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The Top 12 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading Toward Another Recession

12 SignsIs the U.S. economy steamrolling toward another recession?  Will 2014 turn out to be a major “turning point” when we look back on it?  Before we get to the evidence, it is important to note that there are many economists that believe that the United States never actually got out of the last recession.  For example, data compiled by John Williams of shadowstats.com show that the U.S. economy has continually been in recession since 2005.  So if anyone out there would like to argue that America is experiencing a recession right now, I certainly would not have a problem with that.  In fact, that would fit with the daily reality of tens of millions of Americans that are deeply suffering in this harsh economic environment.  But no matter whether we are in a “recession” at the moment or not, there are an increasing number of indications that we are rapidly plunging into another major economic slowdown.  The following are the top 12 signs that the U.S. economy is heading toward another recession…

#1 We recently learned that the number of new mortgage applications in the United States had fallen to the lowest level that we have seen in nearly 20 years.

#2 Radio Shack has announced that it is going to close more than 1,000 stores.  This is just another sign that we are in the midst of a “retail apocalypse“.

#3 The ISM Services index just fell to its lowest level in 4 years, and ISM Services Employment just experienced its largest decline since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

#4 Obamacare is really starting to hammer the U.S. health care industry

The Affordable Care Act is creating significant financial uncertainty to health care organizations,” said a survey respondent from the health care and social assistance industry.

“With little warning, the negative impact on revenue has been unprecedented.”

#5 Trading revenue at the “too big to fail” banks on Wall Street is way down

Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are bracing investors for a fourth straight drop in first-quarter trading, a period of the year when the largest investment banks typically earn the most from that business.

Citigroup finance chief John Gerspach said yesterday his firm expects trading revenue to drop by a “high mid-teens” percentage, less than a week after JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said revenue from equities and fixed income was down about 15 percent. If trading at the nine largest firms slumps that much, it would extend the slide from 2010’s first quarter to 36 percent.

#6 One of the “too big to fail” banks, JPMorgan, is planning to fire “thousands” more workers.

#7 Moody’s has downgraded the credit rating of the city of Chicago again.  Now it is just three notches above junk status.

#8 The U.S. economy actually lost 2.87 million jobs during the month of January according to the unadjusted numbers.  Over the past decade, the only time the U.S. economy has lost more jobs during the month of January was in 2009 at the peak of the last recession.

#9 In January, real disposable income in the U.S. experienced the largest year over year decline that we have seen since 1974.

#10 Only 35 percent of all Americans say that they are better off financially than they were a year ago.

#11 Global retail sales for machinery giant Caterpillar have fallen for 14 months in a row.

#12 The economic data show that virtually all of the largest economies on the planet are slowing down right now.  The following is from a recent Zero Hedge article

The last 3 weeks have seen the macro fundamentals of the G-10 major economies collapse at the fastest pace in almost 4 years and almost the biggest slump since Lehman. Despite a plethora of data showing that ‘weather’ is not to blame, US strategists, ‘economists’, and asset-gatherers are sticking to the meme that this is all because of the cold on the east coast of the US (and that means wondrous pent-up demand to come). However, as the New York Times reports, for the earth, it was the 4th warmest January on record.

For much more on how the rest of the global economy is also slowing down, please see my recent article entitled “20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire“.

Meanwhile, things in Ukraine continue to become even more tense, and the Russian government continues to debate how it will respond if the U.S. does end up deciding to hit Russia with economic sanctions.

According to one Russian news source, the Russian parliament is actually considering the confiscation of the property and assets of U.S. businesses in Russia if the U.S. decides to go ahead with economic sanctions against Russia…

The upper house of Russia’s parliament is mulling measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted against Russia over its threatened military intervention in Ukraine.

We are talking about banks, retail chains, mining operations, etc.

U.S. companies have billions invested in Russia, and all of that could be gone in an instant.

So let us certainly hope that economic war between the United States and Russia is averted.  Our economy is hurting enough as it is.

But no matter how things with this crisis in Ukraine play out, it looks like hard times are ahead for the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, most Americans never learned the lessons that they should have learned back in 2008.

They just assume that the federal government and the Federal Reserve have fixed our problems and have everything under control, so they are not preparing for the next great crisis.

In the end, tens of millions of Americans will be absolutely devastated when they get absolutely blindsided by what is coming.

Time Is Running Out

Employment Recovery? 1,600 Workers Apply For Just 36 Jobs At An Ice Cream Plant In Maryland

Ice Cream - Photo by ElinorDThe stock market may be soaring to unprecedented heights, but things just continue to get even tougher for the middle class.  In this economic environment, there is intense competition for virtually all kinds of jobs.  For example, more than 1,600 applications were recently submitted for just 36 jobs at an ice cream plant in Hagerstown, Maryland.  That means that those applying have about a 2 percent chance of being hired.  About 98 percent of the applicants will be turned away.  That is how tough things are in many areas of the country today.  It is now more than five years after the great financial crash of 2008, and the level of employment in the United States is still almost exactly where it was at during the worst moments of the last recession.  And this is just the beginning.  The next major financial crash is rapidly approaching, and once it strikes our employment crisis is going to get much, much worse.

Working at an ice cream plant does not pay very well.  But at least it beats flipping burgers or stocking shelves at Wal-Mart.  And in this economy, there is no shortage of desperate workers that are willing to take just about any job that they can find.  The following is how a Breitbart article described the flood of applications that were received for just 36 positions at an ice cream plant owned by Shenandoah Family Farms in Hagerstown, Maryland…

Thanks to persistent unemployment and low availability of low-skill jobs, Shenandoah Family Farms’ ice cream plant in Hagerstown, Maryland has received over 1,600 applicants for a grand total of 36 jobs. Many of those applicants are former workers at the Good Humor plant that was bought by Shenandoah Family Farms. “You’d think that after 20-some-years working someplace at least somebody would think you area a good person, that you’d show up on time every day, and that would be worth something,” Luther Brooks, a 50-year-old former worker at the plant told the Washington Post. “I can’t get nothing. I’ve tried.”

Anyone that believes that the economic crisis is “over” is just being delusional.  It may be “over” for the boys and girls that work on Wall Street, but even their good times are only temporary.

Of course most Americans are not fooled by the propaganda being put out by the mainstream media.  According to a recent CNN poll, 70 percent of all Americans believe that “the economy is generally in poor shape”.

And according to another survey, the economy is still the #1 concern for American voters by a good margin and unemployment is still the #2 concern for American voters by a good margin.

In other words, “It’s the economy, stupid!

The American people can see that mid-wage jobs are disappearing and that the middle class is being systematically eviscerated.  The following is a short excerpt from a recent Business Insider article

A startling number of middle-class jobs may be headed toward extinction.

More than any other job class, mid-level positions have struggled to recover from the recession, and only a quarter of jobs created in the past three years are categorized as mid-wage. There are high-skilled professional jobs that require college degrees and low-skilled service jobs for less educated workers, but the middle is getting squeezed.

As mid-wage jobs disappear, they are being replaced by low wage jobs.  As I mentioned yesterday, one recent study found that about 60 percent of the jobs that have been “created” since the end of the last recession pay $13.83 or less an hour.

And this is just the beginning of the decline of the middle class.  Another great financial crisis is rapidly approaching, and once it arrives things are going to get much worse than they are right now.

A number of very prominent experts believe that this next great financial crisis could begin in 2014.  For example, in a recent article entitled “Top Ten Trends 2014: A Year of Extremes“, Gerald Celente warned that “an economic shock wave” could hit the United States by the middle of the year.  Here are some excerpts from that article…

-“In 33 years of forecasting trends, the Trends Research Institute has never seen a new year that will witness severe economic hardship and social unrest on one hand, and deep philosophic enlightenment and personal enrichment on the other. A series of dynamic socioeconomic and transformative geopolitical trend points are aligning in 2014 to ring in the worst and best of times.”

-“Such unforeseeable factors aside, we forecast that around March, or by the end of the second quarter of 2014, an economic shock wave will rattle the world equity markets.”

-“Nearly half of the requests for emergency assistance to stave off hunger or homelessness comes from people with full-time jobs. As government safety nets are pulled out from under them – as they will continue to be for the foreseeable future – the citizens of Slavelandia will have no recourse but action.”

You can read the rest of that article right here.

And according to the Wall Street Journal, United-ICAP chief market technician Walter Zimmerman in convinced that 2014 will mark the beginning of a massive stock market decline.  In fact, he believes that over the next couple of years it could fall by more than 70 percent…

In what may be the bearish call to end all bearish calls, one technician believes 2014 will be the year of “major reversals,” with the Dow Jones Industrial Average expected to start a two-year decline that could eventually take it down more than 70% to below 5000.

If his forecast is correct, it will make what happened in 2008 look like a Sunday picnic…

“Based on our longer-term time cycles the present stock market rally must be considered the bubble to end all bubbles,” Mr. Zimmerman wrote in a note to clients.

He doesn’t believe the Dow Industrials will hit a long-term cycle low until 2016, somewhere in the 5770 to 4650 range. The Dow hasn’t seen those levels, which are 65% to 72% below current prices, since late-1995 to mid-1996.

So what do you think the rest of 2014 will bring?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

15 Signs That The Quality Of Jobs In America Is Going Downhill Really Fast

Wal-Mart - Photo by Arthur JacobTrying to find a job in America today can be an incredibly frustrating experience.  Most of the jobs that are available seem to pay very little, and there is intense competition for just about any job that is open.  But it wasn’t always like this.  When I was in high school, I was immediately hired when I applied for a job at McDonalds because they were so desperate for workers that they would hire just about anyone that could flip a burger.  But in this economic environment, a single nationwide hiring event conducted by McDonalds resulted in a million job applications, and only a small percentage of those applicants were actually hired.  Our economy simply does not produce enough jobs for everyone anymore, and the percentage of “good jobs” continues to decline.  That means that it is getting really hard to find a job that will enable you to support a family, and a lot of people end up doing jobs that they are massively overqualified for.  But when times are tough, people are going to do what they have to do in order to survive.

One thing that we have seen in recent years is an explosion in the number of “temp workers” in America.  Even some of the largest companies in America are using them.  They like the flexibility of being able to bring in workers when they need them and of being able to dump them the moment they don’t need them anymore.  Sadly, those that work in the “temp industry” often work in deplorable conditions for very little pay.  The following is a brief excerpt from an absolutely outstanding Pro Publica article

In cities all across the country, workers stand on street corners, line up in alleys or wait in a neon-lit beauty salon for rickety vans to whisk them off to warehouses miles away. Some vans are so packed that to get to work, people must squat on milk crates, sit on the laps of passengers they do not know or sometimes lie on the floor, the other workers’ feet on top of them.

This is not Mexico. It is not Guatemala or Honduras. This is Chicago, New Jersey, Boston.

The people here are not day laborers looking for an odd job from a passing contractor. They are regular employees of temp agencies working in the supply chain of many of America’s largest companies – Walmart, Macy’s, Nike, Frito-Lay. They make our frozen pizzas, sort the recycling from our trash, cut our vegetables and clean our imported fish. They unload clothing and toys made overseas and pack them to fill our store shelves. They are as important to the global economy as shipping containers and Asian garment workers.

Many get by on minimum wage, renting rooms in rundown houses, eating dinners of beans and potatoes, and surviving on food banks and taxpayer-funded health care. They almost never get benefits and have little opportunity for advancement.

But these are the types of jobs the U.S. economy is “creating” these days.  Low paying part-time jobs are continually becoming a bigger part of the economy.  This is one of the primary reasons why the middle class in America is shrinking.

You can’t support a family on what most of these part-time jobs pay.  But our economy is not producing many high quality full-time jobs these days.  The average quality of American jobs just continues to sink.

The following are 15 signs that the quality of jobs in America is going downhill really fast…

#1 The number of part-time workers in the United States has just hit a brand new all-time high, but the number of full-time workers is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#2 In America today, only 47 percent of adults have a full-time job.

#3 Even though the U.S. economy created nearly 200,000 jobs in June, the number of full-time jobs actually decreased.

#4 There are now 2.7 million temp workers in the United States – a new all-time high.

#5 One out of every ten jobs in the United States is now filled through a temp agency.

#6 The U.S. economy has actually lost manufacturing jobs for four consecutive months.

#7 The official unemployment rate has been at 7.5 percent or higher for 54 months in a row.  That is the longest stretch in U.S. history.

#8 According to one recent survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

#9 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

#10 High paying manufacturing jobs continue to be shipped overseas.  Sadly, there are fewer Americans employed in manufacturing now than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.

#11 Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

#12 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#13 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#14 At this point, an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#15 According to a study that was released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States qualify as “good jobs” at this point.  In a previous article, I detailed the three criteria that they used to define what a “good job” is….

#1 The job must pay at least $18.50 an hour.  According to the authors, that is the equivalent of the median hourly pay for American workers back in 1979 after you adjust for inflation.

#2 The job must provide access to employer-sponsored health insurance, and the employer must pay at least some portion of the cost of that insurance.

#3 The job must provide access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

All of this is absolutely heartbreaking.

Once upon a time, just about any adult that was willing to work hard in America could go out and find a good paying job that would support a middle class lifestyle.

Now those days are gone forever.

But different conditions exist in different parts of the country.

What are you seeing in your area?

Are good jobs difficult to find?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

 

Share This Massive List Of Post-Election Firings And Layoffs With Everyone You Can

The victory by Barack Obama on election night has resulted in a huge wave of firings and layoffs all over America.  A large number of businesses seem to have suddenly shifted into panic mode.  The number of layoff announcements that we have seen in the last 48 hours has been absolutely shocking.  So why is this happening?  Well, the truth is that the federal government is absolutely suffocating small businesses all over America with rules, regulations and taxes.  If you have never tried to run a small business, then you have no idea how oppressive this system actually is for people that are trying to run small businesses successfully.  It has steadily gotten worse over the years no matter who has been in the White House and no matter who has controlled Congress.  So we shouldn’t put 100% of the blame on Obama.  Bush massively expanded government and made things harder on small business people too.  But what many small business people were looking for on this election day was just a little bit of help.  Many were desperately holding out hope that Obamacare would be repealed so that they would not have to get rid of some of their employees.  Many were hoping to get a little bit of relief from the crippling regulations and taxes that are absolutely crushing them.  But now that Barack Obama has been given another four years, they understand that there is no hope on the horizon and that things are only going to get worse.  So they are making the hard decisions that they feel are necessary in order to survive in this economic environment.

And I certainly don’t blame them.  You only want to have employees if you can make a profit on them.  And in this environment it is getting harder than ever to make a profit on an employee.  You see, the truth is that what you cost your employer goes far beyond your salary or your hourly wage.  I think many of you would be absolutely shocked if you learned how much it actually costs your employer to employ you.  And now thanks to Obamacare, that cost is going to go up even more.

Many businesses are not even feasible at all in this economic environment.  Many small businesses had been holding out hope that somehow this election might turn things around and make it possible for them to keep going, but when Obama won it was kind of like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

You can’t do what the federal government and the state governments are doing to us and expect to have a thriving economy.  They are choking the life out of us.

New businesses and small businesses are supposed to be at the heart of our economic system.  Unfortunately, the environment that has been created is absolutely killing them.  This is a recipe for disaster.

In a previous article, I noted that the number of jobs created at new businesses in 2010 in the United States was less than half of what it was back in the year 2000.

Now we can expect that number to get even worse and we can expect large numbers of small businesses to shrink in size or close their doors completely.

The following is a list of some of the post-election firings and layoffs that we have seen since Tuesday night…

#1 Utah

A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.

The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.

The layoffs are necessary because of the president’s “war on coal,” the statement said. The slogan is one used frequently during the election by Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who was an ardent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014″ and for drastically reducing the market for coal.

#2 Ohio

I work for the oldest and largest health insurer in the state of Ohio in the underwriting department. At 9 a.m.this morning, my department (about 50) were called into a meeting in the executive boardroom. We were informed that due to a provision in the healthcare ‘reform’ effective 2014 called guarantee issue, our services would no longer be needed, and we were offered severance  So Obama got to keep his job, and we lost ours. It is maddening that some tyrant 400 miles away can have such a ruinous effect on peoples lives.

#3 Nevada

A Las Vegas business owner with 114 employees fired 22 workers today, apparently as a direct result of President Obama’s re-election.

“David” (he asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) told Host Kevin Wall on 100.5 KXNT that “elections have consequences” and that “at the end of the day, I need to survive.”

Here’s an excerpt from the interview. Click the audio tab below to hear even more from this compelling conversation:

“I’ve done my share of educating my employees. I never tell them which way to vote. I believe in the free system we have, I believe in the right to choose who they want to be president, but I did explain as a business owner that I have always put my employees first. I always made sure that when I went without a paycheck that [I] made sure they were paid. And I explained that I always put them first and unfortunately I’m at a point where I’m being forced to have to worry about me and my family now and a business that I built from just me to 114 employees.

#4 Posted below is a list of layoff headlines from the past few days that was posted on AmericanThinker.com

Obama was “fired up” and so were the voters, and so now, the mass firings begin. Here’s a collection of today’s headlines.  Please say a prayer for the families who will be suffering. Had Romney won, many of these companies would now be hiring.

Teco Coal officials announce layoffs

Momentive Inc plans temporary layoffs for 150

Wilkes-Barre officials to announce mandatory layoffs

600 layoffs at Groupon

More layoffs announced at Aniston Weapons Incinerator

Murray Energy confirms 150 layoffs at 3 subsidiaries

130 laid off in Minnesota dairy plant closure

Stanford brake plant to lay off 75

Turbocare, Oce to lay off more than 220 workers

ATI plans to lay off 172 workers in North Richland Hills

SpaceX claims its first victims as Rocketdyne lays off 100

Providence Journal lays off 23 full-time employees

CVPH lays off 17

New Energy lays off 40 employees

102 Utah miners laid off because of ‘war on coal’, company says

US Cellular drops Chicago, cuts 640 jobs

Career Education to cut 900 jobs, close 23 campuses

Vestas to cut 3,000 more jobs

First Energy to cut 400 jobs by 2016

Mine owner blames Obama for layoffs (54 fired last night)

Canceled program costs 115 jobs at Ohio air base

AMD trims Austin workforce – 400 jobs slashed

100 workers lose jobs as Caterpillar closes plant in Minnesota

Exide to lay off 150 workers

TE Connectivity to close Guilford plant, lay off 620

More Layoffs for Major Wind Company (3,000 jobs cut)

Cigna to lay off 1,300 workers worldwide

Ameridose to lay off hundreds of workers

#5 According to the Blaze, the following major corporations have all announced layoffs in just the past two days…

Energizer

Exide Technologies

Westinghouse

Research in Motion Limited

Lightyear Network Solutions

Providence Journal

Hawker Beechcraft

Boeing (30% of their management staff)

CVPH Medical Center

US Cellular

Momentive Performance Materials

Rocketdyne

Brake Parts

Vestas Wind Systems

Husqvarna

Center for Hospice New York

Bristol-Meyers

OCE North America

Darden Restaurants

West Ridge Mine

United Blood Services Gulf

You can get the rest of the details right here.

#6 The following is a list of companies that will be laying off workers just because of Obamacare that was compiled by FreedomWorks

Dana Holding Corp.

As recently as a week ago, a global auto parts manufacturing company in Ohio known as Dana Holding Corp., warned their employees of potential layoffs, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses”.  After laying off several white collar staffers, company insiders have hinted at more to come.  The company will have to cover the additional $24 million cost somehow, which will likely equate to numerous cuts in their current workforce of 25,500 worldwide.  

Stryker

One of the biggest medical device manufacturers in the world, Stryker will close their facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs in December.  Worse, they plan on countering the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 5% of their global workforce – an estimated 1,170 positions.

Boston Scientific

In October of 2009, Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott, warned that proposed taxes in the health care reform bill could “lead to significant job losses” for his company.  Nearly two years later, Elliott announced that the company would be cutting anywhere between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while simultaneously shifting investments and workers overseas – to China.

Medtronic

In March of 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that Obamacare taxes could result in a reduction of precisely 1,000 jobs.  That plan became reality when the company cut 500 positions over the summer, with another 500 set for the end of 2013.  

Others

A short list of other companies facing future layoffs at the hands of Obamacare:

  • Smith & Nephew – 770 layoffs
  • Abbott Labs – 700 layoffs
  • Covidien – 595 layoffs
  • Kinetic Concepts – 427 layoffs
  • St. Jude Medical – 300 layoffs
  • Hill Rom – 200 layoffs

A lot of other businesses are going to reduce the number of employees they have or reduce the average work week in order to avoid the Obamacare insurance coverage mandate that will soon be implemented.

This is how CNSNews.com describes the choice that many employers will be facing…

That section, known as the employer mandate, requires any business with 50 or more full-time employees to provide at least the minimum level of government-defined health coverage to those employees. In other words, a business must provide insurance if it has 50 or more employees working an average of just 30 hours per week, which is 10 hours per week fewer than the traditional 40-hour work week.

Thus, by cutting employees’ hours to ensure they average less than the 30 per week, employers could potentially avoid the cost of providing the minimum insurance levels mandated by Obamacare.

So if your company trims the number of workers to just under 50 or starts going to “29 hour work weeks”, then you will know who to blame.

All of this is complete and utter insanity.  We are committing national economic suicide.

But perhaps we deserve this.  After all, Americans willingly chose their leaders on election day.  It is getting harder and harder to deny that our politicians are truly a reflection of who we are as a nation.

The American people chose this path, and now we get to see where it leads us.

Extreme Couponing: Desperate Economic Times Call For Desperate Measures

Even in the midst of a horrific economic decline, there are tools that all of us can use to make the most of our limited resources.  This includes doing some things that many of us never imagined that we would do.  A couple of months ago I never would have imagined that I would be doing an article on coupons.  But in these desperate economic times you have to look for any economic edge that you can get.  Did you know that it is possible to get $500 worth of groceries for less than 10 dollars?  I didn’t know that either until I started watching a show called “Extreme Couponing” on cable television.  I was amazed as I watched person after person get over 95 percent off on their groceries.  Personally, I have always thought that clipping coupons was a waste of time.  Sure, you might save a few bucks, but I really didn’t think it was worth the time or the effort.  Well, my opinion has changed.  There are a growing number of people out there that are using coupons to provide all of the groceries that their families need almost for free.  In an economic environment where incomes are going down but food prices continue to go up, “extreme couponing” is a financial weapon that virtually anyone can use.

Yes, not everyone can take it to the extent that many of these “extreme couponers” do.  There are some women that spend 40, 50 or even 60 hours a week on their couponing.  Most people cannot afford to do that.

But even if you just spend a couple of hours a week you can still save significant money.  At a time when many family budgets are tighter than ever, saving 50 or 100 bucks at the grocery store can mean a world of difference.

Not only that, but “extreme couponing” is a great way to build up your stockpile of emergency food.  Everyone should have enough food in their homes to feed their families for at least a year.  Unfortunately, many people don’t have that kind of money.  That is where “extreme couponing” comes in.

If you are willing to put a little hard work in, you can build a stockpile of emergency food for pennies on the dollar.

Extreme couponing is not complicated and thanks to the new TLC show it is becoming extremely popular.  The following is how a recent article on MSNBC describes these “extreme couponers”….

Hard-core couponers are in it to win it — for free, if at all humanly possible. They plot their grocery-store trips with the precision of military commanders. They load up three or four shopping carts at a time. They test the mettle — and the congeniality — of cashiers by having them tally dozens of discounts on their behalf.

And what do they get in exchange? Hundreds of dollars’ worth of merchandise for as little as $5 to $10, the applause of onlookers — and a surge of adrenaline that can be downright addicting.

If you have never seen the show, you should check it out at least once.  The following is a very brief preview of “Extreme Couponing”….

Yes, people are actually doing this.  In fact, some of my readers are actually doing this.

On a recent article entitled “Inflation 2011: Honey – They Shrunk Our Paychecks” one of my regular readers named Maria shared that her and her circle of friends have adopted extreme couponing as a way to fight back against the bad economy….

In the last six months, I have seen a complete attitude adjustment in many of our friends and family. As a result, a resource sharing group has formed amongst us. We share work, ideas and tips on everything from budgeting to gardening. All of us have curtailed the “luxuries” like gym memberships, expensive clothing, latte’s and mochas from those expensive little stops on the way to work, dining at restaurants, first run movies at the theater, and a myriad of other little things.

Our latest discovery is the world of couponing. Anyone interested in dramatically cutting their household and grocery expenses should take a serious look at TheKrazyCouponLady.com and read their book, Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey. I never understood how couponing could make a difference until I read this book. Our group now looks at coupons almost as a tax free source of income, because it is saving us hundreds of dollars a month…no exaggeration.

I admit, I am not as diligent as the others about using coupons, but even with my minimal efforts I saved 60% on my meat purchases last month. That was huge for my family of 6. Our home is out in the country near a rural community, and the only grocery store in town is Safeway. I never shopped there before, because it was too expensive. I drove into the big city once every three months to do our grocery shopping at the “discount” stores. Now, using coupons on sale items, I can shop at the local Safeway and save more money on food and gas.

Sadly, this extreme couponing phenomenon will not be around forever.  As thousands more pile on to the bandwagon, it is inevitable that food producers and retailers will start changing the rules.  So take advantage of extreme couponing while you can.

Look, I never imagined that I would be recommending that people should start clipping coupons.  But when any of us are presented with solid evidence that we are wrong about something, we need to be willing to change.

Personally, I am not an expert on coupons.

Thankfully, there are some people out there that are, and they have shared their knowledge for free on the Internet.  The following are some of the best extreme couponing sites around if you are interested in learning more….

*The Krazy Coupon Lady

*Tips From A Mom Of 3

*Coupon Geek

*Saving With Shellie

*Couponing 101

*Jill Cataldo

*My Frugal Adventures

*How To Shop For Free With Kathy Spencer

*Clippin’ With Carie

*Money Saving Mom

People are always urging me to write more about solutions.  Well, extreme couponing is a solution.  A lot of us men might not like the idea of “extreme couponing” because it may not seem like a very “manly” thing to do, but the truth is that it works.  In these desperate economic times, you have got to do what you have got to do.  Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.  An increasing number of children are falling into poverty.  If it takes clipping coupons in order to survive, then that is just what we are going to have to do.

As mentioned above, all of this exposure on television is going to mean that “extreme couponing” is not going to be around forever.  When too many people start jumping on a boat it is inevitable that it is going to sink.

But while this tool still exists, why not use it?

In particular, this is a great way to build up your emergency food stockpile for a fraction of the cost.

So what do all of you think about extreme couponing?  Do you think it is a good tool?  Do you have other tools that you would suggest for saving money in this tough economy?  Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared
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Thrive Life
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FINCA BAYANO
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Silver.com

Camping Survival
GunMagWarehouse.com
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