Sometimes, little things just hit you.

I stopped at Wal-Mart to buy a few ingredients for recipes I want to make for tonight’s and tomorrow night’s dinner. And to pick up some more asparagus — we roasted a bunch last night — delicious.

A quick aside.

Mike said, “I never thought I’d like asparagus. I never used to.”

This confirms my belief that every adult should try “hated” foods prepared by someone other than his/her mother. Nothing against mom’s cooking, but…times have changed, and so have ingredients and preparation methods.  If I hadn’t tried it, I’d still be convinced I hated Chinese food because when I was growing up, eating Chinese meant opening a can of La Choy chop suey on a Saturday night…gag me.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I never left the produce aisle — six items, none of them organic:

  • an eggplant
  • a cauliflower
  • a red pepper (always outrageously priced — why?)
  • a cubanelle pepper (which she rang up as a jalapeno, 18 cents)
  • a bunch of asparagus (on sale)
  • a bunch of parsley

Bottom line: $9.85

No doubt it would have been more at another grocery store — I shop at Wal-Mart because it’s invariably cheaper.

Near the checkout in Wal-Mart is an in-store McDonald’s. Mike and I could have both eaten there for $9.85.

No, it wouldn’t have been as healthy. And it would only be one meal (I’ll have enough veggies left over from my recipes to add a side to another meal, plus leftovers from the meals themselves).

But the veggies are only part of my recipes — I’ll be adding many other items  from my pantry, all vegetarian except for some chicken breast that goes in tomorrow’s white chicken chili. (Tonight’s barley risotto is all veg.) So that adds cost.

I don’t wonder why people live on fast food — it’s cheap and filling. Or why they buy cheap processed — what would my $10 have bought in those aisles? Or why more people don’t buy organic. I’d love to — can’t afford it.

Maybe we have so many obese people in the U.S. because it’s so expensive to eat healthy. Mike and I spent about $400 on food in March — not counting our Friday night dinner-and-a-couple-beers at the local bar, usually around $25. And not counting Mike’s daily lunches out — around $6 a day. I’ve been trying to build up our pantry, so have been stocking up on staples.

So, for both of us, it’s running about $20 a day to eat.

Doesn’t that sound like a lot? For just two of us? And I’m not an extravagant shopper — I usually buy store brands, use coupons, and leave the expensive items on the shelf. (I’ve been buying “healthier” eggs because I think I should, and lamenting they cost at least $1 a dozen more than “regular” eggs.)

I dunno. No great insights forthcoming. No solutions. Just something I’m thinking about as I sit here, not making any money, worried about the future.

All sorrows are less with bread.
~ Miguel de Cervantes


  1. Rege said,

    Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I never here(see) you talk about your veggie garden.

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Unfortunately, we don’t have a sunny spot for a veggie garden. I’ve tried tomatoes and peppers in pots, but without much luck. Grape tomatoes did OK.

  3. Rege said,

    Friday, April 3, 2009 at 9:01 am


  4. WritingbyEar said,

    Friday, April 3, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Thank you. The proofreader in me appreciates that.

  5. WARREN said,

    Friday, April 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    So, can you make great tasting Lima beans?

  6. WritingbyEar said,

    Friday, April 3, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Actually, yes. They are included in my Calico Beans recipe that everyone seems to love.

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