Inflation is looming its ugly head this summer in the form of higher prices for a broad range of consumer goods, including energy, food, and shelter. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in April… over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 8.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.”
Inflation erodes the value of every dollar in your wallet. As individuals, there’s very little we can do about it, except to try to stretch how far each dollar goes. In this article, we’ll discuss some ways to do that.
Dump those Subscriptions You Don’t Really Love
Netflix. Hulu. Disney Plus. YouTube Premium. Apple TV — there are so many great online video streaming services offering so much compelling entertainment content that it’s painful to cancel any of them, but dropping the ones that you really don’t love can save a lot of money. The cool thing about many of these services is that you can often opt in for a free trial period (ranging from 5 to 30 days) if you need to watch a particular sports event or a favorite movie. You can also temporarily reactivate your canceled subscription if you feel you’re really missing out on must-watch entertainment — just remember to turn it off before the next billing cycle begins!
Join a Gas Loyalty Program
Gasoline is now at $5 per gallon nationally, which makes automobile travel prohibitively expensive for many. But you can save a bit of money by opting to buy your gas from a company offering a loyalty program that awards points with each purchase. A handy list of energy companies offering gas rewards programs is available at: https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/gas-rewards-programs-guide/
Buy in Bulk
Buying groceries and household supplies in bulk can save you a lot of money, especially if your family goes through a lot of supplies each month. Costco and Sam’s Club both have warehouses on Long Island, and while you’ll have to pay a yearly membership fee (Costco’s fee ranges from $60 to $120, Sam’s Club ranges from $45 to $100), odds are that you’ll quickly recoup these costs after a couple of trips.
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
While you might think that your energy use is thrifty, there’s probably a lot more you can do to make your home more energy efficient. PSEG Long Island has a helpful page on its website with dozens of tips about reducing your power usage and therefore your power bill. You can read it here: https://www.psegliny.com/saveenergyandmoney/tipsandtools/66waystosave
Don’t Overpay for Home Insurance
While you might be getting a fair deal on your home insurance costs right now, it’s possible that you can do better by shopping around. Some insurance companies will cut you a break if you buy a home-auto insurance bundle from them. Others offer discounts for those over 55 or those with excellent credit. The Insurance Information Institute maintains a page on paring down your home insurance costs; you can read it here: https://www.iii.org/article/12-ways-to-lower-your-homeowners-insurance-costs
Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
Leverage the fact that you’re a senior citizen by taking full advantage of the many senior discounts available. For example, the Long Island Railroad offers discounts for traveling seniors over 65 on many trains and so does Amtrak. Many private companies, including dozens of restaurants, retailers, and hospitality firms offer seniors a break as well; an expansive list of those offering discounts is available at: https://www.theseniorlist.com/senior-discounts/
Take a Thrifty 1-Day Micro-Vacation
Yes, fuel prices are high and will likely remain worryingly high this summer. But you don’t have to travel very far to have lots of fun on Long Island this summer. Check out our article: 7 Great 1-Day Microvacations on Long Island to learn about the many wonderful ways you can recreate locally without spending lots of money.