Monday’s Musings-6/13/22-Inflation Bites

Inflation is on my mind and weighing down my wallet.

Yeah, yeah, inflation of basic goods and commodities hurts. Especially when costs are carried over to customers.

And gas prices. Yikes!

Contrary to popular belief this is not the fault of the current administration, or the previous one. This is the fault of the pandemic. Oh, yeah, there are mitigating circumstances that do not help. I’m looking at you, invasion by Russia into a neighboring country and blaming it for being invaded. Because your mad tyrant wants to get the band that was the USSR back together.

A pointless war that is killing civilians and uprooting scores and scores of Ukranians from their home is not helping inflation. And, in fact, is a contributory cause.

The supply chain crunch that is causing panic buying. Again!

The shipping woes of the world.

The covid woes of China’s strict zero covid policy.

The refineries not being able to keep up because they laid off people due to the decrease in demand during covid and, gee, can’t ramp up as quickly as they ramped down. I wonder why that is (sarcasm).

The baby formula factory that was shut down because of baby deaths. Which led to a massive shortage of needed formula. And the panic that ensues in parents. Because babies gotta eat and they are not ready for solid foods. Or are medically fragile and how they thrive is a certain type of formula. And there is a shortage of that formula and most formulas. And parents are desperate because they just want to feed their children. I could go on about the dangers of having a very small number of companies in an industry and what happens when one falters and brings the entire industry down.

The needed wage pressure from jobs that haven’t had an increase in the minimum wage since 2009. Workers are burned out from the last six or so years, especially the last two and a half. And are leaving jobs to seek better paying jobs; sometimes in other workplaces and changing industries altogether.

Even if there is pressure from the housing market and the rental market and the automobile market.

It’s the ginormous, bubbling vat of all these problems that is causing inflation.

And everywhere there is suffering.

Even the countries with different leaders. Don’t let some people hear you say it though.

It is a scary time in the US. But I’ve lived through that before. To borrow a British WWII slogan- Keep Calm and Carry on.

A Cookie Thursday is a Thing consumer handed me $20 for supplies two weeks ago. I purposefully held on to it because I knew what the pantry needed. I am down to my last pound of butter, and although inflation baking as a theme for 2 months is helping, I still require more. I was able to get 5 pounds of butter for $19.00. Yes, that is an entire dollar more a pound than I had been paying but still less than the $5.00 a pound or more that some brands are charging. I did this by watching my grocery store sales and buying when the butter was BOGO or buy one get one free. 1 pound of the grocery store brand is $3.69. I got 4 pounds of Land of Lakes extra creamy butter, kind of like European butter, for the price of 2. And a new brand that I had never heard of for $3.50. We’ll see how that brand bakes up.

Overall, this reminds me of when my husband and I were newly married and poor as hell. I am leaning on some of the tricks I learned then. Buy off brand, look for sales, have a list and strictly stick to it, consider substitutes if exactly what is required is not available, eat less meat, protein substitutes such as beans and lentils, and count every penny.

And gas prices. Dear me.

Thankfully I only fill up once a month due to the new shift and not leaving the house if I don’t have to. I cluster errands, only go grocery shopping once a week. And drive at 60 mph, to the consternation of the gas guzzlers that everyone just had to have in the last decade. I realize that this is a position of privilege and not everyone can do these things. But they work for us.

And, for pete’s sake, keep your tires properly inflated.

These are all lessons I learned living in CA.

I’m a wee bit concerned about starting at a university that is 74 miles away and having to be at the campus at least once every 2 weeks, if not every week. I hope inflation and gas prices will ease by then.

Be well.

Don’t be stupid.

Keep calm and carry on the best you can.