It Costs How Much?

Remember that scene from I, Robot where Will Smith’s character orders a beer in a diner and it’s like $27? No? I couldn’t find the video or a meme to share…you’ll just have to take my word for it.  When I saw it I remember thinking, Wow, that’s one expensive beer. I hope it never gets that bad. 

Friends, has that time come? Are things that bad? Well, no…but maybe it’s close.

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I did find Fox Mulder in a diner. Image source: doppelvancouver.com

Here’s what I’m wondering. Where do you draw the line? And at what point do you throw in the towel and say “It costs this much” and I’ll pay it.

Paying for The Big Screen

I already accept the fact that watching a movie in a theater with my family with popcorn and one drink to share will cost approximately $40. Rounded up. Don’t you always round-up now? This is for the matinee price.

2 x $7.25 = $14.50 (kids)
2 x 7.75 = $15.50 (adults)

Refreshments = $9.75

Total = $39.75

If we miss the matinee and go to a later show, add another $10 for a grand total of $50. We can never seem to make it on Bargain Tuesday, which would be the smart thing to do.

The cheap alternative is to stay at home and watch Netflix. Simple, right? This requires choosing a family friendly movie everyone can agree upon that is not a complete waste of time. Inevitably, we end up watching a movie we’ve never heard of before and a half hour later decide it’s so awful we end up switching to another episode of Bob’s Burgers. Sometimes The Big Screen is simply easier.

Concert Tix

Speaking of big screens, my sister asked a few friends if they had wanted to see The Rolling Stones in their last concert tour. Ever. Many of them had already seen them, but still. It was to be their last. $300 for nosebleed seats. Hmm…

Well, they do have those big screens? Would you pay it? They didn’t. No takers. Big screens or not.

Simple Things

But I’m not necessarily taking about concert tickets. Let’s face it. Those have gotten pricey. What about the simple things in life that maybe don’t cost as much, things we think we can afford?

The other day, I took my son to a yogurt bar. You know the self-serve kind, where you decide how much, with a dizzying amount of tasty toppings available to add to your creation.

While I am being very mindful about how much and what, my son had lost all sense of time and place, and piled spoonfuls of crumbled brownies, chocolate chips, gummy worms, and pirouette cookies, and last but not least, marshmallow sauce onto his towering, yogurt mountain. Yes, it was an extreme yogurt creation.

Extreme Yogurt Creation + Mindful Half Cup = $16.59!!

It’s not like I live in New York City or anything. Instead of paying for it, I wanted to throw it back in the face of the guy at the register. I know he’s not to blame.

My son urged me, “C’mon. Let’s just get out of here.”

Nowhere in the store was the price of the yogurt listed. It was like their little secret. I asked and found out it cost .59 per ounce. Okay, my son got too much. It’s noted.

We left after my son ate half of his and had a tummy ache. That place – Oopa! Yogurt Bar really should be called Oops! – It Costs Too Much. We’re not going back.

We could have gone to Costco

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Costco is a huge warehouse full of bulk food, as well as household and recreational items to drool over and gawk at while you buy necessary bulk items only available at Costco and can’t possibly fit in your refrigerator, and you furthermore stuff more food items you just sampled into your cart you never planned on buying in the first place.

Here’s a tip: If you’re uncertain how much you’re spending at Costco, just count up the items and multiply by 10:

10 items x $10 = $100

It’s approximate, but it works like a charm. Unless, of course, you want to throw a Sheepskin rug into your cart. I’ll take Sheepskin for $100. Lovely. You can do that math.

Sheepskin
It’s softer than any bulk item and will last longer, too.

But where was I? Oh, yes. You can also get a frozen non-fat swirl, that’s chocolate and vanilla, for $1.35. What a bargain!

Who needs toppings?

With the membership, Costco will also get you the cheapest meal in town. You can get a Hotdog with a Drink for $1.50.

For cost savings, you could always go to Costco on your way to a ballgame. As a kid, I often went with my family to Los Angeles Dodger games. It wasn’t really a big deal. We showed up, bought tickets the day of, had ourselves a Dodger Dog, did the 7th Inning Stretch, had a wee bit of traffic and drove home.  Simple.

These days…not so simple. The nearest pro team is the San Francisco Giants. Let’s just say, we have yet to go to a Giants game. It looks something like this. Cheapest seat is $17/ticket. That doesn’t seem too bad, although that’s assuming those seats are available, and you can spend a lot more. Let’s just say you get these. So for a family of four it will cost:

$17 x 4 = $68 (to sit)

Well, you’re gonna have to eat. Unless you can get the Costco meal deal before the game, and let’s face it, that’s not the same thing as eating a hot dog in the park. So, what will that cost you…

But, hot dogs? Who wants hot dogs when you can eat “Dungeness crab between two slices of garlic butter-brushed grilled sourdough,” Caribbean BBQ, and pizza from the best pizzeria in America. How can you not eat that? Do we even ask what that costs? You can’t miss out on this. Did I mention this is only the “Center Field” concessions?

There’s parking and since you traveled maybe you get a hotel, because the traffic most definitely will be bad. I’ve lost track of how much this costs…and beer, probably $27/beer.

Who cares at this point because you’re at the AT&T park watching the Giants play baseball. Aren’t you just happy to be alive?

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$27 a beer? Possibly. Image source: sf.eater.com

Or you could stay at home and lay on your sheepskin rug. That’s sounding like a cheap option.

Has your nose ever bled in a nosebleed seat? Do you pay for the big screen? What does a beer cost in the ballpark? What will you pay for no matter what?

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44 thoughts on “It Costs How Much?

  1. My nose has never bled in a nosebleed seat. I haven’t been to a movie theater since I worked at one. A beer costs about $12 in the ballpark. I will pay for internet no matter what. And chocolate.

    And…holy cow it must have been a Holy Cow for the price of that yogurt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Melanie! You are just full of information. Can I call you when I need to make decisions about things. 🙂 Good to know about the nosebleed seats. It’s never happened to me. What was it about your movie theater employment that has kept you away? I want to hear more. Twelve bucks in the ballpark. Thanks for the info. I was really curious. That’s not as bad as I thought. Me too with the Internet. Plus, you kind of have to it nowadays. We should have got our own Holy Cow out of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When my two nephews were visiting (one’s 19, the other 10), they went with my son to a yogurt place like that. My youngest nephew’s yogurt turned out to be $10. I thought that was bad! But $16.59? That’s ridiculous. They should have warning signs.

    As for movies, it’s amazing I’ll fork the money over for a two-hour movie and hardly balk, but I don’t want to pay more than $7.00 for an e-book. But yet I get more hours of entertainment from the book. Weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I’m going to avoid all yogurt shops from now on! I always fear the cost at the end, actually anything that must be weighed. It’s always more than I think it will be.
      I don’t mind paying for movies once in a while. We can’t do it all the time. But especially if it’s a good movie, then I feel like it’s worth it. Interesting about the e-book. I think it’s all about what we’re used to paying for things. You start to have a mind set and limits to what you’ll pay. I think that’s what happens to me.

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  3. I’m pretty sure that marshmallow sauce is worth $16.50. Reminds me of a story involving a girlfriend and marshmallow sauce … oh wait, got distracted there for a minute.

    Anyway, I am totally with you on this. The cost of all these things and how many people pay for them without blinking convinces me that our economy is nowhere near as “bad” as experts want to say. There is still plenty of money floating around to pay these exorbitant prices. But not me. I go to one Giants game a year because, well, it’s a thing, you know. And it’s ridiculous. I have a friend who can give me free tickets to the Sacramento Kings and I almost never accept them because the cost of parking and food, even if the tickets are free, makes it completely not worth it for me.

    There are far too many examples of this. It’s somewhat ridiculous, aint it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, is it now?! I will take your word for it. Marshmallow sauce would certainly be memorable no matter what.
      Sometimes I just shake my head and wonder. I still think there’s more that can’t afford things than can. But maybe not! You know kids these days all have a lot more than I ever did, but I was always happy with pretty minimal stuff. I did go to the movies a lot, however, for just a dollar! Wow, now I feel incredibly old. Like my dad would say I used to buy such and such for a penny. Seeing a Giants game would be fun and if you couldn’t at least buy a few things maybe it wouldn’t be the complete experience! Kings tickets used to be more reasonable. That’s why when we go to the movies, I’ll buy popcorn even though it’s so much. It’s the whole experience and we don’t do it very often so I fork over the dough. Even though it’s expensive and it doesn’t even taste that good! I can see why you might skip the basketball if you felt like you were missing something without partaking of refreshments. And they know this, don’t they. Yes, they do!

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    1. That’s a good way to clear your head and it’s free. The best things in life are free. And you don’t have to worry about any regrets and hope it’s worth it. You already know it is.

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  4. A friend of mine is a huge Marvel fan so we go to the cinema to watch all the Marvel films. We go on cheapo Monday (it used to be cheapo Tuesday but they changed the day), which costs £5 each (usual price £8). So that’s pretty good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the way to see movies, Ali. As a family, we can never seem to manage movies on a school night. But, that price still seems pretty reasonable. A bargain! I like seeing the Marvel movies, too. I understand they’re doing a great job with them, as much as I know about comics from my comic collecting husband. I always enjoy them. They’re a good bet.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We go to the movies all the time, obviously, and our tickets cost $12 at cheapest, but we often go to the VIP theatre, where it’s $22.
    And we did go to a Giants game in July when we visited. My husband had a beer but I had a margarita of course.

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    1. I know you must go to the movies, Jay! Ooh, the VIP theatre?! Is that like an IMAX or D-box experience? Or, is it dinner and a movie? I wish they had more of those kind of places. I went to one in San Francisco once where they brought dinner to our seats. I thought that was really fun. I hate to ask how much for a margarita at a Giants game. You must tell me. How much?

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  6. I’m totally with you on every point you make here! Think the same exact things all the time! Every time I see how much they charge for pop at the movie theater, I get pissed off and make everyone share as well! We visit the snack bar at our Costco all the time – I love their frozen yogurt! But with the amount of money I spend there, my savings at the snack bar quickly becomes irrelevant! I’ll think of you when I see those sheepskin rugs now – I’ll see if our store carries them! Great post, Amy! Always fun to vent a little 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pop at the movie is extravagant. We’re used to sharing. There’s no way I’ll buy two. Even my kids see it’s ridiculous. That’s true about Costco and the snack bar. It’s peanuts compared to what you end up spending, usually more than you planned. Ha ha about the sheepskin rug. It’s nothing I’d ever buy, but it sure is soft! I bet you’ll see them now that you’re on the lookout. Thanks, Kelly! I hope I’m not seeming too negative and you laughed a little. I’m trying to be lighthearted about it, but maybe given the topic, there’s nothing funny about it. For a long time, I tried to be really economical, shopping-wise, getting frustrated. One day, I thought to myself, everything is just really expensive now. It just is! I search for bargains though.

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      1. Oh I completely agree! Nothing negative about it at all, other than the pressure we feel as parents to have to pay for things because that’s “just what you do” – like eating popcorn at the movies, and beer at the game, and even going out for ice cream in the summertime. We might just have to break those traditions if those prices keep going higher and start our own! It seems like some traditions are so ingrained in us that they’re almost like entitlements – when in reality they’re just thought patterns that we don’t want to let go of, even though they don’t even make any sense – like paying six dollars for a small cup of artificially flavored fizzy water that’s unhealthy for us to drink! And don’t even get me started on the popcorn – that came up with Carrie recently on her blog! Trust me, I can be a real buzz kill with this stuff! lol

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Syracuse is better some ways, not in others, Amy. My matinee price at Regal is $9; $12 if I miss the before 4 p.m. start. I actually asked the box office guy this week what year the senior pricing begins, yeah, the age when it’s $9 all dang day. Answer: Are you 60, sir? No, sir.

    But our Triple-A baseball team had $6 general admission tickets this season, great view from the second deck. And on special Thursdays, $2 draft beers!

    Everyday merch? More expensive, every day. Yup. We go to BJs, kind of like Costco.

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    1. I guess our movie prices aren’t so bad. Hey, I’m going to enjoy the senior benefits. But I’m not in a rush. 🙂
      You know we have a great baseball team in Sacramento. I don’t know what league. Those are a lot of fun, too, and a lot more reasonable. Draft beers for $2! you can’t beat that one.
      We’ve gone to BJs after our water polo matches with the team. I know that place. You’re right. Everyday merch is creeping up and up.

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  8. The fact that I can’t take my family to concerts and sit in good seats or on vacations to interesting locals to enhance the girls’ life experiences because I can’t afford it makes me feel WHOLLY INADEQUATE as a man and a provider. All I can surmise is that there must be a tremendous amount of money out there or these prices couldn’t sustain themselves. A lot of money, but none of it in my accounts.

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    1. That part is crappy, but in no way should you ever feel inadequate. I can see how those feelings might seep in. But, it’s not about you. I think most people feel that way. But then, as you said, there must be some money out there flowing out there. Or perhaps, more people go for bargains, cheap seats, etc. I guess if prices weren’t so outrageous, there wouldn’t be bargains. I think for families, it’s especially tough when it adds up so fast.

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  9. We don’t have Costco where I live, but we used to have it in our old home town and I loved it. I don’t go to the movies simply because I just can’t sit still for that long! (can a middle aged woman really have ADHD?)
    I went to the ‘city’ (20 kms away) two weeks ago and thought I’d buy an ice cream. I was charged $14,60 – wtf??? It’s been a long time since I had an ice cream and it’l be a long time until I have another one (no warning signs on door re: prices) xxx

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    1. Do they have Costco in Australia? I didn’t know that. It is a great store. Trust me, it’s too good. I end up throwing things in my cart I really don’t need. I’ll get a little restless sitting through a movie if it’s not any good, otherwise I enjoy it. I do think you could have ADHD. I have a friend who has it and she likes to draw a lot. 🙂 That’s hard to do in a movie, Dianne.
      Wow about your ice cream! Then you know what I’m talking about. It’s hardly worth it, right? It feels like a rip off when you can buy gallons for that price! I know. I had the same reaction. Like I had been had. xoxo

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  10. Best deal at Costco is what my husband calls the $3.80 lunch. For $3.80 you can get the afford mentioned hot-dog and fountain drink combo for $1.50 and a slice of pizza for $1.99 (plus 31 cents tax). With unlimited refills on the fountain drink it’s enough for the two of us to share. And as a bonus you can request sauerkraut as a topping for the dog.

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    1. Wow, now that is a deal. Good for you! My husband and I share bottomless fountain drinks all the time, too. It seems silly to pay for more. Or, I’ll just drink water. The best stuff on earth! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      Like

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