30 Ways for Families to Beat Inflation
Things are getting rough out there. Really, really rough. With gas, food, entertainment, clothing, housing and many household goods costing so much more this past year, finding ways to live on the cheap is becoming more important for Mississippi families.
Here are 30 ways to push back against inflating prices. Parents & Kids does not vouch for any of these resources, we just provide them for you to explore.
1 Use sites such as WeePea.com and GoodBuyGear.com to purchase all those baby needs. There’s no need to buy new on most clothing and gear…baby doesn’t even know the difference!
2 Pay off your credit card bill every month to take advantage of the card’s cash back offers. Points earned can usually be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards and more.
3 Bake in the toaster oven or air fryer! Not only is it faster and cheaper, during the summer months it will save on electricity because it won’t heat up your house the way a regular oven will.
4 Sign up for a Big Lots card…they periodically send a coupon for 20-percent off on your entire order! That’s a pretty big discount that goes far in offsetting inflation on household items, non-perishable food, and other necessities.
5 Before buying tickets to concerts or other events, always check discounted ticket websites such as TodayTix and Goldstar.
6 Don’t forget to always buy store brands when possible. The quality often isn’t all that different on staples and many canned goods, and this can save a ton. There’s nothing embarrassing about going generic in the year 2023!
7 Download the free Capitol One Shopping App, which searches for coupon codes. Find it at Capitoloneshopping.com.
8 Grow a garden! However, don’t focus your efforts on foods that can be bought cheaply (squash, cabbage)…focus instead on things that tend to be more expensive, such as fresh herbs, organic greens, etc. That way, you’ll get more benefit from your labor and garden space.
9 Use Groupon.com – It’s a no-brainer for frugal families!
10 When driving, turn off the A/C as much as possible, brake less, and coast more! Speeding up and slamming on the breaks wastes gas…which is extremely expensive these days.
11 Speaking of gas, there are apps (such as GasBuddy) where you can check the prices of stations near you to be sure you are filling up at the cheapest place around.
12 Whether you’re traveling or exploring your hometown, check the websites of museums and other attractions ahead of time. They often have certain days of the month–or special days each year–when admission is free.
13 Use Fetch Rewards, Coupons.com or Ibotta for grocery purchases to earn gift cards for places such as Target and WalMart.
14 If you’re planning to travel and grandma or grandpa is coming along, make sure to ask if they are members of AARP…booking in their name can get some discounts on hotels, rental cars and more.
15 If you love to read classics, save money on print copies or Amazon download fees by getting your e-reading material from a completely free resource for older works, such as the awesome Project Gutenberg (Gutenberg.org).
16 When shopping online, use coupon sites such as CouponFollow.com.
17 Enjoy giving your opinion? Sign up at Surveys.gobranded.com and get paid to take surveys.
18 Get outlet mall prices without going in person! Try the outlet sites of retailers. A few examples are the Amazon Outlet (find it listed in the main dropdown menu on the regular Amazon homepage), Best Buy Outlet (also found in dropdown menu of the regular website) ChicosOffTheRack.com, BurkesOutlet.com, Factory.jcrew.com, ZalesOutlet.com and more.
19 One day, 2-day, 3-day, or annual…the choice is yours. The Coastal Mississippi Attractions Pass gives discounted access to many Mississippi Gulf Coast attractions. Find it at Gulfcoast.org.
20 Use ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef in chilis, tacos, and on spaghetti. It’s already always been cheaper, but according to the USDA, another recent plus is that the cost of poultry did not inflate as much this year as beef did.
21 A tried-and-true way to save on family travel is to go “off-season.” For many in southern Mississippi, even a few days of Mardi Gras break gives a great chance to take a trip at a time when the rest of the country is still in class! Disney World is a favorite of New Orleanians and South Mississippians during Mardi Gras.
22 Use the free Flip app to view sales flyers from various retailers.
23 Get a chest freezer! Even a small freezer, if filled with meats you find on sale, can save a lot of money. Taking advantage of those great meat sales usually offsets the extra cost of electricity by far.
24 Heavy blackout curtains will help keep sunlight from coming in and heating your home during the summer. Just a little direct sunlight can affect your energy costs.
25 Sign up for email lists of the products you use and companies who sell them. Many online retailers send discount coupons to their newsletter subscribers.
26 Wait for holidays to buy big. The biggest sales on things such as appliances, mattresses and furniture often happen on holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day.
27 Rotate your TV subscriptions. Instead of having both Netflix and HBO, for instance, have Netflix for a month or two, binge watch that one service’s offerings, then switch to HBO for a month or two. By the time you cycle back to Netflix, there will be new programming available and you will have saved two months of unnecessary fees.
28 ALWAYS be searching for upcoming gifts! Whether it’s for Christmas, birthday or graduation, those who shop throughout the year with an eye for sales do better than those who wait until a few days–or even hours–before…when they can’t find anything for a good price.
29 Always use grocery cards! Those points and deals can really add up over time. Winn-Dixie has a particularly good loyalty card. When combined with their BOGO deals, weekly specials and digital coupons, you can find some real deals. Find locations in Gulfport, D’Iberville, Ocean Springs, Long Beach and Hattiesburg.
30 USE YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY! You can find free access to books, audiobooks, DVDs or streaming movies, audio recordings, and more. Cut the cord to cable and paid streaming COMPLETELY by committing to heavy use of library resources. Many libraries now use apps such as Libby or Hoopla to allow patrons to watch movies for free without having to even leave home.
Kara Bachman is an author, editor, and mom to two almost-grown kids. She considers herself to be frugal and thinks it is the very best way to live.