or how I paid $60 for 12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts yesterday. The commissary at the base closed on Saturday and our only option (on base) is now the mini-mart. If we are stocking up for a party, that is fine, however, their grocery selection is, well, limited at best.
So, we had friends over for dinner last night and Pete made his famous chicken parm. I was thrilled to find a familiar looking bottle of pasta sauce for the low, low price of $4.30 per jar. Not too bad there, but the chicken nearly killed me. It didn't dance or sing or come pre-marinated. Nope, plain ole' chicken to the tune of $60!
I know, I know, it is an island economy and things are at a premium. But, good grief, how do people eat? It wouldn't seem so bad if produce were less expensive, but, yeah, it's not. I briefly thought about us all becoming vegetarian for two years, but I think that would be just as pricey. Ever shopped at Whole Foods? Yeah, their produce is cheap compared to Iceland! Also, at least for the cost you have the privilege of saying 'it's organic'...not so here. You can get organic, but it is definitely pricier.
Mind you, we haven't yet had to buy gas on the local economy yet and we are psyched to pay (currently) $7.65/gallon! I suppose the good news is that we are now currently set on our stores of: dishwashing liquid, shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, fabric softener, hand soap, oxi-clean, goo-gone, soup, olives, canned foods, kitty litter and all the rest of the personal items that are so costly here. When we lose the FPO, we also lose the privilege of having more than 16 oz of liquid in any package. The government even considers canned grean beans to be liquid, so glad we stocked up!
I suppose the bonus to all of this is that we really will look at how we spend our money at the store. Although, I was sad to see almost all of this week's weekly allowance spent on one meal yesterday! Peter thinks our basement looks like a retail store, but I say better that than having to spend $12 on a small box of laundry detergent (the generic brand). When we are at the store we will only have to buy food, which is good since they charge you for the grocery bags, too!
Now, I purchased my reusable grocery bags online, but if I hadn't, I would have probably spent close to $150 just on grocery bags! I understand their theory is to just bring your own and save the cost, but they don't even offer cloth bags for sale in the store. This is also a country where it is standard to only buy whatever food you are going to eat that day. I am all for fresh food, but really, is having an extra box (or 20) of pasta in the pantry such a bad idea?
So there is a little 'slice o' life'. Mind you, we are still enjoying Iceland and it should be interesting to see how we do. Not only will we be more conscious of how we are spending our money, but really, what we are putting into our bodies. I have been 'coke-free' since April and haven't missed the cola at all. Since I spent $2.90 on ONE litre of coke for Peter on Tuesday, he is also considering lessening considerably the amount of soda he drinks.
Oh, and junk food? Not likely. Yes, there will be occasional treats, but with a small bag of goldfish running over $2, it won't be like the States. And, no commercials here to remind the kids of what they are missing. I think we will instead let them indulge in the bakery treats that are so popular here, but at least seem to have some nutrition.
Okay, Little Buddy Junior has awoken from her late afternoon nap, so off to make her dinner. Ooh, and tomorrow, well, we all know what tomorrow is...Culture Day in Reykjavik and it just happens to fall on one of the most important days of our year. Don't know? Check back tomorrow!