Inflation on the Rise Across Multiple Segments

As costs rise at the cash register, your money becomes worth less and less. Inflation is rising for multiple reasons and you need to act quickly to beat it.

My wife came home from grocery shopping last week and informed me that prices are rising. I agreed and told her that food inflation was hitting 10 percent in some categories.

For the past few months, I’ve been warning you about inflation: Food inflation, fuel inflation, ammo inflation, and inflation because of shortages caused by supply chain problems. An article in the Wall Street Journal adds yet another cause of inflation: Chinese companies are raising their prices in part because of higher commodity and shipping costs.

If you are not seeing inflation in your grocery shopping, you will see in in goods made from China. Chances are, you will see it in both, and in many other goods and services as well.

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All About Inflation and How to Protect Yourself

The main stream media doesn’t cover it outside the financial pages, but inflation is coming. Here’s what it means to you and how preppers have a leg up when it comes to surviving inflation.

Inflation is closing in on us slowly but surely. Here are some examples from recent media coverage:

Inflation Math

Let’s look at a fictional blue-collar worker we’ll call Mark. Mark worked all sorts of overtime in 2020, who paid a bonus at year-end, combined it with his family’s Stimulus checks, and by the time he got his tax refund, he was thrilled to see that he had $20,000 in the bank. He and his wife talk about investing it, but they know little about investing, and neither of them trust the ups and downs of the stock market. They decide to put their $20,000 in a money market account and hold on to it for a rainy day.

They are lucky to be in a credit union and can earn 0.5 percent interest. That means at the end of 2021, their savings have grown to $20,100. They just made an extra $100. Mark feels pretty good about that until early in 2022 he goes to Bass Pro Shops to pick up a box of 9mm shells and notices that the boat his buddy bought last year for $19,999 now costs $20,989. A year ago, he could have taken the money from his bank account and bought a new boat. Now he can’t afford to buy the boat. To make matters worse, the ammo he bought a couple years ago for $15 a box now costs $79 and they limit him to buying two boxes.

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Prepper Shopping Basket Inflation Report Shows Surprising Results

It’s been five weeks since we first noted the average online cost for key prepping items, so we check back in to see the results. They may surprise you.

We decided it was time to check in with our Prepper Shopping Basket Inflation Report to see if the prices of the 29 items, mostly food, that preppers would be likely to buy for their prepper pantry.  For specifics on our methodology, see the methodology subhead, below.

All prices were checked online on the morning of Sunday, February 28, and compared to prices checked five weeks ago on Sunday, January 24.

Overall, the cost of our basket of goods (not counting fuel) was up from $74.49 to $74.94, or 45 cents, a net increase of 0.6 percent.  While this does not sound like much, if we project the five-week increase over a 12 month period, we’d expects cost for our basket of goods to be up close to $80.  Time will tell if this first period is representative of what the rest of the year holds.

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Shortages and Inflation Grow; New Policies not Helping

First it was guns and ammo in short supply. Now its computer chips. This is causing inflation and Biden’s policies are making it worse.

We’ve talked about shortages before. We’ve talked about inflation before.  And we’ve talked about how the ammunition shortage is driving up prices.  Now we learn that computer ship shortages are causing prices to increase.  For example, components from smartphones, for example, are up 15 percent in the past six months.

The chip shortage is causing repercussions in the automotive industry where ship shortages shutting down automotive production for companies liek GM, Ford and Nissan.  When production shuts down, the economy takes a hit, both on a national level and on a local leave as people get paid for fewer hours worked.

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Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money: WallStreetBets Shows us how to Fight CW2

Are we witnessing the first shots fire in anger of CW2? Will it be fought with money and words, instead of guns?

When historians in the year 2072 look back and the Second Civil War (CW2) in America, they may well consider the implosion of GameStop Shorts orchestrated by the Reddit sub WallStreetBets the first killing blow struck by regular guys fighting back against the elites.  The January 6 invasion of the Capitol was just a warning shot across the bow.  Taking down the shorts is the first true shot fired in anger.

There has been much written about GameStop, the trading platform Robinhood, the hedge fund Melvin Capital and the roll of Citadel, so I am not going to repeat it.  Instead, I will refer you to this article by Andy Serwer and Max Zahn that ran last week. 

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Introducing the Prepper Shopping Basket Inflation Report

We can all feel the pinch of inflation in our pocketbooks, but how can we measure it? The Prepper Shopping Basket Inflation Report will track inflation for goods preppers buy.

To track inflation and its impact on preppers, we have developed a price-tracking spreadsheet that we will use to track the cost of a basic shopping cart of goods a prepper might buy to prepare their prepper pantry.  Based on this data, we will produce a report that reflects the changes in item cost and total shopping cart cost over time.  The time period will vary based on the velocity of change.  For example, if prices remain steady, we won’t need to update the report very often.  If prices change frequently, we will produce the report more often.

The products chosen for the basket include traditional grocery items.  These are consumables an include canned goods, dry goods, baking goods, and paper products.  The list is based in part on the Pickled Prepper’s 30-Day Shopping List which is designed to help you buy a 30-day supply of foods with a shelf life of at least 18 months.  Separately, we will be reporting on the average cost of a gallon of gasoline, diesel, propane and heating oil as reported by the EIA, the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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We Look at the Big Picture as the U.S. Exceeds 400,000 Dead Due to Coronavirus

As the U.S hits a major milestone, we step back and look at COVID-19 in comparison to past disasters, potential future disasters, and even post-apocalyptic fiction.

The United States has seen more than 400,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, even as the rate of new COVID-19 cases drops. 

Depending on your perspective, that’s either a large number or a tiny one. For example:

  • If you do the math based on a U.S. population of 330 million, that’s about 0.12 percent of the population. 
  • That’s about the same number of Americans killed in World War II (407,316), although our population was only 132 million in 1940
  • It’s far more than died in the Vietnam conflict (58,220) or Afghanistan and Iraq (7,056).
  • It’s below the 675,000 deaths that occurred in the U.S. as a result of the Spanish Flu, which took place when we had a population of 103 million, but it is far more than the 116,000 U.S. deaths believed to have been caused by the H2N2 flu in 1957.
  • It is estimated that small pox killed 300 million in the 20th century and untold numbers before that, including vast numbers of Native Americans.
  • It’s less than the 700,000 or so deaths attributed to HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Of course, if it has affected you or one of your loved ones has died, then that is more impactful than any number.

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Rising Prices Show Inflation is Already Here and How to Protect Yourself

Meat prices were up significantly in 2020, possibly an early indicator that inflation lies ahead. Take steps now to prepare yourself and your wallet.

This article on why seniors need a bigger Social Security cost of living increase points out some very real price increase from 202 that affect everyone, not just seniors.  While these rising prices no doubt make it difficult for senior citizens who rely on Social Security for their retirement income to continue to put food on their tables and keep their standard of living, the rising costs affect everyone.

For those who cannot read the tiny chart in the linked article, let me reproduce some of the data.  This is how much these items rose in cost for the first 11 months of 2020:

  • Beef Roasts: 11.3%
  • Pork Chops: 9.9%
  • Poultry: 7%
  • Tomatoes: 6.5%
  • Canned Tuna: 6%
  • Household Paper Products: 7.3%
  • Used Cars & Trucks: 10.9%

In other words, if you felt that food prices were rising, you were right.  And clearly, this is a side effect of the government’s response to Coronavirus.

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The COVID Collapse is Coming – Prepare Now

COVID-19 is doing lasting damage to our country and our economy. In this post, we explore the lasting effects and what you can do to prepare yourself.

Throughout history, big events have big consequences.  Paradigms shift, and so too does the direction of society.  The epidemic that is COVID-19 and the global reaction to it will likewise result in a massive disruption to life as we know it.

I expect the big three changes are going to be:

  • Economic collapse
  • Migration
  • A shift in the global powers, possibly caused by war or other strife

Let’s take a look at these one at a time and explore what you as a prepper can do to prepare and protect yourself.

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What COVID-19 Problems will Recur and How to Protect Yourself

We’ve seen what COVID-19 can do to the economy and the nation. We’ve all lived through a recession. Let’s combine those lessons learned and prepare for 2021.

It will be interesting to see how much of this spring’s COVID-19 crisis repeats itself as we head into this latest surge which is already worse and shows no sign of slowing down. 

Here’s one example: Five meat packing plants have already been shut down. While these shutdowns appear to be shorter than those in the earlier outbreak, it clearly illustrates that vulnerabilities remain in the food supply system. 

Meat is only part of the equation; we all remember scenes of dairies dumping milk and farmers plowing under crops while store shelves were empty. 

Changes to where Americans buy food and how many meals are eaten outside the home wreaked havoc on food suppliers and processors who could not quickly transition from selling to restaurants and institutions to selling directly to consumers.  Today, spending on food at home is 11 percent higher and spending at restaurants and hotels is down 30 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.  As the coronavirus spreads again, lockdowns grow, states limit indoor dining, and weather reduces those willing to eat outdoors, those numbers could worsen.  Food outages may again become a possibility.

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