More than four in ten Americans have been forced to cut back on everyday habits and items, including the number of groceries they purchase due to inflation.
Food costs are rising and continue to rise.
The cost to eat at a restaurant is up 10.4 percent.
And get this, food costs for the home have risen 12.2 percent.
The primary factor attributing to this is inflation.
According to a Wednesday analysis from Republican members of the Joint Committee on Taxation, rising prices due to inflation have robbed the average American family of approximately $700 a month.
“Americans are facing the highest inflation rates in decades, making it harder for them to afford everyday goods and more expensive to raise their families,” the analysis said.
If you do the math, that comes to $8,400 of lost buying power for the average family.
One may not know this, but food banks and food pantries are a key economic indicator for tracking poverty levels and financial instability in the US, and in the past few months, they have been ringing alarm bells.
We are now seeing massively long lines at the food banks all over the country.
The website Zero Hedge reported the following…
Food pantries usually don’t offer enough supplies to fully feed a family, but they do supplement your existing income by adding a week or two worth of sustenance per month. Many people will visit more than a couple of food pantries at a time in order to stock enough for their families. The problem with price inflation is that it tends to directly affect and reduce the number of donations that pantries receive and the amount of food they can give away.
In the past month, there has been a steady stream of reports from pantries across the US stating that they are now hitting record high demand and record low supply. From New York to Wisconsin to Ohio to Missouri to Florida to Arkansas to California and beyond, pantries are running out. On top of that, it’s the middle of summer – The busiest time for food banks as the Salvation Army is during the winter holidays.
Source – https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/food-banks-across-america-report-record-demand-and-record-shortages
With the loss of buying power due to inflation, people are having to resort to different solutions when it comes to procuring food.
In the same report from Zero Hedge, they stated monetary donations were also starting to dry up, and without these donations of food and money, there will be less and less food being offered at these food banks and pantries.
But that is not all…
The Lack of Food on The Grocery Store Shelves
Let me ask you this, how often are you noticing the shelves in the grocery store are not as stocked as a year ago?
I know I have seen it personally. Our local Walmart’s shelves are looking bare.
We know that stores are still recovering from Covid and supply chain issues. So that is a given.
One thing I notice is that you may go to the store one day and see a decently stocked shelf of Kraft Mac & Cheese. You return to the store a few days later and the Kraft Mac & Cheese has been bought out.
In fact, I have been seeing this with several food items I normally purchase.
One day it is there, then next day… POOF… GONE… ALL BOUGHT UP.
I mean, am I crazy, or are you also seeing the same thing?
Now, here is something else I have been noticing. There are more and more #10 (1 gallon) cans of food being offered.
It is normal to see #10 cans of food here and there, but it seems they have been appearing on the grocery shelves with a lot more frequency. In the past, I have not seen many of these on the shelves before in this quantity.
I share this because I am one who is always on the lookout for #10 cans of food. When you buy in bulk like this, it becomes very cost effective.
And here is another observation. I am not talking about these cans being on the bottom shelf like where you normally see them. I have been seeing these large #10 cans smack dab in the middle of the shopping shelf real estate.
Just so you understand, #10 cans of food are normally for the food service industry. As I stated above, we are seeing a rise in restaurant prices as well.
Does this cost rise because food marked for the food service industry is being diverted or bought up by grocery store chains just so THEY can keep food on THEIR shelves?
Again, I ask you, are you noticing these things as well?
Have you seen more #10 cans showing up on your grocery store shelves?
The fact I am seeing more #10 cans of food out there in mainstream / big box grocery stores tells me food reserves are possibly being tapped into earlier and a lot faster than what is somewhat normal.
For those of you who don’t pay attention to #10 cans, you would see these types of cans showing up in abundance around Thanksgiving and Christmas to meet the holiday needs. But the grocery store shelves are being stocked with these items now, and at the time of writing this article, it isn’t even August 15th yet.
Please keep this information in the back of your mind. There is something unsettling about this I can’t quite fully put my finger on. Now, if you have an answer, please by all means share it.
In the meantime, I usually recommend folks to use the holiday food sales to stock up on food. It is a great time to do it and prices are more affordable.
BUT… if the stores are starting to release their holiday food early, then my best advice is to take advantage of this and stock up on these items now.
For example, I got a #10 can of green beans for only $4.25 and another can of #10 diced tomatoes for $4.50. These are pretty good prices.
If you have a dehydrator, then dehydrate your purchases. I know we are going to make tomato powder from the diced tomatoes soon. If you prefer canning, then this will allow you to break up the large #10 cans so you can spread these out for multiple meals.
Finally, do me a favor and let me know if what you are seeing is the same thing I am seeing.
I am going to dig deeper into this and go talk to some grocery store managers about their food and supply chain issues. Maybe I can get some answers as to why these are popping up on the shelves now versus later for the holidays.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at the following… [email protected]
Keep Pushing Forward!