Tomatoes or No Tomatoes!

by Jun 3, 2022Observations0 comments

I was driving and half listening to the RTL Hit radio news anchor as I picked up the line, “Measure as year-on year change in the Consumer price Index, The Inflation rate has increased to 7.4% and this is the highest increase in the inflation rate since the german unification”. I increased the volume of my car radio as he mentioned the energy prices that had substanctially increased by 35.3% year on year. My undivided attention was on the news as I drove past one of the gas price board showing how ridiculously high the gas prices had increased.

Not only the gas prices, but everything else had become expensive. Even sellers and producers that did not have any legit reason for increasing their prices, did so just to keep up with the trend. It was like a TikTok challenge, #Insanepriceincrease and everyone was competing to get more likes!. The supermarkets and pharmacies were the money-makers during corona lockdown as that was the only place one was allowed to go other than staying at home the whole day. When the lockdown was cancelled and the tight measures were eased, the giant evergreen cargo ship blocked Egypts Suez canal water way causing billions of dollars traffic jam. This led to a massive problem to the worlds supply chain that I felt at IKEA. I could rarely get my hands on the products that I needed. The products were mostly sold out or had incredibly long delivery time. The same situation was at almost all furnishing stores across the region and therefore I had to excercise some patience, a charater trait that am still working on. Imagine having to wait three months for a book shelf and having to pass by your books every morning still in moving boxes? To add salt to the injury, Russia decides to invade Ukraine! with the justification that the western-leaning Ukraine was a constant threat and Russia could not feel ” safe, develop and exist” according to BBC.

Coronavirus, supply-chain issues and the current war. My mind was circling around the current political, social, economic situation, but mostly about how I had to adjust my current 2022 budget plan. The general money market was going down so the gains from the investments were also reducing. The income was increasing at a much lower rate compared to the expenses (Indexation in Luxembourg) and my portemonnaie was not pleased with the current situation. There were only two options as solutions. One was to either increase the income side or lower the expense side.

It had all come down to the decision wether I was willing to pay Euro 4.60 for 200 gramms of tomatoes! or cooking oil for Euro 6.66 per liter excluding delivery!. Just a few months before, I would just go picking the tomatoes and even checking if they were organic. Who needs tomatoes anyway? they are not even a vegetable! their botanical classification belongs to the fruits section. There would be no tomato soup, no tomato salad, no tomato sauce, no cooking with tomatoes. Wait a second, there are canned tomatoes in the stores.

Furthermore, who needs cooking oil? was there not some study that suggested that such cooking oils were harmful to the health? From now on, there would be no fried eggs in our household, just boiled eggs. As drastic as these measures seemed, one had to be more conscious and deliberate about want and need. Therefore, I came up with a plan to compare prices between Luxembourg and Germany and only buy grocercies where the price was cheaper (One of the advantages of living near the border of two contries).

Photo from Ebay

I finally arrived at my destination which was Wasserbillig at the border of Luxembourg and Germany. There is a general belief that gas prices are cheaper on Sundays, other believe that it´s on Wednesdays. I did not give the gas price board an acknowledging look as I slowed down to column six. I filled my tank and headed to the Total Bonjour shop to pay. The shop is built in such a way that makes one walk through aisles of chocolate, coffee and many sweet and pastries before arriving at the cashier (one form of a Marketing strategy). I was not letting myself be tempted. No chocolate bars, no sweets, no flowers, no nothing! The cashier even tried to sell me two chocolate bars for the price of one, but I stood my grounds and would not bulge. I was not going to buy nothing! forget the yolo lifestyle! the inflation made me start watching my weight and from now on, all kinds of sugar and junk food was bad for my health and for my Portemonnaie.

Photo from the Saarbrücker Zeitung

I came out and was contemplating if I should make the most out of the overpriced gas by additionally cleaning my windscreens and maybe all of my car windows. The soapy water was attracting but I decided against the idea as I might have caused a scene by cleaning up the whole car while other waited to get some gas.

By Nessa.

Title Photo by: rodion-kutaev from unsplash


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