Costco to the rescue

In my last blog I whined (& rightfully so) about paying $3.56 for one red bell pepper. Yesterday I was at Costco. At one point while loading an item in the shopping cart, I noticed another customer pushing a shopping cart with a bag of six large red bell peppers. That’s right, Costco sells produce.

I began my quest. When I located the holy grail, umh, the bag of bell peppers, the price was right: six bell peppers for $6.99. Yippie.

As I reached for the bag of red bell peppers, a dazzling display of colors caught my eyes: a bag of six bell peppers containing a pair of red, a pair of yellow and a pair of orange bell peppers. Of course I purchased the variety pack.

Thanks Costco to coming to my rescue. My goal of eating healthy is not thwarted by sky high prices.

And tonight I saved the seeds of the red bell pepper. Will grow this year and next.

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$3.56 for one red bell pepper!

I stopped to shop at my favorite grocery store this evening, M.O.M. or My Organic Market.  Trying to eat healthier, I purchased certain items.  One item I selected was a red bell pepper.  The sign listed the price as $6.99 per pound.  I assumed the one bell pepper I selected wouldn’t cost that much.

Boy, was I wrong!  This bell pepper weighed .51 pounds.  I could not have imagined that one bell pepper costing $3.56.

In contrast, 2.23 pounds of banana cost $1,76.  A  5 oz container of spring lettuce mix cost $3.99.  Baby carrots = $1.99.

Hmmm, it has got to be cheaper GROWING red bell peppers.  I’ve grown peppers the last few years.  Not sure if I have seeds for red bell peppers.  If not, I will grow and enjoy whatever variety of bell peppers I have in stock.

Not Wall Street bankers, not athletes but first responders!

We, as Americans, need to re-evaluate what we supposedly value.  When there is a horrific event like the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon, what would we do without the brave first responders?  And how do we as a society show our appreciation to these individuals putting their lives on the line daily?  Very little if you look at their paychecks.

Isn’t it outrageous how much Wall Street bankers and athletes are paid?  Ridiculous sums of money.

Another example, our federal politicians receive a very comfortable salary plus all the perks of office.  Yet, who faces the danger of exposure to potentially life threatening substances through the mail?  Our postal employees.  And how do we value their service?  Frankly, we don’t.

We, as Americans, need to figure out what’s really important and compensate those individuals accordingly!!!!

Unexpected refund!

Received today in the mail a letter from Bank of America and a check.

The letter states

Our records indicate that you were previously enrolled in the Bank of America Privacy Assist Service.

Upon reviewing your account records with our service provider,  we found that while you were enrolled, there was a period of time during which you did not receive all of the benefits of this service.  As a result,  Bank of America is sending you a refund of $59.17.

As your service has since been cancelled, no additional action is required.  You are no longer being billed, and the refund attached below is yours to keep.

This notice only applies to your prior Bank of America Privacy Assist service and does not impact any other accounts you may have with Bank of America

Thank you class action lawsuit and/or government regulators. I assume many more individuals received such a refund.

I terminated the Privacy Assist service between 2007 – 2009. I don’t have any other accounts with Bank of America.

And unexpected refund. Delighted 🙂

Fewer disposable dollars : health care

Had a medical test performed almost three weeks ago. I do have medical insurance but of course insurance does not cover all expenses. During the past week I’ve received several explanation of benefits statement from my insurance company. I owe $55.18,  $158.41, $75.00 & $249.22. A total of $537.81 owed (I hope I have received all the bills) .

And I have health insurance. But what about those who do not?  I understand why medical bills is the #1 reason why individuals file for bankruptcy.

And,  by the way,  there goes my DC refund. 😦

$20 for parking on a Saturday!

I visited a library in Alexandria, Virginia recently. The website for the library noted there is limited street parking, that the police are viligant about enforcing parking, and provided information about taking public transportation or if driving, parking at a nearby parking garage. Since I was visiting on a Saturday, I assumed parking costs would be reasonable.

Boy was I wrong.

$5 per hour for a total of $20. I was fuming and of course you had to pay with a credit card. I was so pissed off I missed a famous person walking in the garage. My passenger saw Newt Gingrich.  Okay, he can afford that parking rate. Not me.

Could it happen here?

What happened in Cyprus has been unnerving.  Because of poor fiscal management,  the government announced it would take 10% from individuals ‘ bank accounts,  causing a “run on the banks ” where individuals sought to withdrew their money (Duh,  don’t know why officials in Cyprus could not foresee such a reaction). The Government of Cyprus then closed banks for several days. In the meantime,  government officials decided to take a percentage from bank account above a certain numerical amount.

This drama in Cyprus makes me wonder – could this happen here in the United States?  I doubt it but there are lessons one can learn  from this episode.

Don’t assume you can withdraw money from your ATM anytime you want. Keep some cash around the house.