I recommend this excellent article from The Burning Platform that demonstrates how the media and government use statistics to distort the truth. For example, the recent media coverage makes it sound like lower gas prices mean more money in our wallets. Yet if you break down the statistics as they do in this article, you will see that the cost of food is “eating away” at those savings. In 2014, prices for these food items rose as follows:
- Butter – 22.5%
- Meat – 12.7 %
- Eggs – 10.7%
Costs for energy (gasoline, heating oil, propane and natural gas) dropped only 10.6 percent in 2014 while food costs grew 3.7 percent,so it may seem like you are coming out ahead. But what do you spend more on, food or gasoline? We spend several times more on groceries than we do on gasoline, so any savings we see at the pump is going right back out the door to pay the grocery bill.
One take-away is that the cost of cereal and grains did drop a little bit last year. If you are planning to buy large quantities of wheat, rice, or other grains to put up in 5-gallon buckets for long term storage, this might be the time to do it. Take some of that tax return and invest it in your future food security.