Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Feeling the Pinch

I used to enjoy doing the grocery but lately when all the prices of commodities are soaring high, the grocery is one place I dreaded the most. On my latest trip to the grocery, I only had few items in my grocery bag with a receipt of one thousand pesos plus plus. These are what I got in my bag: a kilo of purefoods hotdog, a small bottle cooking oil, 6 pieces burger patties, 6 pieces burger bun, a bottle of rubbing alcohol (biggest size), a pack of biscuits, a kilo of powdered orange juice, sandwich bags, bottle of 250ml shampoo and a tube of 250ml conditioner. Geezz, I didn’t even get to buy the basic commodity like meat, fish and rice.

My lola would often tell me stories about how things are simple and inexpensive back in her time. She has a lot of things in her possession that are really cheap. Imagine an original painting of a famous artist displayed at her dinning room which costs only 35 cents and her pair of bakya slippers which she still uses until now for only 1 cent. My lola would tell me that their life may be simple back then but they have the abundance of mother nature’s produce.

Gone are the days when almost all household would stack one sack of rice in a month. Gone are the days when a regular household can afford and cook special meals. It’s just horrifying to see almost all prices gone up. Though some can still afford to splurge from time to time, my family would start tightening the belts. In this time of crisis, we can’t afford to waste food, water, electricity, gas and money. With the house amortization to commence really soon, I’m starting to feel the financial pinch. Though I try not to stress about it too much coz there’s really nothing I can do to lower down these prices but I have listed down some strategies that might help in small and big ways.

* Cut on unnecessary purchases on material things like clothes, toys, gadgets etc.

* Instead of eating out at some fancy restos during weekends, prepare meals at home for the family to enjoy.

* This I started doing...instead of buying at the office canteen, pack up lunch and/or snacks to work. It’s good that we have a microwave oven at work.

* Limit use of appliances like television, dvd player, computer, electric iron, electric fan, lights and the fridge (which has to be defrosted every week).

* Yard sale (this will happen prior to the big move)...To clean up the closet and at least have some extra cash for some of my projects in the new house like landscape, new curtains etc.

* Ditch using car and start a trend of riding a bike in going to the office or elsewhere...Why not? We could save on gasoline, minimize pollution and good way to exercise.
I hope the government will also do something about this increase in commodities aside from giving away P500 bucks to less fortunate Filipinos which I think is just a temporary remedy. Why not come up with long term solutions to problems like implement compressed work schedule for some companies and government agencies. This will lessen fuel and electricity consumption.
Well, I'll think of some more creative ideas on how to deal with this pinch and update this list. Feel free to share some...

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