Author Topic: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?  (Read 12160 times)

Bearblastbeats

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I am constantly consuming food. If I could, I probably would eat all hours of the day. I can also go all day on one meal (Sometimes I do on the weekends because I'm usually busy and not around food outlets) but while I'm at work I just munch on everything in site. I don't gain weight either.

So far, I've been on this kind of diet:

Breakfast: Bagel w/ cream cheese & a banana
snack: Granola Bars, fruit and yogurt or sometimes nothing.
Lunch: Ham & Cheese sandwich (maybe roast beef if its on sale) w/ an apple, or sometimes some cape cod chips
snack: probably more granola bars
Dinner: I usually just buy a container of baby spinach, a red onion, a cucumber, a red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and sometimes some cheese. I'll just eat half of all that in a salad with a piece of steak or chicken on the side and lasts me like 2-3 days.

I've been kind of bored with that and sometimes try to do other meals like, grilled chicken Florentine, or cheese burgers w/ grilled potato and red peppers and onions, or some sort of pasta dish, maybe some bruschetta. I really enjoy cooking but sometimes its hard to really get into it being a single person cooking for one.

I want to try and cut back on eating and/or saving money on food since it gets pretty steep.

Note: I cut WAY back on drinking to where I hardly have more than a beer a week if that. I quit smoking so I'm not wasting money there and I hardly ever go out to eat since I enjoy cooking way more than being cooked for.



grantmeaname

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 11:16:00 AM »
Make your own granola and granola bars. They're grrrrrreat!

Another Reader

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 11:19:22 AM »
You are a young man, so your calorie requirements are high.  Other than the chips, you seem to have a reasonable diet.  You quit smoking and you cut the alcohol to almost nothing.  You are learning to cook.  I'd quit worrying about the food intake and congratulate myself for how much I have accomplished in such a short amount of time.

With your lifestyle changes, the young ladies will soon take notice.  You won't be as bored with cooking when you can cook for two....

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 11:24:40 AM »
I believe in the stomach-filling power of protein and fiber, so looking at your diet I think I can see why you are eating all day long. If you eat less, the added cost of higher fiber and more protein will probably balance out.

Your breakfast is mostly carbs, plus cream cheese. Try oatmeal with blueberries (I use frozen blues and they thaw when you pour hot water on them) and egg whites. Or, egg whites on a bagel -- take the cream cheese out of the equation. But aim for a bagel that is multi-grain or whole grain to get more fiber. Oatmeal is much cheaper per meal than bagels, and is generally more filling.

For your snack, keep a protein in there -- yogurt, cottage cheese, almonds, etc. I also like to have a crunch in my snack; it is some strange psychology that makes me feel more satisfied (carrots, apples, celery, etc). A big bag of carrots is not too pricey, and you can slice them up for a week at a time (put a little water in the bottom of the container to keep them crunchy).

Lunch, if you want to cut your spending, you could go with tuna -- cheaper than the deli meats

Dinners -- you could opt for a cheaper lettuce if you want to cut down on spending and don't mind not getting the spinach nutrients (iceberg and romaine are cheaper). Buy the onions in bulk. Cook up the chicken in bulk -- and buy it when it's $1.99/lb in the value packs; my store put chicken breasts at that price point every 3 weeks. Pick up a pack at the beginning of the week, then at the end of the week (for the next week), and the week after that buy steak or something else.

Pasta can be very cheap, even the whole grain and veggie kinds, if you shop a sale and combine it with a coupon (Barilla coupons are out there -- $0.55 off of 1 box, and if your store doubles coupons you don't even need to wait for a sale for a box to be $0.50 each; I order coupons from www.thecouponclippers.com).

For bruschetta, imagine how good that would taste on bread you baked yourself?! I love to bake bread, and it'll be cheaper than buying it but there is a bit of a learning curve. (the same goes for the bread you use for your sandwiches -- you could bake that).

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 11:25:23 AM »
I've been living on my own for 8 years and have been cooking a long time but I've focused on this sort of diet for about two years now, not strictly ;). I did enjoy cooking with my ex, but I've been single for almost a year now (that's a little unusual for me).

I do feel the lack of booze and cigarettes is a huge plus. All of my friends (except two) drink. Some heavier than others. I think I could go without drinking for ever but is it okay to indulge once in a while, say a 6 pack on a Friday night? or a shot or two at a friends house for poker night?

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 11:26:49 AM »
Oh I forgot to mention that I bought a new blender and have been making smoothies every morning for my drive into work.

I do pineapple, mango, strawberry, a banana, some yogurt and orange juice.

grantmeaname

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 11:27:46 AM »
but is it okay to indulge once in a while, say a 6 pack on a Friday night? or a shot or two at a friends house for poker night?
Moderate alcohol consumption is more healthy than total abstinence. Just don't drink so much that it starts to be a financial issue - there's nothing wrong with a few drinks a week.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 11:30:16 AM »
Oh I forgot to mention that I bought a new blender and have been making smoothies every morning for my drive into work.

I do pineapple, mango, strawberry, a banana, some yogurt and orange juice.

For the smoothies, if you use frozen fruit it will be easier to make them and cheaper to buy the ingredients.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 11:31:47 AM »
but is it okay to indulge once in a while, say a 6 pack on a Friday night? or a shot or two at a friends house for poker night?
Moderate alcohol consumption is more healthy than total abstinence. Just don't drink so much that it starts to be a financial issue - there's nothing wrong with a few drinks a week.

I completely understand that point. Over this past winter I was up to a 12 pack a night. :x

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 11:41:28 AM »

Your breakfast is mostly carbs, plus cream cheese. Try oatmeal with blueberries (I use frozen blues and they thaw when you pour hot water on them) and egg whites. Or, egg whites on a bagel -- take the cream cheese out of the equation. But aim for a bagel that is multi-grain or whole grain to get more fiber. Oatmeal is much cheaper per meal than bagels, and is generally more filling.
ons you don't even need to wait for a sale for a box to be $0.50 each; I order coupons from www.thecouponclippers.com).

For bruschetta, imagine how good that would taste on bread you baked yourself?! I love to bake bread, and it'll be cheaper than buying it but there is a bit of a learning curve. (the same goes for the bread you use for your sandwiches -- you could bake that).

So, you think it'll be cheaper/healthier to have a multi-grain bagel (or just bread I use for lunch) with an egg (maybe some cheese and bacon) every morning?

I also dont have an oven so all my cooking is done on a grill, as much as I would love to bake my own bread.

oh, I also do most of my eating at work. Breakfast snacks and lunch. Dinner is for when I get home.

grantmeaname

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 11:52:20 AM »
So, you think it'll be cheaper/healthier to have a multi-grain bagel (or just bread I use for lunch) with an egg (maybe some cheese and bacon) every morning?
You'll probably stay full longer.

Quote
I also dont have an oven so all my cooking is done on a grill, as much as I would love to bake my own bread.
If you have the space for it, you can find bread machines for dirt cheap at thrift stores (if you're lucky) and on craigslist.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 12:08:57 PM »
So, you think it'll be cheaper/healthier to have a multi-grain bagel (or just bread I use for lunch) with an egg (maybe some cheese and bacon) every morning?
You'll probably stay full longer.

The multigrain bagel will probably not cost more than a plain bagel of the same brand. If you want to add cheese and bacon, well, that will add to your costs ;) You can do the math on your bread v. bagel calculation -- see how many pieces of bread are going to give you the same amount of calories as that bagel, and calculate the cost of each option. Eggs are about $2/dozen, and I eat 2-3 egg whites a morning, so a dozen lasts 4-6 days. Compare that to the cost of the same amount of protein via cheese or bacon and you'll probably find eggs to be the winner on a per-meal basis.

Quote
I also dont have an oven so all my cooking is done on a grill, as much as I would love to bake my own bread.
If you have the space for it, you can find bread machines for dirt cheap at thrift stores (if you're lucky) and on craigslist.

Ditto. And they will bake you bread while you sleep or work. At most, a good bread machine costs $100 and if you switch to exclusively making your own bread, you will eventually make back the cost in savings.

Eric

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 01:03:08 PM »
If I was eating a bagel everyday, there's no way I'd skip the cream cheese.  It's the perfect combo!

I also make a sandwich for lunch everyday.  If you buy a big 2lb block of cheese, you can usually get that for the same amount or less than 1lb of sliced.  Then just slice it yourself.

I agree with grantmeaname that homemade granola is awesome and cheap, but you're going to have a hard time making that without an oven.  In general, for your snacking, you want foods with high fiber, as they make you feel fuller, longer.  Here's a nice list of high fiber foods:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582

grantmeaname

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 01:06:26 PM »
Good point, he didn't mention that until after my post. You can make granola in a skillet and it's not too weird...

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Grocery list for a single male: food budget. How am I doing?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 01:14:27 PM »
If I was eating a bagel everyday, there's no way I'd skip the cream cheese.  It's the perfect combo!

I also make a sandwich for lunch everyday.  If you buy a big 2lb block of cheese, you can usually get that for the same amount or less than 1lb of sliced.  Then just slice it yourself.

I agree with grantmeaname that homemade granola is awesome and cheap, but you're going to have a hard time making that without an oven.  In general, for your snacking, you want foods with high fiber, as they make you feel fuller, longer.  Here's a nice list of high fiber foods:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582

What I have been eating lately for a snap are pita chips with spinach and artichoke hummus. I also eat apples everyday.