The time will come when all your sales shopping, product substitutions, cutbacks and deprivation will come to an end. All the tricks you thought you had up your sleeve to combat the rising costs of almost everything will no longer work. You will be forced to face your own reality which will be: you simply can not afford your life. Period.

Inflation is a catastrophe just waiting to happen. The government doesn’t have the knowledge or the expertise to tame inflation nor do they have the will. They are so intent on borrowing and spending more with hardly a care about you or I or our futures.

For the first time ever in my last twenty plus years of retirement, I’m having a problem paying my bills out of my monthly income. How did this happen? I plan so perfectly. As I stated, once all my bills are paid each month, I have $1400 left over to cover my food, gas, repairs and maintenance bills. Last month was unprecedented when it came to my paying higher costs on every single thing I did. My dog got sick and needed veterinary attention. Ka-ching $300 spent. My cars’ battery died. And then my front brakes failed. Ka-ching $155 for a new battery (outrageous) and service for new brakes would have cost $400. Thankfully hubby installed the battery (still $155 for the part) and installed the brakes (at only $78 for the parts). Not everyone in this world is as fortunate enough to know how to do the repairs in the first place. But I digress.

I got hammered with being forced to buy a sewing machine in what I thought would be a lucrative financial adventure. Ka-ching $305. I tried to keep my food bill down to $400 for the month and simply purchased what was on sale or what could be substituted. These tactics didn’t work because my sparse food prchases still amounted to Ka-ching $591.

My end-of-month tally comes to $1474, well near the $1400 guideline but because of all the extra cash I had to come up with, for the first time ever, I’m short. By $300. That means I have to withdraw the shortfall out of my savings account. If this keeps up, which it looks like it will, I’ll be watching my savings account dwindle. For a person living on a fixed income, this is not good news.

Realizing I couldn’t meet my November line item expenses, I rescheduled some November events to occur in December. That means I’ve delayed paying my propane bill ($438.50) my eyeglass bill ($310) hubby’s eyeglass bill ($150), RV DMV plate renewal ($82), brake repair parts ($78.46) purchase of a hepa filtered soot vac (to vacuum up the pellet stove soot, other wise black soot goes all over the living room if I use a regular vacuum) ($150.29) and a new car battery ($155.51) onto December’s bills. If I total up these listed financial postponements the total comes to $1364.76. I’m already nearing the $1400 monthly threshold and I haven’t even purchased food or gas for the car yet!!!

Starting January 1st, 2022 due to rising Medicare health costs and insurance assistance plans my $1400 a month will drop down to $1200 a month. What’s a person to do? Deprivation seems like the only doable solution at this time. Earning more? Investing more? Doesn’t look possible. Nor probable. This is a very serious circumstance one can find themselves in. And I am certain I am not alone. I can’t keep up the facade much longer. People will start catching on when I tell them no, I can’t join you there. No, I can’t do that. No, I can’t go. No, I can’t afford it.

Many people are in inflation denial. They refuse to admit times have changed, adjust their lives, their shopping habits, reduce their spending or simply go without. Credit card debt is on the rise and we’re heading into a super duper inflationary holiday shopping spree. There’s going to be a huge financial awakening come January when all those charge card bills get delivered.

Inflation is serious business right now. And getting more and more complicated every day. It’s not just a simple thing of cutting back, substituting a replacement or simply going without for now. Inflation is a serious defect affecting each and everyone’s lives and failure to recognize such a serious defect will only cause more angst to a person further on up the road.

Downplaying inflation has taken many forms. One is to say that the rise in prices was almost entirely due to used car prices. Another is to say, since inflation fears are already out and about, it can no longer shock the economy, it’s no black swan. As if knowing about inflation and talking about it would in itself preclude it. The truth is, talking about inflation won’t make it go away. Another kind of denial is to say that «inflation is good for society» as did Treasury secretary Janet Yellen. The only winners are governments, because inflation depreciates their huge debt. The most remarkable thing is that commentators make an excuse for every item whose price is rising, such as wages, used cars, oil, wood or other commodities, assuming that every individual rise is transitory, while making no relation whatsoever with the massive money printing, as if it had no impact on prices.

I’m a survivor of the 1970s Inflation Disaster. I know all about what to do, how to protect, how to defend and just how to survive high inflationary times. We may be in it this time for the long haul. Or for at least the next three years. Although each experience is different some things stay the same. We have to do more DIYing. We have to make due with less. We have to fix and repair. We have to cook differently. We need to copy poorer nationalities that knew what to do to stay healthy and strong. We will survive. We will make it to the other side. We just need to be a bit smarter and more agile.

Since the biggest concern for people right now is food, let me tell you what I’ve been doing in this category. During the pandemic, I was able to buy 15 pounds of grits for only $3. Grits have sustained our southern neighbors for decades. I start off each morning with a portion controlled bowl of cheesy grits (1/4 cup dry grits, 1/2 cup shredded yellow cheese, tablespoon of butter, salt & pepper to taste). I also have either one breakfast sausage or 2 strips bacon as a side dish. Bacon is slowly disappearing off my breakfast table but the turkey sausage is still viable.

This successfully starts off my day:

I’ve started this new thing (to me) of batch cooking. That is I spend one day cooking up different dishes and then storing them in my fridge to munch on for the rest of the week. This saves me on energy costs as it’s expensive to cook on and in an electric oven and stove. During the week I just warm up my food in the low-energy, cost-effective microwave. This saves me money on my electric bill.

This week I had an abundance of broccoli that if I didn’t cook it soon, it would spoil. So, I made my standard 1970s recipes of quiche and lasagna utilizing steamed broccoli as the basis for both dishes. Also, my grandparents and parents always made a big batch of lentil soup which kept them healthy during The Great Depression of 1929. I made a batch in my slow cooker (also saving money on energy). I have 2 slow cookers. A big one and a small one. For the lentil soup I used the small slow cooker, a half pound of lentils combined with my home made chicken broth, small can of tomato sauce, chopped up carrots, celery and onions, parsley, salt & pepper. It slow cooked for several hours on high. I serve it over a bowl of brown rice (healthier) and a teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese. Lentils, when combined with rice, makes a perfectly balanced protein meal.

These food choices sustained hubby and I for the entire week. Delish!

Lastly, since we are no longer buying paper napkins (to save money) I am going to cut down a rarely used table cloth and make cloth napkins (hopefully at least six) and use them at our dinner table. This will be the first craft I will be making with my new sewing machine. I had priced out cloth napkins at a gift shop. They were listed at $3.00 a piece. Six of them would have set me back $18 plus tax. The way I’m doing it now will cost me nothing and save me something.

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