Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I Used to Buy Bananas
While the economy has had many ups and downs in the last 2 years or so, the price of food has climbed and climbed. Have you noticed the impact on your budget? I doubt many of us have missed it. I hear rumblings that food (even chocolate) will continue to increase in cost, and I look at my shopping cart and wonder what else will not go in it in the coming year.
Bananas used to be a staple on my table. We ate them fresh, and when they started turning brown I used them to make banana bread or banana cake. Sometimes I would find a large bag, maybe ten pounds or more, marked $1.00. I would have a baking frenzy then, making loaf after loaf of banana bread for the freezer. Now, with the price at 55 cents a pound, bananas have joined the luxury list at my house. When you consider that you throw away almost a third of the weight with the peel, the price per pound becomes even more out of reach.
I suppose I should not fret over bananas; after all, they are one fruit that actually contains fat and I can do without that. And I suppose I can get the potassium bananas are so rich in from some other source. There is nothing that will replace those golden circles on top of my cereal, however, or the creamy smoothness of the first bite into a banana at perfect ripeness.
Being on a diet means not only are we losing weight, we're gaining money. The grocery list is shorter--no cheese, no bread, no pasta, a lot less butter and sugar and other things. Still I am appalled at the cost of even the small amount of food I buy, and I wonder how a family with small children manages the hit to their wallet each time they enter the store. Are they cutting back, not buying the little treats children love, going for the generic instead of the brand names? Or are people just sucking it up and closing their eyes as they swipe their debit card?
It will soon be garden time and some of the pressure of food prices will relax as we start eating our own produce. Last year more Americans than ever planted gardens, and some even ventured into backyard poultry. I wonder if this trend will continue, or if, tired of trying to do it themselves, Americans will lapse back into the convenience of ready-made and pre-packaged.
What's going on at your house? Are you still buying bananas or have they ended up on your do-not-buy list too? Have you cut back in other areas, and are you planning to grow a bigger garden this year, or maybe even your first garden? How is the increase at the grocery store affecting your life?