Saturday, April 07, 2007

Regular versus ethnic groceries

Okay, so yesterday I went to costco and spent $31.88 for this list of foods: 4 lbs tilapia, 4 vegetable lasangas, 1 brie, 2 bottles of 100% white grape juice, salad, and a 12 pack of breakfast sandwiches. Great deal and this should last us for about 2-3 weeks. My freezer is absolutely jam-packed full of stuff. I can easily manage now after spending this to spend probably for the rest of the month $50/week or less on groceries. Most of which will be for vegetables.

However last night we went out to eat Japanese food, which was great $23 for the two of us. Not a bad deal, not cheap but I'd rather eat that than a chain restaurant for the same price. That being said since we took the time to drive there, I decided to stop at Kotobukiya, a Japanese Market. One of two I believe in the entire state where I live. Unfortunately where I live there are very few Asian grocery stories. And they are all very small, and very pricy.

Because of this, it's been harder for us to eat like we used in SD. I admit to be really spoiled out there because probably once a week I would shop at Mitsuwa, Ranch 99, Marukai, etc. And the prices were usually better than a regular grocery store. Out here, the exact opposite is true. I'm paying a premium for Asian goods which are lower quality than I'm used to.

But anyway last night I spent $42.80 on groceries which included 4-6oz Frozen Eel (unagi) @ 4.95 each, 1 piece sashimi grade Tuna (maguro) @ $28.99/lb, 1 piece sashimi grade Salmon (sake) @ 28.99/lb, and 1 piece Yellowtail (hamachi) $29.99/lb, 1 bottle eel sauce, 2 packages Seaweed and this cost me $42. Plus the sashimi grade fish was not pretty, but we never eat sashimi anymore so I decided to splurge. And I might add I'm worried the pieces are not enough for a meal for the two of us. I also add this market didn't even have my favorite furikake (seaweed rice condiment).

If we go out to eat sushi we can easily spend $100 at a restaurant we sort of like out here for the two of us. Ridiculous, when you consider it's not grade A quality. This summer we spent $100 at Tsukiji Fish Market and it was worth it. Fresh caught fish in Tokyo where all the fish in the world is sent to be graded. So yes, a lot, but at least I felt better eating it. Plus Japan in general is expensive.

But what to do? Since moving out here I feel very lost and apart from my culture and heritage. Lack of ethnic things to see and do, lack of ethnic restaurants. When people ask why we're both so desperate to move back to the West Coast, I yesterday identified it. I can't imagine living my life out on the East Coast, constantly paying a premium for my "comfort" foods and not being able to even get some. Is this a reason to move back?

I think so. I miss eating my asian food, being near asian grocery stores and having great asian restaurants. I can't fathom the idea of driving one hour to send my kid to foreign language school every weekend. I don't want to. I don't want to have my children raised here without a concept of where they are from or heritage. I think having lived close to where my parents are from, like DH, we were able to visit family more often and be more aligned with our cultures.

So financially I'm glad to be living out here for now. And I'm even more thankful that I learned how much we're missing living out here now before we have kids. At least they don't have to live out here with us and suffer. Sigh. Thank god Costco sells rice.



$31.00 for tilapia?! OUCH!

Living Almost Large said...

LOL, sorry $31 for everything on the list, not just for the Tilapia, it was $14 for 4 lbs actually.

Anonymous said...

Now living in the Midwest, oh how I miss Ranch 99 on Clairemont Mesa! And Trader Joe's, and World Curry, and Pizza Port, and Sushi Deli, and... Damn you, why did you have to mention that and send me down memory lane?!? :)

Living Almost Large said...

Me too. I'm missing it as well.

Linda said...

Same here!