What Rising Costs Actually Look Like to the Consumer
We’ve all been hearing about how prices have gone up and will continue to go up. According to the Consumer Price Index report from August 2022, food prices have risen 11.4% since August of 2021. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s hard to quantify what that actually means when I hear such stats.
So I decided to see what that means for myself based on my own shopping experience. Since I have the FitFin app and take pictures of all my receipts, I can easily see how my prices change over time. FitFin actually breaks down my receipt data into meaningful information, so I can look up products I buy individually to see how the prices have changed over time. I realize that not everyone is a data nerd like me, but hopefully my nerdiness will help to illustrate the point and give context that helps.
I went to both Costco and Walmart yesterday, so I took a look at eight of the items I bought yesterday and compared their prices to where they were about a year ago (comparisons were from September 2021 to January of 2022).
As you can see, my overall spend from just eight products alone increased by nearly $20.00! And that’s not even one-fourth of all the products I bought at the two stores, so I’m sure my overall spend increase was a lot more than just $20.00 for the same things I always buy.
Not a lot of fun for us consumers, right?
But now for the good news . . .
My family’s grocery spend has actually gone DOWN (sort of) in this rising market. I track our monthly grocery spend with FitFin, and in January of this year, we spent $1,011.43 on groceries for a family of five. That number has risen steadily this year and in August our spending went to $1,502.97. Then we did a little better in September to $1,325.88. I was able to decrease it even more to $1,278.21 in October. So while overall we’re still spending more for what we buy, we’ve at least been able to improve on our total spend in recent months.
We’ve been able to do this because of FitFin’s spend-predictive shopping lists. Since FitFin breaks down our receipt data, we can create shopping lists that have the product and the price on them. This allows us to know ahead of time what we’re going to spend when we go to the store, which helps us prioritize what our family needs. It also allows us to be mindful of our spend in comparison to our overall budget. We can look at our predicted spend and compare it against our budget in real time, before we shop (it’s proactive budgeting not available anywhere else). FitFin has helped us to “trim the fat” this year.
Bottom line, we’ve got a fixed budget for food and since we know what we’re predicted to spend before we shop, it’s easier to manage the shopping situation than by putting a bunch of things in the cart and hoping for the best. It at least gives us some control.
If you’re also feeling the economic pinch at the grocery store, check out FitFin by looking for it on the App Store or the Google Play Store (just search “fitfin”). You can also check us out at http://www.fitfin.com.