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High inflation forces some to pick and choose how to spend money

Hampton Roads business owners are making changes due to inflation and labor shortages.

NORFOLK, Va. — Inflation is forcing many people to rethink how they spend their money.

“I’m very strict about everything. I'm checking labels. Once upon a time, you just bought what you wanted to and kind of moved on. But nowadays, it’s pretty much compare prices. Is brand name worth the brand name?" said Virginia Beach resident Dan Moran.

Moran said he’s working two jobs to try to stay afloat these days.

“I remember a time where $100 would fill a grocery cart and now, you can carry it out in three bags," said Moran. 

One of Moran’s jobs is at the Stockpot restaurant in Virginia Beach. The restaurant’s owner, Patrick Edwards, said he’s noticing the price change too.

“Food costs for the restaurant have gone up exponentially," said Edwards. 

Edwards said he's trying to not pass along those extra costs to his customers, but he has made a change to his menu.

“Paper goods have skyrocketed, so we added a 50-cent to-go fee which doesn’t even cover the cost of it, but it does help a little bit," said Edwards.

Regent University Economics Professor Brian Baugus said inflation puts a new twist on saving money and waiting to buy something may not be the best way to go.

“You’ll actually have more money at the end of a year, but it will buy less stuff," said Baugus. 

Baugus said right now, the best way to get the most out of your money is with a credit card and defer the payment.

“If you’re going to go out, buy credit and take as long as possible to pay, assuming you have a low-interest credit card," said Baugus. 

Baugus also said it's always best to talk to a financial advisor before making any decisions. Moran said he’s meeting his financial planner next week.

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