Home » The Water Cooler – One Thing You’ve Cut Back On Due To Inflation

The Water Cooler – One Thing You’ve Cut Back On Due To Inflation


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

QUESTION: What’s one thing you’ve had to cut back on due to the rise in inflation??


Talk about it….


S November 29, 2023 - 12:52 PM - 12:52 PM


Concord donut November 29, 2023 - 2:19 PM - 2:19 PM

Going to Olive Garden!

Exit 12A November 29, 2023 - 1:02 PM - 1:02 PM

Fine and casual dining.
Now it’s once a month instead of, typically, once a week.

Roz November 29, 2023 - 1:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Didn’t need to cut back but wanted to cut back and have been saving 1/3 of what we were spending.
We only eat out couple of times a month, instead of once a week, … and we split meals.
Refuse to pay high prices for eating out when taste and quality is better at home.
Oh, and very little snack foods or wasted food in the house, but that’s just the way we roll.

The Old Goat November 29, 2023 - 2:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Here’s a tip for splitting an entree, and having to pay the “split” charge many restaurants charge; tell them you’re going to SHARE the item. No extra charge.

California Toad November 29, 2023 - 1:31 PM - 1:31 PM

Heat. Do not try this at home! The cost of heating this old crate just goes up, so we’re using a space heater from Costco in the living room, and wearing old Las Vegas hoodies with lots of padding.. We rarely eat out, but we both like to cook. Cookin’ up hot soup, roast chicken, slow cooker chicken broth, noodles, casseroles, hot drinks. Cheers!

Cyn November 29, 2023 - 8:57 PM - 8:57 PM

@California Toad
Same here…….not much heat going on in my house right now. Every time I turn up the thermostat, I just feel like handing my wallet over to PG&E.

Original G November 29, 2023 - 1:41 PM - 1:41 PM

For us very little.
Did learn a good lesson on shopping month ago, typed up a two column list.
Wife took on column and I the other to speed up our Costco shuffle, WON’T DO THAT AGAIN.
Lack of supervision turned out expensive.
Wasn’t there to throw myself between her and macadamia nuts.
An what the heck is skinny popcorn ? ? ? ?
We cook at home and told daughter wife keeps me around to eat left overs.
Wife’s cooking is far better than eating out.

Cyn November 29, 2023 - 8:37 PM - 8:37 PM

@Original G

WC---Creeker November 29, 2023 - 1:49 PM - 1:49 PM

Been splitting a meal with an appetizer since early summer and only do lunch out on weekends. Dinner prices have been too high and I can cook something tasty with my own beverages at home. But with Bidenomics this can’t be true!!!

The Old Goat November 29, 2023 - 2:49 PM - 2:49 PM

See my comment to Roz, above, pertaining to splitting meals in restaurants. Since many restaurants charge a fee to split, tell them you want to share; no extra charge.

Captain Bebops November 29, 2023 - 1:57 PM - 1:57 PM

I don’t dine out because for the price of one sandwich I can buy half a week of worth of groceries or more. I can cook better anyway. 😜

The Old Goat November 29, 2023 - 2:54 PM - 2:54 PM

Agreed, the cost of deli sandwiches now, around $15 to $20, is absurd. And hamburgers——ridiculous.

Captain Bebops November 29, 2023 - 5:12 PM - 5:12 PM

Or burritos. Some writers in the area like to tie the economy to the price of a burrito. Those can be around $15 or more. We have a burrito economy! 😄

Kentucky Derby November 29, 2023 - 1:57 PM - 1:57 PM

Overpriced meat at the grocery store.

Clayton Rd November 29, 2023 - 2:12 PM - 2:12 PM


The Old Goat November 29, 2023 - 2:57 PM - 2:57 PM

Don’t tip on the tax amount, only on the service amount.

Exit 12A November 29, 2023 - 8:00 PM - 8:00 PM

To calc the basis of the tip, just double the tax which locally is between 18 and 19.5 percent. Then add or subtract to that basis according to the quality of service received.
Super easy, eh?

Hanne Jeppesen November 29, 2023 - 2:17 PM - 2:17 PM

Not that much, just more careful about where I shop. Butter, eggs and milk products, usually cheaper at Trader Joe’s and Grocery Outlet than Safeway. Have for many years been buying certain staples at 99 cents only and Dollar Tree, such as paper plates, paper towels, tissues, some cleaning products. Because of my work (being on my feet a lot and a bad back) I like to soak my feet or take a bath with Epsom salt, Dollar Tree’s Epsom salts are cheaper than what I buy at CVS Dr. Teal’s. Big Lots also have good deals on a lot of stuff, but I only go about every few months, since it is not that close to me.

this_that November 29, 2023 - 2:17 PM - 2:17 PM

Not only is dining more expensive, the experience itself is also lacking.

Aunt Barbara November 29, 2023 - 3:08 PM - 3:08 PM

Bad hiring in kitchen and service is happening everywhere . very sad.

Employees taking advantage of owners AND RIPPING THEM OFF BEHIND THEIR BACKS.

Itsme November 29, 2023 - 4:29 PM - 4:29 PM

How are they doing that?

Hanne Jeppesen December 1, 2023 - 1:31 PM - 1:31 PM

Aunt Barbara, You comment need some explanation. I’m sure some employees might be ripping of their employers, but in general it is hard to do. Certainly if they steal money in this age of video tapes it will be discovered and they will be fired. Many resturants probably have the owner or a manager on site overseeing breaks, lunch time etc. so I don’t think it that easy to rip off the owners. I’m sure there are owners who are ripping off employees or take advantages of them. In general I think most people do what is right. Just my observation after years of working in different businesses and also having my own business for a few years.

Lazy K November 29, 2023 - 4:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Yet the Costco hot dog remains the same

Exit 12A November 29, 2023 - 8:02 PM - 8:02 PM

Cost-wise, their hotdogs and rotisserie chickens are money losers for Costco.
But that kind of marketing works for profits elsewhere.

Original G November 29, 2023 - 10:54 PM - 10:54 PM

An their stock price reflects those profits,
since October 2018 stock is up 163 percent.
From $223 to $587

The Old Goat November 30, 2023 - 2:34 AM - 2:34 AM

Costco rotisserie chickens are a fantastic value, although for the elderly, with smaller appetites, they do last a long time. $4.99 for a 3 lb bird, that’ll last you through a couple meals, maybe more. When you’re finished, boil the carcass to make stock, as a base for soup. That’s stretching your dollar until it squeals.

Rooney November 30, 2023 - 7:26 AM - 7:26 AM

One of my favorite articles of all time:

Long live the affordable all-beef hotdog!!

Donk November 29, 2023 - 7:19 PM - 7:19 PM

Yup them kids just don’t care like they used to and neither do all of the adults.

Lazy K November 29, 2023 - 2:24 PM - 2:24 PM

Eating out
Chipotle specifically

The Fearless Spectator November 29, 2023 - 2:46 PM - 2:46 PM

We watch our spending more carefully but haven’t cut back on anything specific.
However, when approached by various causes in front of the grocery store I tell them, “Sorry, I don’t have anything to give since that ****head in the White House purposefully caused inflation.”
They usually tell me they hear that a lot.

Hanne Jeppesen November 30, 2023 - 10:26 AM - 10:26 AM

At my work we ask people to round up their purchase to the nearest $$. As a sales associate it is important for me to act neutral when someone voice their opinion. First of all it is always less than a dollar, so the excuse that someone can’t afford it really lame. However, I just reply “Whatever you are comfortable with”. Most don’t voice an opinion they just hit the yes or no button. Some will say I already give to several charities, again my reply “No problem it is stricly volentary” I do thank those who decide to round. My company change charities every month to six weeks. We do cancer research, Big Brother Big Sister, Food bank, and some more controversial. The screen list the organization the donation go to. My experience is more give to organizations that are more well known.

Itsme November 30, 2023 - 12:26 PM - 12:26 PM

Hanne do you know the percentage of those “round ups “ Macy’ collects for charity? I would bet they keep their share before handing over a check. May I suggest no one donates money until they confirm how much they keep for administrative costs. I think you’d be surprised just how much your donations are actually getting to the folks in need. I’m sure Macy is no different.

Hanne Jeppesen November 30, 2023 - 2:27 PM - 2:27 PM

I think I heard 15 percent, but not sure. I haven’t looked into it recently. I’m sure the information is available to anyone who wants to know. As an employee I always round up, feel it is only right. However, I don’t judge people that say no, many have charities they give to plenty, probably time as well as money. Some customers like it, they usually say it is an easy way to give, some ask to give more, but we can’t take cash, so we appreciate the thought and politely decline. What I object to is people that use it as a way to give their political opinion, however I don’t get roped into that, I stay neutral whether I disagree or agree.

Dawg November 29, 2023 - 2:48 PM - 2:48 PM

I haven’t cut back on anything. If I need something that I can afford, I buy it, no matter how much it cost. I might be surprised about the price, and I may even mumble and grumble about it, but if I need it, I will buy it.
People seem to have short memories. Inflation is nothing new, prices have been going up, up, up, as long as I can remember, and people have been complaining about it as long as I can remember. When a new car was $4,000 and a house was $60,000, people thought it was too expensive. People will adjust accordingly, in the 70s during the oil embargo, everybody rushed out to buy a small fuel efficient Japanese car, and a few years later, they were buying gas guzzling vans and 4×4 pick-ups. The only difference now is that inflation seems to be happening at a faster pace.

domo November 29, 2023 - 2:52 PM - 2:52 PM

…. not sure where else to cut back these days… instead of restaurants it was cut to fast casual, then to fast food take out … less of that I guess

Hope Johnson November 29, 2023 - 2:52 PM - 2:52 PM

Paying taxes – taking every tax break possible because I am tired of the elected officials and their friends getting fat off my tax money while doing very little to help address daily issues of their constituents. Who wants to pay more for services like BART when no one in Sacramento is willing to require accountability for how BART performs or spends its money both before and after the pandemic shut down? Who wants to pay an extra sales tax on top of the extra sales tax already in place to the city of Concord when council is giving themselves and the city manager and city attorney extra big current and future raises with it while no affordable housing gets built? Who wants to give feds money when they launder billions to go to themselves and their wealthy donors by giving our money to other countries while people struggle here in the US as they continue to print money that ends up lowering the value of the money we all have. Too old to hope voters stop electing the same people so I’m cutting back on paying them any way I can.

American Citizen November 29, 2023 - 3:38 PM - 3:38 PM

I never turn on the heater in the house. No matter how cold it gets. I’ve cut back eating out greatly and I always take my lunch to work. I don’t drive my car hardly at all, except when I absolutely must. The rest of the time I use my company vehicle and make sure that I make stops on the way home from work to whatever I need to do.

Lou November 29, 2023 - 4:10 PM - 4:10 PM

Cut back on voting Democrat, you liberals.

BORbeliever November 29, 2023 - 4:49 PM - 4:49 PM

Much less eating out. It’s just not good enough to justify the cost.

Exit 12A November 29, 2023 - 8:05 PM - 8:05 PM

Concur. The cost no longer equates to “value” or convenience.
… it’s called “demand elasticity” in the study of economics.

Barstoolateds November 29, 2023 - 5:11 PM - 5:11 PM

Burning the CC Times in my fireplace during spare the air evenings

Itsme November 30, 2023 - 12:29 PM - 12:29 PM

So are you telling us you buy it first then burn it?😂

Atticus Thraxx November 29, 2023 - 5:33 PM - 5:33 PM

Match grade rifle primers. They were about $50 per 1000 before COVID, now $169.99 per 1000 when you can even find them. Back to regular primers.

Roz November 30, 2023 - 7:09 AM - 7:09 AM

What? Oh, what a Bummer!!

Dr. Jellyfinger November 29, 2023 - 6:04 PM - 6:04 PM

When shopping I cut back by refusing to buy any item with a price tag that makes me laugh out loud…. and I do that alot while shopping.
I know Bidenflation is bad, but some manufacturers and retailers are just plain old price gouging!
I tend to do numerous small shopping trips during the week rather than large, less frequent tips because I drive past several supermarkets on my way home daily.
I see prices rise by $1 or more overnight very often… it’s outrageous!
$7 for a box of cereal? $5 for a loaf of bread? $2.50 for a can of beans? It isn’t that I can’t afford it…. I just refuse to be ripped off!

Badge1104 November 29, 2023 - 7:00 PM - 7:00 PM

We used to love to go out to breakfast! That’s no ending up to be a $50 bill for two. Crazy! We can have a breakfast from items purchased from Trader Joe’s – including their really nice French toast- for about 15 bucks!
It’s funny the media doesn’t seem to be covering the inflation or bad economy at all! Office buildings are being repossessed, hotels are being repossessed, there’s a lot of underlying warning signs going on and I fear because they’re being hidden this going to hit much worse soon. The media is really doing an unjustice in their effort to cover up for this democrate administration’s failures. Kind of like ignoring the red warning light on the dash of your car.. it’s going to blow up on us

Cautiously Informed November 30, 2023 - 7:45 AM - 7:45 AM

The media ignoring it is an indication of who is to blame for it all – China Joe Biden and the Democrats.

Cautiously Informed November 30, 2023 - 3:47 PM - 3:47 PM

And also the people who voted for China Joe and the democrat politicians are to blame.

Cautiously Informed November 29, 2023 - 7:01 PM - 7:01 PM

Eating out and getting restaurant takeout food. The prices have risen a lot, and the quality has gone way down at many places. I don’t blame the restaurants themselves. I’m sure many are struggling to just survive.
p.s. How’s Binenomics and massive China Joe inflation working out for everyone?

Bella November 29, 2023 - 7:42 PM - 7:42 PM

Grocery store visits. For months haven’t had much of an appetite. So I buy what i need and leave. Don’t miss it, it’s the non-food items that are most costly, but eggs wow!

Love my fruit to a limit, etc…

Abe November 29, 2023 - 7:44 PM - 7:44 PM

We cut back across the board.

I’m planning for sparse food supplies later this year, along with curtailed electricity, natural gas, fuel, and water supplies.

I’m focusing on being able to survive without any support for about three months.

I just hope I’m wrong.

Roz November 30, 2023 - 7:14 AM - 7:14 AM

Good Job!!
We feel we are set up for 3 months too.

Original G November 29, 2023 - 10:59 PM - 10:59 PM

In 2024 maybe this will come true ? ? ? ?

Wesley Mouch November 30, 2023 - 6:14 AM - 6:14 AM

Lots of excellent home cooking at our house with groceries purchased at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market (check expiration dates), avoiding processed fake foods. Trader’s is also a great option. We’ve also dumped a number of subscription services as they’re way too proud of their product. Lastly, Next Door is a great way to find some real great deals.

Well Folks November 30, 2023 - 9:12 AM - 9:12 AM

Absolutely nothing. I spent a smidge over $28,000 to remodel my kitchen last summer, bought new cookware and organizing items to go with it, bought some very nice new are rugs to compliment my heirloom oriental rugs in my house an recently purchased a hand blown art glass urn from a local gallery for $900.
I set myself up nicely when it comes to finances by having a job with a pension, contributed to it’s deferred comp plan and invest in an annuity, have a Roth, a few cd’s, paid off SUV and a house. They way things stand my money will outlive me

Captain Bebops November 30, 2023 - 11:21 AM - 11:21 AM

Well lucky you! Not everyone are money junkies though. Lots of people put away money in their retirement funds and those got trashed by bad government management or needed to use some of those funds to stay afloat over the past few years. When I was putting money into retirement funds I wondered if I would ever live long enough to use them. I did.
But I did wonder how many in my neighborhood were able to afford remodeling and even get a new car including often a Tesla during the pandemic. I do know there were some government support for people caught out-of-work during that period and not everyone was aware of it.

Well Folks November 30, 2023 - 11:50 AM - 11:50 AM

I was taught by family & co-workers saving was a good thing. I never didn’t have what I wanted even though I “saved” in various forms 35% of my income even when I wasn’t making much money. And I never spent mire than I hand at hand
Now I live on a “cash” basis and the only debt I have is a $1,100 mortgage that includes insurance & property tax. Living on a “Cash basis” really makes a person analyze purchases.

Captain Bebops November 30, 2023 - 1:26 PM - 1:26 PM

I can understand that but did you pay cash for your house? Most people finance that. I did pay cash for my car which ticked off the dealer because they get payback from the financing firms. Business owners here need to risk by financing inventory or even funding to pay employees. Both the plannedemic and the Biden wars have put a clink in the plan. So most people do what they need to do.

Well Folks November 30, 2023 - 2:11 PM - 2:11 PM

I could afford 50% down so I started with a $120,000 mortgage. I make 4 extra principle payments a year. But the house is the only debt I have.

Concord Guy November 30, 2023 - 10:09 AM - 10:09 AM

More Trader Joe’s, less Whole Foods.

Well Folks November 30, 2023 - 12:41 PM - 12:41 PM

Concord Guy
I l8ve when people say Trader Joe’s is ‘expensive “. To me they obviously have never been to Trader Joe’s. Personally I feel it’s the only place to shop for a couple or singles

KAD November 30, 2023 - 10:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Heat turned down. Restaurant takeout.

stove November 30, 2023 - 11:34 AM - 11:34 AM

Only eat food once a day, lost some weight also already.

John November 30, 2023 - 1:39 PM - 1:39 PM

I don’t turn on the heat even when 40 outside. I wear a sweater. I can’t afford to heat the place up and goes up in the ceiling and out. Government does not care. At least it is not Mid-West or East Coast cold. And that is cold.

Jeff (the other one) November 30, 2023 - 4:49 PM - 4:49 PM

Egg nog. It is now about $6 for a half gallon. That high price (and the impact it has on my waistline) has lead to a strong cut back on egg nog.

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