Wednesday, October 17

It's Only Money

It was a discussion on economics; prices are on the rise in the Valley of the Sun. The neighborhood woman being interviewed was explaining how she could tell the cost of living in Phoenix was escalating by her grocery bill. She said, "We have a fairly small family... and our monthly grocery expense is around $1,500-" gasping at the thought and before I could finish wondering what her definition of a 'small' family was, the cat was out of the bag. "My 15 year old son is an only child, but - (ahh, the golden addendum) he's on the swim team and can put away a lot of food! Being an only child, naturally he also has his friends from the team over all the time so it's like having a family of 5 to feed!"

O.K., ignoring the obvious reference to only children being friend-magnets, I (being only a radio listener) was stunned to think somebody could shop at a "central Phoenix Basha's" and still have that kind of crazy grocery bill. How about Food City? Walmart? Is this woman a food snob? Or is she playing the doting little hostess for a bunch of athletic young swimboys that won't leave? (Now this could be a sensitive supposition, but really, you were thinking that too). Were they serving up prime rib twice a week or what?

What was in her pantry that costs so dang much? Some chips & salsa go a long way, even with non-swimmers. You could throw in a lot of twinkies and chocolate milk on a regular basis and still not begin to approach the $1,500.

This was a stupid story. Correction. This lady was an absurd representation of how average urbanites are coping with the rising cost of living. If I were the reporter, this interview would have concluded in the first 20 seconds by my burst of laughter. ~ Dude!


two forks said...

i could see a well to do family spending that much if they did the majority of their shopping at whole foods, on top of shopping at trader joes and costco... not to mention all the alcohol and coffee added to their tab that you wouldn't be used to!

Cynthia said...

What the heck - $1500? I would have to make a huge effort to spend that much for the 6 of us to eat.
I did have a budgeting trick I used for years to "budget" for the things I wanted. I figured if an item is sold in the grocery store, then it falls under the grocery budget. The book/magazine aisle? Grocery budget. The jewelry/trinkets/candles? Grocery budget. Stationary? Grocery budget.
Granted, we ate a lot more beans and rice to accomodate, but as long as the receipt says Bashas or Frys at the top, it was a legitimate grocery purchase.
So I guess I could spend a heck of a lot more than I think I could. As long as it says Safeway at the top of the receipt . . . .

Bandanamom said...

Well, I'm nearly embarssed to speak out but I guess I will. When I am being really, really, careful my grocery bill is only $800 a month. But this is if I feel totally deprived. No fruit from the deli with all the little delicious berries I love. No shopping, ever, ever, ever at AJ's. No deli meat cut up specially the way I like. Nothing fancy, just the basics ma'am. I can live like that for a few weeks and then I cave. I have to have the special kalamata olives. I have to try that italian soda that is calling to me from the shelf. So if I am being honest, most months, my grocery bill is much closer to $1200 a month. AND, I'm still not going crazy - I could absolutely spend more. I could lobster a lot more often, filet mignon, etc. Which would defintely get the bill much closer to the $1500 mark. AND this doesn't include eating out - if I were to include that I easily clear that $1500 mark every month.

You may proceed to throw stones.

Anonymous said...

But Lezlee loving her cool little specialty items: YOU HAVE FIVE PEOPLE @HOME, and that's legitimate people, not hangers-on who won't leave.

This must be a great situation for the families of all his friends that are being gourmet re-fueled by an emotionally needy neighbor mom around the clock.

Does she have walk-in industrial refrigerators and freezers? Where do you put $1,500 worth of food every month? Clearly this mom is not at all peeved or hampered in her accustomed lifestyle by the higher cost of living. I wonder how her husband feels.

Think about it; swimboy doesn't even drive yet - once he gets the bmw there will be a whole new category to add to the "small family" budget...

Cynthia: That's the supermarket's fault once they started marketing "one stop shopping". I agree w/you.