There are so many factors that have brought this perfect storm of economic hardships from every direction. This has affected every one of us in some way. Just in my immediate family, there has been job loss, pay/hours cut, sky rocketing insurance costs, etc. I read an article last night from CNNMoney.com titled “Why Your Paying More for Groceries” because I was trying to make sense of what is going on and why. This is a subject I have been following for several months so that I could prepare my family as well as my community. I came across another article on FT.com titled “US warns extreme food prices will stay” basically forecasting that costs from food inflation in 2011 are expected to continue rise with no signs of relief any time soon. The high prices don’t stop at food though because we have all seen gas prices continue to rise daily as well as large chain stores have announced their clothing prices will be marked up 30% this year because of the increasing cost of cotton prices and just this afternoon, there was an article on WSET.com titled “Va. retailers Warn of Higher Cotton Prices”.
The positives are few but there. Many companies, for the sake of brand loyalty along with other reasons, are absorbing higher fuel and production costs to keep prices passed on to the consumer as low as possible. In addition, people are rediscovering their priorities, conserving and being more aware of electricity, water, and fuel usage, as well becoming more creative and industrious with their time and resources. My husband even told me that he has seen (through his trade) the increase of industrial manufacturing return to the U.S. which is very positive for our future.
I am an optimist for the reason that our only choice is to move forward and find ways to weather through this storm. It may require more time on your part, you may have to pick a different day or time to go out to dinner to catch the best deal (like Kids Eat Free specials), but we can still find deals, there are still ways to cut back, and there are even opportunities to still enjoy activities that may have been cut out because of expense. The good news is there are great FREE (self plug intended ;)) resources out there that can guide, offer, and inform you of how and where you can save money on groceries, local activities, and retail stores in Lynchburg and surrounding communities.