Wed. June 2, 2021 – ah, the sweet smell of __________

Tuesday was a pretty nice day weather-wise after all. Never rained again after the early morning showers, and eventually got nice and clear, with a beautiful sunset. It stayed reasonably cool in the shade too. Even though the long term national forecast shows us in the rain zone for the next three days, I’m hoping today is nice too. I really want to take the kids to the pool and run some errands.

I spent yesterday continuing to chip away at the pile and the list. I’m making slow progress. I need a few hours to take stuff to the auctioneer though and to get it out of the house.

There is a massive bowl of tomatoes on the counter, despite my wife turning into one of those people who push fresh veg on everyone they see in the day. Even if I liked tomatoes, we have too many, but ironically, not enough to make sauce. This is why I only plant a couple of tomato plants every year. Oh well, it is making her happy as she loves them. They are super tasty, but I think a slice a week is the appropriate amount…

Because I was home with the kids, I did instacart for the groceries. Lots of stuff out of stock, but that could be because we’re coming off the long weekend. Meat prices are high and likely to go higher if we get a real shortage from the cyber attack on a big processor. If you’ve got a freezer full, you are looking like a hero. If you are still filling your freezer, think hard about grabbing some meat right the heck now, in case this attack turns into a longer disruption. Any upset in the just in time system takes a while to recover from, and I think we’re about to get a lesson in that. One of the reasons to prep is to have enough food put by that you can ride out temporary shortages and price fluctuations. The difficulty then comes if it’s not temporary and you haven’t restocked at all, then you have a big hit or you do without when prices are still high. There are trade offs to every approach. Find a strategy you are comfortable with.

This also goes to knowing what stuff costs. It’s hard to know if beef is cheap or dear this week, if you don’t pay attention to normal variation, and the cost of routine items. Even with big purchases like my truck, it was much smarter to shop for a few weeks, and recognize a great deal when it came my way, than my initial urge to buy the first suitable truck I saw at a reasonable price.

When it comes to things I think I will want later, or that I know I’d like to have, I start watching prices as soon as I can. Then, if and when that thing becomes available, I can jump on a deal, or let it go to the next guy. One thing that I learned now that I’m mostly shopping in the secondary market- it will distort what you are willing to pay. I’m finding that there are items that I would have gone to a thrift store to get (most of them have the same sorts of things most of the time) but now I will wait until I see them for even less in the outlet store. I think the price at the thrift store is too high 🙂

The opposite can happen too. When I was traveling for work, and living in hotels, if I bought a drink in the bar that was less than $12 I was a happy boy. Whooo hooo, cheap cocktails! Of course they weren’t cheap by any objective standard, but they were a lot cheaper than most nice hotel bars or ‘date night’ restaurants. I just got used to paying the high price. I’m sure California works that way for everything… and the people who move here certainly think that housing is insanely cheap compared to there. I know I did back in the day.

There are a lot of economic factors that can enter into your decisions about what to stack and how much. Commander Zero has been looking at gold, guns, and greenbacks and has a different idea than far too many of the commentors seem to have, and it’s one I share. Better to have spent the money and have the stuff, than not to have spent it, and not have the stuff. Better to have saved some money for needs or opportunities later on, than spend every penny today.

Finding the balance between spending and saving, between stacking against a possible need, and saving for a possible opportunity, will come down to your personality, your goals, and your view of the future. I think it’s better if you make those decisions after some thought, but don’t let that keep you from acting.

Whatever comes, having some stuff to give you time and options, and having some resources to take advantage of opportunities or sudden needs will serve you well. Keep stacking.

nick