Deep Dive: Expert shares advice on spending wisely during the supply chain crisis

More people are digging deeper into their wallets this holiday season, but experts say it's not just seasonal spending that has consumers parting with their cash. Consumers are also seeing rising prices from the gas pumps to grocery store shelves.

News 12 Staff

Dec 17, 2021, 1:44 PM

Updated 849 days ago

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News 12 spoke with a money expert on how you can stretch their dollar and save more as supply chain issues continue to impact how consumers spend their money on goods.
More people are digging deeper into their wallets this holiday season, but experts say it's not just seasonal spending that has consumers parting with their cash. Consumers are also seeing rising prices from the gas pumps to grocery store shelves.
Tobie Stanger is a senior editor at Consumer Reports. She says saving money is all about making good choices and planning ahead.
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"You're going to have to make substitutions. So, this is the major thing in shopping is, 'OK, this beef is way too expensive now. I think I'm going to be doing a little bit more pork, a little bit more chicken and maybe even a meatless meal,'" Stanger says.
For the past several months, consumers have been experiencing sticker shock, ranging from prices at the pumps to their local supermarkets. Latest figures show inflation is at steep 7%, the highest in decades.
Stanger says the main reason why people are paying more is because of the pandemic and its lasting impact on the supply chain shortage.
"The supplies will come in, prices will go down, eventually, but for now, that's not what we are seeing," Stanger says.
Besides beef, fresh produce is up just over 8%. Essentials, like paper towels and toilet paper are still more than 5% higher compared to this time last year.
"You are going to have to think about how to stretch that dollar further. Name brands can be more expensive than store brands, so we recommend that you look heavily at store brands, which can be just as good," Stanger says.
Experts also recommend using cash-back credit cards, discounts apps, and shopping at local mom-and-pop businesses where customers have more bargaining power.
Lastly, they say buy what you need, not what you want. They say put away what little you're able to save.
"Make sure you have a little slush fund and make sure you are not overspending," Stanger says.
Stanger adds that it could be several more months until consumers begin to see some relief, so the best to thing to spend wisely.
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