After learning to shy away from the meat counter – who wants to eye a small porterhouse steak costing $15! I’ve now begun to include the produce isle as well. A single bell pepper costing .90 cents sitting alongside a head of iceberg lettuce at two bucks a throw does a strange thing to my appetite – I lose it.
As a retired person on a fixed income, my overall shopping habits have changed considerably over the past year, a process that has been exacerbated by skyrocketing food costs! What used to be a long shopping list of twenty or so items has now shrunk down to just a few that still manage to cost me thirty dollars by the time I’m through the checkout lane. (Perhaps that name could even now be modernized and referred to as the ‘cash out lane’).
Gone are those carefree days of my grabbing something that just happened to look good or was a spur of the moment purchase. These days, each item is carefully planned out and scrutinized to fit at least two criteria; is it on sale and is it generic. I’ve long since forgotten what it was like to buy a name brand item. Even my daily bread has now been reduced to some nameless loaf made by the folks at ConAgra at a buck twenty five.
On the way home, I take note that the gasoline price that was $3.30 a gallon yesterday is now at $3.36. No telling what it will be tomorrow – higher-lower? Chances are it will be higher, I think, as I make my way straight home while not passing go. No side trips for me, no not anymore. I can’t even remember when it was I took a trip over to Branson (30 miles round trip) to go shopping either. It’s just too expensive when you have a vehicle that gets only 17 miles to the gallon. In this wacky and oh so progressive world, it’s actually cheaper for me to order stuff online where I often do not have to even pay shipping or taxes! (And, let me tell you, that makes a big difference)! Never mind that my purchases have to travel all the way from the West Coast. I scored my junk at cheaper prices than I could have found in Branson and I didn’t even have to leave my easy chair! But, it that normal? Is that the way things should be?
Well, never mind. I’m sure the folks up in Washington have my back. I’ll bet they’re up there, right this minute, burning the old midnight oil figuring out ways to make my life even better going down the road.