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The Price is Wrong

That the dollar has been consistently weak (USD1 is roughly CAD1, and 1 British Pound is now USD2) not only indicates we’re bordering in recession but also implies staggering prices of our bare necessities. A parade down the aisle of the supermarket would reveal upping of prices for almost everything, from milk to bread to cheese and to dog chow. Last week my favorite cafe–Cafe Flore–posted a notice apologizing for a mandatory raise of prices in order to accommodate the rise in operation cost. My double-shot soy latte goes up by 75 cents to a whopping $4.25! In order to save money I down-grade to drip with steamed soy milk, which is $2.50.

A curious thought came to my mind this morning over coffee and reading: With money flying out of my wallet like water spiraling down the drain, what can I buy in the city with, say, 7 smackers? Let’s take a look…

sfbuy1.jpg sfbuy2.jpgsfbuy3.jpgsfbuy5.jpgsfbuy4.jpgsfbuy6.jpg

From top to bottom, left to right: A tasty, addictive sundaes from Bi Rite Creamery is $5.95, leave the change in the tip jar for the wonderful folks there. It’s not that bad consider that at most places a double scoop in a cup asks for $4.50. Two pieces of the fresh kanpachi nigiri (yellow jack) at Kabuto on Geary add up to about $7. For 7 bucks, you can still get an used trade paperback at Green Apples Books on Clement. Most Thai restaurants still charge a reasonable price for the wok-fried noodles like pad see wu in the picture. Oh, and you can get a little bit short of 2 gallons of gas at a gas station near you! At some of the more sassy, newer movie theaters, $7 is not enough for a matinee! By the way, my favorite guilty treat—the strawberry princess cake, along with most of the other offerings at Sweet Inspiration, is now $7 as well! So a slice of cake and a cup of coffee to wash it down would be $10!

11 Responses

  1. funny, but sobering post. recently i came home from the grocery store with a bag of staples: milk, eggs, bread, fruit etc….$45.00. ok, i buy organic stuff, but c’mon. i don’t spend money in bars, so there is always room in the budget for banana splits or really good chocolate or outrageously expensive music scores…luxuries, one might say, but to me, necessities. at least, that is my justification.

  2. Christopher:
    Groceries have become unbelievably expensive. If you go to Whole Food, just the very basic stuffs: a loaf of bread, milk, eggs, some veggie…the tally can be easily $45. Not to mention wine, cheese, munchies, some steak… Yesterday at Baghdad Cafe, right across the street from Cafe Flore, a 16 oz glass of OJ was $4.15 and it wasn’t fresh squeezed! What happens to the city?

  3. It’s scary. I even buy some groceries at the dreaded Walmart thinking I am going to save money, but when I bring up my little basket of food it always amazes me how fast it all adds up. A $6 sundae–now that’s not an everyday treat is it?!

  4. WOW!!! Gas is wicked expensive where you are…it’s about $3.05/gallon here…

  5. Your gas prices are the same as ours here. Yikes! And my husband calls Whole Foods “whole wallet”, because that’s what you spend when you go there. Everything has gotten really expensive lately, even the staples. Also, thanks for checking in with me–we were all sick at our house, and then things got busy all of a sudden, and somehow I couldn’t make the time to blog. But I’m feeling less stressed, so it should be better now!

  6. I enjoyed seeing Green Apple Books as I walked by it every day when I worked in San Fran!

  7. Our gas prices are at $3.15 but I just got back from a trip to Super Target and even with coupons in hand I’m still shocked at how much I spent. Must be all the organic stuff but why does eating healthy have to come at such a high price you know.

  8. I live in an oil-producing state.

    I am paying $3.14 to $3.19 for good gas. Cheapie gas is selling for $3.08 to $3.12.

    Maybe California needs to open up part of its coast for oil production. (Heresy, I know, but….)

  9. Danielle:
    I’ve started cutting out coupons from Sunday papers and bring them with me to the grocery stores. The expensive sundae at least keeps me from indulging in it! 🙂

    It’s actually more wicked today…I saw the clerk climbing up the ladder and changing the sign… it’s $4.19 a gallon now! 😦

  10. gentle reader:
    Whole wallet is funny, but seriously that place is no joke. I have stopped shopping with them because I simply cannot afford $4.50 for a loaf of organic bread and $14 a pound of granola! Yike! I’m glad you’re feeling better. 🙂

    It’s such a book haven. If you can’t find it at Green Apples, it probably doesn’t exist. I always check out their half-priced table of brand new books. 🙂

  11. iliana:
    I think it’s the classic supply/demand thing. People want organic everything and healthy, then they have to pay for it. Vegetarian restaurants have more expensive menu here. *sigh*

    It’s scary when the gas is more expensive here than in Hawaii.

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