A couple of months ago, Mrs. Money very succinctly put into words some of the fears I’ve had in her post Is Hyperinflation Imminent for the U.S.?
The past ten days hasn’t helped a bit. I keep feeling this underlying anxiety. Gas prices are rising in leaps and bounds. Ten days ago I was able to get gasoline at Costco in Tempe for $2.95 a gallon, while closer to where I live it was $3.15. Last night I needed gas again and it was $3.12/gallon at Costco, but $3.25 elsewhere.
I eat a lot of vegetables, and no stores seem to have them on sale. Even the grocery stores which typically have better prices on vegetables have insane prices. I love zucchini squash. I went to three stores trying to find some good prices on vegetables. All three of them had zucchini squash priced at $2.29/pound. I don’t know if I can eat zucchini squash that costs that much a pound! I went to Sprouts as they usually have good prices on vegetables. I found cauliflower, smallish heads for 4 for $5. I bought four, and that was all I could bring myself to buy. Next I went to one of the Ranch Market stores, which cater mostly to the Hispanic people in the area. I was in awe at the prices. $1.99 for a head of iceberg lettuce. $1.99 for a stalk of celery. I’m accustomed to getting iceberg lettuce for no more than $1.29 a head, and usually $0.79 or $0.99. They did have cucumbers on sale 4 for $1, which was an amazing price. I bought a few jalapeno peppers which were $0.79/pound and they have chayote squash 3 pounds for $1 so I bought three. I don’t really care much for chayote squash, but I guess if the choice is eat that, nothing or buy zucchini at $2.29/pound, then I’m going to have to figure out how to prepare chayote squash so that it tastes good.
After that I decided to stop at Costco, and I braced myself for the worst. I felt a little less stressed out when I saw that the prices actually had not gone up since I was there shopping last week.
- Huge bag of spinach was still $3.79 (I think it’s four pounds worth)
- Six romaine lettuce hearts still $2.99
- The 24 ounces of fresh mushrooms? Still $3.99.
- Hamburger was $2.69/pound, which Mr. A said I should go ahead and get as he had not seen much better on sale at any of the other stores.
- Avocados, still $5.99 for five
- Onions. Beautiful, large brown onions, still $3.99 for ten pounds
- 5 pounds organic frozen green beans, still $5.99
And I splurged and bought a case of mangoes which were $7.99 for nine of them. I decided to also get a roasted chicken, they are still $4.99.
I expect the prices will go up by next week. It helped me to feel less anxious to see that Costco hadn’t yet raised the price on anything I typically buy from them. I’m sure that’s because they haven’t gotten the next shipment.
I did read that the high cost of vegetables is being blamed solely on the recent freezing weather. They expect prices to double, even triple until the spring crops in Mexico begin to produce.
This makes me think of my garden… I do have a few things growing out there right now. Swiss chard, collard greens (never have grown them before, and never had them fresh from the garden), romaine lettuce and cabbage. But none of it is doing well. I’m guessing due to the very cold and freezing weather we’ve had. Everything out there is frost resistant, but of course it grows slowly when it’s very cold. And unfortunately, I’ve already seen two or three Round Tailed Ground Squirrels out and about so I expect any minute they will find the contents of my garden and pillage and ruin every plant in there. It is very discouraging. Not to mention before we know it, it will be 115°F out and nothing survives in that heat.
Lettuce grows rather quickly once it germinates… I just wish we could find some way to keep the poor starving critters out of my garden!!
Here’s what can be planted right now in my neck of the woods in Arizona (the “T” means you need to transplant seedlings, the rest can be planted from seed):
- Artichokes, Globe T
- Artichokes, Jerusalem T
- Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
- Lettuce, Leaf T
- Melons, Cantaloupe
- Melons, Muskmelon
- Melons, Watermelon
- Onions, Green
- Peppers T
- Squash, Summer
- Tomatoes T
Radishes can be ready to eat within 21 days of germination… maybe I should plant a boatload of radishes… I have many of the seeds I listed stored in my fridge.
I would go out there tomorrow morning at 5am and work the whole garden if I thought I could enjoy the harvest in two months. It is just discouraging to know that it will all be eaten and ruined by desert beasts.
Maybe they forgot how to get into the garden over the winter…
Are you seeing prices shooting up in your area? Does it concern you?