The COST of living is going to KILL us…
On September 4th I made a run to the grocery store with a budget and a small list in mind. (Now we all know what happens when we step into any store with a list in mind and not in hand$$$) My first trip was to a nearby Shop rite. Here, my goal was to buy Sunday night dinner. As I walked the aisles attentively selecting particular items there seemed to be something right next to that item that I needed as well so unconsciously without thinking twice I grabbed it and through it in the cart. Continuing up and down each aisle my cart gradually filled up. The more things I put in the cart (mainly necessities) the more I began checking the cost of these items. Amazed by the fact that prices seemed to have doubled in the past few months, I quickly scanned the cart for things I could place back on the shelves. Not the $5 carton of eggs I’ll use to make breakfast, or the nearly $7 gallon of milk to go with this $6 box of Frosted Flakes. Surely not this pound of $18 ground beef to make spaghetti or meatloaf for dinner to feed my family of 4. Not the bread and lunch meat serving as an after school snack. Or the case of water to keep us hydrated. At this point I’m contemplating on getting the $4 bag of apples or the $1.99 cent bag of potato chips. Am I reasoning rather to buy a healthy snack vs junk food because of the price?? Is it because I’m in Shop Rite when I normally shop at Save-a lot? I decided to grab both and reminded myself that at the register I would decide. I continued on with my shopping apprehensively while wondering about the cost of my groceries. The 47 items came to a total of $233.36. Wow! After arriving home and putting away the food I felt satisfied that my freezer was full and so would the bellies of my family. Not even a week later the voice of my daughter said to me “mommy we’re low on cereal. Next came “mommy you need to buy more lunch meat”! My son was giving me the sad face because there is no more of mommy’s famous spaghetti left over. Then there was me grabbing the last bottle of spring water while staring into the freezer to find a meat to go with the last can of string beans. Ughhhh!!Well that didn’t last long I thought!! On September 10th and for the 2nd time in a week I am back at the grocery store. This time with discernment I chose to go to save a lot hoping to actually save a lot!! Almost the exact same occurrence happened. Most items that I remembered being dollars cheaper were now only cheaper by cents. What was most intriguing about this was that these items were generic brands. Wow was all I could muster up (there goes that wow word again). At the counter, I loaded all my groceries onto the conveyor belt and watched the screen as she passed the item over the scanner. With each beep I cringed as the total got bigger and higher. The ending result totaling $274.52. Adding 7 bags at $1.10 a piece to pack the groceries in my total was $282.22. As I walked the cart through the parking lot I shook my head in disbelief. The more I placed the bags in the back of my car, the more I tried to rationalize my thoughts. I closed the trunk and hopped in my car talking a deep sigh thinking and then yelling out THE COST OF LIVING IS GOING TO KILL US!!!! A small chuckle slipped out. Literally in one week I’ve spent one third of my paycheck. I’ve spent more on groceries than I’ve earned in a week. Every day we have to get up, get ready and drag ourselves to work for 8, 12 and even 16 hour shifts. We give our responsibilities of the position all we have in effort to get through the week with little struggle as possible. Some behind a counter or caring for children during the day and others securing a store or driving Uber at night. Either way when it’s all said and done we’re exhausted but preparing to do it all over again tomorrow and the next day just to ensure that we make ends meet. What choice do we have?
All though there may not be a solution, or maybe I just don’t have one. There is a way to push through.
Gratitude, gratitude and more gratitude!!!
Thanking your higher power for the job first and foremost and then for giving you the strength, motivation and drive to keep putting food on the table for you and your family because it could definitely be worse.
Written by: A Diaries Perspective