Jerry Seinfeld, the King of observational comedy, has a bit where he talks about food pricing in airports.
His joke is something like, “14.95 for a tuna sandwich? Yep. That’s reasonable. That’s what we charge in our country!”
As nauseating as it is to pay those prices, it’s for one simple reason: The closer a business is to the point of need, the more it can charge.
A tuna sandwich at the airport costs 5x more than it does on the way to the airport.
Scalped tickets cost more than tickets bought in advance.
Emergency towing will cost more too.
Why am I talking about pricing?
Well, because I’ve realized this with myself, sorta.
Confession time: I love ice cream. I love all bad foods. In NYC, it is scarily easy to indulge. Less than 100 feet from my apartment is a deli with every possible junk food you could ever wish for. It’s so close that I’m able to go there in shorts and a tee shirt in the dead of winter.
But for some reason, when I’m craving junk and I let my short term self get the best of me, I’ll pay top dollar without thinking twice.
Yet, I feel bad spending the same amount of money on healthy foods. Why?
When I’m convinced I want ice cream; I’m acting irrationally (for the most part). So I act with my irrational mind.
When I want fruit or healthier foods, I’m thinking rationally. So I think twice.
We tend to question the price of things we need more so than of the things we want.
Many people complain about how healthier food is more expensive. I don’t hear those same people complaining how expensive junk food is?! Whoever said fast food is cheap is lying. It’s not cheap at all. It’s just fast.
Check this: Last night instead of buying my favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s (Half Baked) I opted for grapes. $6 for a pint of ice cream. Or $6 for a bunch of grapes. (Thankfully, the deli also sells fruit and veggies.)
I was thrilled with my decision. I’m voting with my dollars what is important to me. I’m signaling to myself what is important to me. I felt great!
And here’s the best part: We all buy because of the way the product makes us feel. We’re slaves to our feelings. I felt so much better investing in healthier food than junk food.
(I think that’s a crucial switch that has to happen: Expense Vs. Investment.
Want ice cream? But you also like grapes? The ice cream costs $6. The grapes are an investment of $6. See the difference?)
I felt way better buying it. I felt way better eating it and I felt 100X better after eating it.
So don’t feel bad about spending a few extra bucks on yourself food wise. It’s well worth it.
You’re well worth it, no?!
The feeling it gives us is exactly how someone justifies driving a fancy car.
Why not live in a fancy body?
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