Author Topic: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie  (Read 4924 times)

hoodedfalcon

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Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« on: July 02, 2013, 02:27:39 PM »
First off, I cannot take an ounce of credit for this badassity. One of my best friends and his partner quit their jobs to live out of their Prius while traveling the US and camping out in National Parks and whatnot. They wanted to maintain a very tight budget during this trip since there was really no end in sight when they began. So, he decided to make a number of spreadsheets that would calculate the cost per serving and cost per calorie for various foods that would be good on the journey. I've attached one of the spreadsheets. The data is a few years old, and my friends are both vegan so the spreadsheet is limited to vegan foods. But I thought some folks might get a kick out of it.

My friends did their trip for about 8 months before settling down in LA for an unexpected but dream job opportunity. They have since relocated to the East Cost and live in a cabin in the woods on 15 acres adjoining the national forest, and both work from home. They expect to retire completely in the next few years.

I tried to get my friend to post this himself, but he is sort of anti-computer when he is not working for his job. So, he said I could post it on his behalf. Enjoy!

Joet

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 02:33:02 PM »
nice! couldn't we just do a DB pull/get/SOAP/XML request from like the FDA database though? This looks incredibly painfully derived :o

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 02:53:27 PM »
Ha! I am not familiar with that database so maybe? He is a little obsessed with creating spreadsheets, so part of this was probably "fun" for him. Or he didn't know that such a thing already existed. He also created a spreadsheet with cost per meal with calorie consumption needed to maintain weight because I think they were slightly obsessed with eating enough so they wouldn't waste away in a forest somewhere.

Joet

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 02:55:31 PM »
no no, it's great, and pricing is going to be a guesstimate/spread, or who knows figure depending on region/product/brand/sizing/etc. It's good stuff. I am not sure the FDA presents their data in a freely retrievable manner, either (although they should, if they dont!)

psu256

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 03:22:17 PM »
It is the USDA that publishs the database, and you can download it or query it for free

http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=8964

but there aren't prices attached. You'd have to go to your local market and find the prices yourself (which I have indeed thought about doing...)

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 03:31:45 PM »
It is the USDA that publishs the database, and you can download it or query it for free

http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=8964

but there aren't prices attached. You'd have to go to your local market and find the prices yourself (which I have indeed thought about doing...)

That very well may have been what he used to get some of the information. And yes, his prices were definitely confined to the region he was at the time, which would have limited application in a cross country trip I suppose. I think his main focus was on cost, though I am sure nutritional information was important as well.

Joet

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 03:33:27 PM »
so basically we just need to chug veggie oil when we are on our last dollar :)

psu256

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 03:36:47 PM »
It is the USDA that publishs the database, and you can download it or query it for free

http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=8964

but there aren't prices attached. You'd have to go to your local market and find the prices yourself (which I have indeed thought about doing...)

That very well may have been what he used to get some of the information. And yes, his prices were definitely confined to the region he was at the time, which would have limited application in a cross country trip I suppose. I think his main focus was on cost, though I am sure nutritional information was important as well.

If you follow that link to the downloads, (http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=22771) you'll see where there is an "Abbreviated" spreadsheet. I love messing around with that spreadsheet! The interesting thing about it is that it is normalized to 100 g quantities of all the foods. So, it is really easy to sort by calorie or other nutrient density.

Mule Mama

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Re: Epic spreadsheet - cost per calorie
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2016, 05:45:58 PM »
This spreadsheet rocks! So I ran into three different families in the last two days who told me they are spending $400/week for their families of four people! $1600/month! This was shocking to me. We spend $800 on groceries. We have a budget of $200 to eat out, mostly for dates (I know this is the opposite of badass, but it's our choice) when we don't have our small children with us and we want a special, calm, adult night out.

I just copied and pasted this data, and am doing some major editing/revising for my local area (SE Michigan). The next step is to share with my interested friends who have huge budgets so we can try to figure out ways to use our group data to benefit all of our families.