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Costs rising due to Russian invasion of Ukraine; what to look out for

APTOPIX Ukraine Tensions
Grocery Store
Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 09:21:45-05

MILWAUKEE — The Russian invasion into Ukraine is going to hit Americans in their wallets. People will see rising prices everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump.

That is the concern at a gas station in Shorewood on the corner of Capitol Drive and Morris Boulevard.

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Gregory Price pumps gas at the Mobil in Shorewood. He is concerned gas prices are about to rise fast.

“I’m very worried, I'm almost certain that will happen,” said Gregory Price as he pumped gas.

Thursday, after the Russian invasion began, the price of crude oil topped $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

"Cost of oil is going up in the value on the market. That certainly is going to translate into higher prices at the pump,” said Nick Jarmusz, the director of public affairs for AAA.

Wisconsin is currently feeling less pain at the pump than other states. Jarmusz says as of today the state average is $3.29 a gallon, compared to the national average of $3.54. Though he expects that number will rise shortly.

However, Jarmusz says there is not going to be a gas shortage in the U.S., so there is no need to rush out to the pumps.

"Even if Russia were to cut off its exports of oil, there would not be a direct supply issue in the United States. Even though Russia is the third-largest exporter of oil globally, less than 10 percent of our domestic oil or gas comes from Russian oil, so that would not have a big impact on us,” said Jarmusz.

The global impact of rising oil prices will also likely be felt in the cost of all our goods. Marketing Researcher Edward Ricon says particularly with wheat and corn, which Russia and Ukraine sell to the world.

"Russia and Ukraine produce 33 percent of the wheat worldwide. They produce almost 20 percent of the corn worldwide. So there is no escaping the fact it will affect our pocketbooks,” said Ricon.

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Milwaukee Area Technical College Supply Chain Management professor Dean Le Blanc says buying fresh fruits and veggies along with rice and pototaes might save you money at the grocery store instead of processed foods. He also says in some cases in might be cheaper to eat out at a restaurant than to make a meal.

Milwaukee Area Technical College Supply Chain Management professor Dean Le Blanc says the U.S. indirectly buys those goods, particularly in processed food. His suggestion on how you can save money: look for sales and consider what you buy.

“We haven't seen as much of an increase in fresh vegetables or rice or potatoes. So what I would encourage people to do is to incorporate those into their diet a little bit more throughout the week, and that will help to lessen the grocery bill,” said Le Blanc.

grocery produce
People shops for fruit at Iovine Brothers Produce in Philadelphia, Tuesday, May 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Le Blanc also says restaurant costs have not risen as fast as other sectors. So it might actually cost you less to eat out than make some of your meals. He suggests watching for restaurant deals.

AAA says the best way to save money on gas is to slow down. Jarmusz says your car is most fuel-efficient when you aren’t speeding.

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