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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Grocery Shopping Truisms

There is a rule ancient when I was a teen -- no matter how many socks you put in the dryer, you will never get the same number back. Sometimes you get an extra; sometimes you're missing half of a pair, or several halves of several pairs. But you never get back from the dryer exactly what you put into the dryer.

I've noticed over the last couple of years that grocery shopping has its own truisms. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I cut out of the week's shopping, no matter how often I skip Safeway and use Costco or Smart & Final, the grocery bill is always $200 plus or minus a few bucks.

I haven't been able to solve this mystery. The number of people doesn't matter--when Yona left for Israel, I expected the grocery bill to go down. Now, granted the woman can live on a box of Cheerios for a month, so its not like she's a major part of the grocery consumption, especially when compared with two large males, one of which is in adolescent growing spurts. The question heard most often from the Teen is "Is there anything to eat?"

This must be rhetorical because there is ALWAYS something to eat--both in the two freezers and the 'fridge. I think it is a question that should be translated as "Is there anything really good like cake in here that I am allowed to eat before dinner?" My standard answer to the post-school question "Is there anything to eat?" is "Yes--have an apple (or orange or banana or left over bok choy salad etc.) None of these things are cake or cookies, and provoke a pained sign or snort of disgust--but he does eat the orange/apple/salad etc.

I did the Erev Shabbat shopping today---and the bill was still right in the $200 neighborhood. We bought much less than last week. I don't get it.....it's bad enough that the price of gas is rising in its annual ascent to Memorial Day and the Summer Vacation rates (just like we know fall by the change of colors in the trees, we also know summer by the annual rising of the gasoline prices). How do families with 5, 6 8 or 9 kids survive the weekly grocery bill? We don't eat steak and other expensive meat--the Shabbat dinner is almost always a chicken. We make salads to fill out the menus all week. We don't buy expensive prepackaged stuff; we don't eat caviar; several meals a week are vegetarian....like the socks in the dryer, it doesn't seem to matter how many people we're feeding, or how many meals we prepare, or how much we cut back on purchases.....the grocery bill always hits just about the same mark every week.

Shabbat shalom to all those on PDT and Shavua Tov to the rest of you!


Blogger Jill said...

HOW TRUE!!! I don't get it??? It's just the 2 of us and like you we don't purchase prepackaged items or eat alot of beef, infact we are "growing feathers" because of the amount of chicken & Cornish game hens we consume. I think they have us over the barrel with cleaning products, sundries, and paper goods. I go to FoodMax, where you bag your own groceries to save on $$$, it is helpful...but just marginally!

Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 8:29:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Kapara said...

Today on google I did a search for hebrew language pack. At the top of my search page there was a link to BAKA DIARY. Curious, I clicked on the link and your blog came up. How did your blog get to the top of my google search? Imagine my surprise! Not only have you been published in a dozen newspapers but now you are on google. You are now officially famous!!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 4:41:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Wow! Didn't know that---however, I am honored to have been linked by Treppenwitz right before the Passover holiday--imagine my surprise! I was very flattered and told him so.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 7:42:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Emah S said...

BY THE WAY...........I went to the grocery store this am. I haven't shopped since i read this as my in-laws were here and they love to shop for us. Thought of you as the cashier told me $202.71!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at 1:23:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

SEE!! Proof of the hypothesis--isn't is maddening?! ((-:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at 4:32:00 AM GMT+3  

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