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As a kid, did you spend your pocket money on food?

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mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 07:28 AM

I certainly overspent on pistachios, which I still love. But some other kids had the attitude 'I get food at home, I'm going to spend my money on toys, movies, whatever'.

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  1. mtlcowgirl RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 07:45 AM

    I spent some of it on candy bars. A five cent Caravan chocolate bar was a little bit of heaven.

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      GH1618 RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 07:49 AM

      Some of it, certainly. Dairy Queen stuff and kippered salmon (not at the same time).

      1. tcamp RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 08:12 AM

        We'd go to Jo's Candy Cottage and periodically buy big chunks of dark chocolate and honeycomb. Other than that, I was a cheap kid and would eat food from home.

        1. jill kibler RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:06 AM

          We would bring back bottles and then go "up the avenue" to Marshall Fields and buy a donut from the machine that made them automatically in the basement of the store. Hot, greasy, and sweet!

          1. h
            HillJ RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:14 AM

            Yes, as a young child, but mostly at the farms (apples, summer vegetables, berries) and NY bakery shops (mocha cake!).

            But, by my late teens to late twenties I spent all my extra cash on buying music, going to concerts and riding the train/bus/filling up the tank for concerts out of state.

            1. Veggo RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:15 AM

              No food, mostly liquor, drugs, and explosives.

              12 Replies
              1. re: Veggo
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                HillJ RE: Veggo Oct 30, 2013 10:16 AM

                HAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Such an interesting life you lead.

                1. re: Veggo
                  jrvedivici RE: Veggo Oct 30, 2013 10:37 AM

                  What were you on the pre-teen ATF's most wanted list?

                  1. re: jrvedivici
                    Veggo RE: jrvedivici Oct 30, 2013 10:40 AM

                    Never got caught or killed. I did sink an aluminum canoe with explosives in the frozen Housatonic River on New Years Eve. And there were people in it. They were my friends, though.

                    1. re: Veggo
                      jrvedivici RE: Veggo Oct 30, 2013 11:19 AM

                      Key word;

                      They "were" my friends, though" ........"were"

                      1. re: jrvedivici
                        Veggo RE: jrvedivici Oct 30, 2013 11:23 AM

                        They all survived. They just inexplicably quit being my friends.

                        1. re: Veggo
                          jrvedivici RE: Veggo Oct 30, 2013 11:25 AM

                          Exactly my point my friend. lol

                          1. re: Veggo
                            The Librarian RE: Veggo Oct 30, 2013 11:51 AM

                            As The Librarian, I think you'd enjoy Gary Paulsen's How Angel Peterson Got His Name, Masters of Disaster, and Harris and Me. He seems to have had a similar childhood!

                            1. re: Veggo
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                              James Cristinian RE: Veggo Oct 31, 2013 05:19 PM

                              I mainly spent change on baseball and football cards. I'm hoping the market rebounds, many are over 50 years old and locked away. We generally threw the gum away. Food wise, if I could hold out until Friday night it was fried red snapper or speckled trout. We had a 6 cent coke machine at the A and P and if you jiggled the handle right you got a free coke and 6 cents. You'd have been proud Veggo.

                              1. re: James Cristinian
                                gaffk RE: James Cristinian Oct 31, 2013 05:28 PM

                                I had an awesome collection of baseball and football cards from the 70s (I blame my dad . . .he had four girls and, as the youngest, I was the default channel for his sports fandom). I also had the hobby of writing to my favorite football players and had a great collection of autographed photos and even letters in return: Staubach, Mercury Morris, Griese, etc

                                I went away to college only to return to find mom had trashed them :( Oh yeah, and my bedroom had been converted to her sewing room/sitting room.

                                I do still have my autograph book from the summers at Eagles training camp. And upon dad's death, I got his autograph book filled with many of the baseball greats from the 30s.

                              2. re: Veggo
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                                James Cristinian RE: Veggo Oct 31, 2013 05:28 PM

                                Oops, forgot explosives. We'd buy Black Cats and bottle rockets and fire them at the neighbors on the 4th and New Year's Eve, which also brought out the shotguns we'd fire into the air with impunity. It helped having an FBI agent for a neighbor. We'd feed on charcoal burgers on the 4th, blackeye peas and ham for New Years.

                        2. re: Veggo
                          m
                          mwhitmore RE: Veggo Oct 30, 2013 08:53 PM

                          Priorities.

                          1. re: Veggo
                            JMF RE: Veggo Oct 31, 2013 11:14 PM

                            Veggo, my list was the same as yours, but had to buy food too. Munchies...

                            Actually when I was young I invested my pocket money in explosives, then sold them for a profit to pay for booze and food. Later I got bored with the explosives and invested my money in other things I could buy and sell for profit. To pay for more booze and food, and gas for my first car, and girls...

                          2. linguafood RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:30 AM

                            Preteen mostly on horseback riding lessons, since my parents weren't willing to pay for them.

                            I remember buying a variety of candies with small change -- edible paper, gummi bears, and other crap.

                            After that, mostly cigarettes and pot.

                            1. f
                              Fydeaux RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:34 AM

                              Mostly bought baseball cards and comic books, the occasional candy bar. And sometimes grapes.

                              But I do know that if they had had pre-made frosting in cans like they do now, I'd weigh 600 pounds and wouldnt have a tooth in my head today.

                              1. foodieX2 RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:46 AM

                                Yes. My mom was firmly in the "no processed/packaged junk food in the house" camp. She was was also anti sugar. However our allowances were to be spent as we wished so she never judged if we chose to buy the occasional illicit treat.

                                1. b
                                  BuildingMyBento RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 11:07 AM

                                  If only I could have predicted their demise, I would've purchased heaps of Rainforest Crunch bars way back when. Then again, how would I have obtained all of that money to do so?

                                  A lot of it went towards video games located in pizzerias and stationery stores (oh, and at Nathan's Famous), and Snapple.

                                  1. jrvedivici RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 11:15 AM

                                    {{rising from my seat and addressing the attendees of this thread}}

                                    Hello I'm Jr......{{response from crowd; Hello Jr!!}}
                                    And I'm a Reese-a-holic.

                                    I remember 1978 like it was yesterday, Jimmy Carter was President, there were gas lines, tensions boiling over in the middle east, the chill of the cold war gave you shivers down your spine. I was 8 years old.....and even thru a child's eyes we could see the fear in our parents faces, the world was a changing and not for the better.

                                    I would toss and turn at night, often screaming out of fear, The Russians are Coming or My Piggy Bank for a gallon of gas!! Someone save us....!!! Tensions were high and even in school there was always an ominous feeling to our days, the lunch room and recess were about the only time we had to be kids. It was during one of these lunch periods that a friend of mine offered me a new snack their mom put in their lunch bag, I remember it like yesterday Jimmy said;

                                    "Hey Jr......you want to try a new candy " I turned around and immediately responded "Sure whatcha got"? Jimmy said "They are called Reese's Pieces", little did I know then the decision I was about to make would haunt me the rest of my life.

                                    I extended my empty little hand palm up to Jimmy and he shook the bag with the torn corner nearest my palm and out came a few odd colored little candies. I looked at them and said "Jimmy these aren't a new candy your mom bought some cheap ass M&M's." little did I realize how ridiculous my words were.....he insisted I try them so I did, I threw those little odd colored candies in my mouth and what happened next still give me goosebumps as I recite this to you today. Immediately the flavors of peanut butter and chocolate danced around my tongue, teasing my senses with the peanut buttery experience like none I had ever had before. Similar to a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup you might think, NO!! Where a Peanut Butter Cup gut punches you with peanut butter and chocolate, this just teases you........it pleases you but leaves you wanting more. And wanting more I did......more and more and more. The Hersey Company had me hooked and I was hooked bad, Hersey was the pimp and I was it's fat little bitch.

                                    Soon I was waking up early before school so I could slip a dollar or two out of my fathers wallet in the morning to make sure I had enough cash to get a bag or two. When my dad didn't have any small bills I took to selling my baseball cards, my matchbox cars...anything in my room that wasn't tied down. I sold my pet hermit crab, then had to fake it's escape and cry over it's missing, we even had a funeral with an empty box, well not empty I put a rock in it to imitate the crabs weight. All along knowing this was a ruse to cover my Reese's addiction from my parents.

                                    This went on for years.....4 years until I saw the move E.T. in 1982. At this point I was up to about 4 bags a day, around $2. a day habit.... by now I was 12 and really growing, 4 bags a day would soon be 6/8/10...how would this insanity end?? I couldn't understand how my parents didn't notice the changes. My teeth alone....I got 10 cavities in 4 years...my teeth were yellow-ish from the constant peanut butter...if I went more than a few hours with out a couple of Pieces, I would become lethargic, withdraw from people, if you didn't like Reese's Pieces you couldn't be my friend. But as I sat in that darkened theater with a pack of Reese's Pieces in my pocket wondering where my life was headed, how am I going to continue this, I heard the voice of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial say "Reese's....Yummm" and I realized OMG these are so strong even creatures from across the galaxy are hooked.

                                    I left the theater, no I ran out and ran home nearly exhausted I ran into the kitchen where my mom was seated and I collapsed on the floor, a few Reese's fell out of my limp hand and fell onto the floor. My mother exasperated by my entrance asked what was wrong with me and for the first time the words crossed my lips; "I'm a Reese-a-holic mom.....I need help."

                                    That summer my mother enrolled me in fat camp. They cleaned me up and shipped me off and after that summer I was sugar free baby. But I don't look back upon that time in my life with pride, even as I write this my hands shake wanting a fix from my little peanut butter friends, but I know I can't because unlike E.T. once I have some Reese's I can't just call home and fly away.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                      foodieX2 RE: jrvedivici Oct 30, 2013 11:33 AM

                                      I don't know whether to laugh it cry!

                                      1. re: foodieX2
                                        m
                                        mwhitmore RE: foodieX2 Oct 30, 2013 08:57 PM

                                        We have a winner!

                                      2. re: jrvedivici
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                                        HillJ RE: jrvedivici Oct 30, 2013 12:12 PM

                                        Bravo, more more!

                                        1. re: jrvedivici
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                                          PandaCat RE: jrvedivici Oct 30, 2013 10:41 PM

                                          Those little suckers are insanely addictive. I no longer look in the candy aisle for fear my grocery cart will be full of Reese's Pieces.

                                          1. re: jrvedivici
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                                            acssss RE: jrvedivici Oct 31, 2013 04:41 PM

                                            aaaannndd we have another great story from the one and only jrvedivici! (clap clap clap)

                                            What frightens me is that you took money from your father's wallet, and I took money from our family's coin can - from atop the kitchen cupboards. I used to take a kitchen chair, climb up on the counter and take out a few coins. Then I'd tell my parents that I found the money on the way to school (I thought I was so smart!). All this so I could buy a Mallo cup (I'd save the cardboard coin from inside so I could send them in and get free candy). Hey, the way I see it, it's all Carter's fault!

                                            Good times!

                                            1. re: acssss
                                              John E. RE: acssss Oct 31, 2013 05:02 PM

                                              When I was 8 or 9 my buddy and I would bike down to the store with the drive in that I mentioned up thread. Out back behind the store they stacked returnable soda pop bottles. I think they had a nickel deposit apiece. We'd each grab four bottles and go inside the store and redeem them for .20 cents and then buy some candy. I think we did this a couple times that summer, but we were afraid of getting caught so we stopped doing it.

                                              I remember one time the same buddy and I each bought soft serve ice cream cones. He could not finish his cone so we walked out onto the railroad tracks and out on the bridge over the road. He said he was going to drop the cone on the next car that came by. He dropped the cone on the windshield of the next car all right. It was his aunt's car and we got busted.

                                              1. re: acssss
                                                Steve Green RE: acssss Oct 31, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                Every Sunday morning, my parents would hand my brother and me each a nickel to put in the charity box at Sunday school (you see where this is going, right?). Well, during the midmorning recess, the teacher pulled out candy bars to sell to anyone who wanted them. We weren't supplied money for such things, but one Sunday when the charity box was passed around, I "didn't have anything to contribute". However, I just happened to have a nickel during recess to buy a candy bar. My brother came along just then, and I shared the bar with him. He asked me where I got the nickel, and I told him I found it. The rabbi was standing near us, and turned to the cantor and said in a stage whisper clearly for my benefit, "HE FOUND IT". Early religious guilt-trip. It worked, BTW.

                                                1. re: Steve Green
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                                                  acssss RE: Steve Green Nov 1, 2013 05:56 AM

                                                  Was it during the Carter years? (just kidding)
                                                  Great story. I guess as children we all push the limits until someone guilts us into behaving in a proper fashion and turns us into law abiding citizens.

                                            2. viperlush RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 12:25 PM

                                              Candy. When I was young I spent my money on candy. Once I got my drivers license it was a trip to the bakery before school and a trip to McDonalds after. Thankfully my now BF paid for my lunch at school since I never had any $. Sometimes a friend and I would go out for Korean BBQ after school with $ she stole from her parents.

                                              1. Ttrockwood RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 04:10 PM

                                                I would buy the random bag of m and ms or big hunk bar, but lived in suburbia- no walking home from school- and no vending machines on my bring your lunch from home only campus. In high school i always had a part time job, but that money was mostly for clothes, coffee, gas and cigarettes.
                                                And i knew where mom had her "secret" candy stash for when i needed a hit :)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Ttrockwood
                                                  gaffk RE: Ttrockwood Oct 30, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                  You were lucky. I had to walk by a very good, reasonably priced bakery on my way home from school. And I lived around the corner from a diner which, at the time, had one of the best bakeries in my neighborhood. So spare change went to lots of eclairs, chocolate pastries and brownies. Not to mention the local pizza places with a cheap slice and a soda where tweens would congregate. Fortunately, I grew up pre-internet/cable/video games, so we did burn it up playing outdoors.

                                                  And yeah, by the teen years I worked and spent it all on beer and pot . . . and munchies ;)

                                                2. PrinceZuko RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                  not food. My parents wanted me to save money and eat at home. Plus my mom is a chocoholic who always had some sort of Godiva hiding around the house so I really had no need to buy candy.

                                                  But when I was little it was Pokemon cards. Hundreds and hundreds of worthless pokemon cards. Dont forget Yugioh cards. The current generation is lucky that trading cards aren't popular anymore. It was such a waste of money. I could have used it more wisely. like for liquor, drugs and, explosives like Veggo.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: PrinceZuko
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                                                    mwhitmore RE: PrinceZuko Oct 30, 2013 09:03 PM

                                                    Jeez, my niece wanted to buy Pokémon cards. Asked me, "I have so much money, how many cards can I buy?" Tried to make it a lesson in long-division, but she would have none of it. "How many, how many, how many..."

                                                  2. k
                                                    Kontxesi RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 05:51 PM

                                                    I've had a nail biting problem my whole life. At one point, my mom said she would give more five bucks if I could grow them out to the tips of my fingers.

                                                    By God I did it. Because I wanted to buy a block of cheese all for myself.

                                                    1. kitchengardengal RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                      On the way home from my junior high was a little strip mall with a pharmacy and a grocery store, pizza place, package store, bar and dry cleaners.
                                                      My girlfriends and I would go to either the grocery store or the pharmacy on the way home. At the grocery store, I'd get those round boxes of 'gruyere' cheese wedges wrapped in foil. I can't recall the brand, but sometimes they would walk out of the store in the waistband of my pants, going nowhere near the cash register (hangs head in shame).
                                                      If we went to the pharmacy, I'd spend my babysitting money on either Chocolate Babies or a Chunky Bar, or Ice Cubes, or cheese n crackers. I'd throw out the crackers in the field as we walked across the weeds, and eat the cheese with the little red stick. I didn't take a chance on 'free' stuff from the pharmacy - they watched all the kids like hawks.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                        Veggo RE: kitchengardengal Oct 30, 2013 07:40 PM

                                                        You littered the field with the cheese foil? Shame!

                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                          kitchengardengal RE: Veggo Oct 30, 2013 08:03 PM

                                                          Absolutely not, Veggo!

                                                          I littered the field with crackers.
                                                          I figured those would dissolve with the next rain, or the critters would eat them. Never would I sully my neighborhood with wrappers!

                                                      2. s
                                                        sueatmo RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 09:11 PM

                                                        I did from time to time. I seem to have developed a fondness for Payday candy bars at some point in time. Of course these were really bulky and tasty candy bars then. Now the bars are flimsy little things.

                                                        1. Cherylptw RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:11 PM

                                                          There was a pizza shop I'd go to a couple times a week; slices were .25 cents; you could also get two hamburgers that covered a paper plate for .25 cents....decisions, decisions. They sold crinkle cut French fries and large sodas for .25 cents each too. So, I'd get either a slice or two burgers; always got the ff (who knew that pizza & fries were a match?!) and a large drink.

                                                          Next door to the pizza shop was a candy store with a soda counter; they sold all kinds of newspapers and things...they're penny candy selection was huge. Any change from the pizza shop went to the candy store. You served yourself; pick up a paper bag, fill it and they'd count it at the cash register.

                                                          There was a deli that made huge hero sandwiches for a couple dollars. They were the best heros; I always got ham & cheese with mayo, lettuce, tomato & onion. The Italian bread made the sandwich what it was....and then there was White Castle. Burgers were 15 cents then. I loved the fish sandwiches with cheese & tarter sauce with onion rings and a vanilla shake. A dollar went a long way back then. I miss those days and the food!

                                                          These were pretty much the only things I bought...oh, and Mister Softee but my mom always bought that for us so we didn't have to use our own money.

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                                                            PandaCat RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:35 PM

                                                            I certainly did. I grew up in an incredibly health conscience home. We did not have sugar (of any form- used honey, brown rice syrup and fruit concentrate) or any white flour or white rice. My folks grew all our veg & fruit and raised out meat. We had a really long bus-ride to school and had to switch buses in the parking lot of a restaurant that had big bins of $0.05 candy. My sister & I took full advantage. I should add that now (we're in our early 30's) both of us eat very much the way we did as kids- minus the candy! :-)

                                                            1. c
                                                              Chefpaulo RE: mwhitmore Oct 30, 2013 10:52 PM

                                                              Sixth grade (1962-63) was the year of Sweet Tarts and I bought many a bag. We all did. Otherwise, I was not a big candy person. After sports practice during high school, I'd have a Philly soft pretzel with mustard and an orange drink before boarding the trolley home. Come to think of it....pretzel and drink were 25 cents (total) and trolley fare (with transfer to the suburban bus) was 40 cents. Snack and a ride home for under a buck. Those were the days.
                                                              CP

                                                              1. k
                                                                Kalivs RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 05:09 AM

                                                                Fizzy cola bottles, gobstoppers, blackjacks & Cadbury's Whole Nut. I'm feeling really old because I was able to buy sweets for a half penny and those coins haven't existed for years!

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Kalivs
                                                                  kitchengardengal RE: Kalivs Oct 31, 2013 05:46 AM

                                                                  By 'gobstoppers', you mean jawbreakers, right?
                                                                  Because as far as I know, Everlasting Gobstoppers were a Willy Wonka invention. Did the term exist back in the ha'penny days, too?

                                                                  1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                    k
                                                                    Kalivs RE: kitchengardengal Oct 31, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                                    Mea Culpa. I believe that you are correct in terms of official names. But, as kids, we used both names.

                                                                    1. re: Kalivs
                                                                      m
                                                                      mwhitmore RE: Kalivs Oct 31, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                                      I *like* 'gobstoppers'.

                                                                2. t
                                                                  Tripper RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 05:57 AM

                                                                  Stopped an excellent bakery on my way home for school. Cookies, cupcakes, mini tarts...always preferred these to candy.

                                                                  1. c
                                                                    cleobeach RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 06:03 AM

                                                                    Yes. In middle school, there was a teacher that ran a little candy stand in his room. We would sprint there between classes to buy candy.

                                                                    I spent my pocket money on rolls of Sprees. The red ones were my favorite and I would save those for last. I would eat the entire roll during the next class.

                                                                    1. John E. RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                                      I grew up in a small rural town. When we were about 7 years old we were allowed to ride our bikes all over including a mile up the road to a drive-in restaurant that also had a little grocery store attached. We mostly bought candy. The lady behind the counter was the owner's mother who only spoke German.

                                                                      A few years later we were allowed to ride our bikes pretty much all over town. In the summers we would ride downtown and buy glazed doughnuts from the bakery for .20 cents each. By this time we were also buying burgers, fries, and shakes at that drive-in. Sadly, it closed while I was still in high school.

                                                                      1. mrbigshotno.1 RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                        15 cent Burger Chef hamburgers, just loved them back in the day.

                                                                        1. mucho gordo RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 02:47 PM

                                                                          Absolutely, I liked nothing better than to ride my bike a few blocks to snack on the best lobster roll "in da 'hood"

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mucho gordo
                                                                            Veggo RE: mucho gordo Oct 31, 2013 02:49 PM

                                                                            Probably easier to find in Summerlin than in East LA?

                                                                            1. re: Veggo
                                                                              mucho gordo RE: Veggo Oct 31, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                              Maybe so but the best burrito's were from East LA

                                                                          2. Kajikit RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 02:56 PM

                                                                            My mother refused to buy sugar or comic books... so guess what our allowances went on? As a teen I'd buy a treat at the bakery - I was (and still am) a total sucker for vanilla slices and custard tarts, and I miss them!

                                                                            1. chefjeannine RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 03:02 PM

                                                                              When I was 14 or so, my friend and I would pool our money together, head to the grocery store after school and get some double creme Brie and a baguette.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: chefjeannine
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                                                                                Chefpaulo RE: chefjeannine Oct 31, 2013 03:21 PM

                                                                                Very discerning palates for your tender years. No after- school poutine? I still want to try the absolute authentic.

                                                                                We would have gotten along well. My sixth grade after school treat was going to a friend's house for Euphrates Sesame crackers (no longer made) with a dollop of sour cream, a dusting of salt and crowned by a smoked oyster. A tin of smoked oysters was still 19 cents back then, long before they were discovered. A staple in my house ever since.
                                                                                CP

                                                                              2. c
                                                                                ChervilGeorge RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 04:27 PM

                                                                                Great topic!.

                                                                                I always had a weakness for beef jerky. I went through a fudgesicle phase for a short period of time around 7 and 8. I didn't really like candy but every now and again would by one of those thick square chocolate bars with raisins and peanuts in them. I think they were called Chunky.

                                                                                When I was around 8, I moved to Australia and my favourite thing to buy on the way home from school was a meat pie. I loved how they baked tomato sauce on the top and it would get all caramelized. I would lose my shit when they had the pies with the vegemite glaze AND tomato sauce. I think it was just a once a week occurrence and the shop keeper would always tease me because I would get so excited. I think I may have done a little jig each time. Every now and again I'd mix it up with a sausage roll if they were out of meat pies or a lamington when I had the rare sweet tooth.

                                                                                I don't remember spending much on food in high school. I was all about records and concert tickets except for the occasional 24 hour dinner visit where I always had to have either a veggie burger or mashed potatoes and gravy.

                                                                                The original post reminded me of a trip to Greece I took with my family when I was about 11. I was given some spending money for the day when we visited an outdoor market. I bought a GIANT bag of pistachios with my loot to share with my Grandpa. We ate ourselves silly while people watching at a cafe. One of the best memories of my life. Some of my best food memories were with my Grandpa.

                                                                                1. girloftheworld RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                  i spend most my money on food and cooking... I bought saffron with some birthday money. I buy good meat that my parents dont have on the grocery list but I want to make something special with... theparentalunit indulges a lot but I spend like some girls buy shoes.

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                                                                                    vttp926 RE: mwhitmore Oct 31, 2013 06:49 PM

                                                                                    When I was in middle school whenever I had money, it was always spent on Elmer CheeWees or a pint of Blue Bell pralines n cream at the convenience store. But there was also the rare egg roll or banh mi whenever I wanted something a bit more filling.

                                                                                    1. 4
                                                                                      4X4 RE: mwhitmore Nov 1, 2013 04:09 AM

                                                                                      Yes, candy, chips, etc. from 711 or the drug store (People's, which is now CVS.) Junk food from McDonald's (we walked a couple of miles alone there, without adults, when we were kids.) And ice cream (and more candy) from the Good Humor man.

                                                                                      I remember once when the ice cream man came I asked my mother for some money. She told me to take some from her purse. She didn't tell me how much to take. The ice cream man was very happy to see the twenty dollar bill I had. My mother was not so happy to see how much ice cream I bought with it.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: 4X4
                                                                                        Wahooty RE: 4X4 Nov 9, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                                                        Wow...I haven't thought about People's Drug in a LONG time. My parents weren't teetotalers - we always had chips, soda, cookies, and ice cream in the house - but if I wanted candy I had to go out and get it. There was also something satisfying about being able to pick which chips and soda I wanted. Within a reasonable hike I had a couple of 7-11's (including one across the street from my middle school, which apparently had quite the shoplifting problem) and a High's Dairy Store in the same plaza as a Dart Drug (aka, "Not as Expensive as People's"). Oddly enough, that plaza was home to both my brother's and my illustrious shoplifting careers. He stole some Transformers from the Dart - Mom caught him and made him take them back and apologize. I stole something stupid like a 5-cent piece of Bazooka bubble gum from High's. That night, I was whipping the cream for our pie, and managed to batter my fingers pretty badly putting the beaters onto the mixer - it was one of those that could be turned on, but the motor wouldn't actually move until you attached the beaters, so I didn't know it was on when I went to attach them. I was convinced God was punishing me for stealing bubble gum, and never considered doing it again.

                                                                                        Man, I was a boring kid. I saved my allowance to spend on the occasional candy bar or Slurpee and birthday and Christmas presents for my family.

                                                                                        That same strip mall also housed the only pizza place my parents ever took us out to or ordered from...yet it never even occurred to me to go there on my own. That's a place we only went with Mom and Dad. It was also the home of our local ABC store...also a place I only went with Dad. ;)

                                                                                      2. 4
                                                                                        4X4 RE: mwhitmore Nov 1, 2013 06:19 AM

                                                                                        This thread reminds me of a story my grandmother told me and my brother. When she and one of my uncles were kids, some relative gave each of them a nickle. He told them, "Don't spend it on chazzerei." Chazzerei is Yiddish for junk, and I guess can mean unhealthy food, candy, junk food, etc.

                                                                                        So what does my uncle do with his nickle? He goes to the general store and asks for, "a nickle's worth of chazzerei."

                                                                                        1. Crockett67 RE: mwhitmore Nov 1, 2013 07:55 AM

                                                                                          All the time.

                                                                                          Small bags of chips, sodas, skittles, drumsticks ice cream, manapuas, sticky sweet rice cakes, sweet & sour seeds, nori rice cracker mixes, prawn chips, zots, super lemons, dried seaweed strips, candy bars, jolly ranchers, circus peanuts, shave ice, koala yummies, even dried squid.

                                                                                          Pretty much anything my parents never had at home. Really, my twin and I were very adventurous eaters looking back.

                                                                                          1. chefathome RE: mwhitmore Nov 9, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                                            YES! Candy, chips, etc.

                                                                                            When I was about eight or nine I bought 5-cent double lollies and sold them to my three younger siblings for 25 cents each so I made myself a tidy little profit. Poor gaffers knew no better and spent their meagre "savings" on suckers. Suckers! I made them promise not to tell Mom and they didn't until many years later.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: chefathome
                                                                                              kitchengardengal RE: chefathome Nov 9, 2013 06:02 PM

                                                                                              When my younger son was in middle school, he'd spend his pocket money on Skittles and then sold them throughout the day at school. Of course at a handsome profit.
                                                                                              His little enterprise was somehow leaked to the faculty, and his business was shut down.

                                                                                              1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                                chefathome RE: kitchengardengal Nov 9, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                                                                Ha ha! Sounds as though his business and mine met the same end.

                                                                                            2. Gastronomos RE: mwhitmore Nov 9, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                                              Growing up in the suburbs, the food options outside of home were, well, boring and bland. Mom and Dad did all the cooking at home and I helped. That made me seek out deliciousness everywhere. I'm still seeking it out. Still a Chowhound. Still Chowhounding every neighborhood I come across.

                                                                                              As a child, visiting grandma in the city was an adventure. Plantain chips, as I recall were something I wanted to buy from when I was very little and asked my dad if we could buy a bag.

                                                                                              By the time I was 12 I secured gainful employment and spent all my money on Chowhounding every neighborhood I could get to. Locally it was working my way through the Chinese take out joints menu. Visiting family elsewhere was an adventure. I took jobs in restaurants just to ask the chefs and cooks if they could whip up something I hadn't yet tried and wanted to, but couldn't afford to buy.
                                                                                              Results varied. Money was spent. Chowhounding is a lifelong adventure. A Chowhounds job is never done.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                m
                                                                                                mwhitmore RE: Gastronomos Nov 9, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                                                                This is what I suspected when I composed the OP. Chowhounding is a life-long pursuit.

                                                                                              2. sandiasingh RE: mwhitmore Nov 9, 2013 01:34 PM

                                                                                                I was just commenting on another thread about the movie "Toast," the bio film of the beloved British food writer, Nigel Slater. That boy certainly did. His mother, who he adored, could not cook. At all. His innate instincts about good food, flavor and variety drove him into the food world, but as a boy he certainly did spend his pocket money on food. He was desperate. All she could make was toast.

                                                                                                1. suzigirl RE: mwhitmore Nov 9, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                  When i was around eight or nine I started getting an allowance. I saved up for weeks and took my best friend to a restaurant that was right across the street from her house. We split a taco platter that had two tacos, beans and rice. I still remember them fondly. Trevino's Restaurant. 371-TACO. Still remember the #

                                                                                                  1. CindyJ RE: mwhitmore Nov 9, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                                                                    If candy is food, I spent a good part of my "pocket money" at the corner candy store -- not only for penny candies, but also for nuts -- pistachios and sunflower seeds from the penny machines outside the candy store. Or for bubble gum and plastic "charms" from the penny machines (I still have much of my charm collection). Oh, and if I was lucky enough to have 5 cents, I'd buy a sour pickle from the appetizing store on my way back to school after lunch. Ten cents would buy me a hot potato knish from the street vendor's push cart. I don't remember having pocket money that would buy much more than that. Such was life as a youngster in Brooklyn in the 50's.

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