Rising prices mean consumers might need to shop more carefully

With U.S. inflation now running at an annual pace of 8.6%, a four-decade high, the topic has taken on more urgency

Most economists expect inflation – which has already hammered consumer budgets and quickly shifted spending patterns – to linger

Thousands of nonprofit groups rely on volunteers for all sorts of help, but higher inflation – specifically, surging gasoline prices – is taking a toll

The group relies on volunteers using their own cars and trucks to pick up food from donors and deliver it to other nonprofits for distribution to the hungry

Besides, the deduction for volunteering is just 14 cents a mile – a rate that hasn’t budged in more than a decade and won't change anytime soon

Rising prices for gasoline, shelter, groceries and more has made it harder for people to build up a cushion for emergencies

Other options included taking out a personal loan, selling items to raise cash, cutting costs and taking on gig jobs or other extra work