I divided up my grocery list into four broad categories: dairy, meat, produce, and dry goods. I chose identical products at the lowest price (i.e. if there were onions and organic onions, I chose the non-organic). If the product was only sold at scale (everything sold at Costco), I put the full amount and price you’d have to pay in parentheses. If I couldn’t find an item (why doesn’t Costco sell sweet potatoes?), I left it blank.
I would never recommend making heavy use of credit if you’re coming up lean at the end of every month. But we do have enough that we could pay off last month’s credit card bill and pay for this month’s spending.
“Cheapness” typically conjures images of people who buy cheap goods at Wal-Mart, instead of the more expensive, higher quality goods that last longer. However, “immigrant cheapness” is more nuanced than that, existing over a continuum that goes from practical stories of sacrificing to get ahead, to just plain silly.