Inflation’s Bite just Got More Painful

Inflation is going to take a bite out of your wallet
Inflation is going to take a bite out of your wallet

In the prepper News section on the 12th, we reported inflation jumped 8.5 percent in the past year and month-over-month inflation was up 1.2 percent.

The next day, the inflation news got worse. The Producer Price Index (PPI) was up 11.2 percent over last year, and the month-over-month increase was 2.3 percent, about twice the increase consumers saw. That’s a record high for the PPI.

The article says, “PPI is considered a forward-looking inflation measure as it tracks prices in the pipeline for goods and services that eventually reach consumers.” What this means to you and me is that inflation will get worse. Businesses are already paying more; expect them to pass this on to consumers. We all know the true rate of inflation is well above 10 percent. I expect the government reports to reflect that in a month or two.

Global Shockwave to Punish Economies

The IMF recently said the war in Ukraine has caused the economic outlook to deteriorate substantially, leading it to downgrade the economies in 143 countries, or 86 percent of the world. You can bet we are one of them. I can only imagine that the remaining 14 percent are places like Cuba and Venezuela, where things are already so bad they can’t get much worse.

You may have heard that a rising tide lifts all boats? Well, a corollary is a low tide sinks all boats, and that isn’t pretty. The downside of a global economy is that when one country suffers, it affects many others. When that country is a supplier of critical foods, like grains and cooking oils, the suffering is more than just economic.

You need to prepare for both a recession and a food crisis. Expect higher inflation until the recession kicks in, then expect stagflation.

Amazon Bumps up Costs for Merchants

Amazon just added a 5 percent surcharge to sellers who use its shipping services. Why did they pass the cost on to sellers and not consumers? Because so many consumers get free shipping through Prime. Amazon could not increase their cost soon enough to make a difference.

You will still get “free shipping” on Amazon, but you’ll be paying more for the product itself as buyers increase prices to recoup the 5 percent surcharge.

During the pandemic, people relied on online shopping to provide food and goods when they were locked down at home. Well, online shopping just got more expensive. Don’t be surprised if they increase the cost of Prime at your next renewal. It might be time to head out to Walmart or your local dollar store.

More Food Preps

Sam’s Club continues to ship things to members for free. Three items that were previously sold out on came back into stock last week, so I ordered them online. My order arrived earlier this week. I am happy to report that this shipment, unlike my first, arrived on time and there were no dented cans.

Combined with a recent trip to Walmart that netted a few canned goods, I added the following items to my prepper pantry:

  • Two more one-pound canned hams. These were still just $3.14 at Walmart. They are now selling one pound of ham cheaper than 12 ounces of Spam. I don’t expect that to last.
  • Four cans of white chicken chili, which uses chicken and white beans instead of beef and kidney beans. This nice, spicy chili is one of my favorite canned chilies.
  • Six one-pound packs of angel hair pasta. These were at Sam’s for $4.98. That used to be a good buy. These days, it’s a great buy.
  • Six cans of chicken. My wife uses this so often I have to restock it frequently to keep our supply up. Canned chicken is the item in our prepper pantry that gets rotated the fastest.
  • Some nuts, which we will eat within the next three months.

I had hoped to replenish the canned turkey we recently used, but it was not in stock. I grabbed the chili instead. The Walmart brand of corned beef hash was also out of stock, although they had had brand-name corned beef hash available. I held off and see if they restock next month. Both the roast beef and the pulled pork at Walmart had jumped to more than $4 per 12-ounce can. They now cost more than $5.60 per pound. Considering I can buy pork chops for less than that, I passed. Maybe I can get my friends with the freeze dryer to prepare some freeze dried pork for me.

Walmart Stores Shelves

I have to say, the store shelves at Walmart were full. I saw no sign of food shortages from my perspective. Makes me wonder if higher prices are making people buy less?

My last prep included also included pasta, so I acquired 12 pounds of pasta just in April for less than $10. That’s 48 servings, meaning my wife and I could eat pasta for dinner 24 times based on these two purchases. That makes me think I should stop buying it for a while, but then I remember we might have 8 or even 12 people here. In the latter case, that 12 pounds of pasta will make just four dinners.

It’s a conundrum. If we prep for just the two of us, we’ll be under-prepared if all of our potential bugout guests arrive. If we prep for them, we’ll end up storing more food than the two of us could eat in five years. I guess this is one of those “better safe than sorry” moments.

Good thing I like pasta.

Canned Meat

The 12-pounds of pasta, on top of the macaroni and spaghetti we already have, is one reason I buy canned meats. Without canned meats, we’d be binging on carbohydrates but missing fat and protein. Our eggs will supply some of that, but a can of Spam or chili will go a long way towards plugging that hole in our nutritional needs.

I’ve written before about why it is important to add fat and protein to your standard long-term survival foods, which are often lacking in these essential nutrients. If you haven’t read it, check out A Quick and Easy Way to Add Important Macronutrients to Your Food Storage Plan.

In the meantime, keep prepping, keep cutting costs and saving, and keep working to improve your self-sufficiency.