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RISING COSTS OF GOODS


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The last time I filled my gas tank (last Saturday), gas was down to $2.49.9 at my regular station. It had topped $3.00 earlier this year but, in the last several weeks, it has steadily declined.

 

Although I'm thrilled that the cost of fuel is dropping, I'm concerned about the costs of other goods rising.

 

This year, canning jars were up in my area by almost $1.00 per case (12 jars).

 

Toilet paper has gone up from the beginning of this year; I have recently seen prices at least $1.50 per 12 pack higher, than in February. Scott 1,000 sheet 12 packs were 2/$10.00 on sale, or $6.49 regularly, on average, at the beginning of the year. This past week, I found it on sale at 2/$13.00, with a regular price of $8.49!

 

As a matter of fact, I believe all paper products have had a significant cost increase. Paper towels have risen at the same rate as TP, and paper plates are following at a close second.

 

Sugar...

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Yeah... this is one (of many) things that have me worried. (I think I got a couple of twisted tenses in there, but I digress) At the moment its manageble here, but only in a creative way. Now, my Hon calls me the grocery rainman for a reason, I tend to keep running tallies in my head all the time of all the prices of things (wheres a chance at The Price Is Right when you need it?) at multiple stores. Don't even mean to do it, its there. Right now I'm keeping ahead of the creep by splitting the gas with 3 friends and driving 90 minutes away to several groceries near my folks. With the gas split... it still saves us more that 35% each in our food bills. Often more.

 

Paper products are up, milk has started to climb (we still get good sales - but they are sales and no longer just the regular price. Fresh veggies have hit the roof too - in stores. I'm lucky, there are enough farmer's markets and little roadside stands that I only have to use the main groceries, again when the sales hit.

 

Even at discount places like Save-a-lot, Marc's, and Aldi's the prices are rising. Subtle increases, but increases. Corn meal mix (jiffy) used to be 4 for a buck, now its three. Same with their canned goods. Just a bit... but all over its a hit.

 

Of course, I still have friends that are oblivious and mean to stay that way, come hell or high water. One friend causually dropped into one conversation that she and her husband shopped at Giant Eagle as it was a great savings on gas. When I looked blank, she said "We get at least one free fill up a month, sometimes two. Just off our savings card.

 

Here's how that breaks down. Giant Eagle gives you $0.10 off a gallon for each $50.00 you spend at the store. Gas is 2.29 a gallon right now. Somehow... I cannot for the life of me understand or comprehend, this means she is spending for her family of three (herself, her husband and her 19 month old son) something like more than a $1000 a month

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The fuel prices may be down currently (for the moment) but the recent price increases are now unfolding in the embedded costs of purchased products... shipping costs, plastics (which is made from petroleum) and pesticides/fertilizers... are all directly related the price of petroleum. Rapidly rising energy prices are sure fire inflation creators.

 

I am convinced that the fuel prices will be bouncing up again shortly... the market fundmentals do not support the current situation... an infusion of our oil reserves and a recently announced decision to not replace the reserves (which would run up prices again) are the real reasons we are enjoying lower prices... but the reserves cannot be used indefinitely and will need to be replenished as well (eventually)... which points to price pressure on the horizon again.

 

My strategy has been to apply all my energy to getting as food self sufficient as possible. I will never be 100% (barring TEOTWAWKI) but I can grow a far greater amount of my own food than I have been recently. I am also making sure I buy in bulk during the proper SEASON and preserving the items at that time. I am also working to buy local (less shipping costs embedded) and to work my dollar as hard as possible by knowing prices and buying only when I can get the best prices available.

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Yep, yep, yep, Nana...it's getting scary.

 

What I have been taking advantage of down here is the buy one/get one free deals they've been running for a while. That at least allows me to buy something for what translates into half the normal price.

 

Anymore I don't really do a traditional grocery shop...I just shop the sales for the most part and I stay away as much as possible from the convenience foods cause the prices are disgusting (this weeks's 9" key lime pie is on sale for $6.79, normally $7.49 (I can make the stupid thing myself for $3.00...it's so labor intensive with taking about 5 minutes to put together *rolling eyes*).

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Ooooooooooh yum, D! I think I'm just going to fill in a few blank spaces, and get about 50 lbs of sugar. I'm also going to the produce market to see if I can get 50 lbs of sweet potatoes at a reasonable price. I want to get some canned before the Holidays. I need to get apples, too.

 

Gas prices dropped again... by about 4 cents a gallon. Even though I'm only down about a quarter tank, I think I'll top it off today.

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The "official" inflation rate is completely misleading.

 

For one thing, it excludes the cost of fuel, food and housing which are the major household expenditures.

 

The TRUE inflation rate is running around 8 to 12%.

 

So buying in bulk and storing food and fuel in not only good from a preparedness view, but it's the same as making 10% on your money. Tax-free.

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So buying in bulk and storing food and fuel in not only good from a preparedness view, but it's the same as making 10% on your money. Tax-free.


Shhhhh!!!! Don't tell the IRS!
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As far as gas prices are concerned, it's about $2.20 per gallon here right now, but like many of you, I don't expect that to last very long. I recommend that any of you that have the means to do so to start buying, and storing as much gas as you can, and before the end of October. I already have been keeping a 55 gallon drum of gas since Katrina, as well as a couple of five gallon cans, and I plan to clean out another 55 gal. drum this weekend, and have it filled by the end of the month. Buy it and store it, while it's cheap......I don't know exactly why I feel this way(well, I actually do, but I don't want to get in trouble here...again), but I don't think we'll see prices like this again. Don't forget the Stabil to prevent your stored fuel from going sour. And try to rotate it for regular use when you can. I store it mostly to fuel my generator, as well as chainsaw, tillers, etc.

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The "official" inflation rate is completely misleading.

For one thing, it excludes the cost of fuel, food and housing which are the major household expenditures.

The TRUE inflation rate is running around 8 to 12%.

So buying in bulk and storing food and fuel in not only good from a preparedness view, but it's the same as making 10% on your money. Tax-free.


Very interesting, I never thought of it like that. Good point.

I do know that I am a very price conscious shopper. I have a pretty good sense of what things cost at the grocery store and the wholesale clubs. Last week I picked up a 100lb of sugar at the grocery store because it was much cheaper to buy it that way in 5lb bags on sale, than it was to buy a 25lb bag at the wholesale club.

One nice thing about having a solid stash of preps is that I can hold out inbetween good sales and use what I have until I can rotate them back in when they're on sale. Plus buying things on good sales has forced me to be more creative in using different things, which isn't such a bad thing at all, it's actually been fun.
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We have found it really helps our food budget to stock up on items that we use when they go on sale. For example, if our favorite brand of tuna goes on sale for 50 cents a can, and I know it usually goes on sale every six months, then I buy six months worth. This works great for any item with a long shelf life like canned goods, detergents, etc. So I rarely have to pay full price for anything. We have a freezer to I take advantage of meat sales, too.

 

It is kind of hard to get started buying in "bulk" but eventually you don't have to buy as many different items each week at the store, because most of it is already at home! So it saves time, too.

 

There is a grocery store near my office that I can pop into o my way home if they offer "loss leaders" that suit my needs. I never do my regular shopping there becasue they are generally too expensive, and I don't have to make a special trip because it is on my way home. So I check the online ad every Wednesday to see if any of "my items" are on special, and plan accordingly.

 

I don't use coupons because most of them are for prepackaged convenience food that I don't buy anyway.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I too have noticed food is going up a little all the time. And now that I prep, I really watch the prices and the adds. I have to admit that in the past I was not good about checking prices, I would run and pick up something to cook several times a week. But I have really changed my ways ladies and I am very proud of myself. In fact I injoy it and it is really fun, kinda like a hobby. I remember that in the past when I cooked a lot and was not working and spent more time shopping and checking prices that I injoyed it then too. I guess I am back to my roots, girls I have always loved the kitchen.

I noticed at Sam's that the 10# sacks of sugar would cheaper than the 25#, I guess you have to check everything.

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Yeah the fuel costs are driving up the costs of groceries and other goods. I too have noticed sugar is MORE costly in larger sized bags than the smaller ones...wierd.

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Cyclical, Supply and demand. If there is a demand for that product up goes the prices.

 

For instance where I live building supplies have gone up considerably due to the boom in construction, therefore plywood, lumber etc...are in high demand thus high prices.

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The prices are higher and the supplies are lower. I have not seen my walmart fully stocked in a long time. They used to always be well stocked, except for a brief time right after a holiday, but it was never like it is now. Our dollar stores are the same. The containers are smaller, less product, and the costs are even higher. It is strange to hear that inflation is so low, when all the prices seem to be higher everytime I go to the store.

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I have started noticing the empty shelves at Wal-Mart also. The last couple of weeks I shopped on Fridays. At two different Wal-Marts I saw empty shelves of staples (cereal, coffee). At first I thought it was just they hadn't had the time to restock but they weren't that busy and Friday evening/Saturday is the big shopping times around here. When you go, will they have it for you?

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How many have noticed that the Hellman's mayo is now 2 oz less than before? It is not a quart any more.

They went to the plasric jar and then decreased the amount of product. I have to check other products, but I know that many are smaller quantities.

SS recipients will get a cost of living increase of 3.3%. You and I know this will not cover the increase in our groceries, let alone the heat and power.

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It sure does hurt, doesn't it. Cavey works next to a major grocery store, and he goes there almost every day. He keeps an eye on the prices and watches for unannounced sales, and the reject bin. He saves us so much money. We buy everything in bulk except for fresh dairy and veggies. I'd love to can some more meat, but we are sorely out of room for anymore preps. I'm grateful for our preps as a hedge against inflation as well as other reasons.

 

Lois, I know what you mean. Not many working people get regular, or substantial raises either. My niece who is in her first year of practicing law got a $10,000 raise, on top of a 6 figure salary, while I got a 2% raise after 21 years. My Mom is really feeling the pinch in her SSA with all of the increases in medical insurance. She's getting rid of her two time shares to free some money for necessities. All of our cars are old, but I just can't see having a car payment for years. I noticed the other day that car loans are up to 84 months now!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don’t know how much more of George W. Bush’s great economy I can stand. Consider some of the price increases since he took office:

 

Razor blades: $2.78 for 10 to $3.84 for 10 at Wal-Mart.

 

Bleach: $0.99 to $1.30 per gallon.

 

Sandwich cookies: $1.50 to $2.00 for 2 pounds.

 

Witch hazel: $0.88 to $1.28 per pint.

 

Sardines (used as cat treats): <$0.50 to $0.65.

 

Potatoes: <$1.50 to $2.00+ per 5 pounds.

 

Cat food: $0.25 per can to $0.30 per can.

 

Printer paper: $1.00 to $2.50 per 500 sheets.

 

Sugar: <$1.50 to $2.00 per 5 pounds.

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Welcome, flaja...

 

Please don't turn this thread into a political discussion.

 

OPEC doesn't traditionally listen to any of our political leaders, nor do the hurricanes choose which year to target the Gulf according to which party is in office.

 

The oil prices are a major cause of ALL the price increases across all of our consumer products, because increased shipping costs have to be paid by the consumers (passed on by businesses who can't absorb the costs and stay in business).

 

 

If we had more refineries in our own countries, it would help, but that takes years. And the skewed way we buy foreign and sell our oil is *WAY* out of range of rational.

 

 

VOTE... it's your best way to speak up. (not here...

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We were doing a lot of shopping at Costco because prices were cheaper as well as it made it easier to stock up. Well when I went earlier this week I noticed that prices made a big jump...and now compared to Stater Bros, Wal-Mart, Target, it is no longer cheaper. We will finish out through spring of next year to take advantage of stocking up on some things, but most of our shopping will not be done there anymore. We will be having a Target Supercenter and Wal-Mart Supercenter opening next year in our town which will help a lot.

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I shop at Costco monthly and keep a price book - so I know what is the best option to buy there (as opposed to other sources) and I know when the prices are changing.

 

I did my large monthly Costco shopping Saturday and was AMAZED how much the prices had gone up from the previous month. Only a handful of items remained the same price on my normal large list. Most went up at least $0.20 and some as much as a $1! Worse, they repackaged the honey and it is now LESS in amount and is a good $1 more - so less product for higher cost.

 

This is not unexpected - higher fuel costs are working their way into the food supply costs along with some production shortages - corn, wheat, and vegetables from California that were flooded out earlier in the year.

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