Dujanovic: Battling inflation like it’s 1981

Apr 14, 2022, 3:28 PM
Debbie busts inflation by buying consigned clothes....
Debbie Dujanovic wears her $5 consignment find corduroy jacket and $3 consignment find sweater. (Debbie Dujanovic/KSL NewsRadio)
(Debbie Dujanovic/KSL NewsRadio)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

I was 13-years old in 1981. The best babysitter on the block. I was also mostly oblivious to the economic conditions of the times.

I earned 75 cents an hour babysitting that summer. By the time I headed to the mall for back-to-school clothes shopping, rising prices deflated my spirit.

It’s 2022 and I feel like I’m back in 1981 with inflation.

The Consumer Price Index for March 2022 shows inflation jumped 8.5% over last March. Americans saw similar jumps in February and in January.

It’s the worst inflation since I was in middle school back in the 80s.

My colleague, KSL NewsRadio’s Boyd Matheson, put it in today’s terms.

“Inflation is currently costing Utah families an extra $702 a month,” Boyd told us on Dave & Dujanovic.

Gas. Rent. Groceries — going up and up.

Boyd found that data through Congress’ Economic Research Center. That’s an additional $8,424 a year going out the door!

Time to look in the mirror and ask myself what will I stop buying this month to undercut inflation right now?

  1. One of two monthly gym passes = $24 savings
  2. Two apple-scented candles a month = $30 savings
  3. Premixed protein shakes = $50 savings

Bam! I saved $100 in April alone. My list is a work in progress.

Click here to comment on my Facebook page about what you would give up to save money.

Four unique inflation deflators

As co-host of the Dave & Dujanovic on KSL NewsRadio I’ve learned unique ways to save quite a bit of money.

Tip 1: Rent relief

Utah has secured millions of dollars in federal rent relief funds that can cover the cost of rent for several months. If you’re like one of my friends who announced on Facebook that her rent is going up hundreds of dollars a month, apply.

You may qualify and if you do, your deposit could be covered too. 

There’s no repayment stipulation either.

Tip 2: Gas

KSL 5 TV investigative producer Sloan Schrage found a unique way to get a tank of gas — for free.

Sloan works with KSL 5 TV’s Matt Gephardt to help us bust inflation. It takes some planning, but Sloan’s method is worth a try to me.

After he saved money for a big purchase, he paused.


First, he drove to a local Smith’s grocery store with his money in hand and bought gift cards that he’d then used to make that purchase. Buying those gift cards amassed hundreds of points toward a fuel discount program.

Sloan tells me his method got him enough points for one free fill-up.

Tip 3: Credit card interest

I’m no financial advisor, but if you haven’t checked your credit card interest rates lately, stop reading this and find your wallet.

The Federal Reserve plans to combat inflation that involves a steady stream of incremental interest rate increases over the next year, which will up your monthly payments.

So, let’s say you carry a balance of $2,000, and make a $50 a month minimum payment.

It’ll take almost five years to pay off and you’ll accrue nearly $1,100 in interest.

And that’s at the current interest rate of 18%.

It’s time to address it.

Tips from Utah non-profit AAA Fair Credit Foundation can help break the cycle. Their Facebook page is loaded with helpful advice. 

If you want to pay your credit card off faster, you should consider a zero-percent interest rate card. CreditCards.com has researched options, annual fees and costs of balance transfers. 

Final thought

Oh, I just thought of one more way I’ll undercut inflation.

It’s a throwback to a lesson inflation taught me in 1981 while shopping for new school clothes I could hardly afford.

Shop sales only. Shop second hand — now consignment stores — first. Shop for needs, not wants.

In other words, I budget like I still earn under $1 an hour.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL NewsRadio.

Dave & Dujanovic

emergency kits are a vital part of preparedness for families...
Curt Gresseth

How families should prepare for an emergency at home or away

Do you have an emergency reunification plan ready for your loved ones? Two experts share tips on what to do when disaster strikes while at home or away.
5 months ago
Cherie Wood...
Curt Gresseth

South Salt Lake mayor defends new $130,000 salary

The mayor of South Salt Lake defended her latest salary of $130,000 by saying she hasn't received a pay raise in 11 years in office.
6 months ago
South Salt Lake at Southern X-posure, the site of a deadly shooting....
Curt Gresseth

South Salt Lake resident wants to stop mayor and City Council from awarding themselves raises

A South Salt Lake resident has taken his ballot initiative on pay raises for city leaders to the Utah Supreme Court after being rebuffed by the city attorney on what he said was a technicality.
6 months ago
Connerjack Oswalt was found in Park City, Utah after being missing from California years ago. (CNN)...
Curt Gresseth

Missing three years, autistic teen found in Park City

An autistic teen missing from northern California since 2019 was found by sheriff's deputies in Summit County, Utah. He has since been reunited with his stepfather.
6 months ago
Devin Oldroyd

Utah wants your help redesigning the state flag by April 30

MILLCREEK, Utah — Utah residents have until April 30 to submit their ideas for a redesign of the Utah state flag.  According to a press release from the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, Gov. Spencer J. Cox launched the “More than a Flag” effort in January. The effort is part of a statewide […]
6 months ago
Curt Gresseth

Gov. Cox’s use of pronouns unnerves Fox News’ Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson of Fox News attacked Utah Gov. Spencer Cox for sharing his preferred pronouns with a student during a virtual town hall a year ago. Equality Utah's Executive Director Troy Williams discusses how pronoun use is meant to convey a sense of belonging for younger Americans today.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Dujanovic: Battling inflation like it’s 1981