A year ago, I was buying bee hives and building my chicken coop. Let’s look at prices then and now and see how much inflation I have experienced:
Commercial hive body, unassembled
- Then (April 2021): $16.90
- Now: $20.95
- Difference: $4.05
- Percent Increase: 24%
Budget medium supers, unassembled
- Then (April 2021): $10.35
- Now: $15.45
- Difference: $5.10
- Percent Increase: 49%
One Bag Chicken Feed
- Then (June 2021): $16.99
- Now: $19.99
- Difference: $3.00
- Percent Increase: 18%
Red Star Female Chicks
- Then (March 2021): $4.16
- Now: $4.51
- Difference: $0.35
- Percent Increase: 8.4%
That averages out to a 25 percent rate of inflation. That’s higher than I expected. I thought my personal rate of inflation to be about 20 percent.
The government wants to tell you that inflation is about 9 percent. Don’t believe them. Pull out some receipts from last year or look at your credit card bill and do the math. Canned chicken and gasoline aren’t the only things that saw a massive price increases.
Has your income increased by 20 percent in the past year? I didn’t think so. Has it increased by 10 perpcent? No? Then you’re losing buying power, just like we are.
What are You Canceling?
To save money, we’ve:
- Switched to a lower-cost cable package. (We don’t watch much cable TV, but it is the source of our high speed Internet and the package is cheaper than Internet alone.)
- Canceled of our two paid streaming TV services
- Given up a streaming audio service
- Dropped two different kinds of insurance
We are also eating out less than at any time in our lives. That not only saves on food, but on gas.
Because the cost of gas is so high, and because nothing is nearby, we are minimizing the times we leave the house and when we do; we are trying to string together multiple chores at one time. We are also taking my truck less and my wife’s car more, since she gets better gas mileage. I’m leaving the house once a week. I expect that could go to once every two weeks. There will certainly be no days of driving to town just to pick up the mail.
According to gas Buddy, the gas station on the corner of our local village sold out of gas today. People worried about a gasoline shortage caused by the decision to ban imports of oil from Russia spurred them to fill their vehicle tanks and every available container. I got a chuckle out of that because one; we don’t get that much oil from Russia, and two, it takes a long time for it to go from the wellhead in Russia to the gas pump in Appalachia. In any case, all my gas cans are already full.
I think any shortage of gasoline will be partially offset by people driving less due to the high cost. One of my kids already said she’s going to refuse to go to the office if gas reaches $5 per gallon. She worked from home for 18 months or more due to COVID, so that should be a no-brainer. I doubt she will be the only one who exercises it. My other daughter told me she has applied for a new job with her current employer that is work-from-home. Not only will she save on gas, but she won’t have to pay $100 per month to park in a downtown parking garage.
I remember the impact the Arab Oil Embargo had on my parents’ driving habits. Before the gas crisis, they were driving a Ford Country Squire station Wagon and an Oldsmobile Cutlass. By the time the crisis was over, they had a Toyota and a Datsun. They also had five-speed manual transmissions, which were reportedly more fuel efficient than automatics. (This is not the case any longer as many cars have six to eight-speed automatic transmissions.) It will be interesting to see if this gas crisis results in the death of the SUV and the re-emergence of small, fuel-efficient cars. If it does, you might snag a good deal on a used truck in a few years.
Gasoline vs. Green
I think the Biden administration is delighted that gas prices are so high. They are so focused on the Green New Deal and think this will increase the number of people who convert over to electric vehicles and solar power. Someone should explain to them that this will drive up the cost of lithium batteries, making electric cars and solar power systems that store energy for use when the sun goes down even more expensive than they are today. It’s more than oil that will experience market shocks due to supply chain disruptions.
Speaking of lithium, I am tempted to buy a solar generator now, before the prices jump.
I had to laugh when a Biden supporter on Twitter castigated people for driving cars when they could ride a bike. One Monday, I drove to a destination 30 miles away, bought 150 pounds of chicken feed, a 50-pound bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer, and 20 bags of dirt for the garden, and drove home. Even Lance Armstrong could not do that on a bike.