Wednesday, May 07, 2008

May's recession proofing

I've decided the hardest thing about recession proofing is spending the money now to make the future easier. Perhaps if one has a lot more money, it wouldn't matter. However, most of the families I know are just as pinched for cash as us. I am taking my own advice (recession proofing is purchasing today -- without going into debt-- those things which may only be more expensive later, as well as performing all necessary auto and household maintenance and repairs... NOW).

I'm already shocked at how quickly prices have risen. When I was at the grocery store yesterday, I was going to buy one bag of Lay's potato chips for Christopher's lunches (I normally only buy them when they are on sale). I had to look twice at the price stamped on the packaged, they had risen by almost $1.00 since the last time I paid full price. Needless to say, I told C. they weren't healthy and I'd be baking some goodies for him to take with him. :)

My husband likes to have Amy's soups for lunches a few times a week. One of them has gone up 60 cents a can since he bought it last month. Yikes...

We're using the tax incentive money and the salary I earned last week to do some necessary house maintenance and "stocking up". A significant amount is going to have the deck professionally sealed. We have always been do- it- your- selfers but there were many reasons we felt getting a professional to do this was a good thing (mostly to avoid the allergy hit and we receive a five year guarantee). I can think of a lot of fun things to do instead of sealing the deck but I know keeping it safe and sound for years to come is very important.

My husband also bought a new spark plug for the lawn mower and got it all ready to go for the new season. He decided when we went out to purchase the filters for the well to buy an extra set for the necessary maintenance in six months. They are inexpensive so this is an easy "stock up".

With my stock up allowance this month, I purchased more Hain's pourable sea salt with iodine (living in the Midwest I feel that important to use in the salt shaker), a box of the course sea salt I use for cooking, tea and coffee (we do have our priorities), peanut butter, jelly, Cheerios at a great sale price combined with a coupon, a large jar of creamer (like Crisco, I don't normally use this but I'll keep it available and give it to the church's food bank if I don't need it), canned soups and soup broth, a large bag of Splenda (used for coffee and tea), the Equate brand of allergy meds, more Seventh Generation dish washing liquid from Target, and a few other items. I also placed my semi-annual order of oats from the co-op.

I plan to make a few more small purchases today. As you can expect, recession proofing takes away funds available for today but it is SO worth it. Most people cannot purchase gasoline ahead of time and store it but we can carefully store some food and sundry items, do needed maintenance now, purchase the next size in clothing and shoes for the kids (always looking for store sales and garage sales), look for additions to the family library at a good price, be on the lookout for Christmas and birthday presents one will need in the future, etc.

I'm planning later this month to start doing some canning again. The one thing I wish I could do now but don't have the money is to have someone come in and help hubby build a square foot garden. Living where we do, it requires not only prepping the soil and building the garden area but fencing it in... too many country critters who would look at it as a buffet! :)

I use my grocery list as a guide for my grocery stocking up. My hubby has a regular maintenance schedule in notebooks (I think I've mentioned before but even former engineers must be extremely organized or they are not happy). Since we are used to buying for the pantry and freezer, then deciding our menus from what we have on hand... just deepening the pantry is not complicated. I've now organized the freezer but I still need to put together a listing of what is in it.

All we can do is... all we can do. We are to operate in wisdom and not fear. I have been amazed at God's provision... manna from Heaven! He has sent it in the form of direct financial gifts in the past, as well as leading us to great deals. Just this week, I found another pair of SAS shoes at Goodwill! I was able to stock up a lot at Kroger last month with remarkable food sales.

I'll write more about what we're doing soon. If you can't do much... do something... without fear... with much prayer. Now, I must go do my Proverbs 31 thing (bringing my food in from afar).

Picture: Country Armoire;


the feathered nest said...

Hi Brenda, good post! We're also using some of our "stimulus" money for stocking up. I'm not sure which is the better way to go though. Buy now at regular prices or save some of the money and try to buy sale prices. Prices are changing so quickly these days that I don't know if things will actually be cheaper than what the regular price is now!

About the chips - I was SHOCKED at what a bag of Baked Lays were yesterday at Target - $3.33!!

Have you tried container gardening if you can't get your raised beds this year? You can grow all sorts of things in containers - potatoes in black garbage bags even!


nanatrish said...

Brenda, Thanks for another great blog. It gets me thinking about things I need to plan ahead for. You have such a sweet gentle spirit in your writing and I look forward to reading your blog every day. God is so wonderful! He will always take care of us!

freetobeme said...

Your blog really has me thinking. My whole family (we have five kids)is coming here next month...I need to get stocked up on things now. I'd better get organized. My husband is a list maker-I'm not. But I'm sure he'll help me. Thanks for the reminder to be ready...

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Your plan is better than mine. I stay away from the grocery store as long as I can, then go and nearly keel over at the prices. I feel like my grandmother who is forever ranting about "prices these days...why when I was a young woman bread sold for..." Sigh.

Corin said...

Thank you again for doing this series! I've really enjoyed it!

I was shocked yesterday, after doing my twice monthly shopping, that our bill was over $350! It's been less than a year since our usual bill was $180. Rob keeps mentioning taking a part time job to keep our bases covered.

A rule my mom used to follow some time ago, that I've been implementing a bit, was to purchase 2 packages of (name your item), for every 1 that you've used up (possibly more, if it was on sale). This helped us to be sure to only be stocking up on the things we actually used, instead of being tempted by sales, and we had a nice variety of things, instead of 80 rolls of toilet paper, and no peanut butter :-)

Currently though, if I'm going to buy more than 3 cans of something, I just go ahead and get the 12 can case at Costco.

Nita in South Carolina said...

Good post! Our teen's growth spurts + rising cost of groceries = AAACK! We're trying hard to make them aware of food costs, without getting them worried and afraid of the current economic problems. I plan menus before I got to the store, when I get home, I post a weekly menu on the fridge.

We have also joined a local farm's Community Share program. We will pay a certain flat fee, and get a weekly delivery of vegetables, fruits and eggs from the farm that is about 12-15 miles away. It will be all fresh, local and organic. Price-wise, it will be a pretty good deal.

We try to get cleaning products and paper products from local dollar stores.

We have also decided to try out Angel Food Ministries, which sells monthly boxes of food through various churches, for about $25. Anyone can sign up, and there are no income requirements. I think this is a national program. We'll get our first box next week. You can look at the menu before you purchase. My husband is all fired up, but if it's a lot of processed food, I won't want to do it again. We'll see!


Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

This series just gets better and better! I linked to your series again yesterday. My daughter, Corin, just commented about the concept of duplicate buying. I did it for years and have just recently begun it again in earnest. (I never really stopped, but I did slow down.) Thanks, Brenda!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are continuing to write about recession-proofing. It's a balance of planning and trusting the Lord.

I am also trying to add a little bit as I can. I realize the importance of trying to buy important items that are increasing in price almost every week while also trying to cut back where we can (a delicate balance).

Gumbo Lily said...

Well done! This is how I have lived for many years. Since I live in the country and am 1 hour from a real store, stocking the pantry and other essentials is a "way of life."

I've been quite shocked at prices lately, but we have to expect it when it costs so much to truck/ship things.

I'm looking forward to more of your ideas.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I'm with you on trusting in God. Before I bought any groceries this month I wanted all the bills payed. We were going to live off of what was left. How I didn't know. I prayed and prayed about it. The yesterday our income tax rebate came in. the bills are payed and there is extra for household maintenance. I believe in buying three of everything I normally use only with coupons and on sales. So far I have never run out of staples. I am also blessed to live on a farm where we produce our own meat, milk and eggs. But there are many mouths to feed. Home baking is even getting expensive as wheat prices have really jumped. At least we have food on the table. many are now going without.

Sharon L Goemaere said...

You've been tagged by me Brenda!Stop by my glog if you have time to join in the fun!Blessings~Sharon

Carrot Top said...

Love all the tips and advice from everyone! I'm learning so much! We are noticing the price increases too and trusting the Lord to show us how to be wise stewards. Thanks for your help!