A Little Perspective

Not shown: the cheap-ass bottle of Chinese wine.

It’s been over two years since I’ve bought groceries in the US, so I have no clue what the prices are anymore.   To give people an idea of what it’s like here, this is a photo of what I bought today.  The list is:

  • 180 g (.4 lbs) of shrimp
  • 364 g (.8 lbs) of chicken
  • 374 g  (.83 lbs) of pork
  • 240 g (.53 lbs) of spiced ham (sausage)
  • 200 g (.44 lbs) of imported Swiss cheese (the only real cheese in the city)
  • Half a loaf of bread
  • 2 bell peppers
  • A batch of mushrooms
  • A head of broccoli
  • A half head of celery (for some reason, they cut them in half)
  • 2 packages of pasta (shells)
  • A bundle of noodles

At today’s exchange rate, this is almost exactly $22.50 worth of groceries.

The cheese was the most expensive (35元–about $5.75)   The list includes over 2½ lbs of meat.

I made chicken and ham soup (with rice) this afternoon.  I used all the chicken, one pepper, half the ham, and a bit of the broccoli and celery.  I splurged and made a grilled cheese sandwich using two slices of bread and about half the cheese.  That was two large meals (lots of soup).  I have enough soup left for another 3 or 4 meals.   The shrimp and pork are in the freezer.  That’s another 2 or 3 meals.   The rest will serve to make up the majority of another 15-20 meals, at least (I’ll often eat a bowl of spiced noodles as a meal)

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