While driving down the main highway through town over the weekend, I noticed something. There were many houses with things for sale near the curb. One house was having a garage sale. One was selling some furniture. Another had a truck and another had a boat. Turning the corner, there were a few more trucks for sale and another boat.
I think people are really feeling the pinch of higher prices, and in Michigan – the unemployment rate continues to be high here (in July it was 8.5%). I don’t think I have ever seen so many things for sale on the sides of the roads. Even websites for buying and selling seem to be flooded with items for sale. We are still on schedule to have a monster of a garage sale soon but now I’m wondering if there will be many buyers!
We are definitely feeling the pinch especially with our groceries. I haven’t found one thing that we normally buy that hasn’t gone up in price. The one type of cheese that we buy went up 50 cents. Eggs went up by almost a dollar. It’s tough to adjust to spending even less when we were trying to cut our spending to begin with. It seems like a big uphill battle, but I have hope we will make it work.
A while back it seems that you had planned to collect some information and write something about saving on groceries. Have you had a chance to do anything on that project?
Sandy – yes! Thank you for the reminder! I got so busy with everything else I forgot about it. I’ll keep working on it 🙂
I’ve found ways to still spend less on groceries by 1) going to farmer’s markets 2) buying fewer processed things (healthier too!); for example, buying fresh potatoes instantly saves tons compared to any frozen potato product 3) buying less meat and dairy, which isn’t necessary in the quantities that most Americans eat.
My wife and I hadn’t been shopping in some time, and made a trip to our local grocery store to pick up a few weeks worth of ingredients for upcoming meals. Our bill was over $400, by far the most I’ve ever spent on groceries!
Just found out it’s that time of the year where the rent goes up again. So much for my pay rise.
For eggs & milk, I have found that one drug store in particular is always cheaper than the grocery stores. The grocers normally have the least expensive eggs for over $3/dozen, even on sale, it doesn’t fall much lower than $2.79. The local Long’s Drugs stores (I’m in California), always has eggs for around $1.29. Many months ago when I first noticed the difference, eggs at the drug store were $0.99 while elsewhere was always over $2.80. Now as prices have gone up, the eggs are around $1.29 (at least they were a few weeks ago). Same eggs, very different price. Milk is similar, although I don’t recall the exact price difference I think it’s usually about $1.00 – $1.50 cheaper at the drug store. The drug store & grocery stores are all less than 1/8 of a mile away from each other & less than 1 mile from home, so I don’t mind making the extra stop to save quite a bit of money on these two staples. Of course, if the sale at the grocers is exceptional (I got a dozen eggs for $0.88 cents the other day – even double checked at the register) I don’t stop at the drug store.
I also noticed that the drug store stopped listing the price on the weekly mailer for eggs & milk – don’t know why, but they don’t. Either way, I know these items are a much better deal there than elsewhere.
I must be the only one who isn’t feeling the pinch with groceries.
I think that storing a supply of food and rotating through the supply is most helpful. There are lots of tips about this on blog.totallyready.com. This way you can stock up on things when they are on sale and don’t need to buy more until they are on sale again. The calculator in her e-book (Mother Hubbard: What She’s Doing Now) is awesome for figuring out how much you should store for your family size etc. Here’s the link: http://totallyready.com/ Good luck!
Amy- that’s a great link. I’m not Mormon, but check out their website, too. They are pretty hardcore about stashes of food.
I have also been stockpiling with coupons and things on sale, but it’s not something I would do if I had debt.
Tricia – It seems you and your family are doing really well at least staying aware of prices. That is half of the battle! At least you are keeping track.
I think the best thing we can do in these tough economic times is just to really watch our spending. That is the one thing we have control over (most of the time anyway!) don’t let it get you down because it’s affecting us all.
I’m interested in seeing your grocery tips!
Good to see folks taking the responsibility for their finances. In 18 months, we paid off about $30,000 in debt. We looked at all the financial plans and programs and decided it came to just making a decision. Live with a little less now and you can have a lot more later. When we sold our house and all our stuff, we were over $50,000 in the hole. Our “secret” was setting up 4 bank accounts. One for paying off debt, the second for Living Expenses, the third was your typical Savings account, but we used it for birthdays, holidays, vacation, etc. The fourth account is the most crucial to success, and that is the Emergency Fund. Once we had those in place and stuck to the plan, we were able to attack our debt with a vengance. You need that “WANT TO” desire to get it done.
One more thing. We wrote a book called “Does God Prefer Paper or Plastic”. The 4 account program is on our website. goodbilesense.com
We were able to not only pay off $30,000 of debt but doubled our giving to church and charities. It is simple, but it ain’t easy!
If you live in a small space without much storage, you can’t really buy in bulk. Just a comment … Unless you want to live with piles of stuff in your living room 🙂
Jen- I’ve had to get creative with storage to make it work. I was surprised at how much I could fit into a closet just by moving the stuff I don’t get into much out to the garage or attic and some simple shelves in. I store food that doesn’t fit in my kitchen on shelves in the office closet, and it works great.
I have noticed a lot more for sale on the side of the road here in rural Vermont as well. A lot of stuff that requires gas to run (probably cause it is a big ticket items and the price of gas).
A lot of people in colder parts of the country are trying to unload things so they can afford to heat their homes. I know the price of heating fuel here is driving the cost of wood up as well as so many people are trying to find the least expensive option.
The grocery tips are good though. Thanks.
Amy- Thanks so much for your nice words about my blog and Mother Hubbard: What She’s Doing Now. I am so happy the book has helped you.
To everyone else: There are many suggestions for funding and accumulating food storage as well as where to store it in the book and also on the blog. I love reading this blog and watching your progress. I was happy to write a guest post several months ago, for such a great blog. Every Wednesday I do money saving tips. This week was a food post. I hope they will be of help to all of you too.
Carolyn- I read your guest post here a few months back and have also been following your program on blog.totallyready.com as well. I appreciate your step by step approach to building a rotatable supply of food. I am the kind of person who likes “to-do” lists, so you have really helped me to get started and be organized.
Kate-I like what you said about watching spending. My husband and I just had this conversation last night…We have been watching our spending more closely the past few months and have been amazed at where we can cut corners.
Hi Everyone – just want to let you know that I am still here. I’m just having some technical issues that have to be worked out! Ahhh…technology. Gotta love it LOL 🙂
We blogged away our debt by combining the best advice from several bloggers and writers. One thing I learned is that no single person has all of the best answers for everyone’s situation. We payed off over $40,000 of debt in less than 2 years, doubled our giving to our church, piled up cash and now teach others how we did it for FREE. goodbiblesense.com takes the best of all the plans and helps you get out of debt and save real money in a hurry. Our book “Does God Prefer Paper or Plastic” is the Bible Bailout Plan for your finances.