In 2007 to 2008 we experienced our first “Rainy Day” in a long time in this country. It came in the form of a profoundly severe economic crisis. It was this Rainy Day that those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II would have said that we needed to be prepared for. There was a lot of heartache during that timeframe and it was in the fall of 2008 that I learned that I would become one of millions who would be unemployed in 2009. We went into crisis or Rainy Day mode to get debt reduced and some money in the bank so that we could live only on my husband’s income. Hence, this blog, The Path to Frugality was born almost 3 years ago in September.
I have noticed something in the past year and it is that people believe that frugality is for “weird” people. From 2008 to 2011 frugality was the trendy thing to do but as people got tired of feeling deprived (when they really didn’t need to feel deprived), they headed back to the stores with their credit cards.
Well, another rainy day has arrived and if you haven’t been getting prepared, you need to start preparing your family now. It’s not just with food, but you need to get money into savings to prepare for job losses, rising costs of everything. Yes, everything. We live in a cause and effect economy and if you have a shortage on corn, everything that has corn as an ingredient will cost you more. The same goes for meat in which corn is used in feed. There is also a trickle down effect on jobs. Farmers aren’t going to be able to purchase new farm machinery which will lead to manufacturer’s of those machines laying people off, which will affect communities as those workers will not have money to spend in the community and so on and so on.
This new crisis of drought goes one step further beyond the rising costs of food, gasoline and other commodities. It is shortages. Yes, it is the shortages that are costing us more at the grocery store. The news has reported that the average family of four will spend $615 more next year in groceries due to the drought. Also it was reported that the total number of cattle in the U.S. is the smallest number in 60 years due to ranchers selling off their herds because they can’t afford to feed them. Those ranchers are now getting $150 less per animal.
One poultry producer reported that they are paying $9 for a bushel of corn which is the highest they have ever paid for corn (up a total of 40%). It takes about 12 weeks for a chicken to grow to the point of being butchered. We will be seeing poultry at record prices in a short time.
On this site I have given numerous tips over the past 3 years on saving money. Other sites that I follow do a very good job of money saving advice. Frugality is going to be the way of life for many of us and that is, as Martha Stewart would say “A Good Thing.” It’s not bad or shameful to be frugal, instead it is being mindful of your resources and it brings freedom. What kind of freedom? Freedom from worry. If you are prepared, you don’t worry about your future as you know you have a sense of security because you can weather a job loss or a loss in spending power.
Continue to take care of the resources you have. If you need a new couch because it is worn, sew a slipcover or purchase a slip cover if you can’t sew. Learn to fix things on your own where practical. Avoid purchasing what you can and put as much money into savings as possible. As you are saving if you do come across a great deal on food, then stock up.
Continue to make your own cleaners. If you run out of your favorite laundry detergent, try making your own own laundry soap to save money or mix your detergent with a generic brand.
Search this site for other money saving tips or check out my blog roll and look at the other blogs that I follow for ideas. I can guarantee that if you put your head in the sand now, you will regret it in 6 months.