Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Are bad times ahead

NaNa, I am interested in your comment about hard times coming. I know other frugality blog writers I read seem to be feeling the same way. Would you be willing to share more thoughts on the subject? Sometimes I just feel numb to the whole topic of money and budgets and such. I would appreciate hearing anything you have to say about future situations and anything you are doing to prepare. Thank you!

Ok, this post is an answer to this request and for those curious about what I believe.  First let me say I’m not a financial expert nor am I a psychic.  Its just a feeling I get from observing the way life is.  Heck, at my age observing is about all I can do.

I guess you could say I’m a cross breed between a tightwad and a prepper with a little bit of squirrel thrown in too.  Its in my nature to hide away stuff for the future because it might be too expensive later.

Food and kitchen 2015 259

$2.49 a pound for bones? Seriously?

I remember my Grandma Mama always admonishing me to not use something all at once.  Whether it was soap or string or dried beans; she would constantly remind me to save some for the future.  I adored my Grandma Mama and wanted to be just like her.

Food and kitchen 2015 471

Yikes! Can’t afford that anymore.

(the word see and the word observe are used interchangeably)

What I say I see is just a feeling that something is going to happen.  A feeling that the current economy is not sustainable. I see the cost of everything is growing much faster than salaries are growing.  Gas and electric utilities are going up. Water and sewer costs are going up.  Groceries prices are going up.  Phone bills are going up.  Insurance is going up.  Rent is going up.  You name it and its getting more expensive.  Prices and costs keep going up but salaries are mostly remaining the same.

Food and kitchen 2015 465

Nope, beef is not in the budget anymore.   Maybe lamb?

I feel as if there is going to be something happen because the lines at the food banks are growing longer and longer each month while the amount of donated food is less and less.

One doesn’t need to be an economy expert to imagine the trouble of having many hungry people.  Hungry people grow desperate. Hungry people turn to other options.  Umm…. you know things are getting really bad when there are news reports of home burglaries and the only stuff taken is food from the freezer.

Food and kitchen 2015 398

One of the events that led to the great depression was that people stopped buying things.  Well heck, if people can’t afford to buy stuff aren’t they going to stop buying?  Our economy is based on buying and selling so when people stop buying then there is no selling. No selling means loss of jobs.  Loss of jobs means rough times ahead.

Here is an example:  A few days ago I was in a Kroger store planning to buy a tomato for a BLT sandwich for supper.  I was totally shocked to see tomatoes selling for $3.79 a pound.  The price may have come down since then but that day I had to walk away.  I couldn’t afford tomatoes.  So, if hundreds and then thousands upon thousands walk away from buying those tomatoes, why should the store stock them, why should the farmer grow them, and why pay pickers to pick them.  The farmer will be laying off pickers and planters who then become unemployed and can’t buy other stuff they need.  In my mind I multiply this one observation by hundreds of events just like it and the future seems bleak to me.

Food and kitchen 2015 470

Almost $5 a dozen. Out of my price range.

The tv news media are notorious for getting themselves and watchers into a panic.  One small news report is repeated, and repeated, and repeated from every possible angle.  I believe they actually work themselves into a frenzy repeating the information so much.  The viewers start to get into a frenzy too and want to hear more and more angles.  The result is that if a reporter is panicked, then the observer will become panicked too.

Food and kitchen 2015 258

No, lamb costs too much too.

Do I believe there will be a world wide economic collapse?  No but it certainly is possible.  It has happened before and no one thought it would happen then either.  Do I believe we may be in for some rough financial times before prices come down?  Yes, because I’m a frugal person.  Anyone who is frugal will be bothered by higher prices and will consider rising prices to be rough times. Rough times, in my opinion, means being mindful of your budget and get ready to have less purchasing power.  When you have less purchasing power you must make choices about what you do buy.

How am I preparing for the rough times?  That will the next post.


17 comments on “Are bad times ahead

  1. Faye
    August 6, 2015

    I agree that rough times are ahead unfortunately I see people continuing to spend and spend and spend on items that are wants and not needs. I am trying to learn as many frugal skills as possible and live within my means as well as save a little money.

    • Na Na
      August 6, 2015

      I see it all the time too.

  2. mea
    July 23, 2015

    Interesting entries. Here is my little frugal tip (works for me)

    Yes, milk can be expensive, but comparing to the cost of ie pop at least you are getting some food value. However I have heard that adults really don’t need milk. I like milk now and then,buy a gallon, but then portion it into 1liter jars and freeze. As strange as it sounds, I don’t mind diluting the milk with water, it is more thirst quenching and bonus is fewer calories as I should loose some weight. You might be able to do this in recipes too, just use common sense and why not experiment a little.
    Also I refuse to buy bottled water, I am quite capable of filling my own water bottle, can even put it into the fridge so it will be cold.

    • Na Na
      July 23, 2015

      Sometimes I see families buying pop because its cheaper than milk here. A gallon of milk is between $3 and $4 but a 2 liter pop is only 79 cents. I use the powder because it doesn’t take up space in my freezer. I do freeze some homemade chocolate milk for Ladybug. I agree with you about the bottled water. I can bottle my own.

      • mea
        July 26, 2015

        yes, pop is cheaper, short term. But when you factor in the dental portion, cost of obesity, the cost of diabetes, loss of productivity at work or at home…do I hear the drug corporations “ka ching”? I believe the pharma is close nit to the food industry. Health is valuable, even more so if one is poor, there is not much margin for errors. So we have to tread very carefully in what we put into the engine: the human body.

        • Na Na
          July 28, 2015

          Yes, I think you’re right. The lowest on the income ladder seem to be the people who are manipulated the most. Give us very little money, no access to healthy food, and lots sick people in need of medications are created. I’m like you. I believe they are working together for the profits.

  3. Frugalwarrior2
    July 10, 2015

    I don’t see it so much as bad times ahead but a steady decline from 2009 forward.
    The things I did in the past to save money aren’t working as well. I feel the key is adaptability. We are on Estate and go to free sales and freecycle now that many resale shops are outrageous due to demand. I recently joined many area sites like momtomoms resale online and sometimes craigslist. I am watching the 20somethings as i have kids that age. My DD works but trades w/ friends,sells online and turns items over for profit. Her friends are the same. She was making specialty jellies like lime coke and using natural pectins. She trades these things for sewing supplies and money,etc. So where the early bird got the worms now its the mobile,adaptable one! IMHO.

    • Na Na
      July 10, 2015

      I agree, adaptability is very helpful but isn’t knowledge the key? Knowing how to adapt and knowing what resources are available. Well, at least thats what I’ve always heard.

      • Frugalwarrior2
        July 11, 2015

        to me,adaptability isnt helpful but essential. As you adapt you learn more and as you learn more you adapt. It’s an upward spiral. Add networking w/ other people to this and everything is multiplied. So many people are sunk from doing the same safe things over and over-not because it makes sense but out of habit and fear.
        That is why i look to the 20 somethings. They are young but have fresh new ideas that are relevant.

        • Na Na
          July 11, 2015

          You are right. I find myself doing the same thing sometimes.

  4. Jackie
    July 9, 2015

    Prices are getting very out of hand. I stretch absolutely everything I can. I have also started to do without something for the first time in my married life. Feels very strange.

    God bless.

  5. boblosan
    July 9, 2015

    I agree with you about rough times ahead. I see gas prices rise and fall depending on what season it is. I see heating pellets actually costing more than oil this season. Heating pellets are made of wood offcuts and sawdust. They are purchased by people that both cannot afford oil and want to be environmentally friendly. When we began buying them 4 years ago, we saved over $800 a year purchasing pellets. Now we are breaking even. Milk has skyrocketed when there are more cows than there have ever been. I’m deeply concerned, as the weather is changing as well. There is drought – it seems that it is currently like the 20s and 30s or perhaps the 1800s. I guess we’ll see what comes.

    • Na Na
      July 9, 2015

      I read about the pellet stoves back in the 70s. Do I remember right, you can use dry corn too? I love the idea of them. Too bad there isn’t a place for one in my house or I’d have one. Yes, there are many similarities to events back in the 20s. I think thats why so many believe the world is headed for another depression. Of course, anything is possible, but I’m holding onto hope its all just coincidence.

  6. Linda S.
    July 8, 2015

    All I can add is “Amen! Preach on, sister.”

  7. sarasinart
    July 8, 2015

    Not using it all up, whatever it is, is some of the best advice somebody can keep in their mind, and use that rule to run their whole life. If you use it all up, you just don’t have any more, and maybe you can get more and maybe you can’t. I like the way you and Grandma Mama think, cos that’s the way I’ve lived my life too.

    • Na Na
      July 9, 2015

      Thank you. Don’t you just hate it when you come to the very last little bit of something? We tightwads are a strange breed.

      • sarasinart
        July 9, 2015

        We are, but so many people don’t recognize the need for a cushion, a little stash of whatever. If you use it all, you don’t have any more, my grandma used to say. She was a tightwad too, having lived thru the depression with a bunch of kids and a drunken husband. She and my father taught me a lot.

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