Sunday was an interesting day for me. I spoke to a friend of mine that lives about 20 minutes outside of Allentown, PA. He went to the grocery store as he always does on Sunday mornings. He is a man of routine. He picked up hes hand basket and proceeded to fill it with the items that he would normally fill his basket with. As I mentioned, he is a man of routine. he got to the checkout counter to find that his items were almost $20.00 more expensive this week than the previous week. As I questioned him, he mentioned that he bought the same quantities and the same brands as he always buys with no deviation from his weekly shopping routine. This friend of mine is on a budget as well. His income has dropped due to the economy, and is living paycheck to paycheck. He is glad he has a job, but is only ever a paycheck or two away from not being able to make it. We chatted a little more and he felt the need to vent a bit more as well. I let him. People need to vent, however, the conversation turned to, “where else can I cut my budget, Ive already cut 95% of any wasteful spending out.” I can attest that he has… Food pricing is going to continue to rise as will clothing, etc. very soon.
The second conversation I had was at dinner this evening in NYC with friends I have not seen in about three or four months. They live in Western NJ, and have a decent size piece of property out there. They are putting in a garden this year, because not unlike my friend above, these friends had a similar situation recently at their local grocery store as well. They began questioning a couple of other local businesses that have started raising their prices as well. The response was interesting. He stated that he got similar answers from everyone he spoke with. The answer was that the proprietors had not increased their prices over the past couple of years in fear of losing their customers, but now their wholesale costs have gone up so much, they must raise their prices or they may be forced to close their doors because their profit margins have become too thin by eating the costs of doing business. Interesting. They followed this conversation up by also stating they are putting in a rather large garden this year, and that they are looking into dehydrating as well as canning vegetables from the garden. To give you some history, the husband used to half jokingly mock me for discussing any type of preparatory actions in the past. He is not a hunter, but is now considering doing things to preserve his cash vs. going to the store and spending to eat. He continued the conversation with his fear that real inflation is coming due to politicians spending and not taking time to work on any real issues. We discussed some of those in more detail, but I will not get into them here.
The point here is that out of the blue, I had two friends in a 24 hour period that do not know I write this blog, do not know I have preparations of my own, do not know I am preparing for a natural or man made disaster confide in me that they are concerned and are thinking of taking action where they need to for self preservation. They are in their infancy on their journey’s. It will be interesting to see if they take their journey’s seriously or if it is rhetoric.
I was just telling someone I went to the store with today that over the last three months I’ve seen the large bulk bag of rice go from just under $10 to just under $15.
It’s getting to the point where the locally grown organic food barely costs more than the imported commercially farmed variety. I’m sure the local food will be going up eventually as well, but for now they seem fairly stable while what once was cheap is going through the roof.
Maybe it’s the reduced cost of transport as the most distant supplier is the specialty pepper farm and it is less than a hundred miles away.
Until we can get the speculators out of the commodities markets you can expect food to continue this cycle of rise and fall just as we’ve seen with Oil in the last decade. There is indeed growing demand for food worldwide but there are no shortages. Just like Libya’s oil producing capacity being in jeopardy has nothing to do with the price of a barrel going up. It’s Wall Street driving the price up for profit. Period.
Well, you have to add OPEC to that as well… 🙂
Interesting. I think people are resistant to being ‘told’, but when their situation changes they are more open to ideas like gardening or other prepping. Hopefully, they figure it out sooner than later.
Its really amazing how quickly things seemed to have gone from good, to bad to worse, and the future seems dim too. I do think we’re in for some very interesting times. It seems the smoke and mirrors of finances and politics has lost its magic.
There is a lot of smoke & mirrors at play, in my opinion as well. “They” say there is no inflation and we are expected to believe it, with the exception of actually having to spend our money on the goods and services we must consume, and we see it at the register. “They” do not or continue to be in denial or deny the truth because of public ramification(s).
I agree. Unfortunately, things are going to have to be exposed sooner or later.
Fortunately, though, Americans seem to have very short memories.
People will be mad for awhile, a new scam of some sort will be manufactured, and people will go back to watching Charlie Sheen or whatever.
You describe what I fear the most — a “rolling” or “spiral” SHTF scenario.
A singular event or close together series of events is bad enough. But a steady decline punctuated by certain high-impact events has a stair case downward action. Just as you think it can’t get much worse — POOF! there it is.
There is no one singular event you can easily point to and say that was the turning point. Instead, you wake up one day, look around, and say to yourself “How the f*@#!%!@^*!k did we get here?!”
Meanwhile along the way our abilities to provide (and protect) ourselves and our families are eroded away every day. Until when the SHTF is clearly infront of us we no longer have the means to be prepared.
Getting people organized, started on prepping is very tough. Most won’t either because they think it’s “doomsday planning” and crazy talk, or, they don’t believe (or want to believe) such things.
Even with the few that will discuss it, talk is cheap. Getting people to actually commit time and resources (and $$) is hard.
I noticed the start of this a few years ago. I told my wife to just look at the shelves in Walmart or Target… how bare they were and how little variety they had to offer. If huge retailers were having trouble acquiring the goods to bring to market or if the populace was having trouble buying them (simple supply and demand… one just wasnt there), then it was the beginning of a seriously poor economic period. I knew it was only a matter of time before the economy took a serious down turn and prices went through the roof. With was has happened in Japan and the potential for an ecological disaster, I believe its only a matter of time before we see the cost of fish skyrocket.
When I saw ‘Land o Lakes’ butter last season at $5.19 a lb., I seriously began to stock up on items before prices skyrocketed because I was paying attention. I told friends well over a year ago to create a pantry and now, they still have excuses why they haven’t. They were warned about rising food and fuel prices but chose to go about enjoying life, while I focused on one thing, stocking up. And they called me the crazy one. Tent, check, first aid, check, food AND coffee, checkaroonie!