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Economists say a shopping strategy can help offset inflation

Food Inflation
Posted at 1:27 PM, Apr 08, 2022

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — A shopping strategy could save people a significant amount of money.

"Spend your money faster, the stuff that you need to buy, buy it immediately," said Scott Schuh, macroeconomist and associate professor at West Virginia University.

Spending money quickly may seem like the opposite thing to do, but inflation is at a 40-year high and it’s only going up. The price of items are rising so quickly, that Schuh says waiting until the end of the month to shop will end up costing more.

"Now you also have to be careful because you don't want to overspend and get to the end of the month and then have to put things on credit cards, but at least you can save one month of inflation by buying sooner," he said.

Buying in bulk is also something to consider. One roll of toilet paper may be cheaper than the 20 pack, but each roll in that 20 pack is much cheaper than the one.

Schuh says inflation is so high right now, used car prices are increasing. At the end of last year, the average used car price was more than $28,000— up 28% the year before and 42% higher than in 2019. Shuh said selling a used car now may not be a bad idea.

"It's kind of like sell high and buy low, so shifting from a used car, a good used car that's really desirable and could get you a good return that you'll probably never see again and leverage that into purchasing a newer car is a nice budgeting play that could help save you some money, if you can afford to manage that in your budget," he said.