10 Sneaky Ways to Save Money When Inflation Rises
With prices rising, even small savings will add up and help your bottom line.
It’s no secret that prices are rising dramatically in the United States. Almost everyone is feeling the pinch of skyrocketing costs, and looking for ways to reduce the impacts of inflation.
As the Guardian reported recently, the annual inflation rate is at a 40-year high. Prices are rising by an average monthly rate of 1.2% and the CPI’s “food index” showed an increase of 9.4% in food prices over the last year.
If you’re trying to make your paycheck go a little farther, here are some ways you can save money and reduce your monthly costs.
#Pretend you’re leaving your cable or internet providers.
It’s a little-known secret that for most internet and cable companies, if you call them and say you are thinking of going with another company, they will give you a promotional rate to stay with them. I recently cut $20 a month off my internet bill by doing just that.
#Plant a garden.
You don’t have to have a big yard or a green thumb to grow some of your own food. You can grow vegetables in a pot or a small patch of land in your yard. The easiest way to get going is to visit your local garden store and get “starts”, baby plants that can blossom into your next salad with a little TLC
#Join a wholesale club.
Membership-based wholesale “clubs” like Costco and Sam’s can be a great way to save money. This one can be tricky because you don’t want to go in and buy huge quantities of things you don’t use that often. But for things that last forever like toilet paper, baby food, canned goods, and pasta, you’ll get real savings by stocking up.
#Look for alternatives to driving.
I’m sorry, I like my car as much as you like yours, but the quickest way to avoid high gas prices is to avoid driving as much as possible. Take the bus, walk, or dig your bike out of the garage. Even a few trips using alternative transportation will add up.
Get an insurance check-up. You may be overpaying for insurance. Talk to your insurance agent about your current deductibles and coverage limits, particularly if you drive an older car. If your employer’s “open enrollment” is coming soon, take a hard look at your use of your medical insurance and see if you could get by with a higher deductible plan.
#Cut back on subscription services.
Most of us have multiple subscription services that come out of our bank accounts automatically. Check out your bank statement and look for any services that you don’t use and haven’t canceled. Take a hard look at your streaming platforms. Do you really need Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, AND Disney Plus? Pick your favorite and drop the rest.
#Get your books and e-books from the library.
This one goes against my own self-interest because I’m a published author and I want you to buy my books, but you can save a lot of money by using your local libraries. If you prefer e-books, the good news is that almost all libraries now offer a platform to borrow e-books instead of getting physical copies.
#Use your local free fridges or food bank.
If it’s getting hard to pay for everything you need to, consider accessing free food resources. Many communities have local “free fridge” programs where you can go to designated spots and access food, the same way you do at a food pantry. To find a location near you, click here or google the name of your town and the words “free fridge” or “foodbank”.
#Think about refinancing your loans.
Interest rates are going up quickly, so if you have been thinking about refinancing your loans, now is the time. Talk to your local bank or credit union to see if you can reduce costs by refinancing your mortgage and/or your car loan. If you are being charged mortgage insurance, you can also ask if you have enough equity to drop those expenses.
#Cook your food.
I get it, you’re tired after a long day of work, and DoorDash or UberEats is so convenient. Unfortunately in addition to higher per-item menu costs, ordering from delivery services also includes a myriad of fees plus a driver tip. Resolve to limit your eating out or ordering in to once a week, and get cooking. Use your crockpot or instapot to save time, and make extra that you can freeze for another meal or bring for lunch the following day.
What are your favorite ways to save money and reduce expenses? Share your suggestions in the comments.
CONTRIBUTED BY Rose Bak
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