KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Labor Department found that consumer prices jumped 8.3% in the last year. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose point 3% from March to April, and there doesn’t seem to be any relief soon.
The Labor Department expects prices to continue to increase in all areas which could put a strain on your household. However, experts say there are some simple things you can do daily to help you keep more money in your pockets. Peter Andersen, the founder of Andersen Capital Management said, “prices at the pump, prices in the grocery store, prices for service, everything, is higher than anybody had imagined.”
Andersen explained that there are multiple reasons we’re seeing all-time high prices. Some of those factors include the COVID-19 pandemic, continued supply chain issues, and the war in Ukraine.
“Some of the more consensus answers would be that we are emerging from COVID, that it was chaotic the past two years as we were entering COVID and a lot of managers of companies whether or not their goods or services were uncertain about inventory and when COVID would end. So many of them were conservative and decreased their supply,” said Andersen.
Where you may see the hike in prices the most will be at the gas pump and grocery store.
“For Knoxville for the past several weeks, you have held the spot for the most expensive metro in the state,” said Megan Cooper with AAA. “As of today, I am happy to report that gas prices in Knoxville are really about the same on average as our state average.”
According to AAA, the average price for gas is around $4.15. Cooper said there are several ways you can save at the pump including trying to avoid rush hour, combining all your errands into fewer trips and making sure your car maintenance is up to date.
“Take advantage of any fuel rewards savings programs,” she explained. “So, AAA has one with Shell, and for new members, you can save 30 cents on your first fill-up, and then after that, you can save five cents every single time you fill-up. Another great place to look is warehouse clubs and grocery stores. So, Sam’s Club, Costco, Kroger, Walmart, they all have fuel rewards savings programs.”
Being a grocery store member will also save you in-store.
“Look at your grocery store weekly ad because that will have a lot of things that are on BOGO offers or percent-off discounts, and I like to keep a running list of things I like to stock up on so that if I see a deal in the weekly add I can pounce on it and get those things while they’re on sale,” said RetailMeNot shopping expert Kristin McGrath said.
She adds that shopping in bulk can save you a lot of money in the long run, but make sure you have the extra space for the items. In some cases, it may be better to shop in-store than online.
“If you’re in-store, you might be able to find some deals on some things that are a little closer to their expiration date that the retailers are trying to offload that you might not find online,” said McGrath.
For long term investments, Andersen explained “in terms of investments, here is the stern advice I’m giving my clients, if you need your funds, the liquidly of your funds within a year to 18 months, you really shouldn’t be playing around with investments, stock investments or bond investments. I would highly recommend you go to cash.”