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Expert offers tips to save you money as the price of nearly everything increases

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The price of pretty much everything continues to rise.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a T-bone steak that cost you $7.92 last year is now $10.35.

A carton of eggs up slightly from $0.89 to $0.91, and a gallon of milk is about $0.40 higher than it was this time last year.

Add it all up and families around the country, and here at home, are watching their pennies.

Experts said when the price of goods and services starts to rise, and money gets a little tight, that’s the time to get back to basics paying closer attention to your spending habits.

“Particularly when we’re thinking about grocery shopping, you’ve got to have a plan.”

UAB’s Interim Chair of Accounting and Finance, Dr. Stephanie Yates, said to beware of impulse buying and shopping when you’re hungry.

“Meal planning is important again. Making sure you have some sense for what the plan will be for the week and shopping accordingly.”

Dr. Yates said consider what you already have, so you’re not repeating purchases, and buying in bulk can be a good option for families.

“Stocking up on things we’re not going to waste like paper products and things like that. The tax-free weekend we had was a great opportunity to stock up on school supplies and things that we’ll need throughout the year.”

Dr. Yates said weekly ads can also help you catch a good deal.

“If you can combine that weekly ad that comes out on Wednesday with your meal planning, then maybe you can plan a meal based on what’s going to be on sale and based on what you already have in the pantry.”

And whether you’re shopping for wants or necessities, Dr. Yates said it really boils down to budgeting.

“What does my monthly budget say that I can afford to spend on groceries, on home improvement, on maintenance and repair, how do I manage within that budget? Do not overthink it. Instead of having a line-item budget, you can pretty much have a three-item budget, and so those three items are wants, needs, and savings.”

Dr. Yates suggested devoting 50% of your budget to things you absolutely need, 30% to things you want, and 20% to savings.

She said monthly subscriptions can also be an area to save money, and asking yourself, “Do I really need to spend money on that?” goes a long way.

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