So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013
In poor countries, things like shampoo are commonly sold in single use packaging. While the tiny package doesn't cost much, it's actually much more expensive per ounce than buying a large bottle of the same shampoo. The problem is that really poor people can't tie up all that money in a bottle of shampoo. Then they'd need a safe place to store all that valuable shampoo.
It's even worse with food. We know buying in bulk saves money. If a shopper can afford to buy in bulk, the cost per meal goes way down. Unfortunately, poor people can't afford to. They buy a 12 oz bag of dried beans instead of the 50 pound bag. With limited funds, there's no buying the big bag, even though there are long term savings. Limited funds necessarily make a person short sighted.
When times are good, stock up and not just on beans and rice. Buy molasses in the gallon jug, olive oil in the big can, big jars of honey, sugar, spices, and so on. If you suddenly find yourself poor, you'll at least avoid the single serve package trap.
Imagine the cost of something if you have to buy a tiny bottle of cooking oil, small box of sugar, single use spice packet, individual tea bags, cup of rice, and handful of beans -cheap meals become a lot more expensive.
Big businesses market tiny packages to the poor -and it's keeping them poor. People living on two dollars a day can't buy anything in economy packaging. Now if a person could take that two dollars a day up front for a year: $730, they could buy in bulk and actually eat well enough. It wouldn't be fancy, but it would keep body and soul together.
Now lets look at a typical middle class family making $50,000/year. They have the same problem of not enough working capital to save money. They can pay a monthly electric bill, but they can't save enough to put in solar electric panels. They can't afford a new car, so they spend a lot of money every month to keep an old gas guzzling clunker on the road. (been there, done that) Money is not available for home insulation and new windows, so they pay high heating and cooling bills.
In the long run, investing in these things save money, but if you need all you've got in the short run, it's impossible.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.