Really, truly. Manufacturers and other businesses have been decreasing the size of grocery items while keeping the prices steady. Remember when ice cream was in a half gallon container? There are still a few manufacturers that sell half gallons, but most are smaller containers. I saw a half gallon container of ice cream at Trader Joe’s and was surprised at how much larger the container seemed compared to what is being sold now. Instead of the 1.75 or 1.5 quart containers of ice cream, this was a full half gallon. When the package size decreases and the price stays the same, this is increasing the price per ounce. In the case of ice cream, this is over a ten percent price increase.
Even when an item is on sale, this doesn’t mean that the price is a good deal. Remember when notebook paper came in 200 sheet packages? The packages have decreased to 150 sheets. A dozen pencils, not anymore, more like 10 in a package.
To thwart this, wait until items are on sale or check the price or a larger or smaller sized package. Figure out the cost per piece or ounce. Even when items are on sale, the sale price may not be as great a deal as the regular price of a smaller or larger sized item. Think this isn’t true… next time you go to a fast food restaurant, check the price of a small medium and large soda. The price difference is generally negligible but the largest one is generally the best deal.
Could you eat well for $50 a week?
The challenge posed by some bloggers is to spend $50 a week per adult on good food. Is it possible? Coffee is included as part of the beverages but not alcoholic beverages.
Just considering the cost of food, my first response to eating well for $50 a week means that you must know how to cook and be creative. Otherwise the $50 will go rather quickly. Having a variety of foods to eat and shopping on sale is possible. Maybe because I know how to cook and like buying inexpensive wine to drink with dinner (less than $10 but higher than two-buck Chuck).
Many people will say that $50 is a lot. Actually $50 allows people to spend money on treats and not have all of the meals only cost $5 for a family of 4. Even ordering out could fit into this schema. For people who love food, foodies, spending $50 a week is a stretch and is probably a lot less than they would usually spend without a budget.
Everyone has a cheap meal that is filling that they like to make. This isn’t necessarily great food that you would eat all of the time. Unfortunately, some people are forced to feed a family on $100 a week for several people but may miss out on seasonal fruits and vegetables because they are too costly.
The premise of the experiment is to eat well. Not just eat. Detractors who say that the threshold is too high don’t really understand that quality food costs more. There is eating, and eating well. If you are looking for a filling meal you can often get that cheap. The question is what is the long term cost?
This will be something to revisit. Bypass the Time review of the concept, and just go to the site itself.
Big banks are rejecting California’s IOUs.
Even in January, it was reported that California might have to issue IOUs. Last week the state started issuing IOUs and major banks have made a promise not to cash them after today. There is a $26 billion budget deficit. The only other alternative is to go to a credit union. There are about 60 in the state that will accept them for deposit.
Most major banks reiterated that customers could not deposit the IOUs after today. Others, such as City National Corp., said they would continue accepting the registered warrants but could stop taking them at any time.
The last time the state sent out IOUs, during a 1992 impasse between then-Gov. Pete Wilson and legislators, banks also eventually rejected the registered warrants.
The 3.75% interest isn’t enough of an incentive for the banks to accept the IOUs but the credit unions are hedging their bets to gain a greater foothold in the market since there are larger financial institutions that are not accepting the cash vouchers. Some people have tried to sell them on the internet at a discount because they have no other place to turn.
Another way California is looking to garner income is by taxing marijuana.
It has happened. California is handing out IOUs. Officially, they are called warrants and are redeemable at banks. Though some banks are skeptical about accepting the IOUs which have an interest rate of 3.75%. Even so, over $50 million have been issued. Which of the other states entering the new fiscal year without a budget will have the same thing happen to them?
I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger, in a cartoon this was cute. For a state in the 21st Century it’s not. California’s budget woes will make the state start handing out IOUs. This is a very dire situation. People who depend on that money can’t give their creditors IOUs. What can they tell their creditors or utilities? We can’t pay you because we’re not getting my money. Even though the money isn’t directly for government salaries the vendors who deal with the state won’t receive payments which are used for salaries and their own business expenses.
Some states are notoriously slow in making payments to vendors but regular workers always had priority. Who will be next if the state won’t be able to pay its creditors? Furlough days for government workers is the pejorative buzzword that has been going around. The small vendors and businesses that aren’t getting money from the state will contribute to the further decline in the money problems.
If an agreement is reached before 4 p.m. CST then the IOU would just be nothing more than a bad dream. Otherwise, those who deal with the state of California as a customer may have to face some budget woes of their own.
The state’s long-term bond rating is in jeopardy, as well. It already has the worst credit rating in the nation.
Fitch Ratings last week downgraded the state’s long-term general obligation bonds to A-, from A, and placed them on a negative ratings watch, signaling the company’s concern about California’s ability to solve its liquidity crisis.
Just like individuals, those with the worst credit ratings have to pay more to borrow money which will cost the taxpayers more in the long run.