First Person: How I'm Fighting Inflation

Yahoo Contributor Network

Prices haven't gone up for the last few months and on a yearly scale, inflation isn't threatening, but that may change.

CNNMoney recently reported that the Consumer Price Index, how the government measures inflation, increased by 1.6 percent in the last year. Since that number falls under 2 percent, it isn't seen as much of a threat to the economy as a whole. CNNMoney also reported that the Consumer Price Index found that prices hadn't changed in December or January.

But some experts think that inflation might become a problem in the next few months, and looking at some major economic indicators, I'd have to agree. For example, as of February 22nd, gas prices had risen for 36 consecutive days. The average price was $3.78, about 15 percent higher than it was than when it started rising, according to CNNMoney.

Personally, I've noticed a cost increase in both gas and groceries. In my area it seems like everything in the grocery store has gone up in the last six months, and most things keep going up. And gas is higher than the national average at some stations. Yesterday I saw a sign for $3.81 per gallon. If these prices keep going up, I'll struggle to pay for my basic expenses.

Rather than wait it out, I'm being proactive. Early this month I made a list of foods I buy the most. I came up with meat, garlic, tomatoes and a few other assorted vegetables and bread. Then I found ways to beat inflation. For example, I've started growing my own garlic and other herbs in my kitchen. I've also started some heirloom tomato plants, a strawberry busy, and some other vegetable seeds to bring outside in the spring. For meat costs, I committed to making two meatless meals a week, which saves about $15.

In my area gas prices are much worse than grocery store costs, and I knew I needed to be more proactive. First, I made a plan to carpool to work with four coworkers. This way I'll only have to drive to work and back one day a week. I plan to save at least half a tank of gas this way. For errands and other trips, I ordered a public transportation membership card from my local transit authority. I get a discount this way, making each trip only $1.00 each way and saving myself a ton of gas. If I skip three errand trips a week, I'll save another two tanks of gas a month.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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