Inflation is a rise in prices due to a decline in purchases. With fewer customers, stores and companies often experience profit losses, which forces them to raise their prices.
This creates a vicious cycle where customers continue to spend less, causing a greater spike in goods and services.
Businesses are also frequently forced to lay off employees as inflation worsens, leading to further financial issues.
So far, 2023 has continued the fluctuating prices from the previous year with no end in sight. While inflation can be a stressful period, there are some tips you can follow to make it through the inflation with your savings intact.
Saving at the Grocery Store
Grocery stores are among the hardest hit by inflation. Fortunately, not all items experience a price increase.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the biggest price increases in 2023 are on fats and oils (up 16.7%), cereals and bakery products (up 12.8%) and processed fruits and vegetables (up 9.9%).
If possible, consider buying in bulk. Buying in bulk tends to be less expensive and provides plenty of ingredients for multiple meals. If you buy in bulk, it is also easier to create a meal plan.
Planning out your meals reduces the chances of impulse buying more expensive food or going out to eat at a restaurant instead of cooking at home.
Cutting Down on Travel
Another market hit hard by inflation is fuel. Gas prices soared in 2022, and while they have gone down, they are still averaging $3.28 a gallon nationally.
Some states experienced even sharper increases. While the government took some steps to try and fight the rising prices, these are only temporary stopgaps.
During inflation, try to limit travel as much as possible. Consider starting a carpool group at work.
Whenever possible, consider walking to your destinations, or even riding a bike. Public transport is another great way to cut down on costs.
If you are unable to avoid traveling, look for gas stations with fuel saving programs. Most chains offer discounts if you sign up for a rewards card. Some insurance agencies also offer similar discounts.