When we started our food storage, we weren’t really sure why we were doing it, other than to be obedient to what we felt God was telling us to do. There have been rumours of runaway inflation (where the cost of items doubles every 1-2 weeks), of a double-dip recession, and of other economic catastrophes.
Lately, with the cost of gas increasing (I paid $3.50 per gallon this morning, up from $3.39 on Sunday evening – yikes!), grocery prices have been stealthing upward. Regular stores like Kroger (Fry’s, out here) used to run “Buy 10 get $5 off”-promotions and now they’ve lowered it to “Buy 10 get $3 off.” Prices are increasing at Costco, but prices there tend to flux a bit, so I’ve not thought too much of that. Let’s face it – as it costs more to get the items from a distribution center to the stores, the increased cost of that fuel is tacked on. The troubling thing to my mind is that the trend of increasing grocery prices has always had a six-month lag behind the actual hike of fuel prices, and this bucks that trend.
My case in point today is Trader Joe’s. I love TJ’s for food that is largely unpolluted, simple, and inexpensive. I can get a pound of frozen mixed (organic) vegetables there for $1.69, and we scarf down the veggies when I serve them at dinner. Bananas have always been $.19 per, and the cost of dry goods has been stable for at least the past 4-5 years (as long as I’ve been frequenting the retailer).
Until today. While the bananas and mixed veggies haven’t increased in price, absolutely everything. else. in. my. cart. has. Ugh. Up $.10 on my pizza sauce, up $.30 on cocoa powder. Up a whopping $.50 on the blue corn chips we like…. It made me particularly grateful that I’m only there for incidentals (what food storage experts call “the three-month supply”) every other week or so.
It will be interesting to see how this trend goes – if, once the unrest in the middle east ends, prices will begin a downward movement or not. It will also be interesting to see how the media picks up on this (or doesn’t – sometimes they just ignore this stuff when it doesn’t play in to what they want to report).
We’re okay at the moment, in spite of increasing prices. But it makes both of us really grateful that we have this store of food to “fall back on.”