TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Everyone is paying more for everything these days. From shortages to soaring fuel prices, and 40-year-high inflation rates, we are all feeling the pinch. KETK and FOX 51 News is dedicated to helping you learn how to save money on anything from food prices to monthly bills.
Financial experts said that being aware of where you stand financially is the first step in overcoming inflation.
“Those who are typically hurt the most during inflation are savers. Those are people on a fixed income. If you’re living off the interest you’re earning on the deposit you have at the bank and you’re earning a low rate of interest, and things are going up in cost.”JAY OLIVER, FINANCIAL ADVISOR OF ROSE POINT CAPITAL ADVISORS
There are many ways to help save money, but experts say you have to find what works for you and your family.
1. Meal Planning
Before you even step foot in a grocery store, one of the tips experts give is to meal plan.
Sit down and make a list of meals that you or your family can eat over the next week and write down every ingredient you need. Take an inventory of what you already have in the pantry, fridge or spice cabinet and mark those things off the list.
Then take your list and go shopping and buy only what is on the list.
And don’t be afraid to make a little more than you need and have leftovers. If you have a busy schedule, leftovers are an easy way to make a meal without spending a lot of time.
2. Sales and Deals
While you are doing your grocery shopping, look at what that specific store has on sale. If the apples you normally buy are 10 cents more expensive than another brand on sale, consider buying the cheaper option this trip and reassessing on the next one. Or buy the store brand of products.
“They’ve come a long way so do not turn your head at those generic brands. You are not going to sacrifice taste and you are going to save a lot,” Andrea Woroch, a consumer spending expert, said.
Check store circulars either from a local paper or on the stand when you walk in the door. You could also use Flipp — which show users weekly shopping deals — to track down where the sales and best deals are.
According to NewsNation, experts say the middle aisles in a grocery store are typically where impulse buys take place. So avoiding those and buying in bulk can save you money in the long run.
3. Buy in Bulk / Go Generic
If you know you are going to use all of the product in a timely mannor, consider buying items in bulk. Typically, these packages have the best price per unit, which saves you money in the end.
Woroch also suggests buying generic products rather than name-brand ones to save up to 30% at the store. They are priced cheaper because they are not advertised and marketed like the big-name brands.
“They’ve come a long way so do not turn your head at those generic brands. You are not going to sacrifice taste and you are going to save a lot,” Woroch said.
There are also several apps that you can scan your receipts and earn cash back or earn points to obtain gift cards like PayPal, Walmart, Visa, and more.
“At one point I was making $500 a month just from apps on my phone,” said Rachel Hoff, mother of two.
- Receipt Hog
- Fetch Rewards
- Receipt Pal
- Receipt Jar
Most apps require you to scan the receipt within two weeks of the purchase date. Some will take receipts from any purchase, while others will exclude things like ‘gas purchases only’. Each one has different rules, so make sure you read all the information when signing up.
The Gas Buddy app provides several resources to save money.
Once you download the app, you can order your free GasBack card. It just has to be linked to a personal bank account.
You will also have to provide your driver’s license information to verify your identity.
“GasBack is free money for gas earned from everyday purchases. Earning GasBack is easy and it’s automatically applied at the pump at gas stations nationwide,” Gas Buddy stated.
Another free app that can save you money at the pump is Upside.
“You’ll pay however you normally do (with a credit or debit card) and cash back will be deposited directly to your Upside account. There’s no limit on how much you can earn – Upside even works with other coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs!” Upside explained.
Upside said you can get cash back at over 45,000 locations nationwide.
According to AAA, these driving tips can help you minimize your bill:
- Got a heavy foot? Stop making “jackrabbit” starts and accelerating hard.
- Don’t idle. If your car is stopped for more than 60 seconds, shut off the engine to save gas.
- Red light coming up? Stop accelerating and let the car coast up to the signal until it’s time to brake.
- You may love your car dearly, but don’t waste money on premium fuel unless the manufacturer recommends or requires it.
- Not going on a weeklong camping trip anytime soon? Take off those roof racks and top carriers that can have a major effect on gas mileage.
For those who shop online, Honey is a great way to save while you shop. While shopping online Honey helps find coupons to use at checkout.
You can also use RetailMeNot when you shop online. It is a browser extension that you can find coupon codes that you can apply at checkout so you can save money. They also have coupons if you’re shopping in-store.