Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pa, it's time to buy us some chick-uns

Have you seen egg prices? I'm ready to build a hen house, but I have flashbacks to my in-law's psycho birds they used to have on their farm, so I'll hold that thought.
We are such a spoiled culture, we Americans. I won't start raving about the increased prices because I've been seeing that happen for over a year now. With my husband running a home day care, we frequently purchase the same products, and most prices are up 10% or more from a year ago. In some cases, 25-30% or more. I could give you a list, and we could probably compare. That said, this is nothing new. I find it ironic that only in the last few months or so the media has begun to notice what my husband and I have noticed for a long time.

Anyway, we've been finding ways to adjust our budget without kicking and screaming too much. We're spoiled. We've made a practice of confusing wants with needs, comforts with necessities, our pampered palates with real hunger.

For example, going out to eat for a family of four is expensive. At a conservative 50 bucks a pop (that's ordering water, too and not paying $2 a glass per person of soda), that translates to $200 a month if you eat out once a week. Multiply that out by 12 months, and you've got at least $2400 over the course of a year.

But what if that's not enough to help your budget? What about ordering pizza or going through the drive-through once a week? Conservatively, that'll run you $25 a trip for 4 people. Or $100 a month, or another $1200 a year added onto the above. So far, if you cut out one trip through the drive-through and one dinner out, that's $3600 in your pocket for a year. Okay, so you'll spend it on gas. Or absorb that into your grocery bill. But it's do-able without an undue amount of suffering to our spoiled selves.

Let's face it, folks. We criticize our government for lending itself money, printing more when it runs out, and spending billions that it doesn't have. And we do the same thing. As long as the lights are on and there's food on the table and nothing infringes on our little world, sometimes we just don't care that we're spending like there's no tomorrow. Um, well. Check the calendar. It's past time to flip the page. Tomorrow's here. We need to quit whining, stop buying our spoiled selves so much takeout, and grow up. I'll continue my semi-rant another day...

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