I do not shop for others, but the cost of groceries has doubled this year. We eat the same food each month. I fix different things for dinner, but my husband takes the same fruit and vegetables for lunch each day. We do not eat steaks or expensive cuts of meat, except the lamb we raise ourselves. Yet, when I look at our expenses, grocery expense has doubled.
Our income is for the most part fixed income, the same amount each paycheck. The increase in groceries and electricity affect the amount of money we can save to use for those expenses such as new tires for the vehicle. How can I make my dollar stretch more?
I am more diligent about turning off the lights, and we have changed the settings on thermostat. I am working on training the husband to turn off more lights and to live with or without more clothing depending on the temperatures. I have put in weatherstriping. We changed out the windows a few years ago to be more energy efficient.
Traveling is limited. I am home now from staying with my daughter and her family assisting with the triplets. I only go to town twice a month to get groceries. I go to the sheep sales twice a month.
Where can I lower an expense?
I am sure there are others going through the same thought process as inflation continues to rise. I know I am not alone in cutting out what was once common. We used to go out to eat once a week. We stopped eating out during Covid, then when things changed to make it easier to eat out the cost was double. We no longer eat out as the budget does not allow the extra expenditure.
This is not the first time I have gone through the process of looking for ways to lower expenses and save money. I am sure there are others who have survived recessions and inflation as I have.
Only I get tired of always having to find ways to pinch a penny or increase income. When it comes time to pay bills or spend money, I think I hear some of those pennies “screaming in pain” as I pinch them so hard.
One idea is to grow more of my own food. I have a fall garden to plant, and there are some summer plants I can bring into the house for winter harvests.
Next spring I am going to get chickens again. Chickens to provide eggs, pest control as they are great about eating bugs around the place, and meat. This is the first summer we have not had chickens due to the last chickens getting old and dying. The crickets around the house and barn were terrible. Next year, when the weather turns warm, I am getting chickens once more.
We may have to wear our clothes a little longer. We will not be purchasing a different vehicle anytime soon. My husband may have to get accustomed to a bowl of beans often. I think for awhile, some of us are going to have to tighten the belt and wisely negotiate this season in order to make it through without debt. That is my plan.