Thursday, January 1, 2009

article for newsletter

Be Ready To Take On The New Year – Recession And All

The following quote comes from a letter I received not too long ago. The concerned writer is a senior citizen from Sacramento, CA who is about to retire.
“In years past, including depression and recession, you could cut your food budget, even if it ended up beans and grains with cheap eggs and an occasional chicken. That’s not true any more! Everything (food) is so high. On fixed incomes it’s terrible. Utilities went sky high, rent’s up more than 10% per year, there’s little place to cut, but food! How? Signed: ‘Oh help!’ “

Across the nation the hue and cries are reverberating from border to border. We have been hearing reports where some are trying to say the economy is not as bad as “they” say it is. Yet most people are struggling with the dire affects to their paychecks and grocery budgets. For most, the grocery budget is usually the only place where there is any variance or flexibility at all. Yet so much seems to buy so little.

Therefore, your challenge once more is to become enthused about the challenge to Beat That High Cost of Eating and gain more buying power. What? Become enthused she says? How, let alone, why? Because in essence this affects all of your buying power; your preparedness foods and supplies, everyday items, provident living, special occasions, … in other words, in all practicality, everything besides those bills that you must pay!

So once again (or should we say still) we are facing uncertain economic times. Rumors, news projections and many analysts are at last admitting we are in the middle of or at least a good beginning of a major recession. Everyone, even those of us who do not comprehend all the ramifications of Wall Street, is going to feel the resultant tentacles of inflation, terrible rising prices and horribly shrinking buying power. It is no longer a maybe. It’s here!

In order for your budget to win in this type of economy I suggest you develop a positive plan for “defensive spending ”. As I have taught Supermarket Survival across the nation, people have repeatedly told me that many times they feel as if they are over a barrel and cannot do anything about high prices or inflation. This is NOT a correct concept. You CAN do a great deal. As the grocery dollar continues to shrink in purchasing power; management, awareness, knowledge and skills CAN boost the nutrition and satisfaction you buy, as well as slash dollars from what you spend. This applies to buying for preparedness, getting through the rough economy or just getting by everyday! A new perspective will be to look at grocery – or preparedness- or anything - buying as a business trip … not a shopping trip. As with any other major investment, most business oriented persons invest time in shrewd planning before spending.

In order to be successful, businesses and/or plans require a manual and projected outline of tactics that can be followed and referred to. Begin now by investing in the formation of a notebook/workbook in which to keep track of worksheets, concepts, resource information, etc. It will become a functioning resource and plan that will continue to expand as you become a more proficient and professional shopper. Your winning and savings will be determined by how many keys, strategies, and new ideas you incorporate into your business plan.

Organize with renewed enthusiasm! Plan now to be ready as January and another year loom over the horizon. Be ready to take on this new year and all of the economic turbulence and inflation it may bring knowing that you are planning and will be able to cope! Remember, rather than being discouraged at just a small amount, or a seemingly small change or adjustment, it all ads up! Consistent small amounts will make a difference!

As the news releases proclaim higher food prices yet another year in a row, determine that as much as possible, you’ll reduce the blows to your budget. It may take some adjustments such as a few food item changes, or substitutions; or it may require more intense comparison-shopping, and perhaps more minutes invested in pouring over the ads in order to accomplish tighter budget control than before.

Be particularly careful as you glean money saving ideas that they are not simply glorified advertising ploys presented as an inferred way of saving. (Coupons are a good example here.)

Your first New Year’s challenge is to do (an action verb!) all you can to deflate the effects of predicted higher prices on your budget! That means plan and plan again. It has been proven that the more you plan the more you save. Keep that list out, make it longer and continue to check it twice, thrice and more. Then you will come out ahead – or at least within your budget - which is a tremendous accomplishment.


Stop and smell the Daisies said...

I would love to see some examples of worksheets and resource information! Maybe even some menu plans.