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Friday, March 5, 2010

Doggy Bag: Can Living Poor Mean Living Well?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 6:14 PM

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Our favorite morsel from the blogs.

Getting by: Our grandma, who came up during the other Depression, used the same phrase over and over. Whenever we bitched about having to suck on cans of Safeway-brand cola instead of Coke, or smeared the mashed rutabagas in a wide circle on our plate so it looked like we'd eaten some, whining that we wanted French fries instead, she'd pull out a saying as worn as her slip-ons: "Poor people have poor ways." Like, shut up, kid ― be happy for what you've got.

Today at Civil Eats, Sarah Rich examines how to live like a poor person in San Francisco, a repost from the Bold Italic. A poor person as far as expenditures go: The produce Rich forages at places like Earl's Organic and Stanley Produce ― chanterelles, organic avocados, brocollini ― is worthy of the most luxuriously thick-walled, wastefully double-bagged paper sacks from Whole Foods. Rich (after the jump):

You may think you're living frugally in San Francisco if you pillage derelict Yellow Pages for Rainbow Grocery coupons and pack your own lunch before work each day, but that kind of economy is for lightweights. You don't know thrift until you've woken before dawn to shop at the city's wholesale produce warehouses to cut the middle-man markup from your grocery bills. Even then, you haven't sealed the real deals until the lettuce-slingers know you well enough to inquire about your family vacation and hug you when you leave with your car buckling under the weight of damp brown cardboard boxes.
Read Rich's journey into the heart of bargains (in essence, a piece that posits as bogus the notion that living well is the result of bleeding cash) here.

And if the notion of getting up at dawn to engage in red-eye bargain shopping in Bayview sounds far-fetched, get over it: Poor people have poor ways.

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