Re: Common house meal prices
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:37:39 -0700 (PDT)
 in actuality the charge is usually somewhere around $6, give or take .50. So, 
it’s not a set charge but based on the actual cost of the meals that quarter. 
Easier for cooks not to have to stress if they’re a tad over budget because it 
all works out in the end. 
On all the comments on “it works out in the end” — In the early 70’s I was book 
keeper for a Unitarian food coop. On Sunday people placed orders and on 
Saturday morning a group of 3-4 people would go shopping at a large vegetable 
maket on the wharf. While they divvied up all the vegetables into paper bags 
for members, I would tally up the receipts. They were pretty good about 
bringing back receipts but often, like Farmer’s Markets, the vendors didn’t 
give receipts. If anything, shoppers would have little scraps of paper with an 
amount but not the name of the item or just tell me what something cost. And 
sometimes what members had already paid for with their orders (people actually 
used checks and cash then) was too much or too little. 

The books never added up. Everyone was doing the best they could and there was 
no doing better given all the circumstances. 

Instead of showing unbalanced books or trying to figure out what was missing 
and not closing the books until I figured it out, I created an Ostrich account. 
Except for refunds for unavailable items, all overs, unders, and missings were 
credited to head in the sand. The purchases and/or receipts were usually under 
or over $25. We were purchasing for 15 or so households. And miracle of all 
miracles, over the course of year, it always balanced out.

(We lined up the bags with order sheets for the next week under the coat racks 
and people picked them up on Sunday.)

Sharon Villines

Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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