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First, I am sending a brief greeting to the large number of new unique readers we have this week. Please take the time to join this blog so you may have the option of reading updates and new posts. Thanks again for visiting.
For a number of years now, people in the preparedness community have warned that not only would we be seeing an erosion of individual rights in the United States, but that we would begin to experience inflation. Some indicate that hyperinflation would be very likely. I remember enough in my childhood to recall that I did not like inflation. In inflation, everything you need to buy rises faster than you can earn more money in which to buy it. This can make going to college, buying a car, launching your kids so difficult that it can dash the hopes of doing these things, sometimes for years.
I can remember being a child and helping my parents grocery shop. Bread was twenty-nine cents a loaf. During the Nixon administration we heard that by the following year, a loaf of bread would be one dollar ! How will people eat ?, we wondered. By the following year, it was. Of course now, a lot of bread costs much more. So does milk, cheese, peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, meat, etc.
I am actually surprised that with all of the factors in government and our nation's crushing debt that inflation took this long to take hold. I suppose the Federal Reserve's interventions and Quantitative Easing may have hidden the problem for a time, but ultimately, we are chasing fewer goods with our paper money. Printing more money is simply a band-aid. The price of products must ultimately rise.
What can we do in the midst of inflation ?
1. Develop a family budget immediately. Make it realistic.
2. Cut anything you really don't need to have. Our family hasn't had cable television since the 1980s, and that is a great deal of money that wasn't spent. Rather than going to movies, would you prefer to rent or even buy a DVD ? We cut our recurrent expenses ten percent this year in part, by using only cellphones with a pay as you go feature. We chose to keep our landline phone because it is relatively inexpensive here, and because being a distance from everything, having it improves our safety here. Most of us have a recurrent bill which can be cut.
3. Grow whatever food you can. This can be sprouts in a jar on your kitchen window. This can be vegetables in containers on your apartment deck, if permitted. Anything you grow and eat should impact your health positively and start you on a journey of gardening skill.
4. Make a survey of what foods you buy that are honest to goodness consumed by weeks end. Recognize which foods you may have grown past. I used to buy artificial sweeteners, but I have found that I prefer throwing a few blackberries into my oatmeal to using artificial flavors. Shopping with a list and cutting the things you might not consume will save you more than you realize. When you shop, it's alright to "cherry pick" and go to certain shops simply to pick up their specials and stock up as permitted. Just be sure to get out of there before you buy their more expensive meat, for example.
5. Energy costs are rising quickly and the trend will continue. You can buy a device called a Kill-A-Watt that tells you the use of each electrical item that you are able to plug into it . I have one of those, and there were a few surprises. Most families hot water heater is their largest electrical expense. Electric heat if you have it, is also quite a chunk. In hot climates, like my own, air conditioning is an increasing bite. Appliances such as refrigeration use a fair amount because they run almost continuously especially in warm climates. Also, if you have a frij in the kitchen, one in the garage and a chest freezer somewhere else, they certainly add up. Use only what you can keep filled. Also,try to make sure your appliances stay clean. A ventilated refrigerator with space around it, which is kept dust free at the back is more likely to work at peak efficiency.
6. Water costs are rising worldwide. If you pay for municipal water, this is part of your budget that will continue to rise. If you have a well then you may not receive a monthly, or a bimonthly bill, but the costs to maintain and repair your well still exist and need to be budgeted and planned for. Such costs will rise.
7. Build Your Own, and Your Family's Capabilities-
A.) Look around the house. Don't sell anything that you really could use in the future because in all honesty, you may not be paying any less for it, and when you need to replace it, it may cost much more. However, most of us have a fair amount of things that we are not using, and very likely will not ever use again. I do box certain things in the attic for my kids, but we all should consign anything we don't need.
B.) Ebay is not as cheap to list upon as it once was, but I have known people who have made a tidy sum monthly simply selling outgrown childrens clothing, outgrown toys, pet supplies they don't need, and their gently used sporting equipment. One friend I had made thousands. I have been luckier as a buyer than a seller on Ebay but this largely depends on what goods you have been lucky enough to amass, that you would now be willing to sell.
C.) Learn something new. You might be able to do whatever it is for your family, or you may be able to do something for money, just in your neighborhood. Some people can sell eggs. Others can stencil rooms for others for cash.
8. Improve your health. This isn't as tough as it sounds, but it can take a fair amount of time. It took me a year to improve my health, as I thought with the advent of the "Unaffordable Care Act", I had better be in the best shape possible in order to help to take care of my own family. You don't need to fight Jean Claude Van Damme on television by Friday. However, you do need to gradually increase your stamina and general health. One of the ways you might do this is to go to www.half.com and buy a copy of the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by Balch. It doesn't need to be the latest edition. The older editions are quite good also. Look up your symptoms and diagnoses you have, and see what foods and supplements are recommended. Then, ask your physician if he/she have any objection to a clinical trial of that supplement or vitamin in the amount specified in the book or a dose suggested by your physician. Getting the right supplement coupled with regular gradual exercise can really improve your tolerance for work, your general outlook, and ultimately even your labwork. Some of us simply require more of some things than others. Sometimes, certain disorders cause us to use larger amounts of certain vitamins than we would on average. Be particularly careful with the fat soluble vitamins, which are A, D, E and K. Although we can excrete water soluble vitamins most often, in urine, this is not true of the fat soluble vitamins as listed above. Hypervitaminosis can be dangerous.
9. Make sure your home medical kit is complete and stocked. You are less likely to actually require professional medical intervention if cuts, injuries, sicknesses etc. are attended to correctly when they happen. Make sure that when you are cut, you take a break long enough to clean the wound, place Apinol or neosporin if that works for you, on it, and band aid it for a day or two. Check injuries at least once a day. Physicians see a lot of people who neglected initial first aid. (I will have links to first aid kits at the bottom of this post.)
10. The rest of surviving inflation is simply assessing your own situation, making the adjustments you need to, and taking care of those items you can attend to. It's not going to be an easy ride, but many of us, if we stay positive, keep strategic alliances with friends and acquaintances locally, we will weather this type of storm just like all of the others.
These are prior posts from this blog which delve deeper into something we touched upon today:
These deal with defensive finance:
These posts concern preparedness first aid and medical issues:
Sounds good. we have high inflation already for a lot of items but the government and media are hiding the fact because both parties are controlled by progressives and really do work together to mislead the people to perpetuate the progressive religion. I was so glad to see Benedict Arnold Cantor get the boot, many more need to follow his example.
Can we go back to 1998. I leave the grocery store in amazement. I spent how much and this is all I got! The real kicker is the people on food stamps. They have two buggies full of crap and not a care in the world about the price of any of it. I know some people need food stamps but most of the ones I see have really nice cars and clothes and look like they could work. They most likely waste a good portion of that food every month too. It makes me sick!
It is interesting that our government doesn't include key items (like food and fuel) in its assessment of inflation. We've all felt inflationary pressures for quite some time.
I don't see too many people who use foodstamps. I do see a few from time to time who use WIC. I am right there with you in that I leave Wal-Mart's grocery store having spent eighty-five dollars and it strikes me with awe that I can grab the bags of groceries and leave the cart at the store because it isn't too much to carry out to the car. For a weekend trip to the store I got, reduced fat blue cheese crumbles for salad, a bag of apples, Garnier hair conditioner, a small box of blackberries, a small box of ammo, one iceberg lettuce, two sizes of freezer bags, a loaf of bread, `a bag of dried cranberries, a box of cereal, and some canned fruit and some canned beans.
I have found cutting out stuff I used to buy on the go made a big difference like those damned Frappacino things I used to love. I cut my expenses down by over a 100 bucks a month when I stopped buying them.
Yes, I agree with you completely. I used to buy things on the go which made my being out with the kids for such a long time certain days, a bit easier. Some days it ran into some real money. I started keeping a cooler and blocks of ice in the car, and stocking it with food and drinks. I saved a lot of money from the outset and as long as I pick carefully, I don't feel deprived. I just feel smarter ! Of course, "saving" that money does not mean I have more money, because things have gone up enough that without those extravagances, I am simply breaking even ! Thanks for posting.
While everyone talks of suddenly doing without one thing or another, it's hard for anyone to believe I did not have air conditioning in my house until 2004! I was raised by depression era parents and I didn't know we were poor, even when mom dried our stiff socks on the buck stove in the living room, and I lived in that house for 60 years. But you don't miss what you've never had. Now, when the shtf, I'll just revert to what I didn't have before and managed to live without.
But I'm gonna miss the AC!
We never had air conditioning when I was growing up. We didn't have it in our cars either. My parents believed that it was unhealthy in that using it did not allow our bodies to adapt to hotter weather as they should. I didn't have it in my first several homes, when I became an adult, even in the South ! We have had AC in the last two homes we built. I do see what my parents were saying in that I really don't tolerate heat as well as I should because I have adapted to AC. You are absolutely right. Many things I will adapt to not having, because we acquired them late anyway. However AC will be on the top of my list of things I will really miss. Thanks for posting.
I have never had an A/C unit, not even when I lived in Arizona.
I remember when my kids were little I would figure if I shopped carefully I would get about one brown grocery bag full for $10. I am a careful shopper but it's getting harder and harder to make my food budget stretch.
Meanwhile my friend who works at the grocery store said people who get food stamps will get $700 a month and they run out in the middle of the month and complain because they can't buy groceries. I don't begrudge them the help if they need it, but would like to be able to teach them that you can get a 15# bag of potatoes for the same price as a bag of chips and actually feed your children.
Yes, I know that some people use their food stamps wisely, but I do know of people who use their food stamp benefits to buy unwisely. It makes so much more sense to buy basic foods and then to learn how to use them in multiple ways. Some years ago the WIC people created a local cookbook so that moms would learn how to use carrots, tuna, and the cheese that some women are provided on WIC. Perhaps food stamps need to come with a course on how to use them, with suggestions as to what to buy and how to use it. I know that sounds intrusive, but if misuse and misapplication of this much money is a problem, perhaps education on this topic could help. Thanks for your post !
That is true. We buy flour, rice, beans and a little meat and make our own food. They buy all of the convenience foods that we can't afford to buy because if we did, our food budget would run out halfway through the month. Lucky for us that we prefer real, homemade food to snacks, frozen food and junk.
Thank you so much for posting. My parents made their own food. With four, and then ultimately five children and a job, I began to be corrupted when the kids were small. I bought prepared Lasagna and some other conveniences, only to find that I needed to devote time to teaching my kids to cook. While we were homeschooling, one day a month we devoted to making our own pizzas, our own red sauce, chicken and rice, tuna noodle casseroles, and varieties of quiches. Then we would freeze them all. We had convenience food when we needed it. We made it hypoallergenic for our kids who needed that, but most importantly, our kids knew how to make food ! Thanks again for your post.
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