(WTNH) — From the supermarket to retail stores, and the stops at the gas pumps in between, Americans are keenly aware of rising prices.
“What’s currently driving a lot of the increase now are things you’ve probably been hearing a lot about supply chain glitches, lack of available truckers to deliver goods and services, and a shortage of workers to produce a lot of those goods and services that people want,” said Penny Wang, deputy editor for Money at Consumer Reports.
But how can we spend less even as prices increase? Here are some expert tips.
At the supermarket, check for promotions or discounts and use those cheap prices as an opportunity to stock up your pantry and freezer.
“You can also save a lot by sticking with discount stores such as Costco or Trader Joe’s, as well as opting for private label brands which are often less expensive,” said Wang.
At retail shops, do a price comparison online before making purchases.
“You might find one item that’s sold at multiple brands is $100 at one brand and $250 at the other because that other brand just has more operating expenses,” said Kristen Larrea, shopping expert at RetailMeNot.
And look for additional ways to save such as coupon codes, cashback offers, and loyalty programs.
“Credit card rewards are also a good way to save if you pay the balance off and only if you pay the balance off immediately,” said Larrea.
For large appliances, be willing to adjust your preferences. Since some models may have shot up in price or be completely out of stock.
“If you’re flexible about the brand or the type of finish, you know, if you’re willing to forgo some kind of stainless steel finish, you may be able to find an affordable option that’s in stock. We also suggest going to independent dealers, not just the big chains, because some of them may have models and stop at the chains do not,” Wang said.
And consider waiting if you can.
“If you didn’t get it, what would happen? What would your alternative be? And if it turns out that have perfectly good alternatives, then don’t rush to purchase it right now. Because at some point the supply chain issues will smooth out and you may find there more affordable options,” Wang said.
Other ways to save money right now include switching to a lower-cost cell phone or internet plan.
“Sometimes your internet provider will offer a plan that’s more cheaply priced than the one you’ve been with for a while,” said Wang.
And taking that extra step before pulling into the gas station.
“There are apps and tools that can be pretty good in letting you know what prices are at your local pumps while you’re traveling. If you can shop around and find a cheaper pump, you can save quite a bit over time that way,” said Wang.
And speaking of your car, as you get that next oil change, have them check the air in your tires and fluids to ensure your vehicle is running as efficiently as possible.