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Money-saving tips for seniors, as inflation continues

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 22:04:45-04

Food choices for Roxanne Clark are similar to how her family members used to eat.

"It's $50 for four people, you can't do that a lot anymore," the Kewaunee grandmother said of dining out at a Green Bay area restaurant.

"So, a lot more staying home, a lot more making meals from scratch just like our grandparents used to do."

Clark spoke about inflation as Americans, on average, continue to pay more in their everyday lives.

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Roxanne Clark talked about inflation's impact on her family.

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The Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse is pictured. Roxanne Clark, of Kewaunee, spoke about the impacts of inflation.

Rising Costs

The cost of sit-down meals at restaurants is up nearly nine percent nationally versus this time last year, according to government numbers.

The cost of electricity is up 15 percent, compared to last year, while the cost of medical care increased five percent, the numbers show.

The overall increase in the consumer price index, or CPI, compared to this time last year was 8.5 percent.

"We kind of have to go back to that want and need piece and say, 'OK, what makes sense anymore?' " said Leslie Boden, the director at Money Management Counselors in Sturgeon Bay.

She had tips for seniors who are trying to save money.

Shopping Together

If "buy one, get one" deals at grocery stores leave someone with too much food, Boden suggests what she calls the "buddy system."

"...[F]ind out if there's friends that you can shop with, and do a cook day and freeze food... take your portion home in the Tupperware," Boden said.

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Leslie Boden, director at Money Management Counselors in Sturgeon Bay, had tips for trying to save money.

Go From Two Cars, to One

If a senior couple has two cars, Boden said consider going down to one.

"When we start to age, usually one... person possibly isn't driving as much or has some limitations, and yet there's still two cars in the family."

Split Gas Money

Boden also said, if scheduling a doctor's appointment, try to have a friend schedule their own appointment for around the same time. Then, ride together and split the cost of gas.

Seniors can also check their eligibility for food stamps and gas reimbursement for medical appointments for those on Medicaid, Boden said.

Seniors on Social Security could see their monthly checks increase by more than nine percent next year, according to a cost-of-living increase estimate from the advocacy group Senior Citizens League.

Also, beginning in 2025, people on Medicare will have a $2,000-per-year cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, as part of the new law known as the Inflation Reduction Act.