In the book, "My Brother Sam is Dead" in Chapter 10, describe what was happening with the price of items.
Everything was in short supply from food to farm machinery. Sam and his mother could sell anything. The problem was that the prices kept going up. Sam give an example of selling a bag of nails for a shilling. As a store, they would have to restock the nails, and that would cost them two shillings, so they would be behind. They would raise their prices, but when they went to restock the nails, the price would have gone up on them again. They couldn't get ahead. People were not suppose to raise prices. The Connecticut General Assembly passed laws that limited the amount you could charge for items. But the laws weren't effective. If the store owner paid 2 shillings for nails, then he had to sell them for more than two shillings to make a profit. How Sam and his mother got around the law was the sell the nails for two shillings and then charge one shilling for the bag. Sam admitted that it wasn't honest, but there really wasn't anything they could do about it. (page 129-130)