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I'LL JUST PICK UP A FEW THINGS
16 June 2006
The BBB met a week or so ago. I didn't realize we were the BBB until Nancy said that she'd told her husband she was going to the "Bash-Bush Breakfast Club." Hey--I din't know I belonged to such a prestigious organization, but I'm mighty proud to be a member.
We had a great time, savoring Joan's fabulous scones and, yes, bashing Bush (among other things).
We left around 1 p.m. and I headed off to the supermarket because we were nearly out of dog food.
"I'll just pick up a few things," I thought.
Since I have come to detest grocery shopping, I decided I might as well plan ahead for when my friend Diane was scheduled to arrive, that Sunday night. "She would be here for one or two dinners, and a few breakfasts and I might as well get food now so I don't have to shop while she's here," I thought.
If I had planned a "big shopping," I would have brought along the discount coupons that Nugget Market regularly sends out to its patrons, but I did take advantage of a few good prices, like Foster Farms chicken parts for .59/pound in the family size pack, which would be nice to freeze for later.
The cart wasn't even heaped high when I got to check-out, so it was a huge shock to discover that my bill came to $106. In truth, I wouldn't have to shop again, for a couple of weeks, but my lord has food gotten expensive.
Artichokes (which we both like) are $3.50. EACH.
And then butter. I have tried. It's like drinking Davis water. I tried for years to learn to like Davis water and I finally gave in and started getting bottled water--simply for the taste. It's one of my extravagances. It's the same with margarine. I can believe it's not butter. There is nothing that is "like" butter, but butter. (Paula Deen will agree with me!). But butter has risen ridiculously. Albertson's never has it under $5/lb. I used to be able to get it for $2.50/lb at Nugget, the cheapest place in town to get butter (and I thought that was expensive!). But now "cheap" is $3.25/lb. It's like gas. What used to look ridiculously expensive to me now seems cheap.
Forget meat. I saw a rolled beef roast for $75. Seventy-five friggin' dollars for the size roast my mother used to cook on a Sunday.
I really don't buy much, other than food. This past weekend, The Desert Nut's husband said "men buy things, women shop," but I don't see "shopping" as a recreational activity. I can't remember the last time I purchased a piece of clothing. I nearly bought a jacket when I was in a Target a couple of months ago and thought I might be able to replace the fleece jacket I'd lost, the one that kept me warm in my office when it was cold, but the line at the cashier was too long, so I didn't. I've stopped supporting Amazon.com. I don't buy videos, now that we have Netflix. It will be a very long time (years) before I feel I can replace my dead video camera. I don't buy jewelry. I've carried the same purse, the only one I own, for years. We see lots of theatre, but only because I get free tickets. We almost never go to the movies. I don't even pick up "miscellaneous sundries at Longs," which Walt and I used to fight over.
But you can't really give up food. I don't buy convenience foods, as a rule, though I am often tempted by the pretty pictures on the box. Once in a great while I do, but I look at pre-mixed frozen dinners and the cost and realize that I can make it myself, better, and much cheaper, so I buy the ingredients--but more and more the ingredients are getting to be too expensive.
I travel through the supermarket looking for bargains, stocking up when prices are low, feeling good because I've avoided most of the really expensive pitfalls.
And then I reach the check-out counter after the "few items" I've picked up and my bill is more than $100. It's a good thing I hadn't gone into the store intending to do a "big shopping."
How in the world do people living on minimum wage--or less--ever live? How did I manage to feed five kids and a rotating number of foreign students? It can be done, I know, but I am fortunate that I have the means which allows me to purchase food and then complain because I had to spend so much.
I have no right to complain.
But still....$106 for "a few items" ???
I stopped by this week to
pick up dog food and one or two other things and walked out "only" spending $76.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Peanut's siblings, Bruno (brown) and Queenie,