12 ways to deal with increasing inflation and pricing
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By Jennifer Abrahams | Reading time: 5 minutes, 7 sec | 1024 words | | Last update: 2023/02/24
It seems like every time we turn on the news, there are more stories about the consumer price index and the inflation rate, mortgage prices and energy prices. We see these things first hand, every time we leave the house, the increased prices at the gas pumps, stock issues at stores, or an increased bill at the grocery stores. In fast, recent studies show that we are currently seeing an 11.4% increase in grocery prices this year compared to last year. How can we balance our bank account, and set money aside for paying off debt and savings while we are dealing with increased price points at every turn?
Lets start with inflation, simply stated it is when prices increase. It can be as obvious as the glowing numbers on gas station signs, and as subtle as smaller packages for the same price at the grocery store- also known as shrinkflation. It is here now and making simple tasks like providing food for our family, and paying our household expenses more difficult. While we do not know how long prices will be this high or if they will go any higher, it is a good time to build money-saving habits that can outlast inflation.
Here are some tips to get us through:
Tip #1: Take the time to comparison shop. From to food, to household supplies and appliances, it pays to know all your options before making a choice. We live in an era of online shopping, and it can be both a good and bad thing. We have the ability to research our items and know all the details before stepping into the store. Often, we do not even leave our house to make big purchases. Make sure not to click the submit order button too quickly, as the simplicity of purchasing with one simple click has its list of cons. We may find ourselves overspending, and overextending our credit.
Tip #2: Don’t pay for excess packaging. Many of the products we use most often come in a variety of sizes. By buying larger sizes in items you will use, you can pay less for each serving or use. Buying in bulk is the ultimate life hack to avoid paying for more plastic packaging. Keep in mind the shelf life and expiration dates, as you may spend more if the item expires before you use it all. Many cities now offer speciality package free stores, or stores with bulk bins. This will avoid packaging entirely and help save you money.
Tip #3: Don’t be a name brand snob. Many retailers have their own brand of products, often with the same ingredients as the name brand and at a much better price. A well known wholesaler store is rumored to carry well known name brands disguised as their own- with the brands being on board with this of course. Be willing to test out new products, you may find yourself loving the store brand just as much if not more than your favorite brand.
Tip #4: Don’t allow for unplanned purchases. Those spontaneous purchases can really add up and often hurt your budget. Before you leave the store know what you are shopping for and how much you have to spend. Adding items may force you to putting the purchase on your credit card, incurring extra fees and interest.
Tip #5: Look High and Low. Did you know that Manufacturers pay a premium to have their products at eye level, and that cost generally gets passed along to you the consumer. Make sure to look at the items on the top and bottom shelf as well. Sometimes sale or clearance items are hidden in a back corner, don’t be afraid to search for the best deal!
Tip #6: Use your points, and your apps. Many stores will offer customer loyalty programs, don’t be afraid to sign up for these free programs. You may be able to save money at the till at your most visited stores. This can include additional loyalty programs like Airmiles, Aeroplan, Scene points and more. There are a variety of online savings programs and apps to help you save money. Checkout51 allows you to submit photos of your grocery receipt and accumulate money back based on your purchases. Swagbucks offers a similar program offering points which can be redeemed for gift cards. There are many similar programs, search and find ones that work for you and where you shop.
Tip #7: Leave the kids at home when you shop. Kids can be a distraction while you shop, leaving them at home ensures that extra bag of chips or cookies stays on the shelf and not your cart!
Tip #8: Keep your budget updated. Prices are higher than they used to be, and we don’t know when or if they will be going down. Keep on top of prices, and adjust your budgets as needed!
Tip #9: Don’t overextend yourself. Just because you “can” afford to spend more, doesn’t mean you need to. Put the extra money away, reallocate to different areas and avoid adding more debt to your credit.
Tip #10: Emergency Fund. Keep some extra money readily available should you need it in case of emergency. Many Canadians are reporting that a $400 emergency will put them over the edge financially. Any unexpected expense adds up, and without the savings you are likely to put it on credit, which at the end of the day will end up costing you more.
Tip #11: Save for the future. Your future self will thank you for being ready, be it with a vacation savings, retirement savings or school fund for your soon to be college bound children. Set your future self up for success today.
Tip #12: Invest in yourself. lifelong learning, sharpening your skills, learning new skills, and learning financial literacy are all easy to do things. Invest in taking care of yourself and set yourself up for a lifelong financially clear future.
Our suggested tips can help to reduce financial stress brought on by inflation and help you deal with a rising cost of living. If you are currently facing overwhelming debt, remember that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to seek help. It is important to know that there are solutions to support you with managing your finances and getting out of debt. Our Debt Relief Specialists are available by phone at 1.855.884.9243, or you can request a call back via our contact us page. There is no need to travel to a local office. Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Bromwich+Smith, is now offering video appointments, with all services available from the comfort of your home.
Jennifer is COO of a family of 4 that includes two very hungry teenagers with expensive taste in electronics and hoodies. When not scouring the world for the greatest deals, she can be found cheering on amateur hockey, swim club races and marching bands, and she is the Marketing Manager at Bromwich+Smith.