It turns out $2.50/day is easy to do. In a way, it's been good to get even a little glimpse of how everyone else manages their money around here (except that what we spend on food is their entire budget mostly). It's fortunate that we're vegetarian cooks, and I don't know how the rest of the town can afford to not be vegetarian. Monday, for example, we had roasted vegetables with Carribbean dressing and mashed potatoes. Grocery expense? $2.50
- $0.45 2 lbs onions
- $0.45 2 lbs sweet potatoes
- $0.25 2 carrots
- $0.35 2 red peppers
- $0.45 2 lbs potatoes
- $0.20 1/2 c fresh natural yogurt
- $0.35 1/2 c margarine
Most days are about like that. Food is completely manageable as long as I don't buy nuts, cheese, or meat. Flour would also put a dent in my budget ($1.50/2 lbs), so we've pulled back on all the afternoon baked goodies. I think one of the reasons these 2 weeks have been so easy, however, is that we know they'll be over on Saturday. I've been making a list of all the things I'm going to buy when the next "month" begins-- Corn Flakes, shorts, shampoo, and baking chocolate, to name a few. It's a different story for Peruvians. There's no guarantee of when the next pay check will come. Even if you have a job, actually. Way too frequently, employers don't have money when pay day comes, and employees just don't get their check for another 2-4 weeks.
Saturday the 25th is coming up soon! It's pay day but also our 5-year anniversary (and my brother's 23rd birthday). We're going to Lima to celebrate and will be heading to our favorite Italian restaurant (Trattoria del Mambrino) with some friends we met in language school in Arequipa. I'm looking forward to a sliver of luxury.