Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Now You Can't Even Afford To Wipe Your Behind...

Gas prices surpassing the $4 marker, up 6% last month alone and +28% in the past year? Oh, cool cats, that's only the beginning. The Consumer Price Index catapulted 2.7% in the past year, as costs on most everything is rising—while the unemployment rate remains locked at 9%. An MSN article points to a dozen rapidly escalating commodities, from coffee to toilet paper. I'd make plans to move into a cardboard box, but with paper prices... who can afford it?

Airfares: Domestic prices have risen six times this year. In the past six months, fares jumped 22%.

Chocolate: Ladies, you're screwed. Hershey's raised prices 10% in late March. After Easter, as new inventory rolls in, your fix will cost more than caviar.

Coffee: Boy, I've noticed this one at the grocery, seeing $7.99 pricing on low-end Maxwell House. Costs have soared 27% in three months, Starbucks raised prices 12%, and Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts, Sara Lee, Kraft & Green Mountain have all increased $$.

Fast food: McDonald's, Wendy's & Arby's are passing along +15% beef costs to youse. Happy Meals now come with a frown. Free! 

Fruits & veges: Vegetarians don't get off easy, either. Prices have risen 23% in three months. Potatoes alone are up 39%.

Furniture: Cotton, yarn, leather and steel cost more. So do your new coffee table, sofa and desk chair.

Household products: Soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, trash bags and the like are going up, as Colgate-Palmolive, Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark assume you have money to burn. Might be more cost-effective to wipe your butt with $1 bills.

Insurance: State Farm hiked Florida home & auto insurance 18.8%, seeking double-digit hikes in other states. It blames weather-related losses. Since you can't afford to drive and are probably going to lose your home, ce la vie!

Beverages: Orange juice is up 4%-8% because of alleged damage to Florida citrus from the bitter winter. Carbonated drinks are up 14% in the last three months, because of "commodities, fuel, packaging and fruit."

Packaged foods: Corn, wheat & fuel hikes will lead to increases from Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Peter Pan, General Mills, Nature Valley, Heinz, Kellogg, McCormick & Co., Sara Lee & Hillshire Farms. Fortunately, Hormel makes Spam!

Tires: Rubber prices are up 75%. Again, no biggie, since your car will be parked in the garage for the next 10 years... As will I.