No matter how rich or poor we might be, if somebody would come up to us and hand us a $100 bill, we’d definitely flash a smile (and be a tad confused and suspicious, for sure). However, how we spend that $100 at the grocery store and what it means to us will vary wildly depending on our personal spending habits, our tastes, and our current financial situation.
Video producer Cut showed the vast differences between households by showcasing just what $100 gets them at the store in a series of YouTube videos. Scroll down, upvote your fave pics, and be sure to check out Cut's original videos in full at the very end. Odds are, you’ll relate to one of these people (let’s just hope it’s not the student who spends nearly half her money on frozen pizza rolls!). So, dear Pandas, how would you spend $100 at the store?
"I'm 98, Served As A Marine Engineer During The War"
"I live in an apartment with my son-in-law and my daughter. I raise chickens."
Komal, Age: 35, Married Mother, Software Engineer
"I am married and I have two kids.
There are families back in India for whom [a 100 dollars] is like a monthly income"
"A Hundred Dollars Means Food For A Week"
"I'm always thinking budget, thinking practical."
For some of these people, $100 means the difference between surviving and going hungry. Meanwhile, for others in a better financial position, the money is something that can be spent on luxury foods or even a night out. Anyone who’s ever tried to fall asleep with their stomach rumbling and their thoughts jumping to food will know that even a few extra dollars can be precious.
Now, this doesn’t mean that nobody can have fun or that we’re supposed to get angry at others for spending their hard-earned money how they see fit. However, it does highlight the inequalities in society. For instance, in 2019, the US Census Bureau found that the gap between the rich and the poor—income inequality—had grown to be the biggest in 50 years.
Mick & Anthony, Age: 36 & 46, Married, Unemployed
"We met online and it was love at first email.
Money means getting by. We're unemployed, starving artists sort of thing."
Karen, Age: 19, Single, College Student
"I live on campus with three other girls.
Usually everyday I have pizza rolls. I don't think I'm good with money at all."
What Would You Buy With 100$?
However, there are some positives, too. Statista shows that the number of Americans living below the poverty line had shrunk from 38 million in 2018 to just below 34 million in 2019. There’s also been a downward trend in Americans living in absolute poverty since 2014.
But (and it’s a big ‘but’) we shouldn’t rush to celebrate because we don’t have concrete numbers about the situation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It had greatly affected unemployment levels during the spring of 2020 (though they rebounded in the summer) and the US economic situation is still up for grabs with lockdowns continuing for the foreseeable future even with mass vaccinations being rolled out worldwide.
"I'm 64 And I Work As A Lunch Lady At An Elementary School"
"[Food] is a communication. It's making people happy.
I live by myself. Unless I'm meeting friends somewhere, I eat alone, probably watching TV."
"I Collect Social Security. Not Near Enough, By The Way"
"I get 1,110$ a month, puts me pretty close to, if not under, the poverty level."
Melina And Kevin, Married
"We've got three kids, a dog and a boat.
We love to gather around food and celebrate our family and friends."
"The Angriest We've Been At Each Other Have All Been Shopping Experiences"
"We love cereal.
I kind of see food as fuel, nothing more."
"I Am 88, A Retired Metro Bus Driver"
"Food is sustenance. I used to [cook], I used to love to do it, all that's gone because I can't see."
"65 An 67 Years Old. We've Been Husband And Wife For 18 Years"
"I don't necessarily like his style of cooking. One time he made me Vietnamese Norvegian gambo."
"Oreos And Energy Drinks... I Have To Have That"
"I would say food is just a medium for community, family."
"My Name's Gertrude. I Go To Restaurants A Lot For Company"
"Food means nourishment, especially since being older, [it has been] very important to eat the right things."
Brie And Ralen
"When you have a child and you have to make ends meet, you could go to the cheapest store and $100 barely stretched."
Dylan, Private University Student, Finance Major
"I like to cook fresh food so I got greens. I get UberEats and stuff sometimes. I spend about $150-200 per month on it."
"We're Both 19. Everyone Says That We Eat Like Children"
"I feel like normally when we spend $100 it's not ever on this much food. We were like wow we can actually get a lot for $100."
Rich And Bernice, Engaged
"We try to have dinner together, at least the nights we're at home at the same time. We don't watch TV while eating"
"I'm Going To Be A Medical Assistant"
"I spent about a quarter of the $100 on baby formula. I always cook dinner for me, my boyfriend and my daughter"
"I Study Strategic Communications And Live In A House With 8 Girls"
"Usually I spend about $50 on groceries. I don't come from a family that has a lot of money. So that kinda sucks when everyone else is going out to eat and you just have to stay home to save money."
Tripp, Age: 30, Single, Bartender
"I would say I'm really striving to be middle class, but I don't know if I am quite yet.
A hundred bucks means like a couple of days worth of money or one frivolous night of indulgence.
I would say I drink at least six days a week."
Ryan, Public University Student
"My room consists of a mini fridge and a toaster oven to cook pizza rolls."