The price pf everything is going up. What are your plans?

United States
April 29, 2008 5:54pm CST
After nearly two decades of low food inflation, prices for staples such as bread, milk, eggs, and flour are rising sharply, surging in the past year at double-digit rates, according to the Labor Department. Milk prices, for example, increased 26 percent over the year. Egg prices jumped 40 percent. With all the prices going up and our income staying relatively the same we need to make changes. The budget only allows so much for food and it is buying a lot less. We are trying to get more of the basics and make or trade for the rest. What are your plans for coping with this?
3 people like this
17 responses
@GreenMoo (11837)
29 Apr 08
Last year we managed to be pretty much self sufficient in veg from late spring through till around October. This year I'm hoping that we can do the same, only I'll be preserving allot more. I'd love a pressure canner but they're very hard to get outside the US, but I've got some Kilner jars this year that I intend to use. I also got a great food dehydrator to use as well as the sun this year so i'll be making good use of that. We're keeping rabbits for the table, and as soon as we can finnish building their accommodation we'll have chickens too. I've really noticed the price of eggs increasing, so that's one thing i'm keen to start on asap.
• United States
1 May 08
I just got a food dehydrator this year but I have not done much with it. I am still in the learning process of it. I am hoping to get a lot accomplished this year but I always have good intentions.
@GreenMoo (11837)
1 May 08
I've always dried stuff in the sun before now, but I'm hoping the dehydrator will help to extend the drying season.
• United States
2 May 08
I want to learn to make dried fruit. When it is dried it is like candy but is a lot healthier for you. Mmm, I cant wait.
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
2 May 08
Well we're still farmers at heart, I'm sure me and my family will try to grow most of our food though we're in the city and go to the local amish and farmers. It sounds so easy just saying it, but I know if things get any worse even this won't be easy...especially in the winter.
• United States
2 May 08
The Amish are going to be okay through all of this. I guess they know something we dont. We dont have many farms around us that will sell to the public. We are hoping to get some great buys at the farmers markets this year.
• United States
10 May 08
Well, the amish never lived like we did...relying on cars or modern living. They do everything the old fashioned way and get around on horses, so yep they're fine heh. If we had a few of the same elements -- like horses, we'd prolly be slightly better off through all this too. But I'm glad they're okay. That is the unfortunate thing though...not everyone has farms which'll sell locally to people. I'm glad the government's encouraging agriculture again...but it's gonna take some time for the farming business to boom again.
@di1159 (1580)
• United States
30 Apr 08
I feel your pain! I am planning on getting a scooter so I can come to work and use the car only on the weekends. I've also cut back on meat consumption and we are eating a lot more pasta dishes these days. I'm also digging into my closets and selling stuff on e-bay. I guess I'm not alone because AOL has a story on their welcome page about people selling their possessions in order to buy necessities. I guess the next step is to try and get a part time job at night to make ends meet if stuff continues to rise... Good luck to us all!
• United States
2 May 08
I am a stay at home mom and I am trying to stay home. It is hard. We got a car with better gas mileage, but it still isnt enough. I feel like we need to go back to the days where we were all farmers again, but they need gas too. Id love a scooter but where would I put the car seats. LOL
• Canada
3 May 08
It's funny you say that Happythoughts because it seems like moving away from farms is what got us into this mess in the first place! I mean, if back in the day people had kept farming and town was just a center for a bunch of farmers and merchants to get together, there would be plenty of food to go around - everybody would be growing their own and trading back and forth. Now, large scale farming is so expensive that everybody is moving away from it.
• United States
30 Apr 08
This 'new' lifestyle (for us) isn't new at all. I've had to live most of my life (and my husband too) on a budget. It's a choice we made many years ago which became a natural way of life for us. We are fortunate enough to have space to grow our vegetables. We buy most of our meat from a nearby meat packing plant. I've always made a menu and made my grocery list from items I need to make the recipes on the menu. We rarely deviate from the menu, although we have enough in the pantry that if I want to go outside the menu, I can. Our freezer is usually full. My pantry is stocked well because I can many of the fruits and vegetables myself. I cook and bake from scratch. It's much cheaper. I make my own butter and bake my own bread - have for years. I portion our food, knowing how much to prepare for each plate. We rarely go back for seconds. I make my own cleaning supplies too. We know the value of a hard earned dollar and stretch it as far as we possibly can, but like I said, this has been our lifestyle for many years. We don't use the air conditioner unless it's absolutely necessary. Same with the heater (to keep the bills as low as possible). We have spent the money to make sure our home is insulated well. That alone will cut home costs in half. We also installed an outdoor kitchen so I wouldn't heat up the house during warmer months. We've found using the outdoor kitchen has cut our cooling cost way down. We don't live on credit at all. We have a credit card but only use it to have the credit. We pay it off monthly. We combine our trips to town to save on gas, but, at the same time, we budget our gasoline bill for extra trips. I spend an average of $150 every two weeks for two people. That includes breakfast every morning and a healthy supper menu. It also includes snacks, deserts, and other necessities, so I don't feel like my grocery bill is too outrageous. We've worked a very long time at a debt free lifestyle. We don't owe anyone anything. Our home is paid for, our automobiles are paid for, and everything else we have is paid for as well. It all came from living a 'green' lifestyle years before it was the thing to do. It was just good sense to us. We always planned for the future......
• United States
2 May 08
Congrats on being debt free. We are down to one car and our house but we still have a long way to go. We have always lived on a tight budget and I think this is why it is hard for me. We lived like food was unaffordable before and now it reall is. I budget $250 a month for our family of 4 and it is getting harder and harder to keep in this range and still eat healthy. Lucky gardening season is here and we are hoping it will be a great year for us.
• Canada
3 May 08
Terilee, good for you for doing all those things for your family. In the coming crisis that most people are still basically ignoring, you're already doing things that will set you up to do better than others. Plus, by baking from scratch so much, you are saving your family from all those yucky preservatives and chemicals that we don't even know for sure WHAT they do! I just started making my own bread, too, and am looking forward to other changes my family will be making in the next year!
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
29 Apr 08
sheesh, everything is going up except my paycheck! we will grow a lot of stuff over the summer and i am hoping to move out of the city sometime in the near future and move to a less populated area where the prices of everything are way cheaper!
• United States
30 Apr 08
I think Im going to do the same!
• United States
1 May 08
We are hoping to have a big garden this year and hope to have enough to hold us over until the next years growing season. We always think we have enough and we are always surprised when we run out. This year I hope to over do it.
@lingli_78 (12841)
• Australia
30 Apr 08
i can understand completely what you are saying... i have to cut down a lot on my budget too... i cut down all the unnecessary expenses such as telephone, mobile phone, water, electricity and whatever other bills that i can cut down... i also cut down on the entertainment like eating outside and so on... i am just fortunate that i will get a payrise even though it is not much in may... so it is not long to go...
• United States
2 May 08
We have a home phone and a cell phone and we are getting rid of the home phone to save money. We are also keeping the house a bit colder then we woudl like it but Im sure it will heat up soon and then it will be a bit hotter than we would like. We will be regulating temperatures with open windows as much as possble this year, like always.
@gemini_rose (16192)
30 Apr 08
I know it is getting a nightmare, this year is turning out to be the worst I have had for sometime with regards to things going up and having to sit and try and sort budgets out for everything so that our money covers it. I do not really have a plan as such, I just go through all meal ideas that I have and just try to come up with the cheapest meals I can do, I am on a budget for the household shopping and usually when I have done my shopping for the week I have a bit of money left over that I then put away to save. But the last few weeks I am finding that my budget money for shopping is now not enough and I am having to pull money from other places, it is definately hard this year.
• United States
2 May 08
That is how we are doing it too. We have our budget and what ever we dont spend goes into a savings account to cover when a great sale comes buy and we have been dipping into that for the past few months just to get necessities. I dont want to add more money to the food budget but we just might have to.
• United States
30 Apr 08
With my mothers job and my job of working in retail, we used to make enough money to live comfortably. Even without going to college we made great money. Then now, our jobs are as useless as working at Burger King and those other fast food places that are like first time jobs. Both of us working 2 jobs is still not enough to barely get by. We change our brand of foods. We can only afford the cheapest of foods. We change stores to find sales. We don't eat as much because it has to last. When ever we can get car pool, or walk to work, we do. A lot has to change for us to make it. Its all about sales, going cheap with everything, saving for important stuff. No more spending everywhere like we used to.
• United States
2 May 08
We are all cutting back where we can, but how much more can we cut before it is to hard on all of us.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
30 Apr 08
My plan is to grin and bear it. Not much we can do about it so I will just take it in stride. Our contract is up at work this year so we will have to fight for a bigger salary to cover the rising costs then our employers will up the price on our services and the cycle will continue.
• United States
2 May 08
That is a good way to look at it. We can only do what we can do from there we just need to deal with it. Thank you.
@popocan (222)
• Hong Kong
30 Apr 08
It's the same over here in Hong Kong, foods are getting really expensive. I can imagine how worse it is in your area. I don't have an exact plans, but I've been trying to save money by buying other alternatives. Let's say, I would buy sausages instead of slices of pork, condensed milk instead of milk, squash juice instead of real fruit juice etc. It all helps quite a bit but I have to be consistent.
• United States
1 May 08
Im sure it is bad everywhere. Biofuels are adding to the problem and there is no end on sight on that. I guess we all just learn to cope with it.
@nancyrowina (3850)
30 Apr 08
I'm really worried about this as I am on sickness benefit and the more the cost of living goes up the less likely it looks I'll ever be able to come off benefits and work again as I won't be able to afford my rent and to pay all my bills and also buy food etc. All we can do about the price of food is try to waste less and stretch food as far as we can. It's been too easy and convenient for us in the western world for too long we've wasted so much it is about time something happened to make us stop, but now it finally has it is worrying. I'm going to try and grow more of my own food where possible but I don't even have a garden so I'm never going to be self sufficient or anything like that.
• United States
1 May 08
We are trying a window garden this year. It wont put out a lot but it all helps, plus I think the plants will freshen the air in my home.
• United States
30 Apr 08
Hi Happythoughts, Yeah everything is totally going up! one thing I do is take advantage of sales at the market.even if there is something on sale I don't think I will eat anytime soon,I stock up.this way You can kind of save on food. I also eat at home more than going out.it is costly going out.
• United States
1 May 08
Do you have any great ideas on where to store the extra food you are getting? I have a good amount of storage we can go to but the things to make it a meal are the things we are short on.
• United States
30 Apr 08
I will soon be getting a job. Don't really want to, but if I want to buy fuel to go visit my family, I feel that's what I have to do. I am trying to cut back on bread and flour consumption. Pasta is going to be tough, I love it. I also can't wait for summer so we can eat from our garden.
• United States
1 May 08
If things keep on like this I may be on the job search too. Fuel is killing us but my hubby is getting a transer that will be like 10-15 miles closer. I am hoping that that will add up to something.
@Candee (530)
• India
30 Apr 08
This is trying time for the bulk of the ppl in my country and the under privileged class struggle to manage morsel! I Live alone and have started to cut down on junkies like choclates, Ice creams , chips and snack items. I have begun to buy in bulks that costs less. But still it's tough.
• United States
1 May 08
We are cutting out the treats too and buying bulk but it isnt enough to make it all balance out. Yes it is still tough.
• United States
30 Apr 08
I would just cut out the unecessary things. I would buy a case of bottled water instead of buying them individually at a machine or gas station, or I would just fill up my sports bottle instead with filtered water. Potato chips are also something that can be cut out, and other junk food. If we stick to the stuff we actually need and not just what we want, a lot of people will do just fine. Also paying attention at the store helps. If it says on the store price tag on the shelf that the smaller size works out to 24 cents an ounce and the next size works out to 18 cents an ounce, I would buy the slightly bigger size so I didn't have to rush back to the store, and it was actually a way better value. Also, we waste way more money eating at fast food places, and if we cut that out partially or got our coffee at home a few times a week, we would more than make up the difference we are spending extra for the essentials.
• United States
1 May 08
We cut back on most things already. I love to cook so I am hoping a little imagination will go a long way to get us where we need to be.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
30 Apr 08
I have been stocking up on what I can. I think that the prices will soon be out of control. We are all going to find ourselves in a real bind.
• United States
1 May 08
Prices are growing so fast and there is no hope in sight. Im not sure how we are going to deal with it but we have to so I am doing the best I can. I hope it is enough.
@jillhill (37379)
• United States
29 Apr 08
I am actually lucky that I live by myself but I do still shop for bargains. If it's two for one price I'll pick up the two and either wait to use it or help my son's family out by bringing it over for supper or something like that. Otherwise it's shopping sales.
• United States
1 May 08
I shopped sales before the prices went up and so I feel even furthur behind. I need a great case lot to come by each month and then we will get by okay.