Photo by Andrey Konstantinov on Unsplash

Taters Ain’t Cheap

Carol Burt

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Nothing is.

My husband just went to the grocery store for me. It’s a rare trip if he doesn’t call me at least once while shopping for me. Today, though, his call wasn’t so much a question (like usual) but an exclamation.

“Did you know these red potatoes are $1.09 a pound?” he asked.

Yes, I told him I knew, but I’ve paid more than that lately, too. He was flabbergasted. He shops with me most of the time, so he sees the prices, but the price of potatoes brought it home.

I don’t know what people will do, especially retired people like us. People who live on a fixed income that stays mostly the same while prices keep climbing. People are going to starve. People are already starving. I’m lucky that we can afford to buy our groceries. For now.

I remember when potatoes and beans were the cheapest things one could buy to feed a family. Luckily, I don’t have to feed a family anymore, just Ray and I and occasionally our grandson. But “beans and taters” are no longer a cheap meal. Prices on everything continue to rise.

From being very poor as a young married woman, I know all the tricks of saving money on groceries and ways to prepare food to make it go the farthest, but I resent these prices.

At our age, we should be able to buy better cuts of meat without bankrupting ourselves. We’re eating a lot of hamburger meat in various presentations, usually involving pasta, etc. Anything to stretch it.

I still buy the leanest ground beef my store carries. Today it is 7.92 per pound. Almost $8 per pound! But lean meat is something I’m not willing to give up.

We can afford our groceries, thank God. But I know so many people cannot and are doing everything they can to reduce the amount they must spend at the grocery store.

People talk about rebellion against the wealthy sector that continues to make millions off the hardships of the middle and poor classes. No wonder. When people get hungry, they get mean and will generally do whatever they must to feed their children. Not everyone. Some struggle by with kids that are hungry most of the time.

The gasoline prices, of course, are related directly to the cost of food since somebody must transport to market, but…

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Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.