It was a near 44 degrees with winds about the same speed and rain going sideways when I left home today. Time to replenish a few supplies, pick up oil for the "new" car and drop off some donations to the free store. Sweetie stayed home to tend the wood fire and clean the pole barn.
Once home, I informed him that nearly everything I'd bought had decreased in size and increased in price. I had spent the entire $106 in cash I left home with and wish I didn't have to leave again until spring!
It's never fun driving in a storm, especially through construction zones. And if that hadn't stressed me out, well, stretching the almighty dollar was going to be more challenging.
I had the following items on my list: six quarts oil, $25 of gas and floor mats for the "new" car; 30 gallon plastic garbage bags, cat litter, dry and canned cat food, three packages chicken gizzards for our dog Lady (she's still hanging in there but eats only cooked meat now) and one eight count box of Yoplait yogurt.
The first shocker was the oil. We had stocked up last year when we paid $1.99 a quart for Penzoil. It was $3.32/qt. at Walmart today - the least expensive anywhere. According to the labels, a quart is still a quart but otherwise it costs $1.33 more.
The next eye-opener was the bag of dry cat food. We've always bought the same brand, same size and watched the price increase by more than $3 in a year's time. It cost 97 cents more than two months ago but we got FOUR pounds less!!!!
I bought the floor mats at Family Dollar - four for $5.50. They're cheap, cheap, cheap and I'll probably mutter about them all winter. But, I haven't found any used ones after searching junkyards, resale shops, dumpsters or yard sales. I will not pay $25 for four mats. The garbage bags had increased by 50 cents. We use two a week which contain mainly bottles and cans. Everything else is burnt or composted. The recycle center charges for drop offs now and our garbage pick up is included in our property taxes so may as well use it. We were at the point where most of our food was raised here and we canned it all we'd have less cans in the garbage. But, that's another dream/goal.
By calling ahead I found chicken gizzards for $1 less per pound than I had paid. Finally, a savings! The Yoplait yogurt increased by 43 cents in two months so I'll eat less of it. Two other grocery stores cut back on the amount and variety of yogurt they carry and none carry eight packs.
I was so pissed at the increase/decrease shell game that I started checking other items we usually buy. Virtually the same story. While at the check-out I overheard a customer complaining about the cost of motor oil. The clerk said Pamida had it on sale for $2.99 a quart. We both made b-line for Pamida and that's where $37.80 of my funds went. I bought 12 quarts instead of six. Sweetie wasn't happy about me coming home broke and said more belt tightening is on the horizon.
The bathroom shower and toilet need to be installed and the rotten sub floor replaced. We can paint the waterproof plywood and call it good until a later date.
Sweetie also loses $136 in Social Security next month due to his Medicaid coverage (which pays for his Medicare premium). His small portion of his late mother's CD the sale of his home downstate - which sold on a land contract - is considered an asset by the Department of Human Services. According to Big Brother Government, too many "assets" disqualifies Sweetie for Medicaid.
So we belt tighten some more and watch business as usual in Washington and Wall Street.