Lead Balloon

The Price of Things
July 23, 2008, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have never, EVER been conscious of how much groceries cost. Other things, yes. I’ve ranted here a number of times about my feelings on high-dollar cars, purses, sunglasses and the such and how that money could so much be better used helping our homeless or aiding the illiterate in their efforts to learn to read and subsequently find adequately paid work that can take them off the welfare rolls. High-dollar pedicures, on the other hand…That money is basically useless when it comes to charity. Trust me, I’ve done the research.

There’s a perfect storm brewing in the Luckey household, though. It involves things like saving more and spending less, having and feeding a 10-month old who is more “experimental” (read: wasteful) than “efficient” with her food, and the general nationwide increase in food costs… All of this is brewing up a frenzy that I’m afriad will cause my husband to, despite his very expensive and healthy eating habits, go into cardiac arrest the minute he sees our grocery charges come through on his budget spreadsheet.

(Yes, the man has a budget spreadsheet. And this is why he is so stinkin’ sexy.)

Anyway. Today I do my “strategic grocery shopping” at lunch. It’s strategic because it involves the development of many lists, the clipping of many coupons and the planning of every trip down every aisle. I have to optimize my time because I go on my lunch break – this means more time with Natalie in the mornings and/or evenings. This is how much, or most, of my time is planned.

I had two stops to make. One at Costco – the bulk item grocery store giant, and the next at Tom Thumb, my neighborhood grocery store. I love going to Costco at lunch time because they have all of those delicious free samples!

But today, they all sucked.

I bought enough Ziploc bags to last us a lifetime – even longer, considering that Todd re-uses his over and over again. (To me, Ziploc bags are kind of like condoms or maxi pads – very, very useful but only intended for one-time use.) I also bought tons of produce – Costco has great prices on fresh veggies and fruit. And with the amount Todd consumes in a day, we buy in bulk or die. (Clearly, he cannot survive on a coffee, a granola bar, tap water and lean pockets throughout the day like I can.) And I got other household necessities like 7,200 rolls of toilet paper, Cascade, and the like.

I get to the register and I’m thinking this is going to cost around $100. Although the cart is pretty hard to push at this point, so maybe more…But not too much more. You know, you used to be able to gauge your spending by eyeballing your cart. No more, my friends. Not to mention, when they scan my card it’s time to renew the membership. Fifty more bucks. Doesn’t it always seem like “it’s time to renew your membership?” They’ve got you by the balls at that point, it’s not like you can “check your records” to see when you actually last did it….you just trust it, hand over your cash, and move on. Because there ain’t no way Mama’s leaving there without that new GoLean Crunch cereal.

Turns out, it was around $250. Still. A lot for a 3-person family with one member recycling Ziplocs and the other eating only items that come in cigarette-sized packages.

Move on to Tom Thumb and to save you the misery of outlining the details of this trip I’ll just say that 1) I was buying the ingredients for two brunch recipes for this weekend, as I’m having some new people over, 2) Natalie was out of her food at school, and 3) we needed some staples. Like ice cream.

$150 more. People, I’m not very good at adding without a calculator, but I believe that’s $400 in groceries IN ONE LUNCH HOUR. (Okay, it took me more than an hour.)

It’s INSANE. And I use COUPONS. COUPONS!!!!!!! It can’t just be us and our perfect storm. The increase in food costs has to be affecting others. My friends and I often wonder how people who make minimum wage can even afford to DRIVE to the grocery store, much less BUY anything? It’s very disheartening, this world. I wish Angelina and Brad would get back to the USofA so they can focus their energies on those that might be going hungry here on our continent…Well, that and their new little angel babies that will no-doubt have perfect lips.


July 17, 2008, 10:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I was pregnant, Todd didn’t gain weight like a lot of dads-to-be do. You know, the pregnant lady is usually eating more, some even using the pregnancy excuse as a reason to eat BAD food, and the husband follows suit and eats more crap and gains weight. You know, that whole deal. Instead, in our house, Todd begain training for triathlons, and has continued to do so. His new hobby.

When he trains, he burns calories like crazy. When he actually does a race, he burns a couple THOUSAND calories. Literally. THOUSANDS of calories. So, he has to eat more. And he wonders why our grocery spending is so high. He blames the general cost of food increasing, and the fact that we now have another “eater” in the house…but I’m not so sure that it’s not the fact that he eats ABOUT TWELVE TIMES A DAY, and not all of them “small meals”.

My point is – the tables are turned now. He’s the one eating more. And, allowing himself some indulgences (like brownie/ice cream sundaes) because he really needs to consume more calories. To stay alive.

And I’m consuming right along with him, just as any devoted wife would do. But I’m not participating in these triathlons, nor am I growing a baby inside of me.

Something’s got to change. Quick-style.