Food price inflation, the shortages, and all of that other fun stuff is about to get a whole lot funner…
(by Half Dollar) We finally downgraded and renewed our Costco “membership”, and yes, I’m a total idiot for paying a company to shop at its stores which have prices that are all over the board, and more often than not, those prices are even more expensive than other retailers that do not require a paid membership for shopping.
Moreover, why I pay to shop for things that are rarely in stock at the store, or when they are in stock, are severely limited in the quantity that can be purchased, is beyond me?
Like, there’s no toilet paper or paper towels at my local Costco at the beginning of October, 2021?
I mean, it’s been 18 months since the Zombie Apocalypse began, but “not to worry”, they say, “for the supply chain disruptions are temporary”!
I say the hyperinflation of the US Dollar as we know it is temporary, or is transitory, or is whatever, but I don’t say that because of any particular skill other than beginner’s level basic rudimentary math.
Regardless, I took a trip to the local Costco (and other stores) over the weekend, and here are some random field observations.
PEOPLE ARE LOSING IT
I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but when I went on Saturday, the local Costco was not just packed full of people, but the shoppers generally looked panicked and desperate.
From overhearing shoppers complaining about the inability to physically move inside of the store because it was packed with shoppers like sardines to observing people who have obviously never bought a package of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts in their entire lives standing awkwardly perplexed in the frozen meat section in front of an open freezer door, it all gave me a weird feeling to say the very least.
What has me concerned the most, however, is that the Fascist Totalitarians push too hard, especially with a requirement for the you-know-what, and as such, I’ve got this uneasy feeling that one of these days, and probably sooner than later, the store gets wiped out of everything in a matter of just a couple of hours.
R.I.P. Items On Sale And Store Promotions
For decades, Americans have been spoiled by coupons, sales, clearance sections, promotions, discounts, and all of that money saving stuff that used to make shopping more than just affordable.
In late 2021, however, it is obvious that actual sales on items and real store promotions are clearly a thing of the past.
Welcome to the Third World, America!
For example, around the time I got laughed at for warning about the upcoming chocolate shortages, which will be coming, even as they’re currently being masked by shrinkflation, inflation and fake chocolate substitutes, I bought a bunch of chocolate M&M’s from Costco last November, which never really go bad or spoil if you store them right, at least not before you eat them or barter them, and wouldn’t you know it, but I noticed on Saturday that the price had gone up from $9.99 to $12.99 since I wrote the article and made a stocking-up purchase?
But it’s not just chocolate.
In fact, my new strategy is such that if whatever I’m looking for that my family uses, eats, or consumes on a regular basis hasn’t gone up in price in a while, and by “a while” I mean, “in the last month”, then I buy said item and I buy it in bulk, because as soon as the store gets “re-stocked” with the item, in my experience, that re-stocking is accompanied by even higher prices.
Furthermore, when it comes to the notion of coupons and store sales, in 2021, they’re really a scam more than anything else.
That is to say, when an item cost $15 a month ago, but now costs $20 and has a $2 “instant savings” coupon, or whatever Costco calls it, who, exactly, is Costco fooling?
Where’s The Beef? In Smaller Packages For The 99%
The package of ribeye steaks at Costco now costs between $50 to $90, and I noticed that sitting next to the packages of thick ribeye’s, for the same price per pound, were smaller weight packages of “thinly sliced” ribeye steaks that I had never seen before in Costco, with an average price tag of around $30 to $40.
In other words, Joe Deplorable can no longer afford a nice fat juicy steak with any kind of regularity.
Shrinkflation Is Out Of Control
I’m not speaking of Costco specifically right now as I haven’t seen Costco’s toilet paper in quite a while because, well, they ain’t got no stinkin’ toilet paper at Costco, but I can attest to other retailers such as Walmart and Rite-Aid, both of which are stores that I did some field research in over the weekend as well.
And let me tell you, the shrinkflation is now beyond totally absurd!
I’m sorry, but those 12 super tiny “mega” rolls in that pack of toilet paper are in no way, shape or form equal to 72 rolls.
What kind of sick and twisted stuff are marketing departments coming up with nowadays, anyway?
Although at the rate we’re going, pretty soon stores will be selling bundles of 10 used newspapers, and not the Sunday edition, either, and claiming the 10 used newspapers are equivalent to 100 rolls of toilet paper.
And don’t even get me started on the five-ounce bags of potato chips, or the fact that pretty soon that previously unseen size will be the new “family” size.
The New Normal For A “Good Deal”
One of the challenges with shopping for essentials right now is the timing of the re-supply.
You see, when a store runs out of an item, which happens at Costco all of the time, or at Walmart, or at any other grocery store, really, the re-supply of that item, at least for the last 18 months and counting, has brought with it a fresh round of price hikes, and so no one store is good for purchasing everything anymore.
Said differently, between the consumer price inflation and the supply chain disruptions, if you like to “one-stop shop”, then you’re getting ripped off on a non-insignificant number of items when you do your shopping because some stores still have the item you’re looking for in stock in the old packaging with the less insane price while other stores only have the new shrinkflated item in stock that also commands a painfully higher price.
And the hunger pangs haven’t even really begun…