Not So Bad

After a week and a half of horrible eating caused by PMS (or my total and complete lack of willpower…whatever. I prefer to blame PMS), the scale is headed in an upwards direction and I’m not too overjoyed about that. So I’ve started trying to control my eating, but we haven’t been to the grocery store in 3 weeks so we have no fresh fruits or veggies. We have nothing but noodles and rice. The carbs are killing me! I eat a small plate of starchy deliciousness and then in an hour I’m starving again. We really need to get to the supermarket but there are several problems, 1. We’re poor. 2. We’re poor. and 3. We’re really poor.


At the end of this week after payday we’ll be able to go grocery shopping but we still don’t have a lot to spend, and inflation has just been killing me lately. When I first got to Chile I couldn’t believe that fresh produce was so dirt cheap. Now in the past months the prices of vegetables and fruit has gone up over 100%, milk and bread have also been on the rise. I’ve heard talk that this is a sign of Chile’s economy growing. Welcome to the developed world…where everything costs you and arm and a leg! But, I feel so bad for the people here who are truly poor. It’s pretty easy for me to notice inflation in food prices because we are very consistent in what we buy…always the basics, lots of fruits, vegetables, bread, milk, cereal, rice etc. Never anything too out of the ordinary (except when my husband’s cuico supermarket opens and I go CRAZY!). There was a time when we regularly spent about $50,000 pesos, or about $100 USD every two weeks on groceries. Now that’s gone up and I’m fairly positive we are still buying the same items. Now we spend about $60,000-65,000 pesos, or $120-130 USD each time. That’s not a huge increase but when you consider the fact that minimum wage is about $240 USD, spending an extra $20-30 bucks would take a serious chunk out of your monthly earnings.

I complain a lot about our financial situation. We have debt and that sucks big time. It may take us longer than we’d like to be able to move to another country. I’d like a big expensive flash for my camera.

I want to smack myself for just saying those things.

I seriously need to shut my pie hole. Compared to a lot of people in Chile, we are so much better off. Sure, we live in a room in a student residence that belongs to our parents. But, we have a roof over our heads. I might not be able to buy all my expensive imported foods from the US like peanut butter as much as I would like, but I never worry that we’re going to go hungry. Sometimes I light candles to help heat our room to save on energy costs. But we’ll never freeze because I can turn on the electric space heater whenever I want. We have electricity in our house.

Anyways, this entry turned into a total tangent and is not what I had intended to write about. Sometimes you just have to go with it. I guess the point that I’m trying to get to is that we’re not “really poor,” like I said in that first paragraph. We’re rich, and I should be more appreciative.


  1. Chileno says:

    You should ask someone in the Pintana how they “fix” their electric meters. I wrote about this recently, how this really poor girl with a baby has had a couple electric heaters going full blast all through this record cold snap winter and she pays about $13 bucks a month for it 😉

  2. Rachel says:

    My husband and I just talked about this today! Being content with what you have. Think of others that have nothing. I totally agree. It is just hard to keep that perspective when things get rough in your own personal realm.

  3. Briana says:

    I agree… and disagree… I definitely believe it’s important to be thankful for what you have – family, friends, health, food etc.. and be as positive about life as possible. But I also believe that having something that someone else does not have does not negate your right to complain about it… (I suppose as long it’s not constant)
    just my two cents…

  4. tomasdinges says:

    sorry taza de interes…edit if you will.

  5. tomasdinges says:

    When did you first notice that prices began to go up on you?

    My first thought is that produce got more expensive because it got to be winter…that was a couple of months ago..

    Palta (avocado) goes up…tomatoes become scarce..etc..

    lastly, get your fresh fruit and veggies from the weekly markets. if you live in cuicolandia then you may be able to find some organic stuff and not organic stuff in La Reina, near the Parque Intercomunal (criminal) recently renamed the Parque Padre Hurtado, i think.

    Ps. I like this site better than your other one.

  6. mamacita chilena says:

    Tomas, I noticed about a month and a half ago, like you said, right at the start of winter. I assumed the prices were rising because of the cold, but last week when I went to the grocery store frutas y verduras were absolutely unbuyable. I don’t live in cuicolandia, vivo en Estacion Central. I do all my grocery shopping at Lider de las Rejas because it’s like a block from my house and sometimes we go to the feria for fruits/veggies but as of late there hasn’t been a big difference in prices between feria and supermercado.

    Anways, just basics like papas y cebollas are ridiculously expensive right now. And I saw something on the news that said part of the high prices are that way because of winter but an economist mentioned that a lot of it has to do with inflation and Chileans should be prepared to start spending more on food.


  7. tomasdinges says:


    lets all keep an eye on la taza de inflacion…

    Are you near Villa Francia?

    I guess if you shop at the Lider at Las Rejas…its new right?? on the corner…then not really.

    So are you going to tell your reading audience who you met your husband and caused you to be a just married chilean style.

  8. Chileno says:

    >>>Chileans should be prepared to start spending more on food.

    Still, you can’t call ’em poor. According to the US State Dept, the poverty line in Chile is measured at 2x a family of four’s minimal nutritional needs. Heck all I need one “minimum”. I’ll spend the rest on a 6-pack and we’ll call it even.

    Anyway, TomAs, the interest rate just went up .25, so now it’s 5.25 just like the US feds, although that’s gonna drop soon.

    Lastly, since you mentioned it, here’s lowdown on inflation in Chile.

  9. tomasdinges says:

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