Good Morning Friends! I just spent some time biking indoors and watching Fox News. The CEO of Walmart has announced that prices are going to go up seriously. June is the projected time to start seeing this, but I'm seeing it now and I'm sure you are too. A head of iceberg lettuce at my Walmart has been $1.88 for weeks...that's awful! Fox News doesn't have an article up about this yet, but here is one I found elsewhere: Walmart CEO: Inflation Serious Concern
Why is this happening? The increasing price in gasoline affects the price of the goods being trucked to all the stores. Plus they said that China and India are having an explosion in their middle class populations. These families who now can afford more of the 'normal' things of life such as meat, clothing, and paper, are driving up the demand of these items. Also, the price of cotton is rising, so naturally, clothing is going to increase in price.
What to do? Here are a couple of the shopping strategies I am using:
1. I recently replenished our dresser drawers with new underwear and socks for my family. These things are made of cotton, so I'd prefer to buy them now rather than this summer when they are more expensive.
2. Grocery shopping for a month's worth of freezer and pantry items at a time. Today is payday for the month...woohoo! So within the next few days I'll be shopping for a month's worth of ice cream, meat, canned goods, cereal, popcorn, etc. I did this last month, which you can read about here. But I'll be able to do an even better job this month as I now know just how many boxes of cereal and popcorn we actually eat a month. I'll need more canned tomatoes and ice cream, and less canned chicken, for instance. I figure that by shopping for a month's worth of these things at Aldi and Walmart, I'm getting good prices and will be a month ahead of any price increases to come.
3. Watch for good deals on Groupon and other places like Restaurant.com and here in Evansville, IN we have DiningDiscovery.com. These places allow you to buy restaurant gift certificates at a discount. We budget just about $20 a week for eating out (a family of 3, one being a teen boy.) If we buy eat out gift certificates at a discount, this stretches our dining out money significantly. Last Christmas we took advantage of the deals at Qdoba, Culvers, and other places that were offering a free $5-$10 gift card for every $20 in gift cards purchased. Rather than giving them all as gifts, we used some of them to stretch our own budget.
4. We are planting a Square Foot Garden this spring. This type of gardening takes minimal space, minimal care, and minimal watering. It will be great to walk out the French doors and pick fresh produce for dinner. Yay!
I'm sure you have great ideas too, and I'd love to hear about them. I do use coupons on items such as toiletries and paper goods, but if the store brand is just as good and cheaper, then that's what I do.
Let's encourage each other to be frugal, wise, and resourceful this spring and summer! Count it as a fun challenge, and it will end up being a blessing. :)