Saw an article not to long ago (no, I didn’t save it, wasn’t intending to blog on it) about how even with the lower gas prices the general public wasn’t spending more money on “extras” than they were before.
They had a whole list of reasons as to why the author thought that was the case.
But they missed the one I thought most obvious.
When gas prices skyrocketed, very shortly afterwards the prices on everything else started going up. Meaning that consumers were not only paying for the higher gas prices at the gas pumps, but also at the grocery stores, and clothing stores…..
When gas prices came down (we dropped below $3/gallon for the first time in how many years?? Hell, I don’t think we’d even been below $3.25/gallon for that period!) nothing else dropped in price.
Husband and I did some math, and we’re saving, on average, about $20/car/fillup, which means about $40/week for the household. Although we’d both noticed with delight the lower gas prices, neither of us noticed that $40 a week. Not really. It got added into the grocery and sundry budget before either of us so much as thought about it. Hey, we can have a once a month ordered out pizza again!
Sure, $40 a week is $2080 a year. Which I suppose has the potential to be a nice vacation or something. But I’ve got far better things to spend that on. Its not “extra money”. And it’d take a hell of a lot larger savings at the gas pump (for a much longer period of time) before I’d even consider calling it that.
So, why am I blogging about this now?
Yesterday I bought sugar.
I don’t buy sugar that often, infact its been a couple months since the last time I bought it. The name brand stuff has been packaged as 4lb bags (instead of hte former 5lb bags) for a couple years now at least. But the Wegmans brand sugar was still 5lb bags last time I paid attention to the label.
Yesterday, I noticed that the Wegmans brand sugar was packaged in 4lb bags, for just about the same price I remember paying last time I was sure it was a 5lb bag. Now its possible it was like that last time I bought sugar and I didn’t notice. But it hasn’t been like that for much longer than that, because I DO try to notice.
Not only are the prices on “other stuff” not dropping to match the gas prices, they’re still going up.
And “they” are wondering why we aren’t spending our “extra money” on things like big vacations……