I’ve been working at a Walmart, manning a table set up for people to get information about Medicare and ACA Marketplace plans. a certain percentage sign up for a new plan in the process.
I’m located near the Produce/Deli/Bakery Depts. As a result, I get to see the daily availability of many fresh foods.
The stands are packed high with basic food items. Many are more expensive this year, yet there are still bargains. Compared to Socialist countries, we live in a Food Paradise. MULTIPLE varieties of most fruits and vegetables, they look fresh and healthy, and, other than an occasional sale item, the bins are heaped high. The only empty sections are those waiting for the overworked workers to refill them from the stored produce in the back.
Many foreigners would be gobsmacked by the abundance, and the lack of ration coupons needed to buy things. There are no people lined up for scarce items, and pushing, shoving, fearful that their family will go hungry. The abnormal situation, for America, was during the shipping/trucking caused shortages of the early Biden administration. That time period chilled many, and led to more gardening, increased preparation efforts, and the massive growth of the canning industry.
The mood has swung from near-panic, to a more relaxed acceptance of the need to build up home supplies of necessities. Most of us have become smarter shoppers, who are on the lookout for bargains, and willing to shift food purchases to the price swings.
In my family/friend circles, paying down debt is a priority. If they are typical, expect this to be a lean Christmas for retailers. I know I’m marking down possible purchases early, and making use of online shopping for useful gifts. My goal is to complete all Christmas prep by the end of November.
I’m trying to stay out of Chicken Little Mode. While the inflation will take a huge bite out of my budget, it may also allow my investments to improve. Hey, I can HOPE.