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The ups and downs of the economy have been felt by all Americans. Inflation has reached highs not seen in decades and the prices of everyday items have increased significantly over the past year. If you find that your dollars aren’t stretching as far as they used to, you’re not alone.
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The majority of Americans (97%) worry about the economy, but who could blame them? In a recent GOBankingRates survey, 78% of people said gas and grocery prices are currently the biggest drag on their wallet.
According to the Consumer Price Index, food prices in grocery stores and supermarkets are nearly 12% higher than they were in 2021. Gasoline prices are up 48.7% compared to last year. In just one month, between May and June, gasoline prices increased by 4.1%. Experts wonder if inflation has peaked now that gasoline prices have been steadily falling since mid-June, but it’s hard to be sure.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the economy, many are looking for ways to cut spending, even on essentials like gas and groceries. Follow these tips to see more money in your pocket.
1. Sign up for rewards programs
Most grocery stores and gas stations have developed smartphone apps or rewards programs to help encourage loyal customers. The best way to get the most savings is to choose a channel – think Shell or Winn Dixie – and focus on earning those rewards. Be diligent. Scan your rewards card and enjoy all the bonuses offered by the store. Some stores have specific offers for their rewards members. It’s easy to miss coupons or rewards just because you don’t use them. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by sticking with a channel.
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2. Use cashback cards
There are a number of credit and debit cards that offer cash back on certain purchases. American Express offers the Blue Cash Preferred card, allowing customers to earn 6% cash back on purchases at US supermarkets. This same card also offers cash back for streaming services (3%) and gas purchases (3%). When you have to spend money, spend it wisely. Do some research online to find out which rebate card is right for you.
3. Download Reward and Cashback Apps
Credit and debit cards aren’t the only way to get cash back on regular purchases. Discount apps like Ibotta, Trunow, and GetUpside are available for download on smartphones. When you make a qualifying purchase, take a photo of the receipt and upload it to the app. Cha-ching – you have cash back. Some cashback apps also have coupons you can download and use when checking out, which makes signing up a lot easier.
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