Earlier this year, I taught a class and a webinar about inflation where I presented dozens of ways to mitigate the effects of rising prices through reduced spending. Inflation is down significantly from 2022 but still remains elevated. Below is a list of inflation-fighting strategies to consider listed by household expense category:
Make substitutions (e.g., applesauce for eggs in baking), buy store vs. national brands, eat more meatless meals, stock up on sale items, consider shopping at a warehouse store, eliminate high cost “junk foods,” use coupons (from online sources and newspaper ads) and double coupons.
Drink ice water vs. soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, share an entrée or dessert, eat appetizers as a meal, select BYOB restaurants for meals eaten with alcoholic drinks, eat out for lunch vs. dinner or “early bird specials,” and use takeout containers to bring food home for another meal.
Drive less by consolidating trips for errands, appointments, and work, find cheap gas with apps (e.g., GasBuddy, Waze), pay for gas with cash, join a retailer’s fuel rewards program, time your fill-ups (experts say Sunday and Monday are best), and check tire pressure and lighten loads.
Adjust thermostat (a little warmer in summer and cooler in winter), turn down water heater to 120 degrees, unplug items not in use using a power strip, take advantage of off-peak rates, change HVAC system air filters regularly, use LED light bulbs, and use low-flow showerheads.
Shop department store sales and use coupons, join retailer loyalty programs to earn rewards, shop at thrift and consignment stores, shop for deals online (e.g., Asos, Mango, Amazon, Zara), and make clothing repairs and alterations to extend the life of garments.
Big Ticket Items
Wait inflation out, if you can, until product inventory increases and/or interest rates and prices come down (e.g., houses, cars, computers), compare at least three product or service providers, negotiate prices with vendors, if possible, and shop around for the lowest interest rate on loans.
Play “what if?” (e.g., I increase deductible, I change coverage) with an insurance agent, double check policy discounts you qualify for, compare at least three insurance vendors, sign up for auto-pay or online billing statements, make fewer payments per year, and maintain good credit.
In summary there are many ways to “claw back” the spending power that inflation has taken away. Try different strategies and stick with those that work for you.
This post provides general personal finance or consumer decision-making information and does not address all the variables that apply to an individual’s unique situation. It does not endorse specific products or services and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.