Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Can’t wait for that tax refund so I can, well, buy some gas and groceries


Last year, a tax refund might have been a perfect excuse to finally splurge on that luxurious Coach handbag, or dinner at that hot new restaurant downtown.

This year, that tax refund check likely means another sobering trip to the grocery store or gas station.

With shoppers feeling the burden of rising food costs, high gasoline prices, a slumping housing market, a weakening jobs picture, and the possiblity of a recession, many intend to use their tax refund this year to cover everyday expenses.gas.jpg

According to the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor – a monthly index of consumer spending intentions and capacity based on 15,000 interviews – of the 61 percent of adults surveyed who said they expect a tax refund this year, nearly 64 percent said they will use that cash to help pay for basic household expenses like gas, groceries or mortgages, or pay down credit card debt.