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Quit Yer Whinin' - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Quit Yer Whinin'

Now, honestly, this here post would have been better off written in the summer, back when the cost of gas was significantly higher, but I was busy, you know? I mean, I'm still busy, but when is that ever going to end? So here's the thing: I don't get why people whine about the cost of gasoline. We Americans have it pretty easy, after all. Have you SEEN what a litre of petrol costs in the UK? Seriously, don't do a google search on that one, because I'm not sure your little hearts can take it (and to my friends in the UK – bless you for not whining about the cost of petrol, because honestly? I'm about sick of hearing about it on this side of the pond). (Okay, I'll save you the trouble, last I checked it was £1.46 per litre, which if you convert to dollars, then to gallons, carry the 2, account for my bad math skillz, subtract 70, add the cosign of 84, and turn around three times clockwise, I think converts to a little over $8 per gallon, so suck it up Americanos)

Now, here's something to actually complain about – have you seen the cost of a gallon of MILK? A gallon of whole milk costs $3.75. That's for plain, boring whole milk. If you want 1% milk, it's going to run you $3.99. Now, say you want organic milk – now it's going to cost you $5.79 and up per gallon. That's for the store-brand organic variety, by the way. No fancy-schmancy organic varieties here. What if, like my husband or the J-man, you can only tolerate lactose-free milk? Well, then you're looking at $4.39 per half gallon or $5.99 per 96 ounces.

Now seriously – with the cost of gas here in my neighborhood hovering around a dollar and a half per gallon these days – well, I see nothing to complain about. Heck, even when the cost of gas was hovering closer to $4/gallon, I'm not complaining, but that's because I'm a giving soul who has better things to complain about – like the cost of milk. Honestly, I couldn't figure out why no one else is complaining about this! I looked in my refrigerator and saw the piles of money staring back at me – mocking me, mostly – and I was mortified. Where does it all go?

And then it hit me – NORMAL people aren't filling three toddler's tummies with milk every day. Plus a five year old. Plus a 6'2" giant. (Me? I don't drink milk – you couldn't pay me to touch the stuff) As it happens, the triplets aren't drinking much milk anymore, not comparatively, anyway. They drink about 10-12 ounces per day, each. But that's upwards of 36 ounces per day just for the babies. Plus whatever the J-man drinks. Plus whatever Seth drinks. Plus whatever goes into anything I cook with. We're going through several gallons of milk per week. I'm guessing… that's probably not normal, is it?



*Note: When I told Seth I was going to write this post, he said I had to look into "milk price supports" which just got me all kinds of confused and made even less sure I understood the whole issue. Suffice it to say, whether or not the government is artificially inflating the cost of a gallon of milk and whether or not it is for good reason IF they are doing so and whether or not that money is doing good things IF they are doing so, well, I'm still whining about the cost of a gallon of milk this week, because, by golly, I can. And next week, I will stop whining about it, because I'm sure I'll have something better to whine about. I'm sure you all have perfectly good reasons to tell me I shouldn't be whining about this and blah blah blah. WhatEVER. I don't feel well and I spent my week getting puked all over. Give a girl a break, will ya?

21 comments or Leave a comment
ichur72 From: ichur72 Date: December 28th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
>> Me? I don't drink milk – you couldn't pay me to touch the stuff

Ditto! I like the idea of milk, but the taste ... *shudder*
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
mscongeniality From: mscongeniality Date: December 28th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually pay extra for the organic milk, even with it being so expensive. I've found that, for some reason, organic milk lasts longer in the refrigerator. So, because I actually get to finish the container before it goes bad, I end up spending less in the long run because I'm buying milk less frequently. It's one of the many wierdnesses in feeding just one person, I guess.
mrn613 From: mrn613 Date: December 28th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Organic milk is usually ultrapasteurized (haven't seen it any other way actually, but I don't live close to any dairy farms).
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
interesting - I would have thought unpasteurized milk would spoil faster... hrm. Off to google...
arosoff From: arosoff Date: January 2nd, 2009 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Depends where you buy. The national brands (Horizon, Organic Valley) are, but local brands (I get Fairway own brand) are not.

Horizon/Organic Valley are no better than regular really, it's "factory organic" so the cows are still kept in barns and given feed.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
lactaid milk lasts forever in the fridge, FYI. Not that I recommend switching to lactaid if you don't need it - it's hella expensive, and if you don't need it, you screw up your ability to process lactose.
mscongeniality From: mscongeniality Date: December 28th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fortunately, lactose intolerance is one of the few things I don't have. Organic seems to last just long enough for me to finish it, though so I'll probably stick with that.
childlight From: childlight Date: December 28th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can't we whine about both? :-)

When gas pricese were high I was driving a large truck because my little SUV had died. It cost me $70 to fill it up. And I really limited my driving. I am thrilled that where I live gas is now $1.38 a gallon and I drive a small car that cost less than $20 to fill.

But yes I have noticed about milk. I am craving milk like crazy so I go through at least a gallon a week. At last check I think I paid $4.68 for a gallon of 2%.

But ya know it isn't just milk. I am shocked at how much my small little cart of groceries now cost.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, I'm not truly whining about the cost of milk. It is what it is and I'm not really worried about it. I don't think it's all that productive to whine about it. I just thought it was funny - I was shocked at how much money we were spending on milk and it took me a couple weeks to realize it was because we have more toddlers than the average family. :)
mrn613 From: mrn613 Date: December 28th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm guessing in three years you will laugh at yourself for thinking milk was expensive when you start paying $40K/year for the local day school.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 28th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Our local day school will cost us more than that. And I won't be laughing.

Honestly, I'm not upset about the cost of milk. I just had never actually realized what a gallon of milk cost - because I don't drink it. And people whine all the time about the cost of gas which is totally fruitless, and one week when I'd actually spent more on milk than I had on gas (I hadn't driven much that week), I realized how funny it was.

If you hadn't noticed that this entry was pretty tongue-in-cheek, then I'm sorry about that.
journeytoernie From: journeytoernie Date: December 28th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
wow! milk IS crazy expensive by you!

then again, we go through a gallon every week and a half ish.

i am like you. can't STAND the taste of milk. UGH. but i also forget to offer it to the kids because it never occurs to me.

dan actually had to suggest that i put MILK in their cereal. seriously. it never crossed my mind. i was like "but....ew?" i guess normal people like that?
buildin_a_bayis From: buildin_a_bayis Date: December 29th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank God for WIC. And that I actually qualify. Its tough to be lower-middle class. But between formula, milk, cheese, eggs and cereal, I EASILY save $250 a month
mindycl From: mindycl Date: December 29th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess I'm lucky that we're on WIC, we get about 3 gallons of milk a week... between my coffees and my cereal and milk, it goes!
eyelid From: eyelid Date: December 29th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't get why people whine about the cost of gasoline.

? this strikes me as really privileged....

For a lot of people, the gas prices skyrocketing like that meant they faced not being able to afford basic necessities. For you it was handleable. For others, it's a lot more than a minor inconvenience.

You are sounding very "let them eat cake" here...

I'm a giving soul who has better things to complain about – like the cost of milk.

milk and grocery prices went up due to gasoline price increases. So actually, you ARE complaining about gas price increases.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 29th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
eyelid, honestly, I was kidding. Really.

I'm sorry if it didn't come across that way.

(also the cost of milk is partially fixed by the gov't. so it's not all attributable to the cost of gasoline)
eyelid From: eyelid Date: December 29th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh, okay. then I feel dumb ;)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: December 29th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not to worry, I can see how it would have come across as privileged sounding. But seriously, I was joking. I was realizing one day how much damn money we spend on milk so I went to go figure out how much a gallon of milk cost and I was shocked to find out how much more a gallon of milk costs than a gallon of gasoline. And I wondered why it is with all the bitching that people do about the cost of gas (understandably, but still, when it's the folks with no kids who live in Florida with no snow driving gas guzzling SUV's, it's hard to feel sorry for them), why they weren't also bitching about the cost of a gallon of milk?

I mean, geez, $4+ a gallon? People freak out over $4 a gallon of GAS, why aren't they freaking out over $4 a gallon of milk? And then I realized... it's because MOST people aren't feeding three toddlers milk every day. They're not using nearly as much milk as me, so they don't see how much milk prices add up.

That being said, many have reminded me that with triplets especially, milk after formula is downright cheap... so I should count my blessings for having been able/willing to breastfeed them exclusively for so long. A friend of mine who didn't breastfeed her triplets at all and who had them on high calorie formula for a good long time spent $13 per DAY on formula, so she feels positively RICH now that she's buying 7 gallons of milk per week (though I can't figure out how she's going through 7 gallons of milk...sheesh... she said she and her husband alone go through 3 gallons of skim milk per week!). I saved a shitload of money by breastfeeding (which, admittedly, was part of the reason I was set on doing so).

redhotmamainmd From: redhotmamainmd Date: December 31st, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
yay for breastfeeding... good for you, good for the babies, good for your personal economic status, just good all around!

Actually, I was going to post that when your little ones are ok with 2% milk, maybe you can combine part "carton milk" and part powdered milk.. .this is economical and if you combine it then no one will notice the taste difference. You can also use powdered milk for cooking and it works great.

(yeah... I've been impoverished before... I know all the tricks)
arosoff From: arosoff Date: January 2nd, 2009 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
FWIW, right now a litre of petrol is 85p, or about $1.30.

It was £1.20 over the summer, though, which hurt. At the time it was $2 to the £ as well...

The thing is though (much as I thought "quit your complaining!" myself in July!) it is as bad or worse for Americans because they have to drive longer distances and it's much harder to buy a decent fuel efficient car. So even when gas is a third of the price, you don't spend a third as much to fill the tank or go the same distance.

We use organic milk, and the price of that has stayed the same while regular dropped, and I just kind of close my ears and don't calculate how much we go through with only 1 child and several adults.
21 comments or Leave a comment