6 Things That Actually Got Cheaper in 2022

Solar Panels on Roof of Home.
Cindy Shebley / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Inflation reached a four-decade high in 2022, with the consumer price index rising 9.1% in June. Though we surely won’t look back on this year with much warmth toward the economy, we may be surprised to find that not everything got more expensive in 2022. In fact, some items actually got cheaper. 

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It’s true there aren’t too many — but let’s have a look at a few items that actually decreased in price over the past year. 

Toys

“Last year there was a huge concern over a shortage of toys, but this year we aren’t seeing that same issue,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “However, toy retailers likely stocked up well ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an effort to be prepared. And, while early Black Friday sales may have helped to take care of some of that excess inventory, overall many stores have lowered prices in an attempt to offload the extra items.”

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Window Treatments

“While obviously window treatments can be applied to smaller residences, the need to purchase enough for several windows has diminished with more consumers opting to hold back on purchasing a house for now,” Ramhold said. “Because of that, prices on some of these are much cheaper as retailers cope with a need that’s almost opposite to what it was last year.”

Fertilizer 

“Since late August, fertilizer prices are down over 12%,” said Jacob Asbjornson, fixed income analyst at Neuberger Berman who adds that this decrease will lead to a cooling in food prices over time. “Given the lag between fertilizer purchases and consumer food expenditures, there is reason to believe that food prices will continue to decelerate over the coming months and into 2023. A strong dollar and supply chain relief in the cost of freight and reduced lead times will also aid depreciation.”

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Solar Panels

“Solar technology has become much more affordable in recent years; and, with the addition of government subsidies and credits, installing solar became even more cost effective,” said Matt Teifke, the founder and CEO of Teifke Real Estate. “In 2022, the price of a typical installed solar panel system dropped to an all-time low.”

Washers and Dryers

“Honestly these may still be slightly more expensive than they were a year ago, but their price has decreased overall this year,” Ramhold said. “This is largely due to the housing market and its rapid cooling off; these are large items often associated with buying new homes and since house sales have slowed down due to increased mortgage rates, there’s a good chance retailers have more of these large appliances on hand than they planned. Consequently, they’re trying to lower prices to encourage units to move.”

Furniture

“This is another one likely related to the shift in housing demand,” Ramhold said. “With fewer people buying houses, the need for larger pieces of furniture has gone down, which means many retailers may be discounting prices on things like sofas, dining room sets and bed frames in order to cope with a lower demand.”

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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