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.

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

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.

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?

$27 a beer? Possibly. Image source:

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?