Living in England is a bit of a fiscal stretch: while we're here, I'm still just being paid my Calvin salary (which isn't exactly lavish to begin with), in American dollars, whilst trying to maintain a home of six in the British economy (it doesn't help that walking everywhere seems to make our 4 kids absolutely ravenous). While the exchange is a touch better than it's been over the past 8 months, it's still basically 2:1; that is, something that costs £1 = $2USD. So as we're walking through the supermarket, we double what we see.
However, some things are remarkably inexpensive here. For instance, Stilton cheese--a veritable luxury at home--is ridiculously cheap. A wedge that would be $12 at home can be had for 75 pence here! We've already had chips (80p) drenched in Stilton and farmhouse cheddar one night!
We've also learned some tricks. For instance, Deanna noticed that if we get to the supermarket about 40 minutes before it closes, all sorts of fresh things get drastically reduced--including baguette, scones and "baps" (buns for lunches). We've also found all the no-name products available. And once I even got 3 bottles of Stella Artois from a broken case for 50 pence/bottle!
Plus, the challenge of stretching a dollar to a pound constitutes its own kind of free entertainment: the supermarket becomes a hunt, a puzzle, a contest. Even the kids join in the game, trying to find ways to squeeze some luxury--like a bottle of Coke--from an American paycheck.