On Friday, I told my husband our dishwasher wasn’t cleaning too well. He looked it over on Saturday and did some research on Sunday. He found the part, for sale, on Amazon for $34. “Can you please order it now?” I asked. “Not today” was his response. “I’ll do it on Monday“. When my husband went to order the repair part off of Amazon, clearly less than 24 hours since his initial diagnosis, the part now cost $47. That was a whopping 38% price increase in less than a day. That’s the kind of inflation both you and I are facing with each passing day. Literally.
These are the most unprecedented times to be certain. In my 70 years of experience, I have never encountered such price fluctuations. What is the moral of this new type of story I’m telling you? When you discover you need something, buy it right there and then. There’s no time for you to think about the sale nor set aside a bunch of time to save up for your purchases. Odds will be that the price you were initially quoted will go up before you make your move to purchase said item should you hesitate.
One of the first things we all need to understand as we face the new 9.1% government-issued rate of inflation is, we have to accept the fact that our lives have changed. What worked before will not work now. We are embroiled in a Cost Of Living (COLA) crisis with no end in sight. And yet, I see more and more people clinging to the past as if there’s an answer somewhere in there on how to deal with our new, current financial realities.
I was looking up some weekly inspiration recipes in The NY Times the other day and imagine my surprise when the newspaper was featuring food choices from way back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. That’s because very few cooks currently know how to prepare low-cost, price-effective meals using today’s high-priced ingredients. So, they are looking backwards towards the past to help us with the present and unfortunately, the future.
I never got my culinary skill head out of the 1970s cloud. I still prepare meals as if I were back in the 70s. I guess hard knock lessons die hard. Ditto for everything else. I think real long and hard before I spend any money. Case in point, after 20 years, our dinnerware set, service for 6 is barely holding on. I’m down to 4 soup bowls and after last night (hubby broke yet another dish) I’m down to 3 salad bowls. The dinner plates have a chip here and there. It’s time, I said to myself, to buy another dinnerware set.
I used to have a beloved Corelle set (click here) but I left the set in my Florida condo when I sold it in 2015. I know. Bad mistake. I thought I could easily replace it. Have you looked at prices of Corelle dinnerware sets for 6 lately? They’ve tripled in price. Usually, I could pick up a piece or two at Goodwill. Not anymore. Both Corelle and Pyrex (all throwbacks to the 1950s) are in huge demand and hard to come by. Unless you are prepared to pay, which I am not.
So I broke down the other day and after much searching, I did find a Corelle set, service for 6 at an amazing price of $45. (Normally they’re $90 and up). First I ordered them. Then I cancelled. Then I thought about it. So, I ordered it again only to cancel the order yet once again. I kept thinking I should probably take a shopping trip to a Goodwill one more time and see if I could get lucky. But I’ve been scouring Goodwill for a Corelle set for at least five years now with no success (I only managed to purchased a few good Pyrex pieces). What makes these products so high in demand is that they rarely break, are made of 80% recycled glass, manufactured here in Corning, New York, are beautiful, lightweight and economical. Anyway, my cancellation didn’t come in time so that meant the dinnerware was on its way to my kitchen. No problem, thought I. I’ll just return them and get my money refunded. I still just couldn’t justify spending any money after hearing about the new rate of inflation.
Here’s the set, service only for 4, if I purchased it directly from Corning. It retails for $47.30, plus shipping and includes a coffee mug.
I found the same set on Amazon, but service for 6 for only $47. No mugs included. I don’t need the mug since I have plenty of white coffee cups.
We all know what happened once the set was delivered to me. Cancel? Return? What return? I fell in love and wound up spending the $47 and did not return nor cancel the dinnerware set order. At least, however, I waited and I knew I was sure that the set was justifiably needed. It wasn’t actually a want. It was a need. The time was right.
Will all my future purchases be filled with such angst? Probably. The reason why I am telling you about this purchase is because going forward, before we spend any money, we need to seriously sit down and think about it. No amount is too small or trivial and no amount is too big to be taken lightly. We’ve got some tough times ahead of us and we need to be as careful about our spending as possible. Inflation, if not checked can ruin our lives. This admin can’t seem to tame it. So, it is up to us to control whatever we can. Do your research and then buy what you only need. For me, this past week, it was over a set of dishes. (and the dishwasher repair!!)
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