Having lived 63 years on this Earth and in this country, I've seen a lot. As an adult I've lived through a handful of inflationary times. The only certainty I know is that prices will continue to rise as we age. No prices have NOT increased or gone down since the 1980's when I became aware. That's when I got out of school and was supporting myself so when I became aware of prices and increases as it impacted my wallet.
I am too young to have mostly been financially impacted by the recession and stagflation of the 1970's(except for the gas crisis as I was responsible for buying gas for my car that got me to school and my part time job)but the early 1980's recession hit right as Hubs and I got married and were starting out. Low paying jobs and rising prices for housing, gas and food were evident and we struggled.
The 1987 Black Monday stock market crash had little effect on us(though the inflation rate wasn't affected by that)as we had so little money. if any of it was even in the stock market. 1990 saw another recession which was short lived. The Feds lowered interest rates and have held them at an artificially low rate until the last couple of years. This was bad timing for Hubs' and mine life as the 1990's were the years we saved heavily and saw little if any return on that behavior. Credit usage was high and easily found which hurt anyone who was all about saving money instead of spending money.
The 2007-2008 banking crisis and housing crash affected most people in one way or another and was considered the "Great Recession", the worst financial scenario since the Great Depression. But then again, the Federal Inflation Rate doesn't include the cost of gas or food, the main 2 items that affect every consumers' bottom line. Did you know that the Feds have a target of a 2% inflation rate per year? Anytime the rate goes above that they monkey around with the economy to bring it back down artificially.
Overall, costs are continually going up as a general rule. Some years they don't rise as much or may overall go down slightly but they will rise again as inflation is cyclical and manipulated by the Federal Government. Maybe not at the current exorbitant rate we are experiences now but life just gets more and more expensive as time goes on and the years roll by.
So how do we adjust to inflating costs of goods? Here's what I see....
1-Not buying certain items if the price is too dear. You can always switch out your protein and veg choices to keep your food budget in check. No more steak and asparagus every night. Instead it's Swiss steak and green beans. Expensive foods are now an occasional treat not an every day occurrence.
2-growing foods yourself if you have the space and talent for it. Gardening isn't without cost but certain crops(veggies you pay dearly for at the grocery store)are worth giving it a go if you want to bring the cost of these veggies down. (Or find a nearby farmer you can buy directly from if you are located in the appropriate area near farming communities.)
3-utilizing price books skills or couponing. Keep a price book so you know when what you want to buy gets to it's lowest point in the sales cycle and the best time to buy it. Use coupons if it's for something you use and get on any rebating apps that give you cash back for buying those items you want/need.
4-switching up where you shop. Price compare and if you find what you buy overall is less at store B then switch your loyalties from store A. Stores bet on us consumers not wanting to change were we shop. But be careful with this one....store B may be lower for your needs than store A but if you are having to travel too far to store B, the costs in gas and wear and tear on your car may negate any savings you see on your grocery bill.
5-wait on stock up prices on items to purchase them. Generally you can use your price book to predict when items will drop in price. But there are other situations that will occur when a store will have surplus of X or Y. Find a deal on chicken in your store's meat case and you have room to freeze or you are able to can it(and you have money to spare in your budget to buy it)then pick as much of it up as you need. Brands relabel goods and stores clearance the old packaging of goods out. Nothing is wrong with the items so snatch up as much as you can store in your house.
As I see it there is not much more we can do(unless you rob a bank or win the lottery-even those solutions will only get you so far. ;-)