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Archive for September, 2014

Local Grocery Store Closing

September 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am

My home town grocery store closed last week. It's been the only grocery store in town since about 1996 or 1997.

I worked at the store when I was in high school. I started working there (gasp!) 25 years ago, when I was a Junior in High School, and worked through the summer of my Freshman year in college. I didn't work in the grocery part of the store, though. The sore also had a wholesale meat division. I worked in the meat department, and made a whole nickel per hour more than the high school aged baggers and stockers in the grocery. And, I got to walk around with blood on my white apron like a tough guy.

Anyway - The family that owned the store sold out to a grocer in the Detroit area three or four years ago. So the husband and wife who bought he store have been managing it from afar, and it's been running steadily down hill for a couple years. They finally called it quits.

There are a couple other local-ish grocery stores. One is in the town in which I work. And there are Wal-marts in each of those neighboring towns. Honestly, we were probably buying much fewer than half our groceries from the home-town store, because the prices had become so expensive, and the produce wasn't as fresh. Thus the reason they went out of business - lower quality, more expensive, and customer willingness to travel.

But, it was nice to have a store in town, where we could pick up certain items.

There have been rumors that a couple local grocers walked through the store just prior to closing. So, there may be a deal struck to buy the place some time in the future. But, for now the store sits empty, and about four dozen local people have lost their jobs.

Costs for College

September 11th, 2014 at 07:12 am

As some of you may remember I attended and graduated from Michigan State. I met my DW at Michigan State. We fully intend on sending our girls to Michigan State. It is of course their choice, and we really won't be pushing it, but at this point that is the plan.

Nagging at the back of my mind, from time to time, is the expense of sending two girls to college. They'll overlap one year. DD1 will be a senior when DD2 is a freshman. I think I have that right, anyway.

I wen to the MSU web site, and found their tuition and fees calculator. I entered household income, family size, value of assets, and 2013 income taxes paid. The calculator computed the following for the 2014/2015 year (two semesters):

Tuition/Fees = $14,080
Room/Board = $9,204
Books/Supplies = $1,060
Other Expenses = $1,864
Total = $26,308

Estimated needs based grants = $11,080
Estimated net price = $15,128

Student loans = $6,500 (per year)
Parent loans/other sources = $8,628 per year

DD1 won't be going to college for another six years. So, this is a way out there estimate, but gives me a general idea for the time being.

Heck, I earned about $6,500 per year between working during school and summer in the early and mid '90s. I finished school about 10K in debt in 1995.

Of course we'll be working on scholarships, scholarships, and scholarships as well.

Also, Room/Board, Book/Supplies, and Other Expenses, which account for nearly half the cost can be whittled down to an extent through frugality.