have skyrocketed. Gasoline, food and utilities are more expensive. Demand is rising as pandemic-related restrictions ease, but there just aren't enough workers and resources currently to supply that demand.
While there are some signs that prices might stabilize in the future,
Food prices are up over 3%. While that may not seem like much, it can add up. Doing things like sticking to private labels rather than name-brand foods and shopping at discount stores can help. Keep an eye on promotions, too, and stock up on shelf-stable or frozen foods when you can.
Some utilities are going up, too. Cell phone service, Internet, and cable providers have been raising their prices. Some are even adding data caps along with the rising prices. To save some money here, you may be able to consolidate your services.
For example, some Internet providers also offer cell phone plans, and vice versa. Opt for a cheaper cell phone plan if need be, and consider cutting costs on plans that you don't need. Perhaps cutting out cable and picking up a couple of streaming services may be all you need for entertainment, and that could save you hundreds of dollars a year, depending on the plan you have.
Some lower income families may be able to qualify for help. The Emergency Broadband Benefit program offers discounts on equipment and Internet plans, and there's no harm in seeing if you qualify.
If you're in the market for a television, wait if you can. Prices are dropping, but new television models come out in January. Holiday specials can sometimes offer good promotions on televisions. You could save a good amount of money if you're going to buy a television anyway.
If you need to replace major appliances, now may not be the best time due to shortages and high prices. If you can wait to replace them, do so.
However, if waiting isn't an option, be sure you're not paying for extras that you don't need. Make a list of the essential features you need in the appliance in question and be open to crossing things off that list if they aren't necessary.
In addition, you should be comparing prices, and don't forget independent retailers. They may be able to offer promotions that national big-box stores do not.
It all comes down to shopping smart. Compare prices, and don't be afraid to put off some purchases until later. Keep on top of price changes and promotions, too. You may find good deals in places you don't normally shop.
Save money on gas, insurance and even new vehicles
You can save money even on vacation, too. If you're taking a road trip this summer, do a little research and find the best gas prices. Oil prices are up, which means that you're paying more at the pump.
Apps like GasBuddy help you find the best deals on gas prices. You can save a little bit of gas by driving a little differently, too. Smooth acceleration, sticking to speed limits, and using cruise control can all help boost your gas mileage. You can even take off a roof rack, if you have one, to help. Doing all this can save you up to $10 per tank of gas.
New vehicle prices are higher, too. Used vehicles are up a whopping 42%, according to Consumer Reports. If you're in the market for a vehicle, your trade-in may be worth more right now than you think.
Don't be afraid to negotiate, too. Consumer Reports says that you can save up to 10% if you're willing to negotiate, and with new vehicle prices up over 6%, that's good savings.
You might be able to save hundreds by shopping around for
Lisa Steuer McArdle has more than 15 years of experience writing and editing in a variety of
industries, including personal finance and insurance, breaking news, public relations, health and fitness science, and trade
publications. She lives in Long Island, NY and enjoys the beach, staying active, reading, and
spending time with her son and husband.