Sagging economy changing the way people shop in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- So many things in life seem to keep getting more and more expensive, but there are some companies out there drawing customers in as they promise you savings.

For Debbie Vandergriff, bulk is the way to save money for her family.

"It’s just like a monthly thing, we come here every month and stock up on some things."

Debbie pays a membership fee to access the savings inside of Sams Club in West Knoxville, and the place gets pretty busy as others have the same idea.

Sam’s Club Marketing Manager Bob Barnett says, “We noticed an increase in sales, and a lot of the members are buying more in bulk because of the hard times, and they can make the dollar go further."

Food costs started going up after the cost of gas to ship the food started rising, which also affects a lot of others things you want for your house.

Knox Rail Salvage General Manager Joel Piper says, “We're seeing more people trying to save money, so they're coming down and looking for savings."

Joel says customers are coming to Knox Rail Salvage because they try to offer them a significant discount compared to larger chains.

Another savings option for your family can actually bring the money in as well.

Todd McNitt, Onwer of Once Upon a Child and Plato’s Closet, says, “Kids grow out of their stuff faster than they wear it out."

That’s why Todd runs both re-sale stores, and says families can find good deals to clothe their child in his shops.

Todd says, “But they also have a second reason, and that would be to sell goods so when they need a little extra money to put into the gas tank or food on the table, they bring us their gently used items and we pay cash for them."

As the economy stays tight, and taking care of a family continues to be expensive, hunting down a bargain can be a necessity.

Todd says re-sale is a great way to save. Gas prices don't really affect re-sale items, since they don't have to be shipped to stores.


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