage when you go in the grocery store because the prices are so high," Edmonds said. "Don't even talk about the gas prices. It's ridiculous."

RELATED: 39 million people expected to hit the road for the Memorial Day weekend

According to AAA, gas prices this holiday are likely to set a new record with the average price per gallon nationally $4.60, up from around $3.00 last year.

"If gas is up, everything's up because you have to transport it," Kevin Batten, assistant manager at Piggly Wiggly on Devine Street in Columbia said.

Still, there are some bright spots this holiday, said Batten.

"We've gotten many of the products back in stock. Customers are pretty happy about that and we're happy to have it for them," Batten said.

While the search for the right item can bring challenges, shoppers say its worth it for time spent with family.

"Just buy what you can and just fellowship with one another and enjoy," Edmonds said.

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