Saturday, February 19, 2011

Should we trust the stock market... or stock up?

When I want to catch the latest world news, I like to watch Fox Business News... very informative and not quite the usual 24/7 news channel hype (unless the stock market is crashing).  So, I've found it interesting to hear that many of the financial experts are surprised by the continuing uptake on the stock market even as turmoil increases around the world (much of it originally brought about by... or at least used by those who want turmoil... the fact there are huge price increases in food and other commodity supplies).

Of course, I don't even go near the stock market as an investor.  No, my investments are made at the Kroger veggie aisle, Wal Mart's milk and dairy section, and the BP gas station in town.  Sometimes an investment is made of coffee and a muffin at a favorite coffee place when I need a sanity morning out.  But no stocks or bonds.

I'm writing out a grocery list after putting in my request for a couple hundred dollars of the tax return when it arrives.  Just those items I believe should always be on hand.  As simple as butter in the freezer and the usual flour and other baking items, canned tomatoes, various pastas including orzo for cold weather soup and warmer weather salads, dishwashing liquid, TP, etc..  Just a little deepening of the pantry on a budget... basic ingredients to insure meals on the table.

No, I don't believe the stock market and I cringe to think of those who are trusting the numbers instead of what their "gut" tells them (can you tell I love NCIS there?).  I must admit my only stock I trust in right now is stocking up with any extra money available.

Christopher found out this week that the Federal scholarship program he's received money from is ending and then just yesterday received information that the State is cutting all scholarships.  Along with the rising cost of food and energy which we have already been feeling, that was a shock we didn't expect.  But we should not be surprised.

All this to say my friends... trust your "gut", your instincts, and most of all... what God may be whispering to you.  I don't think it is a coincidence that so many people are saying they get this feeling they are to deepen the pantry, perhaps grow a few veggies in the backyard, or even take on a more agricultural lifestyle (which is not an option for most of us but can be for some).

I'm hoping we can extend our raised bed garden a bit and I'm planning on growing more food on the deck... that which will not be consumed by Chip and Dale... the resident chipmunks.  I'll stock up a little more as possible and read through my cookbooks which offer inexpensive and healthy menus. 

Just recently I was catching up reading some blogs when I came across a great post on Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op (one of my favorites!).  The post was titled Saving Money in the Kitchen and it can be found... here.  Don't forget, I have lots and lots of good links on the side bar for deepening the pantry, living a simpler lifestyle, etc.

There is always more we can learn about cooking, sewing, gardening, preserving food, buying good quality at less prices, etc.  I've even found keeping an ear open when the experts talk about commodity prices to be helpful, we've all been hearing how cocoa, coffee, sugar, corn products, and cotton are going up a great deal... even before we add in the rising cost of transportation as oil prices continue up.

That's when it is time to put an extra can of Hershey's cocoa and a couple bags of chocolate chips, a bag of brown sugar or confectioners sugar, a bag of coffee, etc. on the grocery list just for the pantry.  When we come across a great stock up sale, we can really stock the pantry at greatly reduced costs.

That feeling you have about preparing for what may be down the road... trust it.  Then remember God is in control.  :)

More recession ponderings later...

Photo:  Apple Pie Harvest;


Vee said...

And Easter is coming and there will be sales... The food prices are truly frightening just now. "Frightening"...I should NOT use the word. "Alarming"? No! That's no better. :D

Lisa said...

Very practical advice--thank you!

And I had to laugh at your "gut" comment. NCIS (and the LA version) are the only shows we try hard not to miss!

Terra said...

Your words are wise. There are food riots right now in many third world countries, and we are diverting corn to fuel vehicles, so it is wise to stock up. I will check the blog you mention.
I am giving away one copy of "The Upside of Downsizing" on my blog this week, rather appropriate to your post.

Scrappy quilter said...

I think we need to be self-sufficient and God reliant. I trusted His still small words a few years back. Within 2 years of hearing His whisper, my hubby lost his job.

I totally agree with you, we need to become even more prepared than we we're before. Things aren't looking good right now. Wonderful post Brenda. Keep them coming!! Hugs

Jane said...

I agree with your gut Brenda. Just looking around my immediate family and own little town, I can tell that businesses are not doing well and there's still a lot of people on unemployment. The only reason our stock market is going up, is because other country's economies are even shakier.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Thanks...this is the second post on this subject this morning..since our pay check is commission and different each week and sometimes next to zero I need to do more of this for our lean weeks even if nothing happens...then I also pray, Give us our daily bread...and lean on Him

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

One of the best investments I've made in the last two years was our dehydrator. My son actually bought it because I thought it would be another kitchen appliance that just took up space and was never used. But wow! I've used it so much. Especially for things to use in soups I find it a wonder. And I store the dehydrated things in old mason jars and love to see them there.

I'm not frightened and I am not worried, but I'm just stocking up when I can. It is a nice feeling to have a good pantry.

matty said...

Food and gas are truly frightening these days! We are eating through our pantry still. And, we had a stellar co-op order this month where I set in 50 pounds of flour, among other things, which will go into the freezer for the year. Scary times!

Kelly said...

It's so good to come and visit here again. My boys play basketball and this season had me so busy I've been out of the blogging world for a while. I'm glad to come back and to ready your words of wisdom and encouragement, as I have been contemplating what I want to plant in our raised bed garden this year, and how to go about enlarging it. Thank you so much for your suggestions and advice.

DM said...

These are my favorite posts on your blog. They are filled with so much wisdom... not at all frightening, just a gentle warning and so practical. I don't like sites that expect you to stock up all at once or on things you don't really need. I did the same as you and asked for a little money for the pantry from the tax refund. I'm trying to make my list of what to get right now and appreciate all your posts with practical recommendations. We live in an RV, so space is really tight, but I still am finding ways to store a little extra.

Storybook Woods said...

Amen, I am right there with you. Clarice

Suze said...

I have noticed some of the insane price increases. What is so sad is that in Florida, so much of what we eat can be grown right here, but we ship it in from Central America and pay through the nose for it (not me). I started my first raised bed garden this past October (our growing season is from October-May) and I'm in learning mode. The cucumbers I planted - no good, the plant died, but the tomatoes? Like gangbusters. Snow peas? Bitter - will not replant. Green beans? Yummmm - I never get to cook them because I go out there, pick them and eat them all raw. So delicious. Next fall I want another raised bed - we have a very limited back yard, but I'll find room. I'll make more room for those things that I plant to grow. Part of the problem this year was crowding - I got over-zealous with planting and some things didn't like to be crowded out.

Your words are so wise. I wish I didn't have to work full time, because I'd spend more time on the garden and I'd LOVE to have 2 - just 2 - hens to lay eggs. If we have eggs and veggies, we can survive. Of course, the chickens would need to be fed, but I'd figure it out.

We live in an older neighborhood without the rule of a Home Owner's Association, thank God, so it would be possible to put 2 hens in my fenced in back yard.

A little crowded, but possible.

So much in this country is made with sugar and corn syrups and solids - corn is vital unless we bake our own sweets.

My gut is saying - stay home and make a deep nest. Our budget is saying, "you'll work until you drop" because of the debt we owe. God will decide - I'm so thankful He is in control.

Keep up the encouragement. You are a gem of information - I read your blog faithfully every day for your insight, wisdom and the fact that you've walked the road and know the way.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I agree Brenda...we have been working toward being more independent, growing veggies, having chickens,etc...

I am teaching my children these things too - they are going to need these life skills.

Anonymous said...

I think we are in for a bumpy ride too. We have had a taste of it in the past year or so but who knows where it will lead us now. Better to try to have things on hand so our nerves, our stomaches and pocketbooks feel better. We have always had a pantry. Isen't it wonderful some families have a pantry room or room for many shelf units! That is not us. :) We imagine more people will be growing a garden then even were last year. It is just so mentally relaxing to have food staples on hand for so so many reasons. Thank you for encouraging those new to this idea to start building their food store too. Sarah

Carolee said...

Your blog is truly inspiring. I have extra veggie seeds, esp. lettuces if you'd like some. Just pop me an e-mail with your snail mail address. God bless.


I love your sound and practical advice. It is not overwhelming to add a few special things each week. And including chocolate . . . genius.


Kim said...

I too have that "feeling". I have always kept a pantry and stockpile but became more committed after Katrina, power outages here from both Isabel and winter storms and after 9/11.

After Katrina, family members in Biloxi, MS had to have their son bring in food and supplies from Atlanta. These family members had the financial resources that many of us don't have. We lost power for 5 days after Hurricane Isabel and that was no fun in my opinion! We had 5 days warning and yet I saw how some neighbors had no food in their home because they "didn't think it would be bad".

Losing power this month, for 18 hours due to a snowstorm, helped me to see that we needed an extra oil lamp, more lamp oil and to take stock of matches. I will also be contacting tree removal companies in the spring to restock my firewood.

I live 2 miles outside Annapolis, our state Capital, and between Baltimore and Washington. 9/11 was local news for us. Schools were closed and traffic disrupted. The feeling of being under attack was very real in this part of the country. I say this because I know how a warm homecooked meal and the smell of cookies can calm nerves when so much seems out of control. For all of us but especially for children.

Even my husband, who has always been a bit skeptical about the need for a stockpile, has started to get "the feeling". As I shared with a friend, it is time to be alert not alarmed. God is in control.

Thank you Brenda for your wise words and calm voice. They are a blessing to many!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

I am always inspired (in so many ways) by your thoughts Brenda. You are so right in trusting the gentle whispers and "gut" instincts (hahahah...I too appreciate the NCIS reference:). Your advice is ever so wise and timely...that is certain. While I don't in any instance advocate living in fear I do find wisdom in that old proverb "trust in God but tie up your horses"! Thank you for the nudges via your wonderful posts. Sending good thoughts and love to you my friend!

Shan said...

Dearest Brenda,

As always, such a thought provoking post and one that I whole-heartedly agree with. Very Gibbs of You!

We keep a pretty well-stocked home but I know that we could always deepen it a little bit more.
We try and take advantage of loss leaders and coupons at a few of our local stores.

I need to head on over to the blog link you provided and do a little research. Thank you for the link.

Yours kindredly,