Saturday, September 18, 2021

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - The average person is beginning to notice inflation and shortages

It has been unseasonably warm here for another week but the forecast is showing a glimpse of true Fall.  I mean sweater weather, soup simmering, and something baking in the oven weather!  I can't wait... 

I decorated the porch with a couple mum plants of autumnal colors, they sit on either side of the one summer porch plant still remaining alive and that has a mixture of various types of coleus.  They look good together.

The small Rubbermaid style container with the Fall decorations sat on the Living Room coffee table awhile as I slowly decided where to place them.  I don't have a lot anymore but what I do have, I like a lot.  Everything now has a place to call home and the colors of Fall fit in nicely with my usual decorating.

I arrived home from what was supposed to be a quick trip to the grocery store recently, tired and frustrated with rude shoppers and just as rude drivers.  The store had a new checkout machine that was entirely different than what I had used before and while I am usually quite a quick learner, this one was frustrating.  

When I arrived home, I told my husband that home has never seemed more of a respite from the world as it has been these past couple of years.  Sometimes it seems lots of people are in a bad mood.  I so appreciate those who smile and say hello these days.

I have only been to a couple of stores this week and even then, just for a few items, but there are definitely shortages here and there.  Aldi was out of not only cream but much of their dairy section was empty.  When I went back on my way home from a doctor's appointment two days later, there was milk and cream available but not very much.  It is rare to find Aldi not fully stocked.

Meijer had almost no organic produce on stock-up day, only stalks of celery were available.  I bought a couple pre-mixed packages of Taylor Farms chopped salads instead.  When I went back for a few items, the organic vegetable area was full but now there were empty spaces in the pre-mixed salad packages.  

Various shortages are being noticed more and more but I was still shocked when the largest school district in the area made the television news because they could not guarantee the month's menu that they send home with kids anymore due to food shortages.  It is now hard to plan ahead because they do not know what will be available.

What I am still noticing is the steady increase in prices on many food items.  The CEO of Kroger, the nation's largest grocery store chain, has warned that inflation has been higher than they expected for food products and they will be increasing their prices by the end of the year.

The timing doesn't surprise me because the actual amount of damage done by fires, drought, floods, etc. on the 2021 crops will be known by then.  Already, the damage has been significant for many foods grown in the Plains states and California.

Those who have wisdom are also noticing the higher than anticipated (by the government) rise in prices in our non-food products.  Which, when combined with the problems in the supply chain and the shortage of necessary items such as computer chips, have increased the cost of many products.  If you can even get them right away.

Our best way to hedge against inflation if one does not have the ability to purchase gold and silver, which I don't, is to purchase whenever possible today what you know you will need tomorrow.  If it is available, you have the budget to buy it (whatever "it" is), and if necessary the room to store it... it is better to be in your house than a warehouse who knows where and for who knows how long.

I am a believer that God is nudging a lot of His people about what is coming... and what is now here... and He promises to give wisdom when we pray about what to do.  We are not to fear but to learn and to trust Him... while doing what we know He is telling us to do and has given us the means to do.

Some will have just enough money to stock a couple months of basic food items for themselves and that is okay. That is where I am and I know God is taking care of us.  All He asks of us to do is what we honestly can do with what He has given.  Although, if we use the grocery money to take a vacation to Aruba, we may have to do some repenting.  Just saying...

Others whom God has given the budget and the room will feel led to purchase extra not only for themselves but at least for their children... and possibly their friends, too.  My dear friend surprised me with instant Blonde Roast Starbucks last week, the kind that my grocery store has been out of for months.  I felt so blessed!

So, what have I done for my pantry this week?  Not much, I admit.  I was silly and tried to pick up a box that was too heavy early in the week and since then, have depended on prayer and ibuprofen to get around.  It seems I have to relearn my limitations every once in awhile.  However, I had already started some Holiday pantry planning.

I have mentioned before that I think about it all year and the one area I have not been prepared for each year is in doing the Christmas crafts I enjoy.  By the time I think of purchasing what is needed, Christmas is almost over!  The last few years, all I was able to do was to dry thinly sliced oranges in the oven at the lowest setting.  They do make beautiful decorations.

So, early this year I was looking on the clearance rack of one of the grocery stores and saw clearance price herbs and spices. One of them was whole cloves and any whole spice lasts a very long time.  I've been wanting to make orange pomanders, even though they only are fresh three or four days.  By having the cloves already (purchased at a clearance price), I can make one, two, or even three very cheap.

I also bought the ingredients already to make cinnamon dough hearts again.  I have made them a few different times but the past few years, when I thought of making them, I didn't have the applesauce or inexpensive cinnamon on hand.  I will not use my favorite Vietnamese cinnamon on a craft!  The needed items are now sitting and waiting in the yellow chimney pantry.

That is all I can think of this week, I know there will be more pondering before next Saturday.

My one "cookbook" recommendation this week is my favorite Susan Branch book called Autumn.  I get it out each year to display and peruse with joy.  It is one of my favorite books in the "always makes me happy" category.

More information about Autumn can be found... here. (How in the world did this become so expensive?)

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.

Image:  This photo was taken a few years ago, I have since moved the wire basket to another table in the Kitchen but the book is once again in the front, acknowledging the season.


Anonymous said...

Yes it's awful how prices of everything have gone up.We're trying to cut back and save where we can.
The Covid lockdowns have taught us more about realistic stocking up. Never mind the cases of canned baked beans (which none of us really likes). It's better to stock up on pastas, rice,etc.
We also stocked up on basic baking supplies including some sugar sprinkles for Christmas. We can skip fancier baking if necessary but everyone likes the sugar cookies.

Sandi said...

"inflation has been higher than they expected"

It is all totally unexpected, except it was totally planned.

Margie from Toronto said...

I have not seen huge gaps or missing items in my local grocery store - but what I have noticed is that i'll go looking for something specific and it's not there. This week I wanted some instant potatoes for the pantry - I could find the scalloped potatoes (which I have in good supply) but no mashed potatoes - and I haven't seen any for at least a month. I had my buggy with me so thought that I would pick up some more canned veg - all they had was corn! I have lots so passed on that.

I bought a 50' roll of aluminum foil this week because it was on sale for $2 less than I had seen it for the week before - a huge jump in price. I only got the one as I already have two in reserve - what I have will probably last me for the next year. Prices are definitely up and sales are less and less. SPAM was on sale this week so thought I'd buy a few cans - went the morning of the sale and found one can left - all they seemed to have was one case! Again, I already had some in the pantry and it's not something I eat a lot - but just shows you that people are buying as soon as they see something at a decent price!

mdoe37 said...

Sooooo far I haven't seen a lot of "thin" shelves here by Grand Rapids. The local Walmart is not a good judge of that as they get hit very hard. Monday morning looks like a war zone. The Aldi next door is fairly well stocked.

But I did notice that Meijer has lessened the number of shelves dedicated for canned veggies. There is still some of everything there....but its really, really thin. I needed canned mushrooms to take north and, while they had them, they did have a limit of 4 for items in that area. I'm not seeing that elsewhere though.

Odd places like Menards seem to be well most don't shop groceries at the lumberyard. I picked several packages of SnakPak pudding for my mother and it was competitively priced.

I held off on buying fresh potatoes as the prices all around have been quite high. Family Fare (Spartan) did have 5 pound bags of smaller Idahos for 99 cents a bag, limit 2. It was two dollars off a bag and I did snag two bags. Small victories!

Suzan said...

In some ways I know the Lord has blessed my plans hugely. for instance I found 10 m rolls of aluminium foil reduced to 30 cents and I bought ten! I am not great at planning ahead and really do not know how to utilise a food supply to its best use. Part of me wants to have food here for my children. I also feel deep in my heart I would be one of those who would not last long as I am diabetic, asthmatic and have a number of other problems. Our government (Australian)regulations mean it is very difficult to stock ahead on much needed medicines. About ten years ago it was impossible to buy some drugs in larger doses and the number of pills I had to take was horrendous. So I hover between the desire to plan for a future and then despair.

The shelves locally are not too bad. Somethings are difficult but others have not gone up much and I am still able to buy my usual items.

God bless.

Smily said...

So true... The same in Hungary. The Covid taught us a lot about stocking up and keeping. Prices are growing up and up, many local producers are bankrupt. Changing, reusing and repairing are on top as never before.

Anonymous said...

I gave away all my Susan Branch books after I saw her very liberal political opinions online. Mostly in Twitter. It's a shame since I really liked her and followed her for years.