Saturday, July 23, 2022

Prices Never Go Down So Get Use To It

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. ;-)


Sluggy

10 comments:

  1. spot on!, this is a great advice!

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  2. This post is a great reminder.
    I'm just a few years younger than you but I was shaking my head remembering how things have been over the years.

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  3. Good advice! Seems like every generation has to deal with some difficulties of some sort.
    I don't really remember the problems of the 70's as I was too busy playing with barbies and such, but I'm sure that it was a struggle for my parents. The dot com bust in 2000 was hard though. Tech companies were going bankrupt, and dh was out of work for months. Hard when you have a baby and toddler and no income. To this day, I can't stomach chicken leg quarters since that was the cheapest meat that I could buy. But we survived and things got better. I have hope that things will be better now too. :)

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  4. Yes, you nailed every point. I guess we all learn to adjust. We don't like it but no other choice. My older kids have figured this out, but youngest will need to learn.

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  5. Tomatoes and zucchini are a good gardening option in Indiana. 6 tomato starts were $1.99 and the zucchini seeds were $1 two years ago. Those alone have produced enough for eating, giving away and freezing.

    Retirement account balances are dropping so I’m focusing on food preservation and savings.

    Jen G.

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  6. Excellent post, Sluggy! I had to chuckle at your suggestion to move from steak to Swiss steak, which I make out of cubed steak, an ingredient that I stopped buying a few years back, unless I was able to get a marked down pkg for under $4/lb. Nope, not having that here, anytime soon. More likely to have a veg heavy meal with small animal proteins, if they are even served. For medical reasons, I aim for fish twice/week, red meat only once, and light meat poultry the rest of the time with minimally one bean based/vegetarian or vegan meal in between. Eating more dark meat than I am supposed to, so I do so sparingly, getting flavor from broth, wine, herbs, vinegar etc. It is what it is. Energy crisis hit my family (parents and 3 kids) back in the 70's. Gas lines, food inflation, inflation in general, we made it through, had a spinster great aunt move in for a few years, too. Would love for you to share your post on Living simply, well done, 'Mam, well done!

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  7. You are the wise one. Always have been.

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  8. Excellent posy Sluggy!

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  9. I just realized that I have been slammed by every financial/commodities crisis since the 1970s OPEC oil embargo. Well, of course I knew. Just didn't list them!

    This is the worst one for me. At age 70, no one wants to hire me. Brain works extremely well, but the body has issues, so anything physical is out of the question. I despise the way retail treats employees (been there, done that several times--briefly!), which eliminates that. Accounting and IT are it (maintained certifications), P/T general office a possibility.

    Lousy timing! I had not planned on carefree retirement, but this accelerated mess was not on my radar, either!

    Returning to normal Sluggy programme! :-)

    ...Taja 🏜️

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  10. I have been doing more shopping at Aldi. Even there , some items are too much for me to pay. Baking more, religiously working in the garden and trying to grow as much as I can. Very grateful I prepaid my chicken share at a local farm mid 2021 for 2022. I also am using much less protein, just telling the men this is it at each meal. Channeling my inner Amy D from Tightwad Gazette again.

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