When people discuss the economic conditions of the world in 2022, “inflation” is a word that seems to pop up almost every time. You’ve seen the prices for everyday products and services increase rapidly over the past year. Even if you’re fortunate enough to be earning more today than you were prior to the events of the last couple of years, you may still find that keeping up with your financial obligations is more difficult than ever. So, what’s the solution?
One of the reasons why everyday products cost more than ever these days is because supply chain issues have left companies around the world paying more for the materials needed to make their products – but that’s not the only reason. Another reason why companies are charging high prices for their products is simply because they can. Businesses around the world went through difficult times in 2020, and many of them are trying to make that money back by testing the limits of what the market will bear. Well, you don’t have to support that. If you’re spending too much on everyday purchases, making a few simple substitutions can help you get your daily expenses under control and save a bundle of money.
Switch from Coffee to Tea
Have you noticed that you seem to be spending more on coffee recently? It’s not your imagination. Thanks to omnipresent supply chain issues and unfavorable weather conditions, coffee prices hit a 10-year high in 2021. Coffee increased in price more than any other commodity last year – and at the end of 2021, demand for coffee outstripped supply by a whopping 5.2 million bags. You can save a lot of money on coffee by staying away from coffee shops and brewing your own, of course, but there’s a limit to the potential savings when the beans themselves are driving the cost.
An easy way to save a huge amount of money on your daily dose of caffeine is by switching from coffee to tea. Tea has always been cheaper than coffee, and it hasn’t been as affected by inflation as coffee has. You can buy a box of tea bags that’ll last a few months for around the same price as a bag of coffee that’ll only last around a week. With this one simple switch, you can easily save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
Switch from Cigarettes to Disposable Vapes
If you’re a smoker, you’re well aware that being a nicotine user is extremely expensive. Because smokers almost always develop chronic diseases that place enormous burdens on public healthcare systems, many federal and state governments have begun making smokers pay some of those costs up front in the form of enormous tobacco taxes. If you’re a pack-a-day smoker in a state like New York, you can easily end up spending more than $4,600 per year on cigarettes.
You’re probably aware that vaping exists, and you probably also know that it costs significantly less than smoking. Maybe you’ve even tried vaping, but you didn’t stick with it because you didn’t enjoy the hassle of maintaining your device. Charging a battery, refilling a tank and replacing atomizer coils constantly can really start to become burdensome when smoking, in comparison, is so easy. Switching to a disposable vape like Elf Bar is the perfect alternative. One Elf Bar costs less than a pack of cigarettes, but it delivers about the same number of puffs as up to three packs. A disposable vape is ready to use right out of the package, so it has the convenience that other types of vaping devices lack. Disposable vapes will also drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on nicotine.
Switch from Food Deliveries to Curbside Pickup
If you’re like most people, you probably spend a great deal more on food deliveries than you did before the COVID-19 pandemic began. People everywhere are trying to minimize unnecessary close contact with others, and the food delivery services are definitely taking advantage of that. When you have food delivered, you’re often paying higher-than-menu prices for each item you buy. You’re also paying a delivery fee – and on top of that, you still have to tip the driver. In all, you’re probably paying as much as 30 percent more than you’d have paid if you’d simply picked the food up yourself.
Of course, if you’re trying to avoid close contact with others, entering a restaurant to pick up a take-out order is probably something you don’t want to do. As an alternative, look for local restaurants that offer curbside pickup and will bring the order to your car. Many restaurants are offering curbside pickup services, but they don’t always advertise it – so don’t be afraid to call and ask. In situations where bringing the order to your car wouldn’t be practical, many restaurants will be happy to have someone meet you outside the front door.
Switch from Bottled Water to Filtered Water
If you drink bottled water, you’re spending a lot of money on a product that’s not fundamentally different from what you could drink at home almost for free. Bottled water has always been a little bit of a scam. You’re probably well aware of the fact that most bottled water doesn’t come from a particularly notable source and is essentially just municipal water that’s been processed with a high-quality filter. In other words, you’re not getting anything when you buy bottled water that you couldn’t make yourself.
If you prefer the taste of bottled water to what you get from the tap, that’s not surprising – but it’s nothing you can’t fix. All that you need to do is filter the water. Don’t expect a cheap plastic pitcher from the local big-box store to do the same job as an industrial filter, though. If you want your home water to taste as good as bottled water, you’ll need to buy a high-quality ion-exchange or reverse-osmosis filter, and you’ll need to replace the filter media at the interval recommended by the manufacturer. If you prefer the taste of alkaline water, it’s easy to make that yourself with an ionizer that adds electrolytes to the water. Buying a good water filter will set you back a few hundred dollars, so it’ll be a few months before you see a return on your investment. Once you reach that point, though, you’ll find that the savings can really be significant.