Tonight for dinner, I made a delicious roasted pork loin, buttered cabbage, smashed potatoes, and beets with melted goat cheese. It was absolutely fabulous, and as I was sitting here digesting and watching Stranger on Netflix, I started thinking about how lucky I am to not only have the skills to cook these meals, but the financial means to make them happen at a price cheaper than a combo meal at Mickey D’s.
One of the things I think about a lot and talk about a lot is just how expensive everything is for poor people. That meal cost me probably eight dollars to make, and I have enough leftovers to eat it for lunch and dinner tomorrow. Three delicious meals for 8 bucks. But the reason I can do it is because I am fortunate enough that I can shop for the future. Every item, with the exception of the cabbage, was something I bought WEEKS and MONTHS ago. The pork loin was three bucks, reduced from nine. I saw them on sale, picked up five of them, and froze them. The new potatoes were two bucks for a huge bag that I found and threw in my onion and potato bin in the cellar a month ago. The beets were BOGO for 2 bucks- those expensive ones already cooked that are normally 3.99 per. The goat cheese I had on hand, and the cabbage was like 79 cents. Everything else I had in house.
I’m able to do that because I have the excess capital that keeps me from the situation a lot of people around me in West Virginia are in- literally every purchase they make is an emergency. They can’t buy five pork loins to freeze for some use months down the road, because EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE is a juggling act.
It’s like that with everything for the working poor. Their health expenses are higher because they can’t preventative care, same with their car and their house. They can’t get reliable banking or credit, etc. It’s just a cycle of suck and it makes me sad.
Also, raise the fucking minimum wage.
Good message for someone from West Virginia.
Actually, when I first saw the title, I thought Cole was eating the Working Poor
(The coveted #2 spot!)
This. I can remember as a kid eating fried baloney with eggs from the henhouse for dinner. We also had a steady diet of oatmeal, beans and rice. No bread in the house because payday was a couple of days away. And don’t even get me started on Soda. On Dad’s payday, Mom might buy a couple of packs of 5 cent kool-ade for us.
Mai Naem mobile
This is all fine asking for a hike in the minimum wage but have a care about Jeff Bezos who won’t be able to buy yet another $100 million dollar residence. And what will Betsy DeVos do if she can’t buy her 15th yacht. And poor Sheldon Adelson’s widow won’t be able to donate another $100 million to 2022 GOP campaigns.
And the working poor are more likely to live in food deserts, where their options for groceries are more limited and more expensive.
Buzzfeed article on unwritten rules of being poor. http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephenlaconte/people-who-grew-up-poor-rules-reddit
This one hit hard: “You never brought the field trip permission slips home because you knew better than to make your mom feel guilty she couldn’t pay the $5–20 fee to let you go.”
randal m sexton
One thing that bothers me about Safeway is the way they use their membership cards to give you these deals I make a lot of beef jerky from top round or London broil steak that they usually change in price by 50% going anywhere from $2.99 a pound to eight dollars a pound I usually buy a ton when it’s $2.99 and freeze it I totally think about how poor people are not able to do this they can’t get that 40 or 60% discount
@randal m sexton: Yup. If that’s the price with the member card, Safeway, then just charge that price for everyone. (I use my Safeway card a lot, and it adds up.)
You set the WABAC machine to 1975?
Literally millions of articles about this over the past 40 years or so, both the higher $$$ costs of being poor as well as much higher stress levels (so much so that it causes cognitive impairment as well as worse health outcomes).
It’s almost like we should have much higher progressive taxation, in order to fund much better public services. Or something.
2) Having a freezer
Living on the edge is tough.
I didn’t like it!
In other words, it takes money to make money and poor people don’t have working capital. Your pork loin buying is a simple example of arbitrage that takes a certain amount of capital. Now expand that to think of the sweetheart investment deals that finance bros get that are unavailable to mere mortals (e.g., minimum $1M investment).
I wish more people understood this. Not just the inability to buy ahead and take advantage of storage and cooking skills like you have John, but also how limited in time to prepare meals like that. Fast food, hot dogs, and pizza aren’t cheap or healthy, but they don’t require waiting for 30-60 minutes to cook when you get home with the hungry kids from a long work day. Plus the extra charges poor people have: any credit they have is at extortionate interest rates, so they end up paying thousands more for a used car than it’s usually worth and it’s often a money pit needing repairs. WalMart clothes are cheap, but they don’t hold up long, so you end up buying more of them. I have a single mom at the doctor’s office who is finally able, at age 29, to get her impacted wisdom teeth removed because she qualified for Medicaid. She was on Medicaid last year too but she couldn’t afford to take the time off of work; that stimulus check next month will help cover the salary she’s going to lose not coming in (they’re all part time). The people who can least afford it are nickled and dimed to death relentlessly. There was even a book about it.
I may have already mentioned the family that lived next door to us when I was about 8. Back when moms were stay at home, especially with two kids under 5 to care for. Unless their dad got overtime, they had exactly 5 cents left at the end of the week. The woman was thanking my mom profusely for the fruit we gave them off our backyard trees when she mentioned that. Just a colander full of peaches or apricots was a cushion on their budget that they didn’t usually have. After that mom started giving them some of our canned ones in the winter too. The dad got a better job after about three years, and they moved closer to his new place of work. I hope they were successful in the long run, but we didn’t keep in touch except for Christmas cards. Absolutely living on the edge.
While not specifically about food, Terry Pratchett’s commentary on boots comes to mind. (I’m pretty sure this has been mentioned here before.)
@VOR: Public schools these days cover field trips for kids whose families can’t afford admission/fees/etc. So that one is a little out of date.
Biggest issue about being poor in America these days is the high cost of housing in most places. It rolls down and crimps everything else in the budget.
@satby: Not to mention that stimulus/EBT etc are coming as plastic now, and every transaction has a fee. That $100 card will net 90 something, after a month’s worth of purchases are made.
randal m sexton
No big fan of the member cards*, but at least Safeway does offer some hefty (and also loss leader) reductions. OTOH at the other big chain grocer operating statewide, Foodland, it’s 10 cents off here, 5 cents off there with the card ‘specials.’
“Ooh, look. canned green beans reduced from $2.99 to $2.95!”
*When I sign up for them in-store it’s always with a phony name and address. They never check against ID.
That’s where I thought this was going.
@OldDave: I thought of that, too.
David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch
“It’s a cook book!”
Caramelizing three humongous sweet onions as first step to making a big pot of onion soup. Have to exercise major self-restraint not to munch ’em by the spoonful each time I left the lid of the pot to stir them.
I’m 37, have excellent insurance, and have for years. I sti struggle to schedule appointments for anything beyond an annual physical and even that didn’t start until I turned 30 and recognized signs of very early borderline high blood pressure. And it’s all because I was raised in a house where doctors visits only happened if someone broke a bone.
Not everywhere. I graduated in 2003 and this was my reality. The district I graduated from still doesn’t cover field trip costs if its not a trip everyone gets for free anyway. It’s a common complaint among my former classmates with kids in the school now.
@Mai Naem mobile:
What does someone need 3 or 11 multi million dollar mansions for? Or what does shitforbrains need oxygen for?
@Ruckus: Why does anyone need anything more than a weather-proofed single room?
Progressive taxation only works with incomes up to a couple of million.
Beyond that income taxes become largely a matter of offsetting the cost of legal avoidance with the cost of tax. In other words it becomes voluntary.
Make that 2 rooms. I don’t want to sleep next to a toilet.
I don’t know, I don’t.
I can see that someone with a family might enjoy a bit of privacy now and again, and the ability to sleep when others might not need to.
Of course I really don’t see the need for a 20+ room house for 2 people. Not when others are sleeping in tents and many even without that luxury.
@Omnes Omnibus: To store my books.
True. We are in a school district that is much fancier than the one I grew up in, and some of these field trips are big trips that maybe a hundred dollars or more.
The spring that the pandemic started, these elementary school kids were supposed to go on a two-night camping trip that cost probably close to $200. There were deposits, and the trip was canceled because of the pandemic so the school had to deal with figuring out if they could refund the money to the families. The camping area is a non-profit very close to one of the areas that burned down in Colorado this summer.
You obviously haven’t been in the service…
Or maybe that’s why you know you don’t want to do that….
Parents, mom especially, had to squeeze every nickle until the buffalo crapped (as granny was known to say). Three kids and both worked, because even back then it was hard to get by on one income.
Wednesday was food ad day in the paper. Mom made her shopping list based on the various sales and coupons, then Saturday I’d get dragged to at least three stores, minimum, because privileges of being youngest. Have no distinct recollection of muttering “Just kill me now” but the thought certainly formed in my young head.
I resented it then and hold them in wonder today. We had a legit middle class life that took every ounce of energy the folks had, and they managed to send two of us through college. Today, things are far more complex and the span of poverty to Uber wealth seems impossibly broad, from here to Pluto.
And now, my Yorkshireman: “You had cabbage? Sheer luxury! Why, in my day we’d get up before dawn and lick the road clean, when we could find the road because it was usually washed out from the molasses floods that would run through the town and mother would send us out with tin cans to collect the molasses and sell it to the hobos who lived in our shed while we slept on nettles.”
A lot of the working poor are holding multiple, part time jobs.
As a result, their shifts are all over the map, all the time.
This results in no sleep, no planning, and irregular income as one week, you might make 40 hours, the next, 4 hours.
Or the elevator or the ice machine. I have standards.
I had a hankering for Cincinnati Chili cheese coneys. Didn’t want to drive to Cincinnati, so I found a can of Skyline chili at walmart. Distributed it in a ice cube tray and put it in the freezer. Now when I want a cheese coney, I unthaw one of the cubes, which is just right for one regular dog, unthaw it and unthaw a bun and a dog. Ummm. Lace a bit of mustard in the bun first. Wish I could get the type of shredded cheese they use, in the Queen City, but can cut some extra sharp cheddar on top.
Story stuck in my brain is the gal who showed up for her McDonald’s shift still wearing her Burger King outfit because she was so tired she got her jobs mixed up.
Sounds like a consultant to me.
We weren’t poor by any means but we were frugal with soda. 1 16 oz Pepsi got split at least 3 ways.
“Wow, you were fortunate enough to have nettles?”
In the US we have a class of collectors called revenue officers. Most of them love anything that’s easy to sort out. Why? Not enough resources to pursue any big fish. So lots of minnows, no tuna. One big tuna just left the White House and has left a huge pile of tax fraud in its wake. Lord knows if anything will come of that*.
*I still want fucking Mnuchin hauled over the keel for running interference for Dolt45. And the mob lawyer who is unfortunately my boss. I hope Yellen has given him quite the major talking to and made it clear how tight his leash is.
In California, EBT cards for food and EDD debit cards for unemployment compensation do not involve fees for most transactions. The state appears to eat transaction fees for EDD cards (which is creating a big scandal).
But payday loan advance and other similar fees add to the cost of being poor. Also the lack of banking services.
One room … or five?
After we moved to the good neighborhood, yes! Mum and dad, always doing their best. :-)
Just finished binging five seasons of “Peaky Blinders” and my perceptions are a bit warped. Shouldn’t I be smoking and guzzling whiskey and planning a murder like, right now?
More privilege: Not only do the poor get charged high interest rates on credit card bills they can’t pay off every month (if ever), but premium credit cards offer “rewards” — two to three percent back on every purchase. So I pay just 97-98% of the stated price for … everything. Talk about adding up.
As a member of the working poor you pretty much nailed it.
I cook big batches of food as well, in fact tonight I’m gonna give another crack at shepherds pie, a dish that will give me a minimum of six meals. After that it’s a pasta bake that will give me eight meals. I eat bread and cheese and fresh veg for lunch pretty much every day.
Um, no. You just ramp up on enforcement (as Dems are trying to do) and collect the taxes.
Going with “well, the rich will just find other ways around it” is surrendering without even trying.
Mai Naem mobile
@Ruckus: The real super high end houses are 100000 sq ft which is freaking crazy. A Home Depot is 100000 sq ft. There’s a bunch of high end houses in Phoenix which are 8000 sq ft(that’s living area not garage) which is still crazy. I just wonder how you would need a pretty hefty budget just for cleaning the place.
We can all agree Mnuchin has a supremely punchable face. Question remains, is his the most punchable face of the Trump administration? (Since Bannon and Lewandowski et al also worked there.)
Even more important than raising the minimum wage to $15 is to index it once and for all to some measure of inflation. Otherwise it immediately begins to erode and then eventually we’ll have the heavy lift of getting it raised once again.
Yes. And the kids will eat them, and not object the way the probably would to pork loin and cabbage, which you can’t afford to waste. So you go with what you know will be palatable.
One of the unexpected joys of the pandemic and so much WFH has been being able to prep crockpot meals at lunchtime and then have them ready at a sane dinner hour. Crockpot meals are usually cheap to make, provide leftovers, and being able to do most of the work during the day means I don’t have to finish a long day of work and then try to summon the mental energy to make a meal. But, like John, I developed some skill to do this, and I have space for a pantry of food. We really need to pay American families enough to have at least a part-time SAH person.
Granted, in the case of #2, I have seen schools and school districts that limit field trips for their own budgetary reasons, so maybe this is something that works on both ends (cheaper trips, school/PTA paying fees). But leaving a kid behind because their parent/s can’t pay? I have yet to experience that in the past two decades.
J R in WV
When I was a little pre-school kid, still at home all day, I remember big strong young men knocking on the front door, and asking mom if there was any work they could do around the place, for food. Mom always found a couple of hours of work they could do, and put together a big doubled paper grocery bag full to the top with good food for them.
She knew they were hard workers with a family, and had nothing left in the house to eat at all. It took me years after that to figure out what was going on…
We are so lucky, and so many people just aren’t.
Retail workers are scheduled via an algorithm,
It moves your shifts, all over the map, all the time, every week.
It designed to meet the legal minimum, ( 8 hours between shifts for example, ) ignoring commuting time, a meal, destressing.
Some days, I get 4 hours of sleep between shifts.
During WWII, efficiency experts discovered that shift workers were most productive with a fixed, 2 week shift, a weekend off, then if needed, a change to a new shift.
In the ‘90’s, MBA’s discovered that constantly changing flex shifts meant that workers were always tired, compliant, could not upgrade their job skills, build a stable home life, apply for and get better jobs.
Lord Fartdaddy (Formerly, Mumphrey, Smedley Darlington Mingobat, et al.)
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. We had to make two trips to the emergency room in two days a few weeks ago, because my wife had a kidney stone attack. The bill was something like 8,000. We ended up paying less than $50 of that because her job gives the whole family kickass insurance.
And she could take it easy for a week while she got back up to speed. Poor people can’t do that. A week off their feet means their asses get fired.
In some ways, this country sucks ass. And it’s all our own doing. We could choose to help people not live in unending fear that one little hitch will lead to losing their shelter. We could do that, but as a society, we just choose not to.
When my Dad died about 15 years ago, I used the money to buy a new, basic but decent fridge, deep freezer, snow blower, and get a bunch of dental work done among other things. When the COVID checks came through last summer I kept an eye out and bought extra burger, ground turkey, ground pork, other freezer staples like butter to put in that freezer. Picked blueberries this summer and bought cherries when cheap, Plus flour, canned tomatoes, tuna. It was clear that we’d be lucky to get the pandemic under control by March, what with the Asswipe in Chief in charge. I’ve bought stuff for immediate use as funds were available and been able to hold a lot of those stores.
I had to take unemployment lasts March, age plus asthma not a great combo under the circumstances, and the state and federal relief have been so erratic. Now I’m looking at another possible glitch. And yet there’s still the stash of more expensive staples I was able to buy when the Democrats pushed through the (essentially $15/hour) relief money. I can get by with making bread, buying fresh veggies and the perishable stuff. And oh yeah cat food, what was I thinking? When I had to work for minimum wage there was no time to bake, to make more complicated food unless I really budgeted the time but if I did, I could put up several servings of stews, tomato sauce, meatballs. In the freezer that really poor people can’t afford and don’t have the room for.
Calling around the last couple of days to donate clothing from my friend who died, talked with the local homeless shelter. I asked her what the issue was, since there are signs in windows looking to hire. She said, point blank, not enough local affordable housing. And at minimum fucking so-called “wage”, nothing is affordable. At $7.25/hour, IF you can get 40 hours HAHAHAHA hours are always capped you are making $290/week before deductions.
The society we’ve become since I was a kid just makes me heartsick.
Sounds like this district is doing its sorting in advance, ie, anyone without these kinds of means for field trips couldn’t afford to live there anyways.
In more middle-income public school districts, a) they wouldn’t schedule these kinds of trips and b) they’d make sure they didn’t leave kids behind just because their parents couldn’t afford to pay.
@Jay: Oh God yes, this came in as I was typing mine. So true.
Moving the shifts around–I’ve been home for a YEAR and couldn’t figure out why I don’t seem to be able to organize my time to get to the studio and push new work out. Just the other day realized that 7 years of constantly changing shifts, morning to evening, every day/week different, my body and psyche have no f*cking idea what regularity is. Completely agree with your assessment.
Exactly right. Housing + a joke of a minimum wage is a killer, and that impacts everything down-budget. And god help folks who get evicted because they fall behind.
@Millard Filmore: I lived – and worked – with two dogs – in a 330 sf studio for two years. I sometimes regret moving because I was in Boston’s West Fenway, two blocks from the victory garden where I had three adjacent plots, but it was pretty hellish crammed into that tiny space. I’d love to move back but simply couldn’t afford current rents there. I’m in Mesa, AZ now, paying a ridiculous amount for a 700 sf one bedroom. I’d love even a small chest freezer but have no room. It’s impossible to buy those five pork loins with only the fridge freezer.
It could be worse though. Tonight I made a fancy dinner of NY strip steak, creamed spinach, and a potato baked in my air fryer. Wow! Love creamed spinach but the air fryer baked potato was amazing.
@Mai Naem mobile: 1 acre is 43560 sqft
@trollhattan: Punchable face? Jared.
Carbon emissions is directly proportional to home size. Countries with smaller homes have smaller emissions. Not saying we all need to go to tiny homes, but unnecessarily large homes should be a point of criticism, not admiration.
We really need to come to terms with our proclivity to waste. If you feel you have enough excess money to build a 20 room house, then you needed to pay more in taxes.
Amen! Or index it to some reliable measure of productivity gains. Or both. Just make sure that it goes up over time.
@trollhattan: The most punchable face?? Jared Kushner hands down.
damn. BillinGlendale beat me to it.
If you get a grater with small holes, and use sharp cheddar, you will get the same kind of very thin strips making the fluffy mound of cheese that tops bowls of Cincinnati chili and Coneys.
That is what we do when we make it at home — although there is a Skyline a mile away (and until recently, in the other direction, a GoldStar), Ohio Dad is very proud of his recipe.
Just thought I’d post a live Youtube performance (as in, playing RIGHT NOW!) from musicians from the Byron Schenkman and Friends channel. Seattle-area pianists doing a recital titled “Piano Songs & Fantasies”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqBZCMsjCPQ&ab_channel=ByronSchenkman%26Friends
I really like that their program is very new and different from the usual Bach, Beethoven, etc.
Mesa is… ridiculously expensive for what you get.
The schools are not good, the public services are not good, the City Council is a front for the LDS Church. So much poverty there and the local GOP doesn’t give a shit.
The MAC is amazing, though. I miss it immensely.
@Viva BrisVegas: Many people want to attack the problem of income inequality by figuring out ways for government to extract more money from the wealthy. I am all for that, but as you point out there are limitations to this approach.
A better strategy would be to find ways to enhance working class income. Large well targeted infrastructure investment would do this. Another way would be to make regulatory changes and, if needed new legislation making it easier for unions to organize the workforce of companies like Amazon .
So long as his competitors are in the same boat, Bezos has nothing to fear if his warehouse workers are represented by the SEIU, and his delivery persons are Teamsters. In the long run, he would be all the wealthier for this A thriving working class would make for a more prosperous middle class, and both groups would have more money to buy stuff from him.
@catclub: I never bought soda (we call that pop in Chicago). Never. Too wasteful. And I made the KoolAid with only 1/2 the sugar. The kids really knew it was a treat when for their birthdays they got to pick their own special (sugary) cereal and a pop to have with dinner.
On the upside, they never got cavities, I’ve never had any either. One benefit of being too poor for pop. And as adults neither eat sweet crap.
@satby: Lack of cavities can come from fluoride treatments as well.
@Emma: it’s also weirdly comforting that at least half the viewers commenting seem to be around my age and/or are fellow POC. I’m too used to being the youngest by 4 decades in any given concert hall.
It’s so many things mentioned above—banking, housing, job schedules, inability to buy food ahead when it’s on sale— I think even of toilet paper. I buy it in big packages when they’re on sale. I always have at least 40 of the big rolls and watch for sales. Poor people buy a 4-pack at full price at the convenience store.
I’d like to know what happened to the idea of providing basic banking through the post office. I’m sure it’s nothing DeJoy wants to implement.
@Omnes Omnibus: Absolutely. But I grew up with the same avoidance of doctors as @PenandKey: unless someone lost an eye or a limb. We saw the doctor for vaccinations mostly, dentists seldom. My mom gave us vitamins with floride for our teeth, I used the kid floride mouthwash for mine. I think my kids saw doctors slightly more often than I did, but barely.
@satby: I can’t edit, but the reason we had to ration medical care was pre-ACA I made too much for medicaid, but as a contract worker didn’t get benefits. We were part of the 41 million. (Fixed)
smedley the uncertain
@Jay: First we kill the MBAs THEN the Lawyers.
@Ohio Mom: Checked grater; has small holes. Tried some cheese and it works! Thanks. Next time. When I lived in Cincinnati in the 70s, cheese coneys were like 25 cents. Last time I was there in 2013 they were more than a buck. Still miss that take out. Could feed the four of us for less than $10.
@Mai Naem mobile: At least according to Wikipedia, there are only two houses in the US over 100,000 square feet and they both are over a hundred years old. Only 17 of the top 100 were built in this century. There doesn’t seem to be a wave of new ultra-giant homes, at least compared to the last gilded age. Of course, that doesn’t mean than even 10,000 square feet isn’t absurd on every level.
@dnfree: Elizabeth Warren is still on the postal banking idea.
The middle incomes disappear first. This school is 20% free and reduced lunch and had funds to support kids who want to go. I am not sure how it works because kids need to have a bag and bring their own bedding.
Mai Naem mobile
@Stuart Frasier: you’re right. I somehow always thought Aaron Spelling’s mansion in Hollywood was 100K sq ft but it was only 50K sq ft. It looks humongous in the pics. The only thing I remember reading about that place was that his wife had a gift wrapping room with all its accoutrements. A room set aside for wrapping gifts. Lol. A friend of mine’s sister lived in Scottsdale near the guy who founded Taser who built a 20K sq ft house. Supposedly his neighbors weren’t all that thrilled with him.
@Stuart Frasier: The average size of newly constructed homes in the US has been climbing for decades.
You know, I’m sure seventeen year old me who had to stay behind while 90% of my class took a trip to DC my junior year of high school for precisely the reason that my parents couldn’t afford the multiple hundreds of dollars the trip cost would love to know that you’ve never seen such a thing in the last two decades. As would my former classmates who are still in the district with kids of their own. I don’t know where you’re from, but it’s obviously not a poor rural district in Wisconsin like I grew up in.
Consider yourself fortunate the idea is foreign to you. It’s anything but for those of us who actually experience it.
@Brachiator: I was told that the stimulus cards had fees by someone who got one and was angry about the fees. I have heard the same about other benefit cards, but not first hand. Thank you for the information.
@randal m sexton: Safeway’s pricing policies annoy me enough that I only rarely shop there. When I do, the checkout person almost always uses their own card to give me the discount anyway. :-/
I much prefer Trader Joe’s pricing – the price is on the shelf and doesn’t change (except in rare cases). It saves staff time, is probably easier for the finance people to number-crunch, and must be cheaper for the company than what Safeway does trying to convince people that they’re getting some giant bargain by using the card…
@PenandKey: when my kids were in high school the choir went to Ireland -$2000. The mom arranging it was incredulous that anyone couldn’t afford it. They can sell wrapping paper or get an after school job. She had no idea that some kids were using their earnings for necessities and college savings, and didn’t really believe it.
Thing about Safeway here (which I don’t go to all that much anymore other than for select items I don’t need in Costco sized quantities) is that 4 times out of 5 at least one item in my basket either rings up at an incorrect (and always higher) price – gotta keep a sharp eye on the display as the checker is doing his/her thing – or doesn’t show up on scanning at all.
Target, a relative newcomer to the island, has become my second to Costco choice of grocery stops. The one here is bright, clean and well stocked, as opposed to the one I went to nearest to Mom in NY, which was dingy, cramped and depressing.
Belatedly, the stimulus debit card is not like the others. There are fees depending on where you use the debit card. This is stupid and very inconvenient, but is supposedly spelled out in material you get with the card.
John, you’re a good man. I mean that very literally. A good human being.
@JaneE: I used mine for the first time tonight. A $0.35 flat fee for a $25 gas purchase, no fee for a $2.78 grocery one. If that’ll be the extent of it then I can live with it.
I always remember when money was really really tight buying things like toilet paper. I knew I could save money buying one of the giant packs, but doing so meant cutting something else, because you’re living week to week.