Saturday, May 23, 2015
buying food up north
I made a quick trip to Fred Meyer yesterday afternoon.
While making a variety of my internationally-acclaimed (well, in Canada, Mexico, and The States) Greek salad, I came up short for some of the ingredients. Essential ingredients.
One of the joys of shopping up north is the certain knowledge that what you need will be readily available. Unlike Mexico, where supply is always a flexible economic ingredient.
I gathered together my meager purchases and slipped them easily into one bag at the self-checkout station -- a marvelous idea. When I was half way across the parking lot, a revelation hit me. I had just spent $52.58 for one small bag of food.
To be fair, I had purchased two napkins and a small plate to accompany the treats I will eat on the airplane -- apple, pepperoni, Tillamook extra sharp cheddar, crackers. But the remaining food items were still the vast majority of the cost.
Small bottle of olive oil -- $9.99
2 honeycrisp apples -- $3.04
1 English cucumber -- $1.50
1 1/3 pounds olive mix -- $12.81
1 bottle Coke Zero -- $1.74
1 packet Boar's Head pepperoni -- $3.99
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes -- $6.54
It would be hard to compare the cost of those items with what I would pay in Mexico; very few of them are available in my little fishing village by the sea. And, if they were available, most of them would cost far more -- as imported foods.
But these are rather common items up north. A similar bag in Mexico of salad ingredients would cost a fraction of the dollars and cents I left with Uncle Freddy.
That, of course, is one of the reasons it is far less expensive to live in Mexico than it is to live in Oregon.
Saving money was not the inducement for me to move south. As you read this, I am on my way home to Barra de Navidad. And, if you continue to follow these essays, you just might find out why I have chosen to make Mexico my base.