CNN wanted to know what people could buy with ten dollars in the current economy, so they issued a challenge to their website visitors.
As you might expect, what people could buy with ten dollars (or the non-American currency equivalent) varied widely according to where each person lived. Some people bought used clothing, books, and records. A man in Taiwan bought “24 new pairs of socks and 10 new ties.” In California a woman used coupons to purchase a “huge stash” of processed foods, and another woman shopped at Whole Foods and bought “enough food for four meals.” In Bhutan a woman spent ten dollars to buy an entire week’s worth of vegetables at a farmer’s market.
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)
So what would ten dollars buy here? Figuring how much produce ten dollars will buy this time of year is a bit discouraging, even with this week’s sale prices. For ten dollars I could buy:
- about fifteen medium-sized apples (almost tasteless) and about fifteen medium-sized, thin-skinned, so sour you can’t eat them oranges, OR…
- ten large thick-skinned oranges that are sweet and taste good, OR…
- two heads of iceberg lettuce and two large bell peppers, OR…
- a ten-pound bag of russet potatoes and a five-pound bag of carrots.
We’ve been buying seeds for our garden recently… ten dollars would buy two or three packets of heirloom vegetable seeds. It would also buy almost two gallons of rBST-free organic milk.
And ten dollars would pay almost seventy percent of ONE day’s worth of real estate taxes for our house and land.
What does ten dollars buy where you live?