Friday, January 16, 2009

Shopping Mecca

The United States is a shopping mecca. We are in Houston and we have been hitting the stores like Target, Costco and Micro Center. I'm not buying much but I'm spending a lot of time just wandering up and down aisles.

The longer we live in Mexico the more amazed I am when we come back to Houston and go into the stores. You have so many choices and the prices are so good compared to Mexico. In San Miguel you do not have the variety of choices.....endive, probably not.....radicchio, never seen it in Mexico. Need an external hard drive? I doubt you would find more than three choices and I don't think you would find a 2 terabyte external hard drive at all. At Micro Center there must have been 10 brands with three or four different gigabyte sizes for each brand.

Since the last time we were here a new Costco has opened in the inner city. I've never seen a Costco like this one. Most of them are similar, even the ones in Mexico although they may not have as good a selection as the stores in the USA. But this one had the widest variety of "stuff" I've ever seen and at great prices. The meats and fish looked so good. There were 2" thick filet mignon.....5 of them in one package for $26. I didn't look at price per pound.....I was so overwhelmed at the value but I'd say that each filet was 5 to 7 ozs. Then they had whole Alaskan king crab.....about $4 a pound, so the two crabs cost about $18. One of my favorites, rack of Australian lamb, $10.99 a pound. Each rack cost about $12 to $13. Or thick cut lamb chops for $6.99 a pound. Yes, yes, I know this doesn't sound much like everyday food but sometimes you can afford a treat......especially at these prices.

The way the stores are decorated and the aisles are arranged are all about enticing you to "shop." It is hard to resist buying things that you don't really need. Maybe that is why some Americans have been spending more than they earn.


glorv1 said...

Billie, I rarely get tempted to buy things I don't need or want. If they look good, I look and that's about it. My word for this year if "frugal," but then I always have been. Sounds like you are missing some of these items, maybe just a little. :) Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

One of my favorite things about the old Costco days was the absence of credit cards. If you wanted to buy something, you could watch the cash move from your pocket into the till. There was a connection between the pleasure and the cost of buying. No more. Now, Costco is simply another palace of immediate gratifaction with delayed consequences.

Good grief! I sound like my grandfather -- and maybe that is not so bad.

Billie said...

Gloria, you are right. I NEED another external Hard drive but I really, really WANT a rack of lamb. LOL

Steve, we seldom ever use credit cards in Mexico so when we get to TX and pull out the credit card we feel a little guilty.

Cynthia said...

Funny that I had to wait for a review of the new Richmond Costco from someone who lives in Mexico, but so happy you did write about that store. My youngest lives right down the street and I always think I'll stop in and look around and never do.

Now I'm going. Maybe this weekend.

pitchertaker said...

I don't have a Costco, but Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale are where I plot down my credit card on a regular basis. Between the two, they account for about 75% of my grocery buying. Sam's has great meats at great prices. I bought and cooked a "eye-of-round" 4-lb roast the other day -- it cost me about $12. And with the onion, garlic, thyme (didn't have any rosemary -- it's under the snow pile), with added potatoes and mushroom later in the process -- that was some good eatin'. The next day, too. Nothing like slow cooked pot roast on a cold winter's day.


American Mommy in Mexico said...

Our Move to Mexico has surfaced my awareness of USA consumerism. It is crazy!

Billie said...

Frank, As much as I love to cook, I might be willing to let you take over for a while.

Amommy...the sad thing is that the whole economy in America is based on consumerism. So while some are saying save, save, save. Other voices are saying that going out to buy "stuff" is what needs to be done to bring the economy around.

1st Mate said...

It does seem that I'm not very motivated to buy a lot in Guaymas, but when we cross into AZ I always blow a wad. My solution was to not make so many trips north! But next Wednesday I'm going to visit three giant stores in Hermosillo: Walmart, Mega and Soriana. My resistance to splurging may be sorely tried.

Michael Dickson said...

Saving is good. Buying is good. One should do both in reasonable balance.

Consuming is good because that´s what puts bread on the seller´s table and gives him or her a chance to save.

I lived in Houston for 15 years before moving to Mexico. I love Houston. Been back twice and was amazed at how it has changed in the past eight years, all for the better.

I would move back to Houston in a heartbeat if somebody would pay my utility bills and property taxes and high rent and so on.

If you´ll do that, please email me.

Billie said...

Michael, Houston is a great city and it has improved. The utility costs are high but the cost per kilowatt hour are less than we pay in Mexico. Of course we are living a much simplier lifestyle in AC, no dishwasher, etc. so the cost of electricity is less. Now the property taxes will getcha in Houston, especially if you live in the city....and of course, why would I move back if I had to live in the 'burbs.