There’s no denying that alarming inflation rates are having an impact on how far your dollar is going these days. A recent Bankrate poll of 2,386 U.S. adults revealed 93 percent of those surveyed have experienced higher prices than they’re accustomed to. Survey respondents reported grocery, gas and dining as categories with the most noticeable price hikes.
Unfortunately, consumers are bearing the brunt of rising prices and interest rates. And though this isn’t great news, we know American consumers have weathered these storms before. From coupon clipping to discount shopping, there are a few ways to soften the blow of inflation.
By using your credit cards strategically, you may be able to garner discounts on some of those common spending categories where prices are rising. Here are some tips on how you can use your credit card rewards to save on food and fuel spending.
Inflation’s impact on food and fuel
How much are you spending for groceries and gas nowadays? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shared its most recent data on consumer spending, revealing American households are spending about $7,316 per year on food. The report breaks that figure down to $4,942 for spending on food at home (such as groceries) and $2,375 for food spending away from home.
However, the USDA also reports that inflation has likely increased these averages quite a bit. According to its Food Price Outlook for 2022, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for restaurant purchases increased 0.4 percent in February 2022 and was 6.8 percent higher than in January of 2021. Grocery store or supermarket food CPI purchases increased 1.4 percent from January 2022 to February 2022—8.6 percent higher than February 2021.
In the BLS report, we see fuel spending averages were around the $1,500 mark for 2020. But, of course, that number will be much higher now that people are venturing out again. With gas up nearly $1.50 more per gallon, according to Kelly Blue Book, monthly gas spending could top out at an average of $247 a month, or $2,964 in annual spending for American consumers.
Choose the right card credit card to offset rising prices
Although these price increases may seem unsettling, the good news is that credit cards can help you out. Plenty of cards offer rewards on groceries and grocery delivery, dining out and gas spending.
In some cases, you may find a credit card that covers all three categories. If you don’t want the hassle of tracking which card to use for specific spending, you could opt for a flat-rate cash back card that rewards you the same rate of cash back on all spending.
No matter which credit card you choose, you’ll be able to earn rewards on the food and fuel …….