Friday, July 11, 2014

Rich People Problems

First of all, let me say that I don't usually identify myself with "the rich." (And certainly not, "the rich and famous.")

But today, I was really struck by all my "rich people problems." Consider:

We were out--completely out--of milk, eggs, bread, fresh fruit. ACK! What in the world do we eat for breakfast? for lunch? Grocery is now on the "urgent-must-do-today" list. And yet, here's what we could have eaten...just off the top of my head and working from what we still had on hand:

  • smoothie with yogurt and some frozen fruit (which we actually did eat for breakfast)
  • oatmeal cooked with water (which we also ate)
  • cooked grains with dried fruit (I have rice, oats, farro, bulgur, ...)
  • potatoes with vegetables
  • cheese and crackers for lunch
  • peanut butter and crackers for lunch
  • fresh vegetables for any meal
  • cheese quesadillas for any meal
  • noodles with butter and salt and cheese on top 

For dinner, I had several options since I had chicken and sausage in the freezer, several bags of dried beans/lentils in the cupboard, the aforementioned grains, cans of tomatoes, some pasta, some fresh AND frozen vegetables, chicken stock, .... 

In short, if we were willing to be a little untraditional for our breakfasts for a few days, we could have eaten well on what was in the house. Not to mention my steady supply of fresh vegetables every week (admittedly, I'm bartering blogging services for these--but that implies that I have the time and means to blog--still a rich person's situation.)

Despite this abundance, in middle class American rich people fashion, we went to not just one, not just two, but three grocery stores. Why? Well, because I got better prices/quality on certain things at certain stores... duh! But consider:

  • the transportation I had to each of these stores (implying bus fare, working car with gas, etc.)
  • the time I had to do this (admittedly, I am NOT a marathon shopper and these went fairly quickly... still....)
  • the money I had to do this: good prices are still prices and still reflect money I was planning to spend
  • the store options: I have enough stores near me to be picky on where I go--and all of them carry abundant groceries including lots of fresh ingredients
  • the storage space at my house: to bring home a week's worth (or more) of groceries, many of which require refrigeration or at least air conditioning in order to stay fresh for more than a day or two, means that I have a big enough house/electricity/etc. 
  • the supplies I had on hand: for me to be able to get those good prices on random ingredients also meant that I had enough ingredients on hand (i.e. chicken, etc.) that I could afford to buy a few things we're not necessarily planning to eat up this week. And that I could afford to buy a lot of fresh fruit. A LOT, I tell you. It's almost embarrassing how much. I should confess that there are more peaches than the ones reflected in the picture above. What can I say? Those SC peaches are amazing.
So, yes, I believe we're definitely in the rich people camp when compared to most of the world. And in light of that, I chose not to complain about hauling in bags of groceries in the heat, about driving to a grocery store, about the rising cost of groceries. Prices may be going up, but we are still far better off than so many. 

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