I can remember back in the good old days when gasoline was under $2 a gallon. The news media kept telling us that plans were underway to double the price of gasoline so that Americans would be paying prices similar to what most people in Europe had already been paying – prices that averaged nearly $5 a gallon. I can still hear people pooh-poohing the news and declaring that they would stop driving and park their cars if gas prices rose to such an extreme.

Well, the price of gas has doubled and today stands around the $5-a-gallon mark. Those who at one time professed they wouldn’t pay such-and-such amount for gas have acquiesced to the reality of today’s world and spend 50 bucks-plus to fill an average tank of gas.

Lately, the news has been telling us of another price increase. Whereas most of us paid attention to the rising cost of energy, I wonder how many people are paying attention to the rising cost of food. This past summer’s record heat and drought put a major hindrance on the production of corn. Corn that is used to feed livestock. Corn that we eat not only on the cob, but the foundation of tortillas, cereals and a plethora of other items. I was shopping in Aldi’s the other day and a can of corn is now 59¢. As I picked up several cans of it, I thought back to the days when, for that same amount, I could purchase two cans of corn and still have some change left over.

The news has also been reporting that there will be a bacon shortage. I thought that report strange because if there is a bacon shortage, shouldn’t there at the same time be a pork chop and ham shortage too?

Still, as I watch my grocery bill increase by leaps and bounds, I am doing all I can to try and save on both my current grocery bill and what I will have to spend in the future. One of the best investments I made over 30 years ago was to buy a chest freezer. A deep freezer is an absolute necessity and many small models can be purchased for less than $200. My second most important investment was to purchase a food vacuum sealer machine. Now when I find things on sale or I purchase things in bulk at Costco, I can seal the food in smaller-sized bags.

I have always been one to monitor what I buy, “eye-balling” my shopping cart and estimate to the nearest dollar amount how much I am spending on food. That ability will be even more important in the coming days as prices increase. If you have the room, I urge people to stock up on some canned items. And if you have the deep freezer, then you can purchase larger quantities of meats and freeze it in individual-sized portions.

Living has always been hard, and the future is hinting that it isn’t going to get easier when it comes to either the fuel for our automobiles or for our bodies.