Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Austerity Plan

This post was supposed to be a virtuous one.  As I walked to Whole Foods (and I know they are kind of evil, but I can walk there with only minimal risking of life), I planned to buy some sweet potatoes and make sweet potato fries for only pennies a portion (or dimes).  But, as it turns out, sweet potatoes, and all other sweet potato type flora, were $2.49/lb!  Unfrickenbelievable.  Are these sweet potatoes hand fed dishes of milk like Almanzo's pumpkin?  Do they wear little sweaters spun from gold thread?  In my world, sweet potatoes cost 79 cents/lb, which mean about 99 cents at Whole Foods prices.  Apparently I'm as in touch with the price of groceries as your average president (love ya' Barack).

So instead of my unsullied sweet potatoes, I bought a bag of frozen sweet potato fries for $3.39/15oz.  More expensive per lb, but when you consider the wastage that occurs when a sweet potato is peeled at home, and applications of olive oil and spices, and the fact that homemade sweet potato fries taste virtuous, by which I mean soggy, I calculated that the bag of prepared fries cost me only a few cents more, and I also cursed less while preparing them.  The frozen fries were much tastier than my home version, but likely decidedly less healthy.  I know the bagged fries had more tapioca starch, but then my eyes glazed over as I kept reading the ingredient list.  I just requested Michael Moss's Salt, Sugar, Fat from the library.  Hopefully it will make me hate myself into a love of healthy food.

It's always hard to know what's worth spending money on when you're on the austerity plan.  Our budget is already pretty lean, and our tastes reasonable.  That means that we don't have much latte factor to cut.  We already got rid of our car and cable.  We mostly eat a home.  We mostly don't buy stuff for the sake of stuff.  Still, there are those zipcar trips and loaves of bread from the good bakery.  I've seen people become so frugal that they neglect their own health and wellness (fresh fruit!) and are unable to maintain even a minimal social life.  Sometimes desperate times call, but since we are only in austere times I suppose we can still indulge in a bag of sweet potatoes fries or any sweet potato at all.

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