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Has inflation changed your behavior?

October 10th, 2022 at 07:16 pm

Disneysteve asked this on the forum boards and I said yes.  But it's a bit of a layered question.  There are a lot of things that have changed.  Covid forced at least us to stay at home and be less busy, which was nice, but also forced us to cook a lot more.  Restaurants weren't open and even if they were, we weren't interested in leaving the house.

Over the past 2.5 years i will admit that we used to eat out, well do mostly takeout, 5-6x/week pre-covid.  We might sit down 1x/week pre-covid.  But eating out was a lot cheaper.  We could do it for $150-200/week for that many meals out.  The kids were smaller and we could share meals, the portions were larger, there was less service fees, etc.  But being less busy, less activities meant we also just had more time to cook and enjoy our meals at home.

Then it seems like life has been getting back to more normal.  The pace of life is much faster and there are more things going on.  So it would be so easy to slip back into at least picking up take out during the week like I used to.  2-3x/week I'd grab takeout.

But now I don't.  It's the expense.  It's shocking how expensive a meal from Chick-fil-A is now for our family of four.  Or burgers from a local place. It's insane how a pizza at a fancy place is $35 for large or even 2 pizzas from Papa Johns is $25.  A takeout from our local thai place for 3 dishes cost me $57 and the portions were enough for the 4 of us for 1 meal.  We had no leftovers.  So eating out 5-6x/week now there is no way to do it for $200/week. 

Even cooking every meal $200/week isn't a lot of money for the four of us from the grocery store.  The price of meat, veggies, fruit, milk has gone up a lot. I understand it's likely due to the fact that we have had long term inflation.  But I don't think I'm alone in looking at my DH's paycheck and thinking we did not get a 10% raise, our investments are down, and our medical/vision/dental/auto/home insurance premiums are up as well as a lot higher property taxes.

So our real purchasing power took a severe hit.  We already took a massive paycut with DH's job switch and I don't know how long this will go on for.  But to compensate we've really tightened up on eating and groceries.  This seems the new normal how expensive everything is.

3 Responses to “Has inflation changed your behavior?”

  1. Lots of Ideas Says:

    I think the pandemic changed my spending more than inflation.

    I used to belong to a pricey gym, but their classes are all virtual now and you need to sign up for pool lanes, restricted to 30 minutes. That and other reasons have kept me away. Q

    My hairdresser closed her shop and moved away so I let my hair grow. Now that I don’t swim daily it doesn’t need to be ‘quick dry.’
    I had it cut very short first and let it grow in at it’s natural color, which is somewhere between blonde and grey.

    I used to eat out a few times a week but the risk, the cost, and slow service make that not attractive to me. I get take out once a week, and two meals lasts me 4-5 nights.

    I used to go to ball games and theater, concerts but being in a crowd is unappealing.

    I always was a careful shopper, and that is still true. And I don’t need much but food.

    My primary mode of transportation is walking, which is still free.

  2. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Inflation has changed my spending habits certainly.. I’m currently swapping brands here and there to try to keep the grocery spending roughly the same and if there is a more expensive item to buy I compare online which grocery store in the area has the lowest price.. also I’m pretty ruthless right now with cutting spending on stuff - if it’s not bringing me joy I’m not buying it. This week’s example is takeaway coffee.. I bought 2 last week and got no enjoyment so have just been making more instant coffee. Inflation has increased how much I think about what I spend and what things cost so I feel like it’s creating a lot of work too!

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Yes, yes, oh yes! We used to eat out in for supper. We rarely do that anymore, unless it is for a special occasion because breakfast and lunch are cheaper, but they are still expensive. I'm looking for more ways to tighten out belts. We are doing OK, but when i see our investments going down each month, it scares me. I wonder if it will ever stop. Yes, I know, supposedly the stock market always rebounds, but will I live long enough to get there again. The price of everything has one up, can we maintain our house and cars, even if we get parts? I feel myself worrying more and I know I'm a fortunate one where we have enough, at least for right now.

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