October marked the nation’s strongest surge in inflation in more than three decades, consumers face higher prices everywhere from restaurants to the gas pump to grocery stores.
The consumer price index rose 6.2% in October compared to the same period last year, its biggest increase since 1990. Demand increased with the reopening of industries during the pandemic, leaving shoppers facing higher prices as the holiday season approached. two weeks.
NBC News investigation and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen today shared some tips on how you can save money in three key areas amid rising prices today.
Gas prices have risen by more than a dollar per gallon over the past year to reach their highest level in seven years, with a national average of $ 3.42 per gallon, according to AAA.
Nguyen shared three recommendations to help relieve the sting at the pump.
- Sign up for Gas buddy, a free program that can earn you up to 25 cents on a gallon at stations across the country.
- Refuel at membership clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sam’s Club, or grocery chains like Safeway, Kroger, and Walmart that have gas stations.
- Use less fuel. AAA recommends grouping trips, staying within the speed limit, avoiding wasting gasoline while the car warms up, and reducing rapid acceleration, which consumes more gasoline.
Over the past year, a gallon of milk has climbed an average of 28 cents and a pound of beef by 66 cents, which are just two areas where people have felt sticker shock at the grocery store.
Nguyen shared some quick ways to cut your grocery bill as winter approaches.
- Make a list of the items you want to buy, then find the sales.
- Consumer Reports suggests using apps Basket and Flipp, which lets you see weekly coupons from all stores in your area and compare prices for different items. Basket and Flipp also list coupons for housewares and other retailers.
- Look for the trademarks and consider swapping the chicken for beef or different cuts of meat which can save you money.
This is one of the hardest areas to navigate as pricing is always “erratic and illogical,” according to Nguyen, but there are ways to save money.
- Shop around keeping in mind that some drugs sometimes cost more with the reassurance that they are just paying out of pocket.
- Make a list of your medications, then go to BonRx, Flashing Health and Scriptco to compare prices.
- Check the cost of medications at your local grocery chain and membership club stores.
Other areas like auto parts and toy stores may be difficult to earn discounts this season as the supply chain crisis makes it difficult to order parts.
A body shop owner told NBC’s Tom Costello on Thursday TODAY that repairs that would normally take a day or two could now take a week or more due to the difficulty in obtaining replacement parts.
Another reason for rising prices in some industries is the rush of employees. With millions of Americans leaving the workforce or changing jobs, many industries have had to increase wages to attract new employees.
“What we are going through is a consequence of higher wages,” NBC senior correspondent Stephanie Ruhle said on Thursday TODAY. “You pay the employees more, the customer in the end could end up passing it on to them. Unfortunately, inflation is rising faster than wages, so your bigger paycheck is bigger, more money is wiped out. ”
However, Ruhle noted that the good news is that home values are rising, wages are rising, and the stock market is rising.
“It’s a mixed picture,” she said. “I know it’s terrible when you’re shopping for anything, but we’re doing well financially, we really are.”