College Cooking Experience Price as Marked

Jim and I both lived in Colorado. When it came time to go to college we both went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. We had lots of roommates and living situations over our years at school, but the last year was the best. There were five of us Dean, Albert, Richard, Jim, and myself. Early on we divided up the chores, Dean cleaned the kitchen, Richard cleaned the bath, Jim and Albert did dusting and vacuuming. So you’re asking yourself, nice gig Laura, did you do anything? Well, yes I did. I was responsible for making out a weekly menu, shopping, and cooking dinner. Interesting responsibility for me since my mother did not teach me to cook. She is very German and when I tried to cook at home I did not leave the kitchen clean enough so she banished me. So college situation was perfect for me, I cooked and Dean cleaned up!!!

Perhaps it was because Albert wasn’t all that busy with dusting, he always came grocery shopping with me. We had a weekly budget of $10.00 each. Nowadays you can get by on $4.00 a day if you work at it. Here’s how:

good and cheap  Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day

We always went shopping Saturday mornings, as students always pretty much went to bed really late, so getting up at a reasonable hour to shop was unusual for college students. Our grocery store promoted “Price As Marked.” All the pricing was still done by hand and humans make mistakes. Also most savvy shoppers were either still in bed or busy with children home from school. Saturday mornings were a target rich environment. Looking back, I think Albert loved the hunt. Every Saturday morning we’d come back to the apartment, couldn’t wait to impress our roommates with the extraordinary savings.  Albert always found meats, produce, and canned goods at ridiculously low prices. Some of my favorites finds were; an 18lb. turkey for 12 cents (that’s 12 cents for the total bird not 0.12/pound!), ten 1 lb. packages of hamburger each priced at 6 cents, a 1 lb. block of cheese for 14 cents, 5 lb bags of apples for 5 cents. The man was phenomenal. Every time the checker would stop us and state the price was wrong, Albert would coolly reply “Price As Marked.”

Our house was the best in the neighborhood, we were well-feed, and healthy. Believe it or not, we all sat down to the dinner table together every night and shared our day. Good friends to this day, I even married one of them! I know most of this camaraderie was brought on by strict budgets, we didn’t have student loans, we went out to dinner, perhaps, once a month, to very modest places, we made a lunch and ate it between classes, and we cooked that turkey every which way from Sunday.

P.S. Albert exploited his skills as a savvy shopper, by becoming a Major in the United States Air Force as a Procurement Officer. Is he good or is he good?!

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