I agree... living in one of the more (relative) expensive cities in the world (somewhere from 7th to 15th, and one of the highest in North America - we are getting close to outpacing NY on a salary/housing basis!), I'm not sure how one is suppose to manage.
Seriously, my grocery bill is about 400 odd a month. And I could cut that down, I realise. My mortgage + condo fee + basic utilities is about 1050 a month. My place is 550sq feet... a little one bedroom place.
I don't struggle (hence why I bought this place!)... but the structural costs built into our society are unbelievable. My fixed costs (bills - and we try to run them down as much as possible) run about 1400 of our (now increased to) 2100 budget. We've stripped away all extra costs, which not everyone would think as being "extra" - no car, no vacations, etc. So those structural costs should be higher for the average person.
There is a limit on how much one can strip away before you hit absolute meat - a place to stay, food to eat, a way to get to work. It seems like most places hit that limit, or passed it (I'd say we passed here in Vancouver!). There are some serious imbalances in the system somewhere...
And yes, there is a difference between eating and eating well. Not eating well over the long time is extremely harmful for your health, obviously, but it also becomes an economic trap.
I hear what you're saying. My rent is much higher than that, and costs are pretty astronomical. I couldn't completely fathom the outrageous cost of living here before I came. Except you basically must have a car here, it's almost impossible to live without one (but, I admit, it's better than Los Angeles in that respect).
The costs outside housing, which is already amazingly outrageous, is what really gets me. All the usually-cheap services I'm accustomed to are more expensive here, too. I couldn't imagine trying to live on the pretty meager double-earner median household income. They'd be paying over 50% of their income in rent alone, which is less than it would take to make payments on a house by quite a bit.
Originally Posted by kuranes
With all the diabetes probs out there ( striking at younger and younger people ) you wouldn't think a mostly starchy diet ( cheap ) would be "what the doctor ordered."
Which makes me wonder if poverty is more to blame for our epidemic ills. Obesity is also mostly caused by a cheap starchy diet, not merely by fat in your food as people peddling low-fat food would have you believe (this is mainly so they can sell the fat to people that will pay more for it and sell you the low- or no- fat stuff for more because they removed it to sell it to someone that will pay more for it).
Originally Posted by booyalab
i think i've been spending $20 a day on food lately, but i haven't gone grocery shopping in a while and someone owes me money now.
I'm certainly over 25 a day here, I was in the 30-35 a day range for the first month, though.
I wonder what I weigh now. I've either lost or gained, but I can't tell.