Friday, April 04, 2008

the pinch?

This comes from the No Shit Sherlock department:

Across the United States, consumers like Norris are finding that grocery shopping has become a sobering experience as their budgets fail to keep pace with food costs.
Prices continue to rise. A survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation in February showed that in the beginning months of this year, the cost of 16 grocery items, including flour and cheddar cheese, was $45.03, up $3.42, or 8 percent, from the fourth quarter.
Increasingly, shoppers like Wikholm must wait until payday to load up on groceries and then hunker down until the next paycheck.

Unfortunately, this experience is all too real. Taken in small doses, a jump of a dime or two on the price of pasta (from $.69 to $.89 at Trader Joe's) doesn't seem critical. When every item begins to jump a little bit and some jump by a dollar or more, the whole hit on a grocery run can grow, as it has for me, from $125 for two weeks to $160 or more for that same two week period. Couple that with gas prices that finally hurt, and the budget begins to look tighter and tighter.

More times than I would like, I have had to tell Banana that we can't get things or I've had to shift budget items to make a few small clothing purchases (kids grown, you know!) fit. Savings and extra payments on credit card balances are out the window, too.

What amazes me is that this is even news. Scratch that. What actually amazes me is that stories like this come out, but there are still pundits and politicians who will argue that we aren't in a recession and push the line that the economy will be just fine. As the cliche goes, be careful when the price of milk rises...