As part of our Prepper Shopping Basket Inflation Report, I usually report on how inflation has affected gas, oil and propane. Because of the length of the last inflation report article, I left it out and will address it today.
Overall, energy has seen significant price increases in the past year. Let’s look at specifics:
Gasoline and Diesel Fuel
Gasoline is up 60 percent from a year ago, rising $1.28 to an average price per gallon of $3.39. On the West Coast, where prices are higher, the average is $4.10.
Diesel fuel rose hand-in-hand with gasoline, up 56 percent, or $1.36, to $3.78 per gallon. In California, Diesel costs $4.65.
Propane and Home Heating Oil
A gallon of propane is up 49 percent in the past year, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration’s November 3 report. At $3.39 per gallon, up 90 cents from one year ago.
No wonder the government predicted people who heat with propane would see their bills increase by 54 percent.
The increase for home heating oil is even worse, up 59 percent according to the same report. In other words, if someone paid $1,000 to heat their house with fuel oil, it will cost them $1,600 this year.
These increases, which range from 49 percent to 60 percent, are what the government likes to leave out of their inflation calculation, supposedly because of energy’s volatility. As consumers, we don’t get to leave them out. We still have to pay at the pump or when the truck fills up our propane tank, but your cost-of-living increase won’t reflect that higher cost because to government leaves it out of the CPI.
n addition to everyday Americans having to pay extra for fuel and more to keep their house warm this winter, energy rising costs drive up transportation costs and the cost of goods. UPS, FedEx and many other transportation companies have a fuel surcharge built into their rates. The fuel surcharge changes monthly. When the price of fuel jumps, shippers pay more, even though they have a contract with set prices. That gets passed on to consumers every time they buy something, whether it came from the other side of the country or the other side of the globe.
If you think having your heat bill increase 50 or 60 percent, imagine what it would be like if your average grocery bill increased that much. That’s some serious inflation.
I went to Walmart today to pick up carrots and celery for my wife and dog food for our dog. Because I like to add a few things to my preps each visit, I bought a three cans of the Great Value corned beef hash for $1.74 each, two cans of Great Value Chili for at 80 cents each, and two cans of pulled pork for $3.28 per can. This is the first time I have seen the canned pulled pork in stock and there were only four cans available. There was no canned roast beef, but plenty of canned corned beef.
All the Great Value brand canned food we well below the cost of the branded equivalent. I recommend buying the house brands at Walmart, your local grocery store, and at club stores to help keep your food budget under control.