Friday, May 06, 2011
The Beginnings of Austerity?
I live alone. I am fortunate in that I no longer feed a family. I am watching the economy carefully as the prices on the grocery shelves continue to climb and wonder, albeit fleetingly, what accommodations I will have to make to my food budget in the coming years vs the ones I have started to make now.
My daughter finds it shameful I have to continue to work to maintain what we won't call a lifestyle but living. She knows I would prefer to be writing fulltime but I can't afford to do so. I do apply for grants (none achieved to date) and I am paid a little for the writing commissions I am getting. But this does not sustain me. I track all my expenses meticulously so that in any given year I can tell what I have spent on haircuts, or shoes, or lipstick (very, very little)and groceries. My savings erode a little every month in spite of all the efforts I make to supplement my government pension and earnings. Many in my age group here do not have savings. Of any kind. I wonder how they feel when they face the grocery shelves.
I made my first shopping accommodation this week as I looked at the price of my favourite coffee. It had gone from $9.99 a lb to $10.99 in a month. A 10% increase. My intention was to stock up about a 3 month supply (I freeze whole beans) due to commodity price escalation forecasts. My eye dropped to the shelf below, to Melitta Dark Roast which was retailing for $16.99 for a 2/lb bag of beans.
Regretfully, I chose the cheaper. I saved $10.00.