indeed...should have bought a house, prices have gone down a lot in Michingan, as have utility costs (NG and electrical) . I bought a car with good mpg to help combat the effect. I spend about 2000 a year on gas. If I tried, I could probably cut that in half. But I don't, to lazy.
inflation is the sum total of all the costs we see, in proportion to how much they contribute to our total spend.
I find it informative to look at the detailed data on the census site...they give all the ups and downs for those who dig data.