It’s not hard to get discouraged when shopping these days.
It seems like everything has taken a jump in price. And if the price hasn’t gone up, the good ol’ shrink ray has made the packages smaller. Do you remember when a can of coffee was 39 oz? Now try 33 oz!
The folks at Wise Bread have noticed the price increases, too. They’ve outlined 10 major price shifts in 2010. Everything from corn to cotton to coffee has taken huge leaps in price. Gasoline has already broke the $3 mark and is on an upward climb. The biggest shocker: Cotton has gone up 109% in price!
It’s discouraging. If you’re lucky enough to get a pay increase this year (assuming you have a job), it likely won’t help cover the increasing costs of basic commodities and rising health insurance premiums.
I’ve always been a believer in the idea that little things you do to save money add up. But with rising prices and stagnant economy, it seems like we have to keep doing more and more little things just to survive.
I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, so here are some of the things I’ll be doing to combat the higher prices:
Planting a garden. I’m by no means going to become a farmer, but after my small victory with my very first garden last year, I’m planning to add to my vegetable garden this spring.
Eating less processed foods and cooking/baking from scratch. What I don’t grow, I’ll try to buy at my local farmers’ markets. I also plan to do more cooking and baking from scratch. This won’t save me a tremendous amount of money, but it will be healthier for us.
Purchasing more secondhand items rather than buying new. I plan to shop the thrift stores for much of my clothing needs. My thinking is this: You won’t feel the giant leap in the cost of cotton if you’re buying your jeans at the Goodwill. When you shop for secondhand items, the original owner has borne the cost of increased prices. You’ll reap the savings and prevent something from ending up in a landfill.
Re-purpose items as much as possible. I’ll try to recycle and upcycle as much as I can. Worn out pants can be turned into next summer’s shorts. I’ll save old shirts for dust rags. I’ll use our odds and ends for craft projects with the kids.
Exploring free and low-cost entertainment. I’ll be spending more time at the library and searching the internet for free and low-cost fun things to do with the family. We’ll be spending more time enjoying hikes in the country and swimming in the lake this summer. Exercise is a priority of mine this year. It will help keep me healthy and give me something to do.
Have you noticed price increases in your neighborhood? What ways are you finding to save money?