Unless you live under a rock or somewhere you don’t have Internet, phone or TV, chances are you see the price of nearly everything skyrocket. Gas, food, diapers, baby formula, clothing, etc., are all going up, and many Americans’ pain in the pocketbook is evident. As a result, people have cut back on non-essential items. It’s all due to inflation; in June 2022, it increased 9.1% from the previous year.
It’s the highest it’s been in 40+ years.
Why is that, though? It’s a culmination of many factors that are causing the rise in prices in many areas.
- The number one reason is the current imbalance of supply and demand. When the coronavirus first took hold, companies shut down to help stem the tide of the virus. With fewer workers in the workforce, this meant fewer products being produced. With a high consumer demand, this lack of materials for supplies is causing many companies to increase prices.
- This supply and demand issue then led the Fed to increase interest rates.
- Then you have the supply chain bottleneck, with goods still stuck in ports around the world, especially the West Coast U.S.
- On top of that, many Americans held onto their coronavirus pandemic stimulus checks.
- And finally, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to the higher prices of many products, especially gas, as countries worldwide came together to sanction the invading country and send supplies and money to Ukraine to fend off the attack.
Everything all wrapped up has led to this perfect storm that consumers find themselves suffering from.
Gas prices hit over $5 a gallon in some parts of the United States, with many places still seeing above $4. You may think there’s nothing you can do to combat these higher prices. Granted, you can’t do too much about the pain at the pump. Don’t stress too much about it. There are several ways to save money.
1. Sign Up For Gas Station Loyalty Programs
If you fill up your tank every week, you know how painful it can be right now. Again, gas prices topped an average of $5 a gallon in many areas of the U.S., and even though prices are coming down, it can still be painful to fill up. Unless you choose to spend money on a hybrid or electric vehicle, you will pay an insane amount for your gas.
There is a way to combat them, though!
Gas stations offer loyalty programs or incentives for their loyal customers, but to get the deals offered, you must use the same gas stations. If you spend more with them, you get better discounts and rewards. You can also take advantage of grocery stores with gas stations attached to them. You can earn reward points that can be redeemed at the pump when you shop for groceries with them. (Kroger is an excellent example of this money-saving option).
2. Use Grocery Store Circulates To Find Weekly Sales
If you plan your meals each week, use the weekly circulars that grocery stores put out to plan the menu and save money. Many of these circulars have coupons they hide inside that customers can use. You can find these circulars at the store (as you walk in) or ask them to mail you the circular.
If you’re really thrifty, you can spend your time looking through each circular to find the lowest price. Since each store is competing with the likes of hybrid and online stores, many local stores are doing what they can to stay afloat with their customer base. So take advantage of the competition and look through each circular to see what deals are best for products you need that week.
3. Use A Retailer’s Site And App For Digital Coupons
Many grocery stores and retailers have introduced digital coupons to help their customers save money. A good number of retail chains have an app that offers digital coupons that let you save while also letting you put them in a cart for them to be picked up later or delivered to your home.
Digital coupons are great because you’re not fumbling with coupons during checkout. These coupons are saved to your account and applied when the transaction is nearly complete.
For digital coupons, you need to download the company’s app and start clipping on products you typically buy. Bear in mind that there may be a limit to how many digital coupons you can clip in the app, and you’ll need to check back often to be aware of the deals available.
4. Consider Manufacturer Coupons For Brand Name Products
Manufacturers also provide coupons for you to use and save money while shopping. You may have to spend a little time finding the coupons you need for your weekly menu and shopping trip. However, doing so can save you a plethora of money at checkout.
You can find these coupons online at the manufacturer’s website or on websites like Groupon or CouponBlender.com. For example, if you like Silk products, you can visit their website to see what coupons are available for the week.
5. Cash-Back And Rebate Programs
Many retailers provide cash-back, rebate programs, and digital coupons for their customers to use. Then, you also have apps such as Rakuten and Ibotta that provide these incentives to consumers. For these rewards, you must download their apps and create accounts.
Each site chooses how to compensate consumers, which could be PayPal, check or in-store credit.
Only stick to products you would typically buy, and not buy products you generally wouldn’t for the rebate. Ultimately, this will cause you to spend more money than you usually would have.
6. Shop At Discount Stores
Make discount stores your go-to for saving money as well. These stores have their own brand of products that are usually cheaper than brand-name ones and are just as good (sometimes even better). For example, Aldi has its own line of foods, such as Simply Nature and LiveGFree. You can find a limited number of brand-name products here as well.
The key to saving money through discount stores like Aldi’s and Dollar Tree is to compare prices and weight. You may spend more at the bigger store but get more than you would at the discount store.
7. Purchase Products In Bulk
If you have a warehouse store that you can shop at (usually through a membership), you can save money by purchasing bulk products, like toilet paper, paper towels, and others. When you buy in bulk, it saves you from having to buy a product more often, especially if you use it irregularly or use it sparingly.
Again, you want to check the price per weight against another store to ensure you’re actually getting a deal. You might be surprised that a warehouse store is more expensive per weight than if you bought the product at another store in higher quantities.
Everybody wants to save money…now more than ever! By using coupons wisely and looking around for the best deals, you can save a lot of money that can go toward other important things, such as your savings or trips. The key is to be wise in how you use them and buy only those products you normally would purchase. Don’t buy just because you see a good deal and think you’ll use the product. Be smart with the investment!