tales from just a smidge above the poverty line.

you know that you are a poor grad student when, on payday (FINALLY! summers are beastly), you go grocery shopping and the following occurs:

  • purchasing more than one genre of fruit.  you want strawberries? go girl.  bananas?  yep.  WHAT? APPLES TOO? it’s like christmas in july.
  • prepackaged stirfry vegetables are in your cart.  who is going Asian tonight?  this girl.  right here.
  • splurge…on diet caffeine free dr. pepper.  and, yes, it feels like a big treat.
  • protein powder.  FINALLY!
  • the piece de resistance: buy a redbook.
  • in sum: more than three bags.

you know that you have definitely improved your out-of-control spending ways when, during same shopping trip, you had the following internal conversations or experiences:

  • “romaine or BOGO dole salads?  dole salads = no work. flip, the lettuce is TWO DOLLARS LESS! hello big fluffy romaine goodness.”
  • “ooh. strawberries.  they’re on sale.  SCORE!  but wait…the big one is $4.99 and the little ones are two for $5.  i get to buy the big one!  and not feel guilty!”
  • instead of just buying the big yellow onion, you bought the tray of tiny little mutant yellow onions for $.79 because it was cheaper.  the bonus of not having to deal with extra onion when you’re cooking for one and those big onions are like GINORMOUS was a factor, but let’s be real.  it was because it was $.79.
  • when looking at the toothpaste, you are immediately drawn to the one with the free toothbrush. you vacillate, because there’s some crest on sale.  but they don’t have the crest you like, so you’re paying full price anyways.  so…you immediately choose the one with the free toothbrush.  who doesn’t love a free thing that you already need?
  • despite not wanting to spend the time separating the creepy gross raw pork chops into individual bags, you could not resist the sale.  it was like a dollar a pork chop.  it was like an awesome deal.  so you did it anyways. almost against your will.
  • buying the big milk makes you feel like a big spender.  you have to convince yourself that the new use of milk in protein shakes would warrant such a purchase and that it’s better to have it than to not.  and besides…it doesn’t expire until august.
  • you have to restrain yourself from snatching the redbook off of the belt after you put it there, telling yourself “you can actually afford $3.50 for a magazine.  i know. it’s okay.  it’s got good stuff in there.  and yeah, there’s some stuff that’s lame.  but you’ll like it. and you’ll read it over and over again.” and even then? not convinced.
  • you calculate, in your head, in about 30 seconds, how much you spent. and you were right, within $.75 cents.  stupid onions.

2 Responses to “tales from just a smidge above the poverty line.”

  1. You lost me at “caffeine free.”

  2. Ahhhh, God Bless Publix! I love having those days when you go “can I actually afford this?” instead of just plunking it down in the cart and you realize that you’ve grown a little. It’s a nice feeling.

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