Truth be told, if you have an avocado in the house ($2) and a loaf of bread on hand, you don't *actually* have to choose between avocado toast and paying your bills. This is not something I'd pay a lot for at a restaurant, but it's a reasonable option for me at home.
At the grocery store this morning I noticed new items. Like, damn, $7-$8 for crinkle cut jicama, beets, carrots, or butternut squash. How many ways can you say hell no? Not to disrespect these fine ingredients (especially beets, which are underrated) but to say THAT'S not in the food budget. Now, same as the avocado toast, one can do a homemade version of these, or, as I like to do, just buy a 99 cent bag of baby carrots and move on with life. But we all have our food budgets and preferences.
Though, I have to say, it's amazing to me that these items cost as much as a package of chicken breasts. Cost me $8.02 to buy 1.5 lbs of chicken breasts. I know I could save money if I bought chicken in larger size packages so I'm not exactly religious about the food budget. It does say something about my social class position that I can spend $8 on chicken without worrying too much about slimming down that part of my food budget. I have all this on the brain because my Social Stratification course begins tomorrow and I'm very interested in food and social class. We like to make pop sociology observations about generations but often when we do so we *actually* obscure social class analysis.
Finally, here's what I bought at the store this morning. A pretty typical shopping trip: yogurt, pasta, potato chips, bread, deli turkey, chicken, carrots, broccoli, hummus, cheese, etc. And also blew $1.95 on coffee when I already made some at home before going to the store. Almost $67 for what amounts to household staples and parts of lunches and dinners for a few days. I'm at the store a few times a week -- one reason being it means I don't buy too much produce on any one trip that ends up spoiling. Again, it speaks to my social class position that I can make multiple trips to the grocery store each week (reliable transportation and a job as a college professor that allows me a flexible schedule).