Monday, October 19, 2009

18 October 1955 “Modern Frustrations and Victory Week”

bored housewife I had meant to post this blog yesterday, but instead was given another reason to be frustrated with the modern world. Our Internet service, which is through Verizon ( a loathsome company) was shut off. There was a mix up of course which resulted in hours on the phone, being transferred to various locations et al. All very frustrating. It is sad to me that even if one wants to be a compliant little middle class family, paying their bills on time and being good citizens, we are still suffered to the whims and failings of a company SO big, that it has customer service in India, Tech support in Mexico and Billing in who knows where. So, due to their error, I am still left without internet until this afternoon, so hopefully I can publish this today.

It made me again realize how the small local store/ company is such much better at customer service. If a local shop treated me the way this company has continually treated me, they would not last long. If the town heard of ‘Mr. Jones’ treating someone poorly, or suddenly adding services to my account, it get around town and he would have to deal with it. There is a certain level of community and resp0nsibility connected to local business that does not need to exist on the level companies currently are run. What could I do? I could NOT have internet, but then how would I do my project and continue to build my relationship with all of you. I hate feeling so trapped by such poor service knowing there is little I can do about it and will have to deal with it again in the future! I am planning on trying to find a new provider, but know I am merely exchanging one headache for another.

This post was originally entitled, “The Value of Things” and now as I am adding this addendum about my internet service, I realize how fitting it is. Truly, the value of a person today, in our present world, is merely there pocketbook. We are simply consuming machines that are so dependent and so plugged into the world, that we can be fed horrible service with endless ‘hidden fees’ and we just take it and move on. The percentage banks charges for overdrafts (which happen now because they will allow someone to use their debit card for greater than the amount they have in the bank and then charge up to 200% interest, that is worse than the MAFIA). I was offered today, during my ordeal on the phone, to be given the ‘convenience’ of having my account automatically taken from my bank or credit card. I can see how this would so easily add up to young people. They are taught nothing about savings and therefore just use their debit and credit cards without paying any attention to what they actually spend. It would be so easy, then, for a company such as Verizon to tack on (as they did to me but I was able to call and ask why)services here and there without the young person knowing. This adds up, gets to be a late charge, they are allowed to charge whatever they like for interest add to that the interest from the bank and is it any wonder there is so much debt? But, the easy answer of “Don’t Spend More than You Have” becomes cloudy and gray. A young person today really has no idea of money. There is very little cash, so much is used in debit/credit card form and late fees and eventual college loan dept is all des rigueur for our young generations. It makes me so worried and fretful of our future economies!

Now, onto victory week. Being unable to connect to all of you, I hope those who wanted to start it this week are still on board. Here is the list of my costs for my week adhering to my list.

Bread (one loaf)                                                                 1.79

Meat (30 oz. roughly 2 lbs)

      pork loin 1 lb.                                                                 3.29

      chicken thighs 1lb.                                                        2.99

Butter (two sticks-this was on sale this week!)         1.00

oil (12 oz)                                                                                  1.95

Bacon  (3.29 a lb I purchased 1/2 lb as indicated)  1.65

Eggs (one dozen local eggs)                                               3.00

Potatoes (5 lb bag on sale this week!)                            1.99

Milk (half gallon)                                                                     2.29

canned fish (2 cans of salmon)                                          3.98

Canned Veg (3 cans .69 cents ea)                                     2.07

Fruit (five apples)                                                                    3.00

Snack (one bag popcorn)                                                      1.99

Fresh veg (I was given fresh veg from farm)                   0

Flour (5 lb bag)                                                                           2.50

Sugar (1/2 of a 5 lb bag)                                                             .99

Oatmeal (steel cut rather expensive but good, 1 lb.)  4.99

Jam (homemade)                                                                           0

Chocolate (one 8oz bag of choc chips)                               1.99

Golden Syrup (16 oz.)                                                               4.79


This made a total cost of                                                       46.25

My normal weekly bill is between 40-50 for the two of us, so I believe this was due to the fact that I bought baking ingredients for this specific list and I bought from the local meat market so that was higher than usual. Now the test will be, using less, but buying local, how will it affect my weekly cooking. We shall see. It definitely would be highly impacted by having my own chickens, as eggs are such a good source of protein and such, but then their feed would need to be added into my monthly budget. So, how did everyone else fare with this shopping list? What did it cost and are you nervous about the this coming week’s menu?

My original post about ‘value’ I will put off until tomorrow, as I am going to post this as soon as the internet is back on. For those of you not participating, how do your food budgets compare? Do you shop for the week? Do you shop daily? Share and we can learn from one another.


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