Fight Rising Costs in 2022 with Practical Tips
By Yehudit Garmaise
Prices are rising on most consumer goods: due to inflation and ongoing supply chain issues, however by shopping smarter, residents can easily find better prices and solutions for their needs and wants. Here's a list of some of some tips that can help consumers buy smarter and save money. 1. Housing: Rapidly increasing prices and potentially rising mortgage rates could help decrease demand for homes, which could slow home price growth and create fewer bidding wars: potentially making homeownership easier for some buyers. Also, as rents continue to increase, this year may still be a good time to buy. 2. Food: Grocery shoppers can avert price hikes in the aisles by watching stores’ fliers for weekly sales and stocking up on foods that do not perish quickly. In addition, consumers should make sure they are taking advantage of stores’ digital deals, money-saving membership discounts, and credit cards that offer grocery rewards. 3. Clothing: Consumers can spend considerably less this year just by cleaning out and then “shopping their closets.” Tidying up can help would-be shoppers not just to de-clutter, but to identify what they have that they already own, wear, and like. Also, when good looks are taken at the clothing consumers already own, they can examine what they have that needs repair, alterations, additions, and subtractions, and take those items to local seamstresses or tailors to be easily fixed. Unwanted clothing can be traded with friends and relatives, and residents can schedule pick-ups by organizations, such as The Chesed Center by calling (347) 699.1834, or Pick Purple, by calling (201) 47-PURPLE (78775). Report Ad 4. Heating costs: Boro Park residents can avoid wasted heating energy by identifying and fixing potential leaks, such as sealing drafty windows and fixing dangerous gas leaks, by enlisting their utility companies to conduct “home energy audits.” 5. Gas: Gas prices for cars are likely to continue to increase, due, in part, to a rise in wholesale prices, reported GasBuddy.com, however, drivers can save money at the pumps by taking care to notice the large price differences at different local gas stations. Small price differences per gallon can add up to hundreds of dollars per year. Also, of course, drivers can save money by not driving, and instead, taking public transportation, biking, scooting, and walking to get where they need to go. 6. Restaurants: Ongoing staffing challenges and the rising costs of food have forced many restaurants to raise prices, but those who sometimes eat out can save money by looking for weekly specials and advertised deals, and by choosing only one or two special meals a week to pick up or eat in restaurants. 7. Cars: Not only are the prices of new cars and trucks are at an all-time high, but the prices of used vehicles have shot up as well, which means that car dealers are paying more for used wheels. Those in need of new cars might be able to get more for their trade-ins or lower-than-market prices in lease buyouts. 8. Electronics: Plan to buy what you need during upcoming sales, when retailers mark down last year's models to make room for the offerings of 2022. 9. Furniture: Decluttering, deep cleaning, and fresh coats of paint can provide more satisfying redecorating than many expensive renovations and new purchases. 10. Healthcare: One way to beat healthcare inflation is pay for medical expenses with tax-advantaged accounts, such as health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts.