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Fewer store bargains? Core inflation up
Old 03-04-2016, 05:51 PM   #1
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Fewer store bargains? Core inflation up

My local market seems to have a lot fewer bargains. Some prices have been raised. Starbucks stars are worth less. Maybe others have anecdotal evidence of local inflation upticks.

I keep reminding myself that we don't want the bad stock markets of 2008-2009 to return. My equity gains will hopefully be a lot better then reduced pricing on breakfast cereal! Bring on those animal spirits.

The Fed is said to target inflation less food and energy. Here is the core inflation graph from the BLS:

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Old 03-04-2016, 06:18 PM   #2
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As long as wages do not go up, it's difficult to see any long term inflation starting.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:24 PM   #3
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I'll tell you what's down: ordering tech from Hong Kong or China. If you've got a couple of weeks to wait, it's amazing what you can get for cheap. And if you want something bigger, I can't believe what you can get, technology-wise, from EggHead and those places. Shop DealNews and, wow, nice stuff for cheap.

Another trick is to cherry-pick from the high-dollar grocery stores. Organic baby-back ribs for $3/lb tomorrow at The Fresh Market. They're some awesome when long-cooked on the Orion.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:45 PM   #4
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I like the amazing shrinking packages, like we are not going to notice it.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:45 PM   #5
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Here is a peculiarity of mine. Food prices don't bring a reaction to me at all. I get what I want and rarely look at the price. But cable raising my rates $5 makes my blood almost boil.


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Old 03-04-2016, 06:51 PM   #6
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I was just in Aldi, and found they had dropped the price on a number of things like walnuts, not something I would expect to change drastically.

Chicken is cheap, I bought boneless skinless chicken breast at my local "Mexican" store for only $158/lb, even though maybe I could have saved a few cents/lb at Sam's Club. Seriously this used to be twice that price 2 years ago.

I'm not seeing many signs of inflation, which is fine as I think the desire for inflation touted by our politicians is trickery to simply make the debts they created cheaper to pay off with inflated dollars, but it really does nothing good for the average Joe.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:01 PM   #7
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I have not noticed any price increase, but then I do not shop much, nor pay much attention.

But as I have been to Home Depot quite often recently due to home DIY projects, I was a bit ticked off when they no longer gave 5% discount when I used their charge card. I removed that card from my wallet and have been using my AmEx. That will teach them.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:13 PM   #8
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I've noticed some creep in my spending for groceries. But that could also be a volumetric change in food consumption due to teenagers in the house. I'm spending about $20/week more than I did last year.

Rents have jumped a lot around here... But I've got good tenants, so I don't get the advantage of that. Perhaps at their renewal I'll bump them up a bit. (We didn't the first year.)
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:27 PM   #9
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I was just in Aldi, and found they had dropped the price on a number of things like walnuts, not something I would expect to change drastically.

Chicken is cheap, I bought boneless skinless chicken breast at my local "Mexican" store for only $158/lb, even though maybe I could have saved a few cents/lb at Sam's Club. Seriously this used to be twice that price 2 years ago.

I'm not seeing many signs of inflation, which is fine as I think the desire for inflation touted by our politicians is trickery to simply make the debts they created cheaper to pay off with inflated dollars, but it really does nothing good for the average Joe.

Wow! You must REALLY like your chicken!
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:31 PM   #10
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Here is a peculiarity of mine. Food prices don't bring a reaction to me at all. I get what I want and rarely look at the price. But cable raising my rates $5 makes my blood almost boil.
+1. Exxxaccttly. You are not that peculiar. I would rather pay almost anyone other than Comcast...
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:37 PM   #11
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+1. Exxxaccttly. You are not that peculiar. I would rather pay almost anyone other than Comcast...
Everything is relative. I'm always thrilled when we're in FL and we get to have Comcast. Up in MD we've got Mediacom, and their lousy product and even worse customer service is legendary in the cable business.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:42 PM   #12
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Actually if you look at the inputs to food, corn and wheat prices are way down (50%) from where they stood in 2012. This explains the price of chicken since its major cost is the corn you feed them. Eggs are down due to the end of the bird flu issue in 2015, as well as the corn price.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:04 PM   #13
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Yup. LTM CPI less food and energy was up 2.2% in February. That and a strong jobs number today probably means we're looking at more Fed rate increases this year.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:52 AM   #14
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Two years ago, the best deal I found for electricity was $.0859 per kilowatt-hour with a 2-year contract and a $50 debit card incentive. The contract expired last month, and I can't find a supplier who'll offer a 2-year contract for less than $.0929 per kwhr (except a few "green" companies who charge "base" fees, so it's really more like 12 cents per kwhr). And no incentive :-(
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:12 AM   #15
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My local market seems to have a lot fewer bargains. Some prices have been raised. Starbucks stars are worth less. Maybe others have anecdotal evidence of local inflation upticks.
Two things - coupons and cash back offers. Free Coupons - Printable Coupons, Grocery Coupons & Promo Codes - Coupon Mom is a good place to start.

I don't pay anything for basic stuff like toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant because it's always free after coupons and cash back offers (and many times I actually get money back so it's better than free). And other stuff like cereal, frozen meals etc. are dirt cheap with sales and BOGOs combined with coupons (both printed and electronic) and loyalty discounts at our local Kroger and Publix. We routinely save 40-50% on our entire receipt at the grocery store.

Now that I'm ER our food costs have gone way down because I have time to do these things. It can be a chore at times because it does require some prep and organizing but it's also fun to get all this stuff for free or cheap.

But if you're a regular high priced store shopper, can't help you there (Starbucks is in that category for me).
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:43 AM   #16
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But if you're a regular high priced store shopper, can't help you there (Starbucks is in that category for me).
My hat is off to you GTFan. I don't think I'm quite a high priced shopper but I'm too much of a detailed person already and so have to back off from all the detailed small savings.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:49 AM   #17
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I like the amazing shrinking packages, like we are not going to notice it.
Some people really don't notice. I have a friend like that. He will see a package of 3 steaks for $15 and it's $5 a steak to him. If the next week the steaks are 20% smaller, but still $15 for a 3 pack, then nothing has changed in his world.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:02 AM   #18
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I hadn't noticed any significant uptick in grocery prices until a few days ago, when I saw that a generic store-brand can of peanuts had gone up to $2.49 from it's previous $2.19. Yeah, I know that's a small amount in an absolute sense, but it's a 14% increase which made me pause and actually think about the idea of "inflation" for the first time in a while.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:10 AM   #19
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I'll tell you what's down: ordering tech from Hong Kong or China. If you've got a couple of weeks to wait, it's amazing what you can get for cheap.
+1

I recently ordered an HDMI connector/adapter from some company in Malaysia (through Amazon) and paid a measly $1.49 for it. Of course, it took 8 weeks to actually arrive, but still... what a deal!
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:14 AM   #20
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The cost of my AT&T land line is up 25 percent from the bill at the end of 2014. We only have the home phone because DW holds a local political office, so she wanted a local number -- but this may be the tipping point to send us into wireless-only mode.
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