Currents
Nuts! May Is Expensive!
Some of the stuff we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

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    Mother’s Day is a boon for the greeting card industry.
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    Mother’s Day is a boon for the greeting card industry.
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    Texas is one of the nation’s leading peanut-producing states.
    IMAGE: © yvdavid | Dollar Photo Club

There’s just no getting around it: With Mother’s Day and a prom date on your calendar, this can be a costly month. But if you’re reduced to eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to meet your budget, you’re in the right place.


Mother’s Day Milestone


Mother’s Day officially turns 100 this month. By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in most states, and on May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a joint resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis is considered the founder of Mother’s Day in the U.S. Though she never married or had children, she lobbied passionately to set aside a day to honor mothers. She was inspired by her own mother, Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, an activist and social worker in West Virginia who used to express her desire that someday someone should honor all mothers, living and dead.

When Mother’s Day quickly became a gold mine for the flower, candy and greeting card businesses, the younger Jarvis fervently objected and spent decades trying to turn the focus of the day to intimate family celebrations.

Was she successful? You decide. American consumers spent about $170 on Mom last year, according to theweek.com. (That compares to about $120 spent on Dad for Father’s Day, according to outsidethebeltway.com.)


Tuxes and Deep Pockets


High school students—or, more likely, their parents—dig deep these days for their social event of the school year: prom. The nationwide average cost of going to prom was $1,139 last year, according to a survey by Visa Inc. Parents foot 59 percent of that bill, the survey showed.

Where does all the money go? A Seventeen magazine survey in 2012 found that girls spent an average of $231 on a dress, $50 to get their hair done and $68 on their makeup. In addition, they shell out $45 for shoes and $32 on jewelry. Then there are the costs of tuxedo rentals, dining out, perhaps a limo.

Texas teens go to prom at a cost higher than the national average, spending $1,203. Kids in the Northeast rack up the heaviest bills, averaging $1,528.


By the Numbers: 433,000,000


Texas farms produced 433 million pounds of peanuts in 2013, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. That’s enough to make more than 4 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Of course, peanuts have a place in many recipes, including these you’ll find in this month’s recipe contest.

TAGS: Agriculture, Currents


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