Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prepare for a tighter economy

It's hardly news that prices keep going up and up and up... Food prices have continued to rise over the last few months, and gasoline to fuel vehicles and natural gas to fuel home heating systems share in higher prices.

As the prices on other products rise along with them, we may find ourselves in a money crunch. The cost of just living is going up...

One thing feeds on another in a free economy. When it costs more to transport goods, that cost is passed on so the goods cost more. When they cost more, fewer sales are made. When fewer sales are made, there is less demand for production. When there is less demand, some workers will lose their jobs. They will have less money to buy products. And the wheel keeps turning.

It's such a huge wheel that individuals or even groups can't do much to slow it down. The best defense is to find ways to protect ourselves.

Just how to do that is the problem. Gardening and finding other ways to provide food for ourselves, insulating and developing methods of saving on heating, lighting and cooking fuels, being more selective in buying or making clothing and household linens all help.

I'm going to repeat myself: Get out of debt. Now. That's the number one thing you can do to prepare for the "future" economy - which is upon us at this moment.


  1. Wise advice Pat as always! 2 Weeks ago a financial Advisor was sending out his weekly news letter. Normally is deals with stocks, bonds, and Mutual funds. This time ( the first I've had in 4 years) he was talking about investing in you groceries! He was saying to expect at least a 10 to 15% rise in Groceries in the next 2 years! That that was more than most people would earn in the stock markets. I was very surprised that he would send this out to his clients. Now when people like this state things we've known and tried to do for years, it should be a big wake up call. Time to make sure we are using it up and I for 1 am making even a more concentrated effort to search out basic ideas for using leftovers.
    T'other Pat in Kitchener

  2. Buying locally will help. I bought a half a longhorn steer and am shopping and stockpiling things we use often. I will have a larger garden this summer.

  3. What I'm scared about is this: as a part-time employee, I not only have nothing to fall back on, but I also have little means to pay back my debt. I can just about pay the minimums right now (though I'm also paying down debt that's not due yet, to get a jump on it).
    I don't mean to be a raincloud, it's just hard to know what's best to do. (But the plan is the same: getting outta debt!)

  4. I hadn't thought of it just that way, but he's right. Except that I wouldn't be surprised if food prices went even higher. They've already risen quite a bit.

  5. Buying locally is a good idea. An even better tactic is developing a barter relationship with those who can supply food. When money gets tight, buying anything is hard to do and farmers will need other things that you may be able to provide.

    guin, is there any way you can take on more work? Even a little babysitting or housecleaning for someone will help if you use that money against debt. It's so important to get out that it's worth doing all you can.

  6. What do you suggest for someone on a fixed income, SSI? I dont know what else to do, I shop sales, Aldi's, Big Lots, coupons, etc.. I'm out of ideas! We only go to "town" about once a month due to gas prices, on the last trip, I wasnt able to get the marked down bread, and had to spend more $$ than I had planned, its a never ending cycle, and I dont know whatelse to do! Thanks for being there for the poor!

  7. Doing as much for ourselves as possible will save money. For instance, instead of buying marked down bread, making simple bread could be cheaper, especially if you used sourdough starter instead of buying yeast. Since I don't know your situation, I can't give specific advice, but growing vegetables, cooking everything from scratch, mending clothing, bartering for other needs, etc., are some things to think about.

  8. Pat, Not sure how much you know about container gardening but I would love some advice on it, I found in the coupon section of the paper these tomatoes that can grow anywhere what are your thought on them?
    Thanks Pat your rock

  9. I don't know about tomatoes that will "grow anywhere," but if I were you and wanted to try them, I would. I might plant another type, too, just in case these don't work.

    I've gardened in containers with some good results - I'll make a blog entry that may help.

  10. Hi PAT --- I just joined the blog --- my wife and i are in our 70s --- and only have social security to live on --- she is a " type one " diabetic --- we have made " staying healthy our nuber one PRIORITY -- having gone thru BANKRURTCY 10 years ago -- due to extroardinary medical bills --- we do not use plastic money -- we are looking at growing tomatoes and lettuce indoors in our senior apartment --- G E " reveal " tungsten bulbs will work as " grow lites " --- we are finding localy grown food -- meat and range free eggs on the website --- we also shop at anearby amish " bulk food store " in shipshewana in --- we are in the process of reducing our food intake and maximizing our bodies use of what we eat by studying suggestions about nutrition in a book titled " THE DIABETES DIET" and "DIABETES SOLUTION" by DR BERNSTEIN -- and of course we " cook from scratch "

  11. Grandpa Ken, it sounds like you have a good handle on frugal living. I wondered about those "Reveal" light bulbs but couldn't get a good answer. I bought a "grow light" from Walmart to start seeds - I didn't have any fluorescent light fixtures, so this is handy.

    Eating locally is a wise move - I wish everyone would do that as much as possible. Our economy needs shored up from the ground up.