19 Items Families Stripped From Their Budgets Due to Inflation

As inflations stretch budgets ever thinner, people must make tough choices. Many shoppers stopped buying items they once considered staples, and cut out a lot of discretionary spending. 

Here are the top items people can no longer afford due to inflation. 


healthy looking cereal in a bowl with fruit and yogurt
Photo Credit: Anna_Pustynnikova via Shutterstock.com.

The breakfast staple costs too much for most families. Parents who used to feed their kids cereal for two bucks a week now pay over $7 a box, and with shrinkflation, it doesn’t even last the week. 

A House

exterior of a large, pretty grey house
Photo Credit: Artazum via Shutterstock.com.

Many potential homeowners decided they can’t afford to buy a house. Rising interest rates didn’t do much to curtail the outrageous cost of housing in most areas, and only pushed the American Dream further out of reach for many young families. 

Concert Tickets

Crowd of raised arms at a concert.
Photo Credit: Melinda Nagy via Shutterstock.com.

Long gone are the days when you could see a favorite band for fifty bucks. Now, tickets retail for over $100, but after the outrageous fees and cost of parking, people pay upwards of $200 for one night out. And that doesn’t even account for when scammers buy up all the tickets first. 

The high cost puts concerts out of reach for many Americans. 


Different chip varieties in little bowls on a table - view from above.
Photo Credit: The Image Party via Shutterstock.com.

Salty snacks used to be cheap treats. Now, name-brand chips cost over five dollars at convenience stores, making shoppers think twice before indulging. 

On the plus side, it’s probably better for our health if we don’t eat them. 

A Car

A smiling man hugs the hood of his new car.
Photo Credit: GBJSTOCK via Shutterstock.com.

People are keeping their cars longer and finding alternative means of transportation due to the rising costs. The average car payment climbed over $700 for the first time in history, but people don’t save much money buying used. Long gone are the days when you could find a reliable car for under $5000. 


A busisness man getting a manicure.
Photo Credit: Ilya Karnaukhov via Shutterstock.com.

When prices rise, people stop buying luxury items and services. While many love feeling pampered with a mani/pedi, it’s one of the first things to go. 


A woman is about to stick a meat thermometer in a roasted chicken.
Photo Credit: Africa Studio via Shutterstock.com.

People are replacing beef and chicken with alternative proteins like lentils and beans. Even cheaper cuts traditionally used for soups and stews are too expensive for average families. 


sandwich and apple peeking out of a brown paper lunch bag laying on a table
Photo Credit: Africa Studio via Shutterstock.com.

Some are stretched so thin that they’ve cut out essential meals. Some skip breakfast, while others skip lunch to save money on food. About 36% of families have skipped meals for economic reasons due to rising food costs. 

Dental Work

Woman smiling in a dentists share with a dentist behind her, their hands are near her mouth.
Photo Credit: Dean Drobot via Shutterstock.com.

Anything associated with health care has always been overpriced, but dental work is getting so expensive that people opt to live with excruciating mouth pain rather than pay for care. 

Many don’t have a choice, as they simply can’t afford to get the care they need. 

Home Improvements

A man doing a DIY home improvement rennovation job while his dog watches.
Photo Credit: Zivica Kerkez via Shutterstock.com.

Inflation is driving the price of home repairs through the roof. Those considering a big remodeling project may want to wait until prices decrease. 

Dining Out

man looking at a paper menu at an upscale restaurant.
Photo Credit: Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock.com.

When you can barely afford to eat, you cut out on non-essential food like dining at restaurants. People who can afford restaurants even opt out because the price is too high for what you get. 

Why spend $100 for subpar food when you can make something that tastes better at home for half the cost?


A man and a woman dressed like they're traveling with unhappy expressions.
Photo Credit: Cast Of Thousands via Shutterstock.com.

People can barely afford to live, so they’re cutting non-essential travel.  Rising costs for airfare and hotel stays make it less attractive for even those who can afford it. 


Happy mom lifting her infant in a field.
Photo Credit: Evgeny Atamanenko via Shutterstock.com.

Inflation makes every aspect of childrearing more expensive, pushing an already costly endeavor out of reach for many would-be families. 


A man riding a bicylce with a food delivery case on his back.
Photo Credit: Daisy Daisy via Shutterstock.com.

Many pizza places used to offer free delivery with their low cost pizzas. You’d tip your driver a five spot and enjoy a delicious pizza for less than twenty dollars. 

Now, most companies charge outrageous delivery fees that don’t even go to the driver, and anyone who does delivery expects a 20-25% tip.  Many consumers realize they’re better off making the trip themselves. 

Fast Food

Man looking sideways holding burger and fries.
Photo Credit: Odua Images via Shutterstock.com.

Fast food used to be the staple of cheap and easy meals. Unfortunately, as more and more companies do away with dollar menus and charge outrageous prices for a small fry, it’s no longer a cheap option. 

A trip to McDonald’s for two can cost upwards of thirty bucks, and the food absolutely did not improve to match the hefty price tag. 


three glasses of cold pop with ice in them
Photo Credit: 4F.MEDIA via Shutterstock.com.

Brand name carbonated beverages cost too much for their value. They’re a fun treat but not essential to a healthy diet.  

No one wants to pay nearly ten bucks for a 12-pack of sugary soda. 

Video Games

kids laying on the floor with video game controllers while parents sit on a couch in the background
Photo Credit: 4 PM production via Shutterstock.com.

Even the quintessential stay-at-home hobby is too expensive. People can no longer afford a $70 game and instead play hand-me-downs from family or buy used games online. 

Medical Care

A seasoned male doctor in a white coat stands in front of a blurred group of younger residents.
Photo Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A via Shutterstock.com.

The outrageous cost of healthcare has always been problematic, but the price keeps going up. People forego health insurance and preventative care because they can’t afford it, making society as a whole sicker. 


Sad man in a suit showing an empty wallet.
Photo Credit: AJR_photo via Shutterstock.com.

Inflation is affecting everything. Far too many Americans are cutting all non-essential spending because they can’t afford to live. They’re skipping meals and bargain-hunting on essentials like groceries and housing. 

The situation is untenable. 

Frugal Hacks from the Experts That Still Work

happy woman holding cash in both hands
Photo Credit: ViDI Studio via Shutterstock.

Frugal experts are always coming up with innovative ways to save money. These frugal hacks still work despite massive inflation. 

Source: Reddit

Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.