Author Topic: How much do you spend on food?  (Read 7925 times)

WootWoot

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How much do you spend on food?
« on: November 15, 2016, 03:31:26 PM »
I'm going to start this off by saying I'd like to limit this to couples with no children, or any other two-adult household, and one of you must have a food allergy that requires a strict diet (gluten-free, low carb-low sugar, etc.).

I'll also say that because I myself cannot eat rice, pasta, bread (unless it's a special type) and other cheap, filling foods, I'm finding it really challenging to get my food budget down. I'd like it to be $400 a month, but I've exceeded that by at least $150 the past couple of months.

We are also a vegetarian (but not vegan) household.

I also realize toiletries are being included in the $650 for myself and spouse, but I'm going to count it all as food, and you can too, in your reply. Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 03:54:27 PM by WootWoot »

MVal

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 03:55:11 PM »
I like to be healthy and do low-sugar, low-gluten, but lately I've not been as careful about that as I've been more opportunistic with my food. By utilizing leftovers from breakfasts or team lunches at work, using up stuff in my pantry and doing dumpster diving with a friend, I've actually gotten my food budget to almost nothing. Seriously, this summer I went 2.5 months without buying any food at all, except a handful of meals out with friends. So far this month, I haven't purchased any food, but I probably will have to buy something for Thanksgiving cooking.

The dumpster diving at Aldi has actually given me greater fruits and veggies in my diet as this is the majority of what gets thrown out regularly. Items still in wrapper and clamshells that were discarded for blemishes or expiration make up the bulk of what I find.

Zikoris

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 04:20:20 PM »
We don't have any food allergies, but do both follow a strict vegan diet - maybe that counts? We've spent around $230/month consistently for about four years. It includes household things like toilet paper or saran wrap, but not toiletries. Our toiletries spending for 2015 was $213, so add $18 to that monthly amount if you like.

I have to ask, because it's a very common problem these days - how much of your dietary restrictions are due to actual, diagnosed, doctor-confirmed medical need, versus wanting to follow this diet or that diet? I don't know if this is you or not, but a LOT of people these days decide to follow fad diets that arbitrarily restrict random foods, and, well, that comes with a price tag.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 04:29:30 PM »
We eat paleo-ish/primal-ish. (Paleo plus dairy and rice, essentially). We also buy local grass fed organic beef (1/4 cow this time, cow share before).

When we lived in Portland, it was around $750-800/month.
Now we moved to a different Oregon city/town, and it's like $650/month. With the 1/4 cow now though, I think it'll average more like $600 per month.

Of note: we both weight lift a lot and are both extremely active. Also, I'm on the tall side for a woman. I probably eat around 2500 cal/d, husband around 3500cal/d.

ETA: no restaurant spending, generally. Cost includes alcohol.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 04:55:51 PM by Bracken_Joy »

WootWoot

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 04:37:03 PM »
I'm a Type II diabetic. I take a low dose of Metformin and use the low carb, no sugar diet to do the rest of the disease control. My goal is to never have to be on insulin.

I also don't each much in the way of fruit--too much sugar. I know some of the money is going towards things like Adkins bars, which I use as snacks/meals during the day. I eat about every two hours, very small portions.


I have to ask, because it's a very common problem these days - how much of your dietary restrictions are due to actual, diagnosed, doctor-confirmed medical need, versus wanting to follow this diet or that diet? I don't know if this is you or not, but a LOT of people these days decide to follow fad diets that arbitrarily restrict random foods, and, well, that comes with a price tag.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 04:53:11 PM »
SO can't have any dairy

We spend ~$250/month on groceries and eat very well. Lots of fresh veggies, fruit, meats, eggs, etc.

We spend another $200 a month on bars/restaurants that's tracked as "entertainment".

Zikoris

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 05:00:30 PM »
I'm a Type II diabetic. I take a low dose of Metformin and use the low carb, no sugar diet to do the rest of the disease control. My goal is to never have to be on insulin.

I also don't each much in the way of fruit--too much sugar. I know some of the money is going towards things like Adkins bars, which I use as snacks/meals during the day. I eat about every two hours, very small portions.


I have to ask, because it's a very common problem these days - how much of your dietary restrictions are due to actual, diagnosed, doctor-confirmed medical need, versus wanting to follow this diet or that diet? I don't know if this is you or not, but a LOT of people these days decide to follow fad diets that arbitrarily restrict random foods, and, well, that comes with a price tag.

Are whole oats and lentils/beans/chickpeas options? What about other whole grains? Whole barley? TVP? To my understanding, those things are fine for diabetics (in reasonable amounts) due to the fibre slowing down the sugar absorption or something like that.

WootWoot

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 05:05:24 PM »
Zikoris--

I think barley is out of the question, unless it's in tiny amounts. Quinoa is OK. TVP is fine; so are oats. For breakfast, though, I eat Fibre One cereal (helps with the digestive system) with soy milk (unsweetened) and a bit of fruit on top and Nutrasweet. For lunch I have a sandwich made with a low-carb (and sadly, expensive-ish) flour burrito shell. Filling is either egg salad or tuna salad, made by hubby. For dessert, I have a half cup of sugar-free instant pudding made with soy milk, or an Oikos yogurt (no sugar).

Chickpeas and lentils should be fine. We do eat falafel sandwiches once a week or so.

When I see others doing so much better with their spending, I wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 05:09:09 PM »
Zikoris--

I think barley is out of the question, unless it's in tiny amounts. Quinoa is OK. TVP is fine; so are oats. For breakfast, though, I eat Fibre One cereal (helps with the digestive system) with soy milk (unsweetened) and a bit of fruit on top and Nutrasweet. For lunch I have a sandwich made with a low-carb (and sadly, expensive-ish) flour burrito shell. Filling is either egg salad or tuna salad, made by hubby. For dessert, I have a half cup of sugar-free instant pudding made with soy milk, or an Oikos yogurt (no sugar).

Chickpeas and lentils should be fine. We do eat falafel sandwiches once a week or so.

When I see others doing so much better with their spending, I wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong.

I obviously have no stones to throw (my spending is upthread, lol!), but it sounds like you have a lot of replacement foods going on. Something pretending to be something else almost invariably falls short of nutrition and price (and taste for that matter). It's usually a way better idea to shift composition than to use substitute items. Ie, instead of tuna salad in a fakey spendy burrito shell, try in on top of lettuce.

Zikoris

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 06:02:18 PM »
Zikoris--

I think barley is out of the question, unless it's in tiny amounts. Quinoa is OK. TVP is fine; so are oats. For breakfast, though, I eat Fibre One cereal (helps with the digestive system) with soy milk (unsweetened) and a bit of fruit on top and Nutrasweet. For lunch I have a sandwich made with a low-carb (and sadly, expensive-ish) flour burrito shell. Filling is either egg salad or tuna salad, made by hubby. For dessert, I have a half cup of sugar-free instant pudding made with soy milk, or an Oikos yogurt (no sugar).

Chickpeas and lentils should be fine. We do eat falafel sandwiches once a week or so.

When I see others doing so much better with their spending, I wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong.

I think if you were to buy bulk quantities of the things above that work - TVP, oats, lentils, chickpeas, maybe brown rice if it's acceptable - and base your meals on that, your spending would drop a lot. Buying whatever vegetables are cheap and learning to cook with basically everything helps a lot too, especially Chinese vegetables (in Vancouver at least).

I love flatbread/wraps/tortillas, so if I were in your situation, I'd probably try to find a recipe that worked, and make it from scratch frequently. What about Indian style flatbread made from chickpea flour? Anything bread-like seems to be SO MUCH cheaper to make by hand, and way tastier.

If you eat a lot of yogurt, it might be worthwhile to start making that yourself too.

wenchsenior

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 07:04:20 PM »
I have an endocrine disorder (officially diagnosed) as well which puts me at high risk for diabetes, and reactive hypoglycemia, so I eat kind of similar to the OP...cannot do the high glycemic filler carbs that allow a lot of people to eat extremely cheaply (including me back in college). I eat a fair amount of healthy fats, beans, and eggs; we don't eat much in the way of wheat, white rice, or potatoes. We eat whole oats, brown and wild rice, quinoa, and some barley. We don't eat a lot of cheaper, fatty meat and we do eat a lot of fairly expensive wild-caught pacific salmon and halibut (no farmed fish).

So our bill is high...for years it ran about $550-600/month (NOT including eating out or alcohol (ugh) but DOES include ~100 worth of cat food, litter, etc.) and the bill had edged up to average $650 2 years ago, which is when I really tried to figure out how to optimize costs. By shopping slightly cheaper meats but using less of them, by keeping a price book of regularly purchased items, and by shopping sales (which I never did before), I dragged it back down so that now it runs around $500 and I think it would be difficult to consistently get it lower unless we go vegetarian a few nights per week.

I feel pleased that cost-cutting worked, but it still kind of annoys me that it costs so much to feed me when I only eat twice per day, AND I only weigh 105lbs soaking wet. My husband eats more than I do, obvs, because he's bigger and works out harder, but he isn't a huge eater, either. It's a little baffling. Whatever, I just don't want to put in any more effort cutting costs, so I'm living with it LOL.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 07:06:48 PM by wenchsenior »

oldtoyota

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 08:43:33 PM »
Zikoris--

I think barley is out of the question, unless it's in tiny amounts. Quinoa is OK. TVP is fine; so are oats. For breakfast, though, I eat Fibre One cereal (helps with the digestive system) with soy milk (unsweetened) and a bit of fruit on top and Nutrasweet. For lunch I have a sandwich made with a low-carb (and sadly, expensive-ish) flour burrito shell. Filling is either egg salad or tuna salad, made by hubby. For dessert, I have a half cup of sugar-free instant pudding made with soy milk, or an Oikos yogurt (no sugar).

Chickpeas and lentils should be fine. We do eat falafel sandwiches once a week or so.

When I see others doing so much better with their spending, I wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong.

Do you make the falafel yourself? It's often made with grain flour.

oldtoyota

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2016, 08:45:14 PM »
I eat mostly veggies and meat due to health issues. Last I checked, we spend about $600/mo. I stopped trying to get the cost down.

I do have one kid, so you can deduct $100 from that number. She eats cheap.

With This Herring

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2016, 11:19:08 PM »
We are at $200-ish per month in a MCOL for groceries and consumables (paper towels, cleaning stuff, soap).  This does not include restaurants, which we frequent maybe 2 to 3 times per month together and the same again apart, or the infrequent alcohol purchase.  We eat vegetarian at home, but we don't have any other dietary restrictions.  We eat a little bread, but it's mostly stuff I make, and very little pasta.  Lots of rice, though.

+1 for wenchsenior's price book suggestion.  If you need more specific guidelines, look for "Dacyczyn price book."  Amy Dacyczyn is the author of The Tightwad Gazette.  While you are putting it together, look at alternative places to buy foods, such as ethnic markets if you have any nearby.
+1 for Zikoris' suggestion to buy in bulk.

Cost-cutting advice:
  • Beans are cheap, especially if you cook them from dried.  I write odes to dried beans.
  • Do you eat seitan?  Here's some cheap (per pound) vital wheat gluten to make your own (they also sell on Amazon for the same prices).  Make sure you know you like homemade seitan first, and be sure you have the storage space for 50# of gluten (the bag is the size of a small adult crouching).  I bought the big bag, and it is good quality.  Also, the internet claims you can use it to make low-carb breads.
  • Switch from Oikos (Greek) yogurt to generic Greek yogurt.  Buy a big container and spoon out portions for yourself daily.
  • Can you switch and eat oatmeal instead of Fiber One?  Or brown rice?
  • From the tuna fish sandwiches, unless they are some sort of faux tuna, it looks like you two are pescetarian.  Can you get a better deal buying tuna cans at a warehouse club?  I know my mother gets tilapia fillets there.  (Also, there's a thread on aquaponics going on at the moment, but I have no idea if that would be practical or money-saving for you.)

Also, try tracking your toiletries and household supplies separately for a while.  If you are dropping a lot there, it could be skewing your perception of what you spend on food.

Goldielocks

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2016, 11:58:39 PM »
I can't comment too much except to recommend a few more foods for the low carb folks looking for lower cost ideas.  I eat similarly to y'all for a month at a time, on occasion... 

I recommend you also price out and try:

1) Millet
2) Buckwheat groats
3) Squash -- e.g, acorn / butternut squash, spaghetti squash is on sale right now here at 67 cents/lb.
4) Zucchini - not on sale, right now, but I seem to eat a lot of it and it reduces other costs.
5) Flaxseed "granola"  (wet flaxseed, add spices, dehydrate and crumble)
6) Chia
7) Peanuts

I eat a lot of chia in the mornings, instead of oatmeal, for a quick mid day snack during my "healthy eating" trends... it seems quite expensive, but you only need a couple of table spoons, so lasts a very long time and provides a lot of protein and is very yummy.. I have it with frozen blueberries from the summer time sales when frozen berries are cheap.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2016, 08:57:07 AM »
  • From the tuna fish sandwiches, unless they are some sort of faux tuna, it looks like you two are pescetarian.  Can you get a better deal buying tuna cans at a warehouse club?  I know my mother gets tilapia fillets there.  (Also, there's a thread on aquaponics going on at the moment, but I have no idea if that would be practical or money-saving for you.)

Yeah, costco regularly has sales on their tuna, and you can stock up pretty cheap then. Buy skipjack rather than albacore. It's cheaper per ounce, plus it's generally lower mercury. (Tuna encompasses a lot of types of fish, actually, as does "sardines")
Found a link. Skipjack is 1/3 the mercury as Albacore: https://www.edf.org/oceans/mercury-alert-canned-tuna-safe-eat

Like the link says, also consider canned salmon. Trader Joe's sells this for pretty cheap IIRC, although I haven't bought any for a while (lots of fish in our freezer we're working through).

brute

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2016, 09:07:25 AM »
Two adults. We spend $900 on food monthly.

I'm the problem. I'm a super heavyweight competitive strongman, so I have to take in around 300g of protein daily. Gets expensive quickly.

However, it should be dropped closer to $700 as I switch over to using whole chickens more. I finally have a few recipes that I like and using more chicken and pork should save us at least $200 a month. If money were tight, I could bring it down to $400, but we like having nice meals with lots of variation.


Bracken_Joy

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2016, 09:17:30 AM »
Two adults. We spend $900 on food monthly.

I'm the problem. I'm a super heavyweight competitive strongman, so I have to take in around 300g of protein daily. Gets expensive quickly.

However, it should be dropped closer to $700 as I switch over to using whole chickens more. I finally have a few recipes that I like and using more chicken and pork should save us at least $200 a month. If money were tight, I could bring it down to $400, but we like having nice meals with lots of variation.

Oh god, someone who eats even more than my husband! ...this made me feel better, I'll admit.

What they don't tell you about having a home gym and being fit: yeah, it saves money in a lot of respects, but BOY does it spike the grocery budget.

marielle

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2016, 09:30:42 AM »
Two vegan adults, I'd estimate around $250-$300 a month.

It's really hard to say because we buy a lot of things in bulk like dry beans and rice. So sometimes our weekly grocery bill is only $30, other times it's $60 for fresh things to supplement our bulk foods. But definitely no more than $300 a month overall. Not sure about toiletries, maybe $15 a month max since I buy the 1000-count toilet paper and I only wash my hair once a week. We eat out maybe twice a month at sit-down places. A habit I've kept from college is to not buy any food that isn't $4-5 for a day's worth of calories (1800 for me). With an exception made for healthy vegetables.

Occasionally we buy "specialty" vegan food and ingredients but mostly it's cheap beans, vegetables, and fruit. Primary source of groceries is Aldi, Food Lion, and Trader Joe's.

caseyzee

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2016, 10:51:01 AM »
Wootwoot - I would strongly recommend skipping the Atkins type bars and going with snacks/small meals you bring yourself.  The bars are crazy expensive.  I don't like them, but I know that's a personal taste thing.  My go to snacks are a small serving of nuts (I do measure out 1/4 cup, or I'll eat the whole container), cheese, cucumber or pepper slices dipped in hummus, homemade low carb granola, quiche made in muffin cups, mock danish also made in muffin cups, etc, etc, etc.

With This Herring

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2016, 11:11:53 AM »
caseyzee, would you share that muffin-cup mock danish recipe?

mm1970

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2016, 11:29:47 AM »
Zikoris--

I think barley is out of the question, unless it's in tiny amounts. Quinoa is OK. TVP is fine; so are oats. For breakfast, though, I eat Fibre One cereal (helps with the digestive system) with soy milk (unsweetened) and a bit of fruit on top and Nutrasweet. For lunch I have a sandwich made with a low-carb (and sadly, expensive-ish) flour burrito shell. Filling is either egg salad or tuna salad, made by hubby. For dessert, I have a half cup of sugar-free instant pudding made with soy milk, or an Oikos yogurt (no sugar).

Chickpeas and lentils should be fine. We do eat falafel sandwiches once a week or so.

When I see others doing so much better with their spending, I wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong.
Honestly you are probably doing okay.  Cost of food varies a lot on location and what you eat.

Our grocery bill is going to come out to being about $7000 this year, for a family of 4, but you could consider it more like 3 (10 year old eats school lunch, not included in that amount and 4 year old doesn't eat much).

While I'm a big fan of rice and beans because they are cheap, I'm 46 and hubby is 48 and for weight control reasons, we cannot really eat a lot of them.  I basically limit my carbs/ grains to 2-3 servings a day, and hubby limits his to about the same, maybe 1 more.

My daily meals might look like:
Breakfast: protein powder, peanut butter, fruit smoothie.  Sometimes a carb like corn tortillas or oats.
Snack: fruit and nuts or cheese
Lunch: salad with veggies, sunflower seeds, feta, olives, homemade dressing
Snack: Veggies and hummus
Dinner: A carb (rice, beans, potato, tortillas), veggies, and protein.

I eat a lot of vegetables.  A lot.  A few pounds at least.  And if you are able to get them for $1 a pound, it's still a lot of money.  I probably spend $4 a day on produce, for just me.  (We belong to a CSA that is $40 a week, and covers about 80% of our produce needs).

So, how do "do better":
1.  Keep a price book.  Find ways to get what you currently eat cheaper.  Example:
- 10 oz bag of broccoli florets = $2.29
- 1 bunch shrink wrapped broccoli = $1.89 (and is 2x the amount of the bag)
- 1 pound broccoli (different store) = $1
- 1 head broccoli (99 cent store) = $1 (and about 1.5 pounds)

2.  Figure out what foods you like and eat that are cheap, and increase the frequency of rotation.

3.  Don't waste food.

4.  Stretch with soup.

5.  Figure out where the bulk of your money goes (produce, meat, cheese, eggs, ?) and work on those FIRST.

6.  Figure out your non-negotiables.  For some, it's only free-range meat, or organic eggs, or organic produce if the dirty dozen.  Nothing wrong with making those decisions.  But recognized it won't be apples to apples comparison to others.  (Also, check the USDA website.)

7.  Figure out how to make the stuff you currently buy.  (Yogurt, hummus, etc.)

8.  Calculate the cost per meal.  What is killing you, breakfast?  Snacks?  I love Kind bars but a handful of nuts is cheaper.


My grocery budget doubled the year I cut back on carbs.  From $5300 to $10,500.  The following year, I cut it back to $5600 but it was a lot of work, and involved shopping at multiple stores every week.  This year we are going to be closer to $7000.

In any event, for me, I found that fats are cheaper than protein, and are as satiating.  So, I've cut back on protein and increased fats.  Peanut butter, olive oil, per calorie, are cheaper than chicken.

Yeah, I could probably cut our bill even further this year, but I'm not willing to cut back on my produce intake.  So there you are.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 11:34:02 AM by mm1970 »

catccc

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2016, 11:36:58 AM »
I'm breaking your rules, but I think I'm justified and might have helpful input...  DH follows a combo of paleo/SCD, and we spend about $400/month on groceries.  That also includes feeding our 2 kids, one of which eats as much as I do, and the other is only 5 and can sometimes be picky.  We eat vegetarian 90% of the time or more.  Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, dried fruits and nuts, occasionally we spend $ on specialty flours, but that's infrequent.  Basically, we eat more of the stuff that fits his dietary needs naturally, and we don't buy substitute things.  Like, we've never gotten a milk alternative, he just doesn't drink any milk.  He does do yogurt, and we only buy plain in a quart size, no pricey single servings with fun flavors.  He throws in dried fruit and nuts to make it interesting.  We don't buy special wraps, he just eats salads instead.  We don't do boxed cereals because we don't do extruded grains.  This cuts out on a lot of processed (and pricey) foods.  As a long time vegetarian, I've learned that eating fake meat/meat substitutes usually means more $$, excess sodium, etc.  Good luck!  Hopefully you can strike a balance between healthy for your restrictive diet and healthy for your budget.

WootWoot

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2016, 01:48:33 PM »
No, we buy the falafel balls frozen. They're a kosher brand and less expensive than the ones made by various vegetarian companies. We get several sandwiches out of one box, as we use only two balls per sandwich.

Zikoris--

I think barley is out of the question, unless it's in tiny amounts. Quinoa is OK. TVP is fine; so are oats. For breakfast, though, I eat Fibre One cereal (helps with the digestive system) with soy milk (unsweetened) and a bit of fruit on top and Nutrasweet. For lunch I have a sandwich made with a low-carb (and sadly, expensive-ish) flour burrito shell. Filling is either egg salad or tuna salad, made by hubby. For dessert, I have a half cup of sugar-free instant pudding made with soy milk, or an Oikos yogurt (no sugar).

Chickpeas and lentils should be fine. We do eat falafel sandwiches once a week or so.

When I see others doing so much better with their spending, I wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong.

Do you make the falafel yourself? It's often made with grain flour.

WootWoot

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2016, 01:54:46 PM »
I do eat a lot of nuts. I recently started buying peanuts b/c they are cheaper than cashews.


Wootwoot - I would strongly recommend skipping the Atkins type bars and going with snacks/small meals you bring yourself.  The bars are crazy expensive.  I don't like them, but I know that's a personal taste thing.  My go to snacks are a small serving of nuts (I do measure out 1/4 cup, or I'll eat the whole container), cheese, cucumber or pepper slices dipped in hummus, homemade low carb granola, quiche made in muffin cups, mock danish also made in muffin cups, etc, etc, etc.

WootWoot

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2016, 02:00:32 PM »
Can't remember who asked, but yes, we did make our own seitan at one point, and should probably start again.

Had a chat with Spouse about all this and he's going to start taking better inventory of what's already in the house, and what we can do without. For instance, a very small change: we make a carafe of coffee every day. We grind out own beans, using two tbsp. of Starbucks French and the rest is Eight O'Clock. We're going to leave out the SBX except for weekends, and try making half the amount of the carafe's capacity.

I looked up a lot of so-called low carb snack bar recipes online, but a lot of them called for dates, dried cranberries, and other high-sugar items.

Also, no, I don't eat brown rice.

Another possibility: Spouse will eat a slightly different dinner than mine, using cheaper ingredients, as he is not diabetic.

Edit: In the past, I've given up on trying to lower the food bill. Mostly because I have such a strict diet, that I feel resentful when I can't even buy a $1 cup of flavored yogurt. It starts to feel like deprivation. I look forward to my little snacks, because I can no longer eat the desserts I used to love so much. Maybe this is just the price I have to pay.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 02:04:28 PM by WootWoot »

mm1970

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2016, 04:03:32 PM »
Can't remember who asked, but yes, we did make our own seitan at one point, and should probably start again.

Had a chat with Spouse about all this and he's going to start taking better inventory of what's already in the house, and what we can do without. For instance, a very small change: we make a carafe of coffee every day. We grind out own beans, using two tbsp. of Starbucks French and the rest is Eight O'Clock. We're going to leave out the SBX except for weekends, and try making half the amount of the carafe's capacity.

I looked up a lot of so-called low carb snack bar recipes online, but a lot of them called for dates, dried cranberries, and other high-sugar items.

Also, no, I don't eat brown rice.

Another possibility: Spouse will eat a slightly different dinner than mine, using cheaper ingredients, as he is not diabetic.

Edit: In the past, I've given up on trying to lower the food bill. Mostly because I have such a strict diet, that I feel resentful when I can't even buy a $1 cup of flavored yogurt. It starts to feel like deprivation. I look forward to my little snacks, because I can no longer eat the desserts I used to love so much. Maybe this is just the price I have to pay.

I found that last year, the year I was trimming the budget from $10,500 to $5300 - my husband and kids felt that way.  I cut to a point that was comfortable for ME, but they were really to feel deprivation from not having their little flavored yogurts and snacks and things.  So that's why our budget is higher this year.

Ben Hogan

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2016, 06:25:22 AM »
Single and racking up about $650 a month, mostly from eating out and adding in booz with the meals. :(

boarder42

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2016, 06:32:36 AM »
2 couple household rarely eat out so i'll just do grocery

450/month including booze - booze is probably over 100 of that

we eat high protien low carb diets.  we have so much amazing food at this price i find it crazy some of the peeople that spend more. 

MandalayVA

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2016, 07:05:54 AM »
Two-person omnivore household, probably about $500 a month.  We eat a lot of chicken, salad and vegetables, and Mr. Mandalay likes to take a piece of fruit in his lunch and have a cup of Siggi's skyr yogurt as a snack.  We don't eat bread and try to avoid grains, although Mr. Mandalay does like oatmeal for breakfast.  On Sundays I might cook a steak for us or make a grain-free meat loaf or stew for Mr. Mandalay to nosh on for dinner during the week--because of my work schedule I end up eating dinner around four, and he can heat up stuff in the microwave (sniff, so proud!).

bryan995

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2016, 02:30:52 PM »
My wife and I spend roughly $700 per month at costco.
This amount includes food + household items + wine + occasional clothing + occasional gadget.

Mostly whole foods - fruit, vegetables, seafood and fish.





« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 04:19:09 AM by bryan995 »

RedwoodDreams

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2016, 04:17:11 PM »
$1000 month (used to be way worse 1300-1500 Whole Paycheck etc.) and includes beer, wine, some household paper products.

We eat a grain-free, fresh, healthy diet for health and to help keep my son's Crohn's disease in check (it works!)

I've tried to whittle it down more, but my 6-foot-tall 14-y.o. is HUNGRY and consumes so much food, and because of his diet I can't fill him up with cheaper carbs. They always have a good chuckle at his when we check out at TJs with a mountain of cheese and nuts..."Teenager...," I mutter...

For us, the $1000 is well worth it to keep our son healthy and out of the doctor's office... Just hoping for the day when you can get a "healthy diet" kickback from insurance the way you get now if you aren't a smoker. :-)   The medications he'd have to take cost way more than apples and cheese do.

spicykissa

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2016, 04:28:12 PM »
About $800 a month for my spouse and I, which is terribly facepunch-worthy. We're currently averaging $500 a month at restaurants and $300 in the grocery store (almost all food, as we don't buy paper towels, get cheap shampoo in bulk, etc). My husband is fed free work lunches 3 days/week. We try to cook 1-2 dinners per week, and I pack all my work lunches, but everything else is bought out. Lately we've both been buying breakfast every day, which is even more ridiculous. We have no food allergies or special restrictions either, and rarely buy booze.

boarder42

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2016, 06:12:25 PM »
$1000 month (used to be way worse 1300-1500 Whole Paycheck etc.) and includes beer, wine, some household paper products.

We eat a grain-free, fresh, healthy diet for health and to help keep my son's Crohn's disease in check (it works!)

I've tried to whittle it down more, but my 6-foot-tall 14-y.o. is HUNGRY and consumes so much food, and because of his diet I can't fill him up with cheaper carbs. They always have a good chuckle at his when we check out at TJs with a mountain of cheese and nuts..."Teenager...," I mutter...

For us, the $1000 is well worth it to keep our son healthy and out of the doctor's office... Just hoping for the day when you can get a "healthy diet" kickback from insurance the way you get now if you aren't a smoker. :-)   The medications he'd have to take cost way more than apples and cheese do.

We eat a no carb Duet with the paper products you list and booze for 450. I don't see how one could who doesn't drink doubles that. I think you're hiding behind that. Just my personal opinion not meant as an attack but that's absurdly high

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2016, 06:14:34 PM »
$1000 month (used to be way worse 1300-1500 Whole Paycheck etc.) and includes beer, wine, some household paper products.

We eat a grain-free, fresh, healthy diet for health and to help keep my son's Crohn's disease in check (it works!)

I've tried to whittle it down more, but my 6-foot-tall 14-y.o. is HUNGRY and consumes so much food, and because of his diet I can't fill him up with cheaper carbs. They always have a good chuckle at his when we check out at TJs with a mountain of cheese and nuts..."Teenager...," I mutter...

For us, the $1000 is well worth it to keep our son healthy and out of the doctor's office... Just hoping for the day when you can get a "healthy diet" kickback from insurance the way you get now if you aren't a smoker. :-)   The medications he'd have to take cost way more than apples and cheese do.

We eat a no carb Duet with the paper products you list and booze for 450. I don't see how one could who doesn't drink doubles that. I think you're hiding behind that. Just my personal opinion not meant as an attack but that's absurdly high

Have you met a teenage boy? Lol. Especially if one's busy and on the run a lot, a lot of snacking inevitably happens. Gets expensive very fast! Plus, people with Crohn's disease don't absorb nutrients well- they have to eat a lot more food for the same caloric gain. So that could account for a huge, huge difference.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2016, 06:52:55 PM »
I am a veggie and Mr. Tuxedocat is very physically active like for work, he brings two gigantic tupperware containers to sustain his appetite. Between the both of us, we average out to $440 per month on groceries. We mostly eat curries, soups, stir-fries, and pasta. We save money buy eating a lot of beans and not eating much of the veggie processed stuff.

Pricey items that we buy:
-organic apples
-organic soy milk
-fancy coffee
-free range eggs
-seaweed

brokemom

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Re: How much do you spend on food?
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2016, 09:15:29 PM »
So a 16.2 oz box of Fiber one at 3.94 is 15 servings for about 26 cents a piece.
I buy a ten pound box of rolled oats at costco for about 8.00 with 110 servings, so cost per serving is about 7.3 cents a piece.
Pretty much anything processed in a box costs far more than just ingredients.