Thursday, May 8, 2008

Feeling the pinch...

I am stressed - as usual.
It seems to be a state-of-mind for me. But today here is why - where is the relief?
I don't know about the rest of you but DAMN prices everywhere are out of control.
Milk, break, milk products, meat, chicken, gas etc.

I am about to lose my mind. We shop, and we shop cheap, I buy off brands (for most things) and use coupons. How did a bag of chicken get up to 8.00 a bag - it is not even 'real' chicken (I think it says rib-meat). We go thru 4 to 5 gallons of milk a week at approx. $4.00 a pop. The diapers, the babysitter, the gas - we are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet. This does not include any extra activities.
Plus, my husband works construction and the summer is his slow time - which translates into less money, because he will not work full weeks. If, he works at all. Normally, we have a good 3 weeks during the summer with out a paycheck. Normally, I have enough foresight to plan for this - but this year, I have had to dip into that safeguard just to make ends meet.

Plus, the unexpected expense(s) or the birthdays - all of this crap is taking a toll on us.
For example last week one of those guys that drives around the neighborhood with a cooler of meat in the back of his truck was parked at my house. I am walking down the hill w/ my kids, just getting back from out daily walk and I see Lance hanging on the tailgate speaking with this guy. I begin to shake my head, before Lance can even get a word out I spit 'NO, the answer is No - whatever it is.' Lance looks at me and states, 'but Michelle, it is buy one get one free'.
*you see my husband is a sales man's dream - FREE makes him go crazy and sign on the dotted line. He was sold before the guy threw in the other box o'meat, but now he is GONE.
He follows me into the house, to get the checkbook explain that the guy wants $400.00. I about fall over. Hey IDIOT, we just spent $400.00 on your son at the Orthodontist (unexpected).
He continues, but Michelle we won't have to buy meat for the rest of the year. It is really worth it. UGH. Since you put it that way - fine. I give in so in one fail swoop there goes and unexpected $800.00 - dear god, I could choke.

I don't do ANY of the cooking - he does it all. I am not a domestic goddess, so in this area I have to value his opinion. But still feel the pinch. I see him write the check, I want to puke - and I go inside to transfer money from the savings to the checking to cover this. The transfer makes me cringe. It seems like I am make the transfer from savings to checking on a more frequent basis, and that PISSES me off.
We have planted a small garden, mainly for Rylan - but I am beginning wonder if we shouldn't really plant a few things to actually grow and eat? I have even thought about buying a chicken for eggs - it was a fleeting thought, but there none the less. We go through a carton of eggs a week - Pyper loves her eggs and milk. How could we not feed them to her - they are great for her.
We don't drink soda, or alot of junk. Soda is prob cheaper, along with a lot of other junk. But I cannot bring myself to skimp on the 'good' stuff. So I have decided to give up my Starbucks as a way to help save money - one Starbucks is basically one gallon of gas. And I need gas to get back to work more than I need my snobby coffee. I bring my lunch most days, but now unless it is a business lunch, I am not going out. I will go for a walk instead.
We will travel less to the country - due to the fact that it will cost us a full tank of gas just to get there and back. Around $100.00 just to show up. UGH.
IT is not that we cannot do this, but I just don't see how the inflation can REALLY be so high? The gas guys are still making a healthy profit - every quarter. They are not suffering - so why are the Americans taking the punch at the pump. The gas guys are not filing for bankruptcy, they are sitting back and getting FAT off of us having to use the product. They are not even taking any kind of a loss, that seems really upside down to me, and it makes me MAD.

I am not a single mom, I make decent money and we will be fine. But I grew up with a mom who was single for a number of years, and there were days when things were not fine. What are those people who make minimum wage doing, what about the single moms / dads with infants and kids. How can the possibly be okay by my math they cannot. I fear we are headed for disaster as a nation, and it seems senseless to me. Perhaps ethanol is not the answer - but there has to be one out there. I remember when we as a nation switched from Leaded gas to Unleaded - there has to be some compromise, so why is not on the table.

In the mean time we will make whatever changes are necessary - travel less, less entertaining, and attempt to keep the high level of insurance that we carry. We may need to trade in Lance's truck and my trailblazer - fine by me; I am not defined by what I drive or what I live in.
But once again - it seems un-necessary when the top dogs are not feeling the pinch. They are ROLLING IN THE dough.

Okay, I am done - enough of my soap box.
*I guess I just want to know - if you are feeling the pinch?
*If so, what if any changes are you making?
Perhaps I will cancel our land-line phone as well - we all have cell phone. Why have both?
Looking for savings anyway I can find them.
*Let me know what you are doing????


Jennifer said...

I have given up on buying soda, we will travel less, buy more in bulk (if possible) and continue to use my coupons, shop when there is the 10.00 off days and just basicall become cheaper than I was. It is just so hard anymore.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I think growing a garden is a great idea. I used to live on a farm and had chickens, I loved it!
I totally understand about prices kicking your butt! Gas, obviously. And right now all my kids need checkups, one needs glasses (that appt. is tomorrow) and braces (that one's 6/5)....they all need to see the dentist....OH and summer camp registration just's crazy!

Raquita said...

J got a raise this year and it still feels like we are robbing peter to pay paul most months, nad if we ahppen to have agood moht - it feels like we pay for it hte next...
Eggs 4 dollars for 18, milk 4 dollars a gallon, sugar 3 a bag, When you buy the basics you spend what you you used to spend for all of your groceries.

It totally bites.


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