I relocated to Southern California some eight years ago. Almost daily, at a local restaurant, my fave lunch was Chinese chicken salad. The price then was $7.50. A year or so later it was $9, then $12.50. On my most recent visit, the bill was for $17.50, an increase of more than 150% in just those years. Meanwhile, in the same time period, my Social Security and company pension payments went up a grand total of 5%.
Of course, inflation keeps raising all other costs of living for this old guy who must survive on limited income. However, with food at least I can do something about it. When I eat, why should I feed inflation?
Most simply, instead of dining out several times a week, I’ve cut back to no more than once or twice a month. I buy healthful, fresh foods from a local grocery and prepare them at home. That restaurant $18 chicken salad now costs me $5, and I don’t have to tip the server.
Another benefit is that I can dine in the peaceful setting of my sunny front porch, with no crowded, noisy smartphoning families yapping around me. I must be doing something right.
Now I feel healthier and can stretch my limited income to cover food and other expenses. With my 92nd birthday coming up very soon, I can still take two daily hikes plus swim a dozen laps, and then eat a deliciously cheap, homemade Chinese chicken salad.