The inflation numbers released today are getting mixed reviews, mainly depending on political agendas and ideological leanings.

These issues are certainly nothing new in America. But it's all relative to your age and circumstances. Indeed, the classic and prescient 1976 film Network touched on many similar issues experienced today.

In the film Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch, who won the Oscar for his performance, channels the frustations of Americans with his on-air rant leading to the famous scene and line "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"


But it is alarming that an 8.5% inflation rate, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Wednesday, has Wall Street celebrating because they anticipated an inflation rate of 8.7%. Wow, the country's economists are thrilled to note that overall inflation came in .02% lower than their predictions. It's funny how the numbers get crunched sometimes.

But let's put all the mumbo-jumbo aside and look at the reality of everyday Americans buying necessities like groceries and gasoline. 

Photo Credit: Keith B.
Photo Credit: Keith B.

Americans feel pain at the pump and cash register regardless of how Washington or Wall Street tries to spin it.

Prices are up 44% from a year earlier. As of Wednesday, the national average price was $4.01 per gallon. The average price in Iowa today is $3.63, down from $4.51 a month ago. While the government offers gobbledygook that energy prices have come down, the oil companies will not be issuing rebate checks soon. That means all the money to leave your bank account was still significantly more than what was spent a year ago.

These are kitchen table bread and butter issues for the average person. But unfortunately, food price inflation has been at its fastest pace since 1979, and those were some tough days in America. An overall 12-month increase of 10.9% means that if you spent $100 on food a year ago, it now costs you $111.00, not counting the gas it took to get you to and from the store.

Even breakfast, the most important meal of the day, costs more than ever, with butter up 26.4% over the past year, eggs surged 38%, and coffee up more than 20%!

attachment-Untitled design-97


Dutrac Community Credit Union Marketing Director Jim Norton stopped by the Good Morning Rodeo to share helpful tips on cutting costs and minimizing inflation's impacts.

attachment-Untitled design-82

Helpful tips on cutting costs and minimizing inflation's impacts. 

  1. Be more proactive in negotiating lower prices on your purchases. You may have more purchasing leverage than you realize. If it's not an essential item, be willing to delay the purchase.
  2. Consider buying the store brand or generic groceries. For example, kidney beans usually get processed at the same facility, so don't pay more for that brand named heavily marketed items.
  3. Postpone your oversized ticket items. With supply chain issues driving prices up, maybe now is not the best time to remodel the bathroom, especially with today's high-interest rates.
  4. Keep a close eye on your investments. Make sure your decisions are for the long term.
  5. Be mindful of how you budget and spend your money. There are many ways to cut expenses, from walking or biking instead of driving or brewing a coffee at home versus purchasing an expensive store-bought beverage.
  6. Suppose you don't have a financial advisor, or you're looking to consolidate debt. In that case, a credit union such as Dutrac is a great place to start educating yourself on money management and financial literacy. For example, the staff at Dutrac is experienced and knowledgeable about any financial situation, so take advantage of their offerings.


Beware of These 50 Jobs That Might Vanish in the Next 50 Years

More From AM 1490 WDBQ