High inflation rates are the enemy of the consumer. Rapidly raising prices and a falling dollar can strap the average consumer like no other economic monster, leaving them frustrated and helpless. However, there are ways to protect against high inflation rates, but some will hurt.

First, build a tight budget. A dollar will not go far when inflation rates are high, so become a frugal spender. This means limiting entertainment and miscellaneous spending and increasing savings. Cut out the trips to the movie theater or that Saturday morning golf game and put those savings aside.

Second, prepare to adjustment any investments you may hold. Inflation can destroy a portfolio assuming it is still standing. Talk with a financial adviser about getting into funds set up to offset inflation. There are numerous options, such as TIPS/Bonds, which are Treasury backed to offest inflation. Also, move into ETF"s that are heavy in commodities as the prices on such things as oil and natural gas will go up. Another option is to move into foreign currency funds, but this can be a tricky and very risky option, so think long and hard about such a move.

Third and my personal favorite, is gold and silver. Not stocks, but actual gold and silver bullion. Look at American Gold and Silver Eagles, they offer a nearly perfect option for investors interested in purchasing physical bullion.

Although gold is very expensive, it remains a strong hedge against inflation. Silver, currently at a high price, remains a great option for the average investor. Affordable and easily purchased, silver should be a part of anyone's porfolio.

Inflation is a real danager. The federal government is spending money rapidly and to do so they have opted to print money and lots of it. A flood of paper money has historically been a inflation trigger and there is reason to believe it will be so once again. It is very feasable that the inflation rate may take a rapid surge upward; dont' be caught off guard.