Inflation is everywhere—from rising oil, lumber, and steel prices to food costs and the real estate market. Thanks to inflation, your gallon of milk now costs fifty cents more, and filling your tank costs a small fortune.
Luckily, inflation is typically a short-term deal, and it’s not a bad thing for the economy. Here’s the good news: there are thrifty ways to lessen the sting. Here are some ideas on how to reduce spending and ease the burn in your wallet.
Consider Purchase Delays
Now’s the best time to really consider your large purchases. It may not be the best time to extend your patio, build a house or buy a car. For one, it will cost more, and with supply chain slowdowns it may take longer to finish the project.
Instead, find small upgrades you can make in the meantime until inflation subsides. If you do need to make a sudden purchase, like in the case of a car accident, consult your trusty savings account or emergency fund (which you should have ready to go).
Negotiate a Deal
Another great idea is to negotiate a deal on anything and everything: your streaming services, insurance premiums, cable bills, cell phone plans, and gym memberships. You can even negotiate the APR on your credit card.
It doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount or see if there’s a payment program. If a discount or offer isn’t available, see if the company is willing to throw in something for free—like free oil changes from the dealership or a hotel upgrade with a better view.
Seek Out Substitutes
This next switch may be hard for brand-loyal customers, but switching to a different brand may be essential during the time of inflation. Besides switching brands, look to change up your grocery list entirely.
Instead of steak and bacon, go for ground beef and chicken. Again, this won’t be a permanent change, so you will get to enjoy your favorites soon.
Switch to Vegetarian or Vegan Options
If you’re really looking to change up your grocery routine, cutting meat altogether is super smart. On average, fruits and veggies have had a lower price increase compared to meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Buy in Bulk
While you’re at it, now’s the time to get a Costco or Sam’s membership. You never know how much everyday items will cost during an inflation, so stocking up on paper towels, dog food, canned goods, and wine (yes, wine) is a great idea. It’s better to have it on hand now versus watching the price increase later.
Skip Eating Out
Eating is essential but eating out is not. We all know that restaurants have their own price hike, but inflation brings the price up even more. With more restaurants switching to QR code menus, prices can change with the click of a mouse. So, skip your weekly date night out (just for a little while) and switch to a romantic home cooked meal with that bottle of Costco wine you just stocked up on!
Take Care of Your Stuff (& Yourself)
This is a good rule of thumb in general, but inflation affects everything from medicine to maintenance. Keeping yourself in good health means less risk of going to the doctor and paying more for medications. Big ticket items like your car and HVAC also need proper care—now more than ever. All you need is something to fall apart and then you’re stuck with a high bill.
Ease up on Energy Usage
It’s easy to see that energy prices are on the rise—gasoline, heat, and electricity included. A simple way to cut down on expenses is to use less energy. Find ways to carpool if possible and tackle all your errands in one trip versus smaller trips through the week.
If the weather’s nice, open the windows and turn off the fans. Double check that appliances that aren’t being used are unplugged and all the lights are turned off when you’re not home.
These small but simple ways will help you save money during inflation. Just remember these tips and tricks and you’ll be ready for the next inflation period.