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Michelle Obama Says First Families Pay for Their Own Food in the White House: ‘It’s Crazy’

Michelle Obama is getting real about what it’s like to live in the White House. The former first lady of the United States, who is in the midst of a media tour promoting her memoir, Becoming, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday, November 15, and discussed a little-known detail regarding life in one of the world’s most famous residences.

Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama ABC

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In discussing Becoming, Kimmel explained that one of the “most interesting things” he read in the book was that the president and his family must pay for their own food during their time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“Go figure,” Obama, 54, said with a laugh. Though Kimmel thought that concept was “crazy” the former FLOTUS had a different point of view. “It’s crazy because you don’t know it, and most people don’t know what it’s like to live in the White House,” she explained, adding that it makes sense for White House residents to pay for something: “Rent is free, staff is free. We shouldn’t be mooching off of the taxpayers.”

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Still, the lawyer did admit that there were pitfalls associated with picking up the tab for your own food when everything was at your disposal but you couldn’t venture to the supermarket and choose it for yourself. “It’s a little shocking because nobody really tells you this stuff and then they let you get whatever you want,” Obama said.

“I would tell Barack, ‘Do not express pleasure for anything unless I know how much it costs,’” Obama added with a laugh. “They’re very responsive at your expense.”

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Despite the occasional confusion, it doesn’t sound like the White House’s former tenant has any qualms about paying for her own meals. As she put it, “In all fairness, if we want a certain kind of jam or jelly, we should pay for that.”

Tell Us: Are you surprised to learn the first family pays for their own food?

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