According to this CNBC article (click here) the following 13 items will be more expensive in 2022 than they were in either 2021 or 2020.
Here’s what we’re doing/did to combat those higher prices on the 10 top things.
- Housing. I have always advised that if you ever wanted to buy your own forever home to do it no later than 35. That meant that by the time you were 65 you would have a paid off mortgage and could retire securely with a roof over your head. I also advised to never, ever take out any equity loans nor sell, nor move up nor move at all. By the time I turned 50, my own home had increased so much in value that I sold it and used my equity to downsize with retirement in mind. I bought 3.5 acres land and custom built a modular home without any debt. We went from a 9 room home to a 4 room home. We cut our monthly expenses from $5600 a month down to $2500 (In 2001 figures). Still, even with the inflation prices of today, my monthly costs to live and maintain my home is only $762.
2. Food. “Going to the grocery store is going to start eating away at your budget very quickly. It’s not just staples like eggs, meat and milk that are getting more expensive; Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also announced price increases, thanks to more supply-chain and labor problems. Even Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and Sour Patch Kids will cost more in 2022.”
First off, I don’t buy anything from Coco-Cola or Pepsi. Nor do I buy oreo cookies, ritz crackers or Sour Patch Kids. Truth is, I don’t buy anything advertised on TV. The only brand loyalty I have is to myself. I buy price first and health second. I shop at food discount stores, such as Aldi (click here)and I shop weekly loss item foods from my area grocery stores. I rarely clip coupons but have now started clipping digital coupons. I scour the weekly sales brochures, I make a list of what I need based on the prices and eat accordingly. I cook from scratch mostly but if I can purchase a cake or muffin mix at .85 cents, it’s cheaper for me to use the mix than my own precious flour. My husband installed a reverse osmosis system in our kitchen. We drink water. I budget $500 a month to feed hubby and I three meals a day and a few snacks along the way. I make a shopping list before I enter any grocery store. I plan my meals. I’m a wiz at making meals out of beans. I utilize eggs (@$1.34 a dozen) poultry and frozen fish (much cheaper). We still have beef but only once per month. It is estimated that food prices have gone up between 10% and 20%. That means my $500 buys us 10% to 20% less than the week before. I won’t change my $500 number but I do substitute whatever and whenever I can.
3. Clothing. I can’t remember the last time either one of us walked into a retail store, tried on clothes and then bought them. We basically wear jeans and tee shirts all year long. I pay no more than $10 for a pair of jeans for either one of us. Tee shirts I get for $3 at Goodwill. We take good care of the clothes we already have which in turn means they last us for years. My sub-zero, winter coat, was bought at a clearance center over thirty years ago. It’s a down-filled, long jacket from London Fog. It’s still going strong. Hubby does go through his shoes fairly fast so he gets a new pair every year. We buy them at a discount warehouse DSW (click here)When you register your birthday with DSW they always send a discount coupon to you every year. That’s when hubby gets his annual new shoes. I have a sewing machine and sew our own pajamas, as well as do all our mending.
4. Heating Costs. My husband and I always had this back and forth discussion on what extra heating choice we should incorporate into our new home. We were supposed to have a fireplace but the contractors messed up our order. DH wanted to add in a pellet stove to our existing propane heating system. I wanted a wood burning stove since we have so many trees on our property, heat would be free. Thirty minutes after Joe Biden was sworn into his presidency, he shut down the XL Pipeline. We instantly knew what the domino effect of that fatal decision would be. It quickly propelled us to finally choose an alternate heating source for our home. For us, it was a race against time to secure the proper pellet stove (hubby won the argument) and to ascertain all the piping and installation parts before everything was eventually sold out. Today, there is at least a one year wait for a pellet or wood burning stove. At the first cold chill, hubby turned on our new pellet stove and we cut our heating costs in half! The stove has been working out marvelously. It’s been heating all four first floor rooms. The propane is only used now to heat our hot water. I cut down my baths to once a week (Saturday night) and we take navy showers in between. We cut down on our washing and drying loads as well as our dishwasher.
“According to the Winter Fuels Outlook 2021 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, propane users will spend 54% more, while heating oil users could see bills go up 43% and electricity users are expected to spend another 6%, according to the report.”
Our heating costs have gone down 50% and our electricity costs are down 30%.
Here’s our now cozy living room:
5. Gas. We own two cars right now. One is a pick up truck that gets 17mpg but we basically use it to tow our RV. Our other car is a fuel efficient car that gets between 36mpg and 40mpg and we use this vehicle most of the time. Currently we pay $3.13 a gallon of gas and we have to drive out of our way to get to this particular gas station that sells good quality gas at this particular low (to us) price. Since the gas station is located almost near to where we grocery shop, we fill up once per week. We went from a $20 fill up to a $45 fill up. Throw in the increased costs of New York tolls (we went from $25 a month to $55 a month now down to $40 a month in EZ Pass Tolls since we are traveling less and less). With the way things are going we know having these 3 vehicles (2 cars and 1 RV) are limited. Eventually, we know that we will have to downsize to one vehicle that must do it all for us: low cost gas usage yet still enable us to camp and/or RV travel. We only have one debt in our lives and that’s the loan on the RV. In these inflationary times, we can not support a loan for much longer. We don’t have any car loans and both vehicles together are worth $50,000 in cash! We may however, might owe something on the RV if and when we sell it. That’s always the problem with vehicle loans. You’re always upside down no matter what you do. The cash values of the two vehicles we own however, should be enough to re-set us right once again.
6. Dining Out. We don’t eat out at all. Period. The few times over these past two years that we did, the food was horrible. Two weeks ago we stopped at a McDonald’s. I have their app. The food was disgusting and I wound up spitting it out. Restaurants can’t get the quality food they once used to get. Period. For a while I was saving my reward points for dining out (iHop, Panera, Cracker Barrel). I gave most of my cards away as gifts. We just didn’t like the dining out experience any more. We prefer our own cooking. We pack lunches, water and snacks now whenever we leave the house.
7. Cars. “New car prices are at an all-time high, while used car and truck prices, which used to be a good way to score a deal, have been driving the inflation burst, up 31.4% year over year. You may not be able to get the price down, but dealers are paying more for used autos, which means you could get more on a trade in.” Both our vehicles are used (and still under warranty). Our fuel efficient car is a 2015 Chrysler. Our pick-up truck is a 2019 Dodge Ram model. We bought both using our previous paid-off cars as a down payment and trade in meaning we had to cough up very little cash out of our pockets. We bought our pick-up truck recently, just before new car prices were exploding. At that time, dealers were paying top dollar for used cars. We got so much for our trade in that the cash purchase was easy. Our pick up truck had the value of $56,000 and we only paid $17,000 cash out of pocket (plus our trade-in and $10K of Stimulus/Pandemic money). Our sedan had a value of $25,000 at time of purchase but we only paid $12,000 cash out of pocket, plus our trade in. When you do a trade-in, less taxes are due at the time of sale also. Today, if we had to cash out both models, we would easily get $50,000 cash for both of them. We know an EV model will be in our future.
8. Computer and electronics. We only buy brand new Apple Inc computers and laptops, iMac, iPhone, iPad, iWatch and other accoutrements. We do this because of their resale and high trade in values. As long as you keep good care of your Apple products, they retain their value and are good to upgrade with. Plus, Apple Inc products last a long, long time in computer land. If and when the time comes to do an upgrade, we would turn them back into Apple as a down payment and either get a zero interest loan against the balance of either a new model or a rebuilt used model or just pay it in full if we have the means available. We don’t sweat the computer stuff. We don’t play video games. We have 2 Vizio smart, flat screen TVs that are still going strong after five-plus years. Pro tip: Some of the best sales of the year are coming up around Presidents’ Day and Super Bowl Sunday when retailers mark down last year’s models to make room for this year’s offerings.
9. Furniture. We get most of our furniture from consignment shops, Goodwill or hand-me-downs from family or friends. We won’t however, get used items when it comes to upholstery, bedding or rugs. All of that must be new! I have no qualms about buying last-year’s styles or discontinued items, as long as they are new. This year, we needed to replace our 20 year old couch. Rather than shop online, we actually went to a discount retail furniture store because we had to sit on the couch and make sure it was comfy and sturdy enough to last another 20 years! We found a 8 foot, discontinued model that originally sold for $2800, for only $839. Again, we made it just under the supply chain crisis (we only had one shipping delay) and voila!:
10. Medical Care. This year our medical costs are going to increase substantially. DH comes off of low-cost ACA (Obamacare) and enters the higher costs of Medicare. $170 will be immediately subtracted from his monthly Social Security check, and he will also have to pay $7.20 per month for Part D drug insurance plus higher co-pays for his monthly needed drugs. He will also now have to pay $74.50 for Plan K Supplemental Medicare insurance which will only cover 10% of his co-pays and he will be responsible for the remaining 10%. So, right from the start his Social Security check will be reduced by $251.70 every month. Ouch!
“Paying for health care was a problem long before the pandemic. Now, health care costs are up 8.4% from 2020, according to a medical index published by consulting firm Milliman, pushing the cost of care just out of reach for many Americans. Pro tip: Don’t delay going to the doctor.“
That’s easier said than done. Medicare does not cover eye exams or eye glasses (unless you have cataracts and you get one pair of glasses per lifetime), dental services and hearing devices. Triple ouch! Medicare will cover eye care, via an ophthamologist if you have something seriously wrong with your eyes which both DH and I do. However, to fill our prescriptions DH’s eye glasses came to $145. Mine came to $305 (note: we used our old frames. prices are for lenses only) I need a special blue toned filter over my bifocals to protect my eyes. I also needed another pair specifically for both computer and reading work and thankfully the optician cut me a break and charged me only $75 for the new lenses. Again, I used an old frame of mine.
I’m covering these new monthly health care costs by withdrawing monthly interest payments out of one of our savings accounts. This will suffice for this year. Next year, I have no idea what to expect nor what we are going to do about it. I do have a $20,000 medical fund specifically earmarked for DHs upcoming, supposed open heart surgery, should the need arise. DH has several inherited and rare heart defects and we don’t know what his future holds for him.
“One thing is for sure: 2022 is going to cost you.
Between inflation and ongoing supply chain issues, prices are rising on consumer goods nearly across the board.
“I really don’t think there’s any way to escape,” said an analyst with DealNews.com.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t shop smarter for the things you need and want.”
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