The Cost of Clothing, Food, and Energy are on the Rise

Cotton prices are on the upswing and folks are going to feel it in their pockets sooner rather than later.

Cotton is now 80% more expensive than it was at the start of Y 2010 and many manufacturers believe they have no choice but to pass it on to the consumers.

It is reported that some folks are taking up Thrift Store shopping, hand me down or children's clothing swapping (as it is called now), and Mothers are sewing again.

The USDA forecasts a 2% to 3% rise in the cost of all foods in Y 2011. Higher Corn and Soybean prices are the main force behind the increase. Farm animals have to be fed and when those costs go up, do the prices at the market. The big spike will be seen in dairy and meat, as Pork alone is forecast to rise between 3% and 4%. In Y 2008 food costs overall rose more than 5.5%.

A trend had taken hold as consumers sign up by the millions on sites that offer grocery coupons, and shop the weekly sales and Manager's specials in the Super Markets. Meals are being planned, items to be purchased listed, and a new shopping commandment is: thou shalt not buy items on impulse. People that I know are planting vegetable and herb gardens, my friend CS fertilizes his Heirloom tomatoes and fruit trees with bio-Char and gets 3 seasons of wonderful produce. This all in his yard!

Shayne and I here at LTN, along with the former President of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, believe gasoline will be back to US$5 a gallon in the USA in Y 2010, it is almost there now in some locals.

That is US$2 more per gallon than the current average price in the USA of US$3.05 (Regular), according to the US Department of Energy.

The severe weather is partially to blame. The Winter in the USA and in Europe have created a higher-than-usual demand for heating fuels. Add to that the increased demand for fossil fuels in China and India, and the depreciation of the Greenback you can see Economics 101 at work first hand at the pump.

Demand determines the price, so use less spend less. Back to the Basic Conservation is the New Rule: Carpool, car share, combine errands, ride a bike, walk. At home, put on a sweater and keep your thermostat set low. Consider solar panels and absolutely seal any cracks or leaks around windows.

Gasoline prices change daily so for those that readers in the USA have a mind to they can track the prices at: to help decide when to fill up. Stay tuned...Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.