Inflation is above average right now, and as 2021 continues, you can expect prices on some items to get even more expensive. What’s behind the surge, aside from inflation? Mostly exploding — and pent up — consumer demand but also some businesses changing their practices due to the pandemic. Here’s a look at some items that you can expect to pay more for as the year goes on and what you can do to reign in those costs.
According to AAA, you can expect to pay more than $3 per gallon gas throughout the summer. The current average price of a gallon of gas is $3.15. That’s the highest it’s been since 2014. Simple planning like utilizing a gas price app or taking advantage of a rewards program on your credit card could help you save at the pump.
The average price of new and used vehicles has skyrocketed over the past year. Why are the prices of used vehicles soaring? The underlying cause is increasing demand. This was largely due to a shortage in chips that delayed new car production and boosted used car demand. Overall, as Consumer Reports’ analysis shows, there is potential for 10 percent or more off some good vehicles if you negotiate.
The cost of taking Uber or Lyft is going up. The main reason is a lack of drivers (a factor impacting other industries, too). That shortage has led to a 40 percent price increase compared to last year. Hop on a bike or scooter. Several cities now have bike and scooter rental services, providing yet another affordable way for people to get around. Public transit really can take you almost anywhere you want to go, and for a fraction of what you might pay for a ride-share or a cab.
Restaurants & Groceries
Restaurants took a beating thanks to the pandemic, and now they’re trying to make up for that lost time (aka money). In May, prices at restaurants were up four percent compared to the same month one year ago. That’s the biggest year-over-year increase in more than a decade. One of the reasons prices at restaurants are getting more expensive is that food is rising in cost. The average cost of groceries is 3.5 percent more expensive than last year. To help keep your food budget in control, take a look at and understand your food buying habits.