I find myself making consolations left and right to adjust for my seemingly out of control petrol habit.
To make matters worse, most of the things I like to eat are increasing in price at a rate that rivals the pump!
Here is a short list of things I've had to reconsider recently:
- Bread. I really like good bread, but I think it should cost $4 or less per loaf. As it approaches/crosses the $5 mark I look for substitutes and start considering the store-brand wheat bread at $2.79
- Milk. I used to buy the cheapest gallon of milk I could find ($1.99 or so) now the prices have gone way up AND I have a newly acquired taste for things that are hormone free/organic. This means my average 1/2 gallon of milk is $3.79 or 3.8X as much as i used to pay. I wonder how my bone density will fare if I pull back a bit on the milk?
- Far flung restaurants. Living in suburbia has pros and cons, but one painfully clear fact about living where we live is a complete lack of interesting food (sorry Mia Roma.) In years past we would simply drive to the purveyors of our favorite (name your food category) whether they were located in West Seattle, Maltby, or Ballard. Today we factor in both the time and escalating cost to drive to our far-flung faves. Bummer.
- Beer. I have a very simple system for assigning value to beer; "good" beer has flavor, substance, nuance, and is often made in smaller quantities. Some examples of this are Elysian beers, Rogue, and Maritime Pacific. "Commodity" beers are those that come in packs of 24 and up, differentiate on the can liner, and are promoted on large plastic signs around the country. "Good" beer should cost between $1 and $1.25 per bottle or $6- $7.50 per six pack. Today I pay as much as $10 per six pack or $5 for a 24 oz bottle of the stuff. Commodity beer is up as well, but I don't buy much of it anyway.
Now the good news! There are some things that have not risen dramatically, and in fact pack some serious value for you bargain shoppers out there!
- Today I can fuel myself at Aca Las Tortas for the same five bucks I could a year ago. Same great ingredients, same great price! This keeps me going all day which is more than I can say for $5 worth of gas.
- Pagliacci Pizza. This is not the world's cheapest pie, but it is my favorite and it seems to be holding steady. They make the pizza and salad just the way I want **almost** every time, and if they don't they send me a certificate for a free one next time.
- Pearson's Nut Rolls are without a doubt one of the most perfect foods known to man. Salted Virginia peanuts, nougat, caramel...damn those are good. Next time you're on a roadtrip and the sting of buying gas has got you down...get a king size Pearson's Nut Roll and just try not to smile. They're tasty!
So here's my plan of action for the looming five dollar gas demons
- ride my bike
- grow edible stuff in my yard (well, my wife will do that and I'll eat it)
- eat at home even more
- steady diet of mexican sandwiches and nutty confections