With inflation clocking in at a jarring 8.5% this year, many consumers are understandably worried about incoming price rises at the supermarket, gas pump and at home. But, while inflation is a measure of general price rise across the board, anybody who knows averages knows those hikes won't be distributed equally. 

Indeed, some goods have already begun to outpace others and it pays, quite literally, to know which way the inflation winds are blowing. Let’s take a look at the items you’ll want to keep your eye on in the coming weeks and months and see what you can do right now to get ahead of inflation. 

PROTEIN - 13.7%

 Meat, fish and eggs have risen by a collective 13.7% already, outpacing many other goods on the shelf of your local supermarket. With pandemic-related staffing shortages persisting, especially at the packing and distribution level, the biggest challenge facing the meat industry (and beef in particular) remains supply chain issues. This is further exacerbated by now-rising demand as Americans increasingly return to pre-pandemic spending patterns -- especially dining out. 

How to Beat Inflation

Our first tip is pretty straightforward: If you have a bulk freezer, spending a little more now can save you a little more later. With every tick of the inflationary clock, the value of your cash depletes. 

For example, it would cost you roughly $24.15 today to buy what would've only cost you $20 back in 2019 based on CPI data. So stocking up early saves you money later.  

Another thing to watch for next time you’re grocery shopping is something called shrinkflation. As prices continue to rise, many companies, instead of charging you more, will simply sell you less. This translates to a higher unit price that many consumers, lost in the blur of a routine shopping trip, may fail to recognize. 

Hearkening back to our meat example, you would today pay $20 for meat you'd only get $16.57 worth of meat in 2019 dollars. 

source: bls.gov

Finally, remember that timing is everything. Even during times of inflation, all food products are subject to the ebb and flow of macroeconomic forces unrelated to general price rise; just as fruits and veggies have seasons, so do meat, poultry and fish. Keep an eye out for sales and other money-saving options like cow-sharing. 


Ukraine, a huge producer of wheat and other cereals, has had its supply chains disrupted by the Russian invasion. This may see demand start to exceed supply for things like breads, cereals and pastas that rely heavily on Ukrainian farms, leading to increasingly sharp price rises down the chain of production. 

Things like pre-processed flours, ready-made mixes and breakfast cereals may bear the biggest brunt of consumer-facing inflation and shrinkflation.

source: bls.gov

How to Beat Inflation

Thankfully, cereals are dry goods that keep longer, so stocking up on your favorite breakfast cereals and flour when the opportunity presents itself is a prudent way to spend money before inflation decreases its value any further. 

Alternatively, you could consider switching up your diet or opting to take some of the “preparation” on yourself and relying less on pre-made mixes and end-of-the-line products like name-brand cereals if/when prices become exorbitant. 


Exacerbated by both the global pandemic and gas-related sanctions of Russian natural gas, one of the more wince-inducing price rises many consumers are already experiencing is in their electric bill. According to state filings, nearly 1.3 million homes in New York state alone are more than 60 days overdue on their bill – totaling a whopping $1.7 billion dollars in outstanding fees.

How to Beat Inflation

Aside from being more prudent about electricity use, another way to spend money now to save money in the long term would be to consider investing in solar panel systems. While it may sound like tired advice, what were once clunky, cumbersome energy systems more likely to cause a headache than a penny-saved have evolved into much more efficient and palatably-priced energy supplements -- relatively speaking.

That said, a setup capable of supporting a household would still run you thousands of dollars. For those looking at the long term, consider taking a look at local tax incentives that may apply to solar in your area, your sunlight exposure and a cost-per-kwH estimate to see if it might be worth it. 

Free Black Solar Panels On Brown Roof Stock Photo

That said, if installing a solar system sounds like too much hassle, money-minded consumers should review their current array of electronics. When it comes to power consumption, efficiency is key; cleaning your AC’s air filters reduces their workload, switching to LED’s lowers power consumption and choosing highly-rated Energy Star appliances nets you more bang for your buck and helps protect some of your hard-earned money from inflation.

A final, oft-neglected option that everyone should consider is an energy audit. Many local utilities provide this service for free or at low cost. During an energy audit, a professional will be sent to your home to check for things like bad insulation, air leaks or anything else making your energy systems less efficient.

ARIZONA - 10.9%

All jokes aside, the distribution of inflation – like goods on the shelf – isn’t spread equally across the states. Unlike the Iced Tea, which has notoriously withstood the withering effects of rising prices like some sort of inflation-resistant terminator, Arizona and other states have seen price rise outstripping the national average by more than few percentage points. 

Sharp hikes in housing costs and a heavy reliance on expensive Californian refineries have stoked Arizonian inflation into the double digits, with the Phoenix-Mason-Scottsdale area sitting at a nerve-wracking 10.9%. Other areas hit hard by inflation include:

How to Beat Inflation

While residents of these areas can’t do much about the overarching rates of inflation in their area, checking the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on localized price rises can give help set your expectations for price rises and hone in on where you, personally, might be hit hardest.


The cruel irony of the general price rise is that those least inclined to work may have to work the hardest to offset the deleterious effects of inflation on their savings. Retirees and pensioners who rely on fixed incomes are textbook victims of decreasing purchasing power.

How to Beat Inflation

While holding cash is a losing battle in periods of high-inflation, gathering a nest egg in the short-to-medium term can help retirees avoid having to divest of assets later on that do help navigate price rises to get cash-in-hand for bills. Dividend-paying stocks, growth stocks, and real estate are considered good ways of diversifying your holdings in cash-flow-positive ways that help maintain financial independence as inflation

For those just on the cusp of retirement, holding out for just a few more years not only provides the hope of riding out the wave of inflation into calmer waters, it also translates into better Social Security Benefits. Retirees working past the retirement age can net up to 8% more per year, up to the age of 70 – significant boosts to post-retirement income that may be worth considering.