Sticker Shock?

This past week we ran into one of our SMA neighbors at City Market, and shared a taxi with her to come home. She had just gotten back from a trip to Texas and told us to be prepared for some real sticker shock when we returned to the U.S. A Clif Bar, she said, was $3.00!

I guess in comparison to what things cost here in Mexico prices in Texas probably did seem quite high to our neighbor. However, after our years in Hawaii we’ve been suffering from reverse sticker shock as prices here have seemed almost artificially low. We have no idea what things are going to cost in Nashville in comparison but we feel confident they’ll still be less than they were on Kaua’i.

We’ve been working on our monthly budget for Tennessee, but currently there are still too many unknowns to nail things down. For example, we know how much rent we’ll be paying, but have no idea what utilities will cost, and we haven’t paid a utility bill for nearly four years (and Kaua’i utility costs were high). We don’t know how much Internet service will be but we’re guessing it will be close to what it was on Kaua’i, maybe a little less if we’re lucky. We were paying over $5 per gallon for gas when we left Kaua’i in May, but prices in the area we’ll be living in Tennessee are currently under $4 per gallon so I think we may initially feel some slight reverse sticker shock there. Car insurance for our new car will most likely be more than what we were paying for our older Honda Civic.

We’ll have an abundance of food shopping options near to us in Tennessee including Trader Joe’s, Costco, Aldi, and many other stores, and I know we’re going to find prices to be lower than what we were paying on Kaua’i along with an increased selection of things available. However, at the same time those prices will most likely seem high after Mexico, so I’m guessing we’ll fall somewhere into the neutral zone with sticker shock, but we’ll again be bringing all our frugal shopping skills to bear to get the most for our money. We’ve determined an initial budget amount for food each month, but as always the goal will be to spend less, if possible, and put the difference into savings. Dining out will once again become the rare exception it was in the past rather than the norm it’s become here in San Miguel de Allende.

It’s been a few years since I purchased a Clif Bar, but I wanted to tell our neighbor that $3 would have seemed like bargain after Kaua’i, where it would have probably cost somewhere between $4-$5. We’ve prepared ourselves for higher prices than we’ve been paying in Mexico, but hopefully we’ll get to enjoy some of the benefits of reverse sticker shock as we compare Tennessee prices to those we were paying in Hawaii. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

8 thoughts on “Sticker Shock?

  1. I’ve started doing a few puzzles through the New York Times and often struggle with American terms for things. Stickers for price tags is good to know for crosswords 🙂 I had to look up Clif Bar too 🙂

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    1. I love this post. We struggled at times with the vocabulary when we were in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK! Listening to English spoken in one of these countries I always get the grammar but can be at a complete loss to what anyone is saying!

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  2. From the occasional prices you noted in Hawaii, you will most likely find prices here are indeed lower. I have had one Clif bar a few years ago, and thought it was sickeninglly sweet and overpriced. Look up some online ads for Nashville and see what you think of prices.

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    1. Thanks for the good idea to look at the online ads. It was hard to find comparable because we bought most of our food in bulk at Costco but I did see that cheese was much less at Publix, and they were selling mangoes 5/$5 – mangoes were *$5 each* on Kaua’i even though they were grown there!! I have a feeling that Costco prices will be less than what we were paying in Hawaii – Brett has all of our old receipts so we can compare. Gas in Nashville is over $1.30/gallon less than what we were paying in Hawaii.

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  3. I hear complaints about grocery price inflation here in Ventura but most things are still lower priced than they were 6 months ago in Kauai’s grocery stores. The one exception I’ve found is that the farmers market here is generally more expensive than Ned’s farm stand in Kalaheo. On the plus side there’s a lot more to choose from. I miss tropical fruit but am loving the local strawberries. One thing that amazes us is how fast Amazon deliveries show up.

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    1. I feel like we are going to be pleasantly surprised by the prices in Nashville after living with prices in Kaua’i. We will have an Aldi, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and more less than two miles from our apartment. Don’t know yet about farmers’ markets though. I did see that ad though for 5 mangoes for $5 at Publix – unbelievable. Best I ever saw on Kauai was 2/$5.

      The stuff we ordered from Amazon and had delivered to our daughter’s place showed up in two days. Unbelievable to me after the waits on Kaua’i.

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  4. I turned off my father’s cable bill at 124.00 per month and went with Frontier for high speed unlimited internet and just paid the bill at 67.00. Tennessee may be the same or cheaper.

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