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Where to cut your spending to avoid inflation

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Shoppers could take some comfort from the inflation figures released last week, as they showed overall inflation pressures easing.

But human beings are creatures of habit and don’t tend to adjust their spending patterns to compensate for higher or lower prices. With that in mind, here are the areas where you might look to cut back:

Clothing & footwear: prices, overall, rose by 2.6 per cent between July and August this year compared with a smaller rise of 2.0 per cent between the same two months a year earlier. The problem? Coats. Or ‘ladies outerwear’ to give it its proper name. The solution? Freeze (or make do with last year’s coat) until the Winter sales. If you really can’t bear to go without, try sites such as Vestiaire Collective, which has top-quality second hand designer goods or Shopbop, where you can take advantage of the weak dollar.

Alcohol & tobacco: prices, overall, rose by 1.0 per cent between July and August this year. The upward contribution came from spirits and wine. The options to avoid this price hike aren’t much fun – the price of non-alcoholic drinks fell, but they remain a poor substitute for the real deal. Short of brewing up moonshine in your back garden, it’s a question of taking advantage of opportunities to buy cheaply when they arise – buying abroad, snapping up supermarket wine offers or joining a Wine Club that can secure you discounted rates. Try The Wine Society or Laithwaites

And where you might think about stocking up:

Food & non-alcoholic beverages: prices, overall, fell by 0.2 per cent between July and August this year. Milk, cheese & eggs got cheaper, as did cheese and yoghurts. That said, we’ve got no tips on how you might store it. Still, it might be the time to get baking.

Furniture, household equipment & maintenance: prices, overall, rose between July and August but at a slower rate than a year ago. However, prices on furniture, soft furnishings and glassware, tableware & household utensils dropped, so if you fancied a home makeover, now might be the time to do it. Try ‘offer’ sites such as Achica or Joss and Main for bargains.

Transport: Overall transport costs were static but you should be taking the car rather than jetting off – petrol prices were lower, but airfares were up.

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