Amid an Inflation Squeeze, Americans Get Creative With Their Dollars
Rising Prices Everywhere
The Consumer Price Index rose 9.1% on an annualized basis in June. The main categories driving headline inflation are necessities like gas, shelter, and food. Many Americans are scrambling to stretch their income so these non-discretionary budget line items can be covered.
Given that groceries cost about 12% more today than they did last year, many consumers are rethinking their shopping habits. Some are shunning big box grocers in favor of dollar stores, where an expanded product selection can snag them more than just household staples like cleaning products and toiletries.
Dollar Store Dining
Some dollar stores are now offering perishables, allowing more families to put together dinner on the cheap. Currently Dollar General (DG) offers fresh produce at 2,300 of its 18,000 stores. The company plans to bump that up to 10,000 locations over the next few years. Dollar Tree (DLTR) also offers a variety of perishables at most of their 16,162 stores, though company representatives note they do not completely replace the traditional grocery store due to their limited offerings.
Also illustrating the bargain-oriented trend, Walmart’s (WMT) Sam’s Club saw a 10.5% increase in membership revenue. The warehouse offers discounted products that consumers buy in bulk.
Tips and Tricks
Squeezed by inflation, more people are finding that cutting back on discretionary expenses like vacations and restaurants isn’t enough. Consumers are finding new ways to save.
In addition to shopping for meals at the dollar stores, some are choosing cheaper options such as beans or peanut butter in lieu of meat. Others are using spices to doctor up cheaper foods.
Choosing to shop at locations closer to home helps to save money on gas, which has seen price increases of about 60% for the year ending in June. Others are limiting energy consumption following annual price increases of about 42%. Ultimately, Americans are prioritizing their spending, and exploring new options so they can pay for essentials.
Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Adviser
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.