Sunday afternoon we wanted to grab a quick lunch after church so that the girls and I could go to football with Caleb in the afternoon. We stopped in at a cafe that we used to eat at a lot (until they were infested by mosquitoes… so random!) and were shocked at how much the prices had gone up since we’d last been in! One of the things we liked about this particular cafe was how quick it is… sandwiches and salads and even dessert cups are all pre-made and packaged to go, perfect for a busy family with naptimes looming. But the turkey and cheese sandwich now costs 10,000LL (or just under $7). If it came with a drink or a cup of fruit, okay. If it were a big sandwich, okay. If it was really fresh and made to order, okay. But it’s a small, basic sandwich, and seven dollars was nearly double what we used to pay there.
It’s not just restaurants that are raising their prices significantly. While things have been gradually getting more expensive ever since we’ve moved here, it seems like in the past six months or so, costs have been shooting up. Chicken breasts used to be 9,990 LL ($6.66) per kilo, now they are 16,000 LL ($10.67). We use to eat chicken 3-4 times a week at least, now it’s a one time a week treat for us. Even beef is getting more expensive, though not nearly as drastically as chicken, so I’ve been trying to cook a lot more meatless meals these days.
Diapers too. The cheapest diapers always slid right off my skinny babies, but the second best option wasn’t too bad. We used to pay about 10,000 LL for a medium sized pack of diapers. In August, the price of a pack of Pampers jumped to 17,000! That’s one of those costs we just can’t get around, but you can bet I’ll be potty-training Ruby as soon as she shows the slightest interest!
We’re managing okay. Things are tight financially right now, but I’m working hard to cut costs and be really wise in my meal planning and spending. But it just makes me wonder… how do people afford to live here for a long time? I mean, if prices keep going up like this, it just seems like it will make it impossible to eat (let alone live, rent prices are for a whole ‘nother post!) in this town!