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Thrift watch: Four brief stories about rising prices

Mon., July 7, 2008

Thrift watch

Here are four brief stories of everyday sacrifices made by residents in the Inland Northwest to deal with rising prices.

The Mazda stays in the garage

Doreen Kelsey’s 17-year-old Mazda broke down recently, and it needs $2,000 in repairs. For a while, she and her husband debated whether to fix or replace it. And then she chose a third option – going without. The 51-year-old Spokane resident now usually walks or takes the bus. “With gas prices so high, I simply decided to give up the car altogether,” she said. “I can get around just fine on my feet or on the bus.”

No, we have no bananas

For some, the idea of bananas at $1 a pound is not unlike $4 gas – a symbolic threshold for the rising price of everything. Bananas haven’t generally reached the dollar mark, but they’re getting close. Spokane’s Gwen Druckrey has given them up for now. “I quit buying bananas,” she said. “It gets too spendy.”

There’s less to give

Peggy Coffey helps a lot of causes. She donates money to her church, St. Aloysius, and to various Catholic charities. She gives to Habitat for Humanity, Lilac Services for the Blind and the Southern Poverty Law Center. But she’s been scaling back this year, the retired Spokane schoolteacher said. “I used to give about $300 a month to charity,” she said. “Now it’s closer to $200.”

No hot dogs for volunteers

The volunteers for an annual Cub Scout camp at Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d’Alene typically gather for a picnic later, as a reward and a chance to review how things went, Druckrey said.

This year, they had a teleconference.


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