Here in the US, inflation increased 8.5% between July 2021 and July 2022. As inflation drives up costs, you may have noticed other changes in your shopping cart thanks to inflation reduced.
Shrinkflation occurs when the size of the product is reduced, but the price tag remains the same. It’s a relatively unobtrusive way for companies to maintain their profit margins without increasing the price of a product.
At first glance, telling the difference on a grocery store shelf can be a challenge. But the result of contracted inflation is that you get stuck spending the same amount of money for less of a particular product. And you will quickly realize how it is affecting your purchases.
With most feeling the pinch of inflation on their wallets, lower inflation is an unwelcome development.
If you’re concerned about the impact of this phenomenon on your finances, let’s explore some ways you can avoid reduced inflation altogether.
Get rid of brand loyalty
Many of us are creatures of habit. But when inflation hits shrinking, it might be time to make a change.
Micheal Collins, professor at Endicott College and founder of WinCap Financial, says: “Just because you’ve always bought a certain brand doesn’t mean it’s still the best value. Be open to trying new products and brands, especially if they’re on sale. “
If a similar product offers a better value, it might be worth changing your shopping list.
Try generic products
When looking at other brand options, don’t overlook generics.
Matt Gray, CFP, says buying store brand is a way to get a better price on a nearly identical product. Gray explains, “Usually the store brand is still made by a major manufacturer, and they buy it from them and rebrand it so the products stay good.”
According to a study by Consumer Reports (opens in a new tab) In 2012, many private label brands were considered the same in taste as their branded counterparts.
If you’re looking to save, many generics offer quality and value.
Scope unit price
When buying a product, check the price per unit. Collins says, “unit pricing (price per 100g, for example) can help you compare products of different sizes and ensure you’re getting the best value.”
Unit pricing is usually available on the grocery store shelf. But if not, you can run calculations by dividing the total price by the quantity. For example, if a dozen eggs cost $5, then the price per egg is 41.6 cents.
When purchasing a particular product, different stores may offer different prices. With that, you can pay to shop around.
Maggie Tucker, co-host of the Friends on FIRE podcast, recommends reevaluating what you spend your money on. She says, “Consider switching to a discount store like Aldi, where store-brand products are high-quality and significantly cheaper than other brands and stores.”
Stock up during sales
When you see a good deal, stock up if you can, non-perishable items are the easiest to stock when you see a sale. For example, finding cleaning products or paper towels for sale could lead to worthwhile savings.
In most cases, perishable storage is not an option unless you want to freeze some of your food.
To find the best deals, check out the weekly flyers and grocery coupons from the different supermarkets in your area.
Personally, I jump at the chance to stock up when I see a “buy one, get one free” deal on any pantry item my household uses regularly.
Sometimes creating coupons gets a bad rap as a time-consuming task. But the reality is that a minimal amount of time can lead to worthwhile savings.
Andrew Latham, CFP and Chief Content Officer at SuperMoney says: “Coupons can save you a lot of change each month, but they only work if you use coupons for things you were already planning to buy and don’t waste hours on it.”
He advises: “Remember that coupons are nothing more than ads designed to lure you into the store. If you clip a coupon for a product you were already going to buy, you and the store win. You lose if you just buy a product.” because it’s on sale.
Buy in bulk, when it makes sense
The option to buy in bulk can often help you lower your cost per unit. But it’s not always the right move for your budget. After all, you’ll have to spend more up front to secure the discount.
John Brown, a former financial analyst and GetCash contributor, offers a solution for those who don’t have the budget to make a large amount of purchases: “I suggest you coordinate with those around you — family, neighbors, colleagues, and friends — with like-minded people. . food preferences or diets. You can collectively list essential items and designate one person to go shopping.”
Brown shares that “doing this will save you money since you only get what you need and nothing else.” Although it’s a bit more involved than most inflation-reducing strategies, it could help you secure significant savings without stretching your grocery budget too far for a single shopping trip.
Try your hand at DIY
Another way to avoid the pinch of shrinkage inflation is to avoid the purchase altogether by making the product yourself.
Tucker says, “You can save hundreds and maybe thousands a year by making your own cleaning and laundry products at home.” Simple recipes can be accessed with a quick internet search. Or you can check out our own DIY cleaning product recipes.
But make sure the costs of making the product, including your time, don’t outweigh the potential savings.
Shrinkflation is putting pressure on already tight budgets. If your budget is tight, meeting the challenge head-on is critical.
While it may require some changes to your usual shopping habits, it’s possible to avoid the brunt of markdown inflation with smart shopping strategies.
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