Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Food attack! The tangled price we pay..

image courtesy of www.mnn.com

..of where we choose to eat and play. Hey, not bad eh? I did the best I could with that old-school quote, so passing marks for trying? Since I started writing the post, I've had the song "Heart Attack" by Olivia Newton John in my head. Hey, I can't help what pops into my head! I'm changing the lyrics from heart to food attack. Why? because I can and it's fun. You try it - sing it here!

Lets get back on track here. It doesn't need to be said just how much my hometown city of Toronto is changing. Or maybe it does. It's on par with some of the top cities on the planet as one of the most expensive places to live. Particularly in the downtown core of the city where I live. Luckily, I've been (somewhat) smart about where and how I spend my money, but a recent trip to the grocery store got me thinking about the price I really pay to eat and live in a desirable part of town. Is it even worth it?

My recent grocery bill was $75.52. I know. That is crazy costs for one person for one weeks worth of food, although maybe not surprising. As you know, my dear reader, having caught a glimpse into my culinary life based on this blog, I like to eat well. And if you are surprised, get Taylor Swift in your head and shake it off because you shouldn't be surprised. At all.

Yikes, I've quoted Taylor Swift and Olivia Newtown John. In the same post. Please don't give up or leave yet, there is a point to all of this, I promise!

I know this has been written ad nauseam in various magazines, online financial editorials and newspapers, but it must be repeated often because it may not be getting though to people. If you plan on moving to Toronto, especially downtown, be prepared to pay heavily for it.

The grocery bill highlighted above would shake anyone who lives outside of the city. I can almost hear the suburban voices telling me to drive somewhere else to get cheaper items. What a great idea! I'll just plunk myself in a Zipcar, endure Toronto's notorious traffic gridlock for hours, just to potentially save myself seven cents off the total bill? No thanks.

I do agree that the costs for food is very high, but that's what happens when you choose to be in a place where everyone else wants to be. More people means more chances to make money, and that includes the food industry. It is not exempt from price gauging. Have you seen the cost of bacon lately?

I have chosen to live in a desirable spot in the city, therefore the price I pay not only to eat, but for just about everything else I need, will be quite high. That's just basic economics. I understand this,I may not like it, but I've determined that it is worth it for me to be where I am.

Can I save money on my future grocery bills living in the central part of the city? But of course! People don't blow their horns about the amazing St Lawrence Market, Chinatown or Kensington Market for nothing. Visiting these places can help you can save a ton on your purchases of fresh fruit and veggies. And yes, even the meat and fish are a bit more affordable than your regular grocery store.

My motto for downtown food lovers: "Seek and ye shall find true savings, and avoid the dreaded grocery bill shock attack."

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