Opinion: Combat Inflation by Optimizing How You Spend Money

Sean Wu // The Watchdog

Many BC students have felt the impact of the recent inflation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between June 2021 and June 2022 consumer prices rose by 9.1%, which marks the biggest price increase in 40 years.

Here are some simple and effective tips for how to retain financial stability as the value of the dollar decreases:

  1. Stock up right away on things you might need in the future.

Do not delay your essential purchases, because products might continue to get more expensive in the future. You can also stock up on non-perishable products that you know you will need.  

  1. Stay away from hyped-up brand names.

Highly-advertised products tend to be on the expensive side. Many people tend to buy hyped-up products, which are often overpriced. However, it is almost always possible to find comparable products from less prestigious brands, which can be much cheaper.

  1.  Only buy food that you know you will eat.

Many people buy a lot of food that they end up throwing away. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 30-40% of the U.S. food supply ends up in the garbage bin. Try to decrease your food waste by minimizing the amount of food you buy.

  1. Compare product prices across multiple stores.

If you want to save money, never rush to buy things at the first store you see. If you truly need a certain product, check how much it costs at different stores to get the best deal. Maybe there is a sale on that product online or some store is selling it at a discounted price. Doing this can help you make the best buying decisions.

  1. Take advantage of coupons, rewards programs and memberships.

Many stores offer coupons, rewards programs and membership options that can help you buy their products at discounted prices. Examples: Amazon Prime, Macy’s Star Rewards, My Best Buy, Target Circle, Walmart Plus and Sephora Beauty Insider.

  1. Pay attention to product sizing.

Companies are trying to mask inflation with “shrinkflation.” Shrinkflation occurs when consumer goods decrease in size or quantity while their prices do not change, which can mislead consumers. You can identify shrinkflation by calculating the price per unit of products.

During inflation, it may become difficult to purchase as much as you used to. This is an unfortunate reality. The tips in this article can help you save money during these difficult times.