It’s turning out that inflation isn’t going to be the transitory experience Federal Chief Jerome Powell promised us it would be (click here). Inflation looks like it’s here to stay with us for a very long time. How does a long inflationary period affect us? When I did my research on this matter I came across a study on inflation dating back to 1976. That’s when inflation hit Americans and the American family very hard. I should know. I lived through it.
Thankfully I was a young adult back then, newly married and working at my parents business. I remember waiting on long gas lines, cooking with Hamburger Helper and installing a wood burning stove to heat my home. What I most remember back then were the news reports of the elderly eating dog food. I don’t think I will ever forget that image.
Here is the article I found online, written in 1981 by David Caplovitz, a sociologist and an authority on American spending habits (click here for more info) that best describes what people went through back in the inflationary times of 1976. Back then, the cost of living soared! Unfortunately those times are being replicated today.
Luckily today, we in America have several safety nets in place. Should the need arise we have food stamps, heating assistance, housing assistance, unemployment insurance and other programs that may or may not be able to get us through these hard times. Trust me. If inflation continues, all of us will be seeing hard times. Back in 1976, Caplovita writes that people had lost confidence in their government. Sound familiar? It’s deja vu all over again!
DH and I have cut our spending back big time! I’ve cancelled our winter vacay in Florida. I’ve stopped all un-necessary spending. Hubby is in the process of installing a pellet stove in our living room because our propane gas heating expenses are super high. We’ve cut back on our driving, our energy consumption. Even the way we’ve been cooking and eating has changed drastically. We’re starting to delve into our pandemic stockpile because in reality it looks like inflation is going to be worse than the coronavirus!
DH lost his long time job because the company can not get parts to do their work! They promised the parts would be in by this September. Now they say possibly December. There are shortages of products everywhere. To make our own ends meet, hubby has applied for a job as a driver for Amazon. Yup. And it isn’t just us. Our retired neighbors up our block, the husband (a retired vet) took on a job delivering flowers three days a week.
When DH went to buy parts for our pellet stove install, the shelves were bare!
It’s best to know that nothing lasts forever. We all will get through this. In the interim we all will need to make adjustments to our lives and living standards. It’s simply just the way that it is. I will admit that I have a bit of PTSD but that’s only because I’ve been through this before. I can’t get those old images out of my mind. Who truly wants to go through a super high inflationary period again?
Prioritize your expenses. Cut back wherever you can. Stop spending needlessly. Look for bargains. Take on a second job if you can. Lower your energy costs. Find free and fun things to do (more on that later) Be kind to your friends, family, neighbors and even strangers. We’re all in this mess together. Let’s not make it worse than what it is. We all need kindness in our lives! Amen to that!
Lastly, I’ll share with you this great bargain Aldi is sponsoring this week: chicken leg quarters for only .49 cents a pound! You heard that right. They come frozen, in 10 pound bags for only $4.90. DH and I bought several of them for our freezer. Hubby loves the thighs and I love the legs (southern fried, of course!) The average American eats 98 pounds of chicken per year. Chicken is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and high in protein (33 grams), magnesium (10%) and iron. It’s inexpensive and versatile!
Expect a lot of chicken photo shoots from me over the winter! LOL!
Here’s a video from The Wall Street Journal on what inflation was like back in the 1970s:
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