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by Joshua Palmer

Brianna Moore, of Twin Falls, and her two daughters are among a growing number of people who are ending a family tradition.

“Normally, we go to Boise and spend a day doing our school shopping together,”she said. “But this year, I told the girls that we could either spend the money on gas to get us (to Boise), or we could spend that money on clothes — obviously, they chose the clothes.”

More residents in south-central Idaho are doing their shopping closer to home as rising fuel prices discourage shoppers from traveling to places like Boise or Pocatello.

It may be one of the few bright spots for rural areas such as south-central Idaho that are struggling with gas prices that have peaked at $4.15 per gallon.

Sales at stores in the Magic Valley Mall have increased 4 percent despite slumping sales in retail centers in larger cities throughout the United States.

“We think the increase is definitely due to rising gas prices,” said Brent White, manager of the Magic Valley Mall. “We estimate that for most people it costs at least about $70 to $100 round-trip to Boise.”

Moore estimated that she would spend between $150 to $200 on gas and food for a round-trip to Boise.

She said it was an “obvious choice” to use the money they would have spent for travel costs on the things they actually needed.

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