PHOENIX (3 On Your Side) - From your grocery bill to the gas you put in your car, just about everything is getting more expensive, especially in Phoenix.

"Over the last year, prices are up close to 5%, whereas nationally, they're up about 4.2%, so inflationary pressures seem to be a little more intense in Arizona," said Mark Vitner, a senior economist with Wells Fargo.

Costs are likely to continue to climb in the Consumer Price Index.

"Prices are rising a bit more abruptly. They're rising more than the Fed thought they would, and I think the final surprise is that inflation is likely to persist for a little bit longer than we thought it would," Vitner told 3 On Your Side. "Unfortunately, I think it means that prices are likely to rise somewhere in the 3-5% range. They're rising 3-5% a year, and I think that's going to continue well into 2022."

Vitner says it's not as simple as simple inflation. There are several factors at play, including supply and demand issues and post-pandemic corrections.

"What inflation is is an overall increase in the price level," Vitner said. "That pretty much sums up what we're seeing right now. What makes it a little more complicated is it follows a period where inflation was very, very low because of the pandemic, and some of the price increases that we're seeing are just a bounce-back in those components."

It's a bounce-back that's bound to affect families' budgets. Food is a major factor in monthly budgets, but there are ways to save during your next grocery shopping trip. Bankrate suggests planning your meals for the week, so you're not buying extras. Next, choose store brands. Then plan to shop during off-hours. If the store isn't busy, you are less likely to go through it slowly and pick up things that weren't on your list.


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