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Monthly food budget for 1

What is a reasonable monthly food budget for a person living alone? I have access to Costco, a fresh produce store, a small grocery store and online shopping. I like to cook and am not afraid of most recipes. My spice assortment is pretty well stocked as well so that’s not an expense. Is $250 a month about right?

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by Anonymousreply 417September 16, 2021 1:48 PM

One person here. I spend about $550 a month in California. Not including wine, beer, takeout.

by Anonymousreply 1August 12, 2021 2:41 AM

$750, minimum.

by Anonymousreply 2August 12, 2021 2:42 AM

More like $350-400

by Anonymousreply 3August 12, 2021 2:44 AM

$100 per week including cat food and household stuff. Sometimes I go a little over but never more than $25.

by Anonymousreply 4August 12, 2021 2:44 AM

I'm at around $800/month and I still do takeout at least twice a week because I'm too lazy to cook the fucking pasture-raised chicken thighs I stocked up on from Whole Foods.

by Anonymousreply 5August 12, 2021 2:45 AM

Single and spend about $600-$700 a month, but I'm doing well enough at this point, where I don't (thankfully) worry about it too much. Of the few luxuries I allow myself, I decided to make food be one.

Funny enough, I once read that only someone who is actually "poor" would consider food as a luxury, which is kind of confusing but I kind of get it at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 6August 12, 2021 2:47 AM

OP, did you just leave home or something? Why don’t you base it on what you’ve spent in the last year? Do you want to spend less? Or more? A lot of Americans don’t have a luxury food budget. You spend what you can afford.

by Anonymousreply 7August 12, 2021 2:47 AM

Dan & Morothy

by Anonymousreply 8August 12, 2021 2:48 AM

Also just for reference, about 7 years ago, I was probably spending around $450 a month. Both then and now, I was living in major metro areas in US. I'm curious what people spend in other parts of the world though outside the US.

by Anonymousreply 9August 12, 2021 2:49 AM

These seem like high budgets but I think men need to eat more than women. What are you guys buying?

by Anonymousreply 10August 12, 2021 2:49 AM

Top quality meats R10.

by Anonymousreply 11August 12, 2021 2:52 AM

I’m an experienced home cook and live in a region with an abundance of fresh seafood, produce, and other farm fare. Depending on the season, I spend $600 to $800 each month, including groceries, farm stands, farmers markets, seafood markets, etc. I’m happily budget-conscious in many ways, but never skimp on food and cooking.

by Anonymousreply 12August 12, 2021 3:01 AM

$250 a month?! Are you kidding me? What are you, a mouse? I spend more than that weekly on UberEats.

by Anonymousreply 13August 12, 2021 3:03 AM

You type fat

by Anonymousreply 14August 12, 2021 3:04 AM

$400 to $500, not including coffee.

by Anonymousreply 15August 12, 2021 3:06 AM

Sounds quite modest OP. Depending on what I'm cooking any given week, the total can vary. I probably averaged $450-600 monty before living with my partner. Like R11 I only want the organic grass fed beef, af least stage or grade three. I try for 100% grass fed when available. (grade or step 4) Certain cuts like Brisket, Ribeye steaks, or Chuck roasts, I also prefer buying Prime over "Grade A". Butcher Block and a local farm Co-op are my sources for those.

Chicken must be Organic, else I pass. I like Pork from Niman Ranch, and prefer Organic, but will eat small amounts of other feed-lot Pork products because I eat so very little of it to begin with.

Extremely picky about Lamb as well. I prefer New Zealand and Australian lamb.

by Anonymousreply 16August 12, 2021 3:08 AM

I spend about $300 per month on groceries, not including alcohol. Basically I just do a grocery haul every two weeks when I get paid, and spend around $150 each time. I rarely go out to eat, aside from some Chinese takeout or Greek takeout.

I eat pretty basic stuff though, particularly for breakfast and lunch. Peanut butter and jam on toast and a cup of coffee, cereal with fruit, omelet's, loaded baked potatoes, soups - cheap stuff.

For dinners I just stock up on fresh meats and fresh vegetables, it's not hard to throw something together as long as you got the basics on hand. I do a lot of grilling and roasting.

by Anonymousreply 17August 12, 2021 3:11 AM

I'm single, live in Los Angeles and I just went to the grocery store tonight. My total after a few coupons came to $175 and that's for the next two weeks. I budget about $400 and if I go out for a meal or two a month, that comes out of my "entertainment" fund. I do cook for myself and I will make enough to have the following night or if I'm feeling up to it, I will make a big crock pot of chili or chicken and dumplings and freeze the left overs. I can get about 6-7 meals from my crockpot. I've been poor so I do the stuff that I learned to make my food last longer. Freeze my breads since I usually just toast them in the AM and always, always take leftovers home from a restaurant if I have them. I have friends who say, "I never eat left overs" and I want to clap back, "that's why you're poor." People are weird. Nothing wrong with leftovers and sometimes food is better the second time around.

by Anonymousreply 18August 12, 2021 3:21 AM

I was just adding up my food budget for today and it’s already almost surpassing your monthly budget.

Starbucks - $6

Breakfast Sandwich - $10

Lunch - $25

Mid-day smoothie - $12

Afternoon boba - $9

Afternoon snacks - $10

Happy hour - $40

Dinner - $55

Wine - $85

Dessert - $15

Popcorn - $8

Diet Coke - $12

Hagen Daas - $24

by Anonymousreply 19August 12, 2021 3:24 AM

OP if you need to be on a tight budget, cook and avoid prepared and packaged food. You can get by on $300.

by Anonymousreply 20August 12, 2021 3:27 AM

R19 is 300 lbs and diabetic.

by Anonymousreply 21August 12, 2021 3:28 AM

R19 You type incredibly fat

by Anonymousreply 22August 12, 2021 3:29 AM

R18 The no leftovers people ARE weird. Not only is it wasteful, but it's really convenient to have delicious leftovers. I like to prepare extra quite often to freeze things for later. I just did so last night with Chicken Soup. I've met two people since moving to the States who have this "policy".

Ironically they're both from Italian families, and claimed their families never ate them growing up either. I've never met a British person who refused to eat leftovers.

by Anonymousreply 23August 12, 2021 3:32 AM

Suburban Dallas here. I spend around $400/month doing mostly my own cooking and I don't skimp much. I buy most staples from Walmart, meats and produce from better supermarkets or the local butcher.

by Anonymousreply 24August 12, 2021 3:39 AM

R2- I shop at Trader Joe's once a week, Whole Foods twice a week, Hmart ( Korean supermarket) at least once a week and a health food store once a week. I probably spend about $250 per week on food and I NEVER eat out.

by Anonymousreply 25August 12, 2021 3:44 AM

When I was single it was much simpler and less expensive to eat. Just stock the basics and splurge now and again. $250 for one can be done.

by Anonymousreply 26August 12, 2021 3:44 AM

WHORES! I survived on $100 and I feel fine.

by Anonymousreply 27August 12, 2021 3:46 AM

It was around $300/month, but I had to bump it up to $325-350/month, since it seems like a lot of stuff has gone up lately, probably due to gas prices rising.

by Anonymousreply 28August 12, 2021 3:55 AM

Reply 27 is right. —Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels

by Anonymousreply 29August 12, 2021 4:03 AM

[quote] I will make a big crock pot of chili or chicken and dumplings and freeze the left overs. I can get about 6-7 meals from my crockpot.

Jesus Christ, why would you want to eat the same thing twice?

by Anonymousreply 30August 12, 2021 4:20 AM

R19, please tell me you're being sarcastic? Those figures are eye watering.

by Anonymousreply 31August 12, 2021 4:25 AM

LA here. $300-350 a month. I eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday with 1/2 a table spoon of jam. I mostly buy fresh fruit and veg , eat brown rice, wheat pasta and only eat chicken or fish. I shop at Aldi and Grocery Outlet because the prices are great. I also online for dry goods. Even though there's a TJ's around the corner from me but I live in Frau and Oafville section of LA. It's infested with them most of the time it's open. I enjoy getting away from where I live. I plan out what I need. It's not difficult.

by Anonymousreply 32August 12, 2021 4:32 AM

r30, you freeze it so you can have it whenever you'd like. It's not like I'm eating the same thing night after night. Are you really that obtuse?

by Anonymousreply 33August 12, 2021 4:32 AM

$175 a month including booze, which comes out to a little less than $6/day. It's really not that hard.

by Anonymousreply 34August 12, 2021 4:32 AM

[quote]My spice assortment is pretty well stocked as well so that’s not an expense.

If anyone doubts that DL is still very much a gay board, do not fear.

by Anonymousreply 35August 12, 2021 4:38 AM

I'm retired now. I've paid off my house and car so food is my biggest budget. I find I spend about $450-500 a month. That includes groceries, going out to eat and ordering Hello Fresh.

When I was working, I was wasting food because I would buy food but then get too lazy to cook. I also order from Hello Fresh at least twice a month (this is included in my food bill) because I am not a good cook and this is better and cheaper than going out to eat. I find the dishes delicious but also helps my learning curve in how to cook better.

by Anonymousreply 36August 12, 2021 4:43 AM

R25 but how much do you spend on gas driving to all those place every week?

by Anonymousreply 37August 12, 2021 4:45 AM

$250 - $300 per month sounds doable for frugal people who have the time to chase after whatever local, discount supermarkets have on sale that day or week.

I was shocked when I realized how much money I spend on store bought coffee and pastries. When I cut these expenses, it was like, wow!

by Anonymousreply 38August 12, 2021 4:46 AM

[quote] [R30], you freeze it so you can have it whenever you'd like. It's not like I'm eating the same thing night after night. Are you really that obtuse?

But aren’t you eating it twice whenever you do unfreeze it? Are YOU really that obtuse?

by Anonymousreply 39August 12, 2021 4:47 AM

R30 (not R18/R33 here but I do the same) I don't freeze everything, and we don't always finish everything. We do indeed eat repeats, from the fridge next day, second day, and so on. Sometimes I turn the leftovers into other things, such as sandwiches, or add meats to rice and have a Pilau or Pilaf. Some nights we have lots of different leftovers. Not everything freezes well, and those dishes are indeed eaten. Perhaps my cooking is better than yours?

I'm not averse to eating many things most Americans would find "old", or boring. When I lived alone, cooking for one would invariably leave MANY leftovers, as I love cooking. It might take me near a full week to polish off an entire roast chicken as an example. I could enjoy sandwiches, salads, put some in my soup, put some with rice, etc. I would share some with my dog as well, but yeah, would revisit that chicken untill it was gone.

I've been complimented before by a friend who lived in Ghana many years, that I am the only White Brit to clean chicken off the bone as well as an African. I was raised with the credo to waste food is tantamount to sin. I still believe it. There isn't anything wrong with frugality. It allows one to splurge on other things, regardless of one's budget.

There's no defending people wasting so much food. Do what you must to finish, freeze or eat repeats.

by Anonymousreply 40August 12, 2021 4:56 AM

I cook whole grains for breakfast. They average about $1.50/pound (Millet, Buckwheat, Quinoa, Grits, Oatmeal, Bulgur, brown rice, etc). A pound of a whole grain will make about 4-5 servings. I buy them in bulk and store them in large jars with tight lids in my pantry. I eat them with butter, something to sweeten them and drink some soy milk on the side, which I buy for $1/quart. I drink 8 ozs a day. So breakfast costs me about 65 cents a day.

Lunch is usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a cheese sandwich and a piece of fruit. I'm usually not that hungry at lunch time after my large breakfast of cooked grains, so often will make a sandwich with one slice of bread folded over and a small apple. About 50 cents a day

Dinner is my big meal. Usually 5-8 ozs of cooked meat or fish - chicken, pork, beef, turkey, salmon. A baked potato or a baked sweet potato, or rice for a starch - occasionally pasta. Some raw vegetables and some cooked vegetables - a bag of salad, or some raw carrots and celery, some cooked brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, green beans, whatever. Something sweet - a cookie or a piece of pie. If I make a pot roast with a chuck roast of 2.5 pound in the crock pot, I'll refrigerate leftovers and eat it for 3-4 days. Same with chicken thighs. My dinners average about $4 a day.

Total - about $5.25/day X 30 days is about $160/month. Add to that a couple of bottles of wine, an occasional bag of chips, teabags, butter, olive oil, sparkling water and maybe I'm spending a little over $200/month. If I throw a dinner party for friends sometime during the month, add $50. If I go out with friends for dinner 2-3 times a month, that will add another $75. So my total food budget including entertaining and dining out is never really going to go over about $350/month and is often much less.

by Anonymousreply 41August 12, 2021 5:08 AM

R39 Different DLer here. I don't understand what the issue is. Do you really expect people to eat different thing every other day? Some people who do meal preps for an entire week or two prepare the same thing in bulk, put in separate containers and then freeze for later. You can cook something like chilli and then, freeze them in ice cubes tray for later meals.

by Anonymousreply 42August 12, 2021 5:11 AM

But freezing it just means you’re delaying when you’re going to eat it twice. It doesn’t matter if you eat it the next day or freeze it til next year, you’re still eating a repeat meal.

by Anonymousreply 43August 12, 2021 5:15 AM

R43 that is a bizarre and nonsensical point to argue. By your definition, if I eat a ham and cheese sandwich in 2010 and I eat another in 2020, I've had the "same meal twice."

You sound like someone who is just being antagonistic for the sake of being antagonistic.

by Anonymousreply 44August 12, 2021 5:19 AM

Oh, you don't want to know. Trust me.

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by Anonymousreply 45August 12, 2021 5:24 AM

R43 is on the spectrum.

by Anonymousreply 46August 12, 2021 5:59 AM

There's a lot of things you can do with roast chicken or rotisserie chicken. Make sandwiches or chicken pot pie. I made a chicken pot pie with leftover chicken. I didn't bake the pastry though, you can buy pretty good pie crust for $3 and pastry puffs. It's one of the easiest things to make after a while.

by Anonymousreply 47August 12, 2021 6:13 AM

I do the same, R47, but in ramekins with a round of frozen puff pastry on top.

by Anonymousreply 48August 12, 2021 6:20 AM

R47 & R48 BOTH really great ideas. I love a good chicken pie, shortcrust or puff pastry. I've added ham and mushrooms and gravy and put it all into savoury crêpes too.

by Anonymousreply 49August 12, 2021 6:26 AM

No clue OP as i haven't calculated a monthly budget in a few years. i just know i barely ever grocery shop (i always hated it and COVID made it even less desirable) and have ordered delivery quite a bit over the past 15 months. But i did pull the trigger and sign up for HelloFresh the other day in an attempt to bring down the cost of food and also cook for the first time in awhile. it's just me in my household. Could be around 400 a month with the delivery service and additional stuff i get outside of HelloFresh. Better than what i was paying for the at least twice a week DoorDash.

by Anonymousreply 50August 12, 2021 6:26 AM

[quote] I budget about $400 and if I go out for a meal or two a month, that comes out of my "entertainment" fund.

I think of restaurant meals (esp. the expensive kind) as "entertainment" as well. More like entertainment than food.

by Anonymousreply 51August 12, 2021 6:32 AM

[quote] if I go out for a meal or two a month

You only eat out once or twice a month?! What are you, a Kermit?

by Anonymousreply 52August 12, 2021 7:00 AM

R9 Eating most bio (organic) and some wine included for guests

Rome 55 a week Berlin 40 a week London 100 a week

by Anonymousreply 53August 12, 2021 7:09 AM

I live in Holland, and my budget is €350 a month. it usually covers everything but I'm not that adventurous with food. vegetables are cheap here but chicken and meat are expensive. I used to go out once or twice a month but the food at restaurants are not that wauw so I skipped that.

by Anonymousreply 54August 12, 2021 7:10 AM

A few pebbles.

by Anonymousreply 55August 12, 2021 8:34 AM

$30.00 a week, easy. I grow a lot of my own food. I also keep an extensive spice collection, have friends who provide me venison during deer season, and I also keep basics like various pastas, beans, rice, flour and sugar.. I try not to eat those carbs too often, but they're there when needed.

I constantly look for marked down produce. I dehydrate them, and use them in absolutely everything, where appropriate.

by Anonymousreply 56August 12, 2021 9:03 AM

r52, I'm not sure if you're just being funny but most people do no go out to eat that often. I'm finding this thread actually insightful as to how unaware other people are about how others deal with food. Going out to eat often will not only drain your money very quickly, but it's also very unhealthy as you don't know how the food was prepared. Most people I know eat out once or twice per month and on the other nights, they either cook or pop a frozen meal in the microwave. When I was a kid, my parents did not have much money and so going out to eat was a special occasion. I grew up with parents who had fruit trees in the backyard and planted gardens. Summers were spent with the sweet smell of peaches as my mom canned them after picking them. We would go out and pick the strawberries that we were going to use to make strawberry shortcake later from scratch. My dad would mix up the bisquick, mom would make whipped cream and my sister and I would clean and slice the strawberries. It was the best damn strawberry shortcake ever. Mom had a dehydrator and she would make the most awesome, hearty granola you have ever had and some awesome dried bananas.

So yes, I do go out, but I am single and it's with friends who are struggling right now so it's not that often anymore. I went out a bit more before all this Rona shit but I'm finding that eating a nice meal I've cooked for myself is one of the most pleasurable experiences. You truly feel like you're finally an adult when you rock a nice roasted artichoke with garlic butter and it's better than anything you've tasted in a restaurant.

by Anonymousreply 57August 12, 2021 9:07 AM

R52 Why would he eat out when he has a perfectly fine kitchen at home? I never eat out.

by Anonymousreply 58August 12, 2021 9:38 AM

$0.0000000001

by Anonymousreply 59August 12, 2021 10:13 AM

Since I never eat the same thing twice I'm starving to death, which has really cut down my food budget!

by Anonymousreply 60August 12, 2021 10:55 AM

NYC area, about $400-500 a month, last year when we were told to keep our kitchens fully stocked about $600-750 a month. I shop at Trader Joes, Whole Foods and 99 Ranch once a month ShopRite for basics every week.

by Anonymousreply 61August 12, 2021 10:59 AM

I know in my case, it is probably more expensive shopping for 1 as I cannot eat everything before it goes bad.

by Anonymousreply 62August 12, 2021 11:23 AM

People who freeze food in ice cube trays terrify me. They are probably the same people who come up with “150 ways to repurpose food left on the dishes after a party,” and other “amazing waste.”

by Anonymousreply 63August 12, 2021 11:50 AM

Respect for the queens who cook a lot and don't go out too much. Wish I wasn't so lazy. I honestly thought, before DL, that if I don't find a partner by 54, I would throw in my lot with a woman. Now I see that, outside LA's crappy dating scene, there are a lot of awesome older guys...and they cook!

by Anonymousreply 64August 12, 2021 11:54 AM

[quote] When I was a kid, my parents did not have much money and so going out to eat was a special occasion. I grew up with parents who had fruit trees in the backyard and planted gardens. Summers were spent with the sweet smell of peaches as my mom canned them after picking them. We would go out and pick the strawberries that we were going to use to make strawberry shortcake later from scratch. My dad would mix up the bisquick, mom would make whipped cream and my sister and I would clean and slice the strawberries. It was the best damn strawberry shortcake ever. Mom had a dehydrator and she would make the most awesome, hearty granola you have ever had and some awesome dried bananas.

r57, that part of your comment warmed my heart. I envy your childhood. It sounds great.

by Anonymousreply 65August 12, 2021 12:00 PM

My parents grew their own vegetables and we had fruit trees in the back too. Good old days

by Anonymousreply 66August 12, 2021 12:03 PM

Do you all weigh 300 lbs? My monthly food bill is only about $200.

by Anonymousreply 67August 12, 2021 12:06 PM

I have $17,000 worth of caviar delivered daily to my solid gold mansion in Europe.

Beyond that I couldn't tell you, you'd have to talk to the staff.

by Anonymousreply 68August 12, 2021 12:08 PM

Can we share recipes?

Mine is a simple salad. Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and avocado and cilantro. Mix in 1 tablespoon of Virgin olive oil with a squeeze of lemon and salt.

by Anonymousreply 69August 12, 2021 12:11 PM

R41- Lunch is usually a PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH- what are you?- eight years old

by Anonymousreply 70August 12, 2021 12:25 PM

Bitches, you all need to learn how to eat on $15 a week!

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by Anonymousreply 71August 12, 2021 12:35 PM

Neither one of us are the kind of people who can just have a PB&J sandwich or a baked potato and a cup of tea for every meal, so our grocery bill is pretty high, probably $600 a month. We hardly go out anymore and both really appreciate having good food at home, so it's worth it. If we were eating out 2-3 times a week like we used to, we wouldn't spend nearly as much.

by Anonymousreply 72August 12, 2021 12:36 PM

I’m content with a PB&J and a cup of tea, but I also spend wastefully on takeout coffee and breakfast. For me it’s a fair trade because I get a lot of joy from sitting outside with a cappuccino and seeing my neighbors walking by.

by Anonymousreply 73August 12, 2021 12:40 PM

Ya’ll need to start looking at the grocery store ads each week so you can get better deals. Also, if you have the space, buy in bulk when something you use often is on sale.

by Anonymousreply 74August 12, 2021 12:44 PM

[quote]I have friends who say, "I never eat left overs" and I want to clap back, "that's why you're poor."

It really isn't why they're poor. They're probably not even poor, you're just being a jerk.

Leftovers often have a funky taste to them. We work hard to not have leftovers (except stews, soups, sauces) because the flavor is often bad enough that we simply won't eat what's left over at all. If leftovers can be eaten cold, though, I'll keep them. If they have to be warmed up, then no. (Although sometimes I get neurotic and think I just MUST keep those leftovers and not waste them, but they often don't get eaten and go bad anyway.)

This is a long read but a really good article about why warmed-over flavor can be so unappealing.

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by Anonymousreply 75August 12, 2021 12:48 PM

So in reading R73 and some other follow up, it sounds as if the bad taste culprit could be eating organic and a lack of preservatives. So it is either eating everything at one sitting, putting up with safe but possible untasty food, eating preservative laced food, or wasting food.

by Anonymousreply 76August 12, 2021 1:02 PM

One of the causes of climate change is wasted food. I try to eat leftovers but discard after one week.

IMO, the reason I spend so much money on food is lack of a plan. I think I will write a meal plan for the next week.

by Anonymousreply 77August 12, 2021 1:03 PM

The salad bar at Whole Foods has been closed since March 2020 so I've had to make my own salads EVERY week since then. Salads are a LOT of work. When the salad bar at Whole Foods was open I would get my salads from that every other week and make my own salads on the other weeks. Salads fill me up and are low in calories plus the vegetable contain MANY beneficial compounds.

by Anonymousreply 78August 12, 2021 1:17 PM

It honestly depends on a) your income b) your dietary lifestyle. For example, do you eat meat or not? Drink alcohol or not? Happy with cheap vegetables or not? As for income, obviously someone on 150k is going to have less worries than someone on 40k.

by Anonymousreply 79August 12, 2021 1:30 PM

I used to spend like $600 on food a month when I was back home but I had it due to the fact that I didn't pay mortgage. Now, out of boredom and because it is too hot to go walk around, I spend like $300 a month (in a country where the coat of food is 1/4 of that back home). My roommate just joined a Facebook group about how to eat cheaply as a vegan (she isn't a vegetarian or a vegan but wants to limit meat and dairy a little bit) and said it didn't really help much.

Any vegetarians/vegans on here have tips? I think it SHOULD be cheaper if you don't splurge on good meat and fish every time.

by Anonymousreply 80August 12, 2021 1:36 PM

One can get by on a modest food budget and still eat very nicely, provided one knows a little bit about cooking and is disciplined enough to do his own cooking. But you fat-typing slobs who order everything to be delivered are eating your retirement savings and consigning yourselves to working until you're 72... if anyone will still have you.

Not me.

by Anonymousreply 81August 12, 2021 1:41 PM

r75. I partly agree with you, because I absolutely hate leftover pizza. If it's cold from its original time in the oven it gets thrown out, not eaten.

However, other meals like stews taste actually even better when reheated on the next day, because the flavors are stronger.

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by Anonymousreply 82August 12, 2021 1:46 PM

[quote] Any vegetarians/vegans on here have tips? I think it SHOULD be cheaper if you don't splurge on good meat and fish every time.

The problem is that the meat alternatives aren't that much cheaper. And if they are cheaper they require a lot more work and preparation, which discourages the lazier customers who get overwhelmed very easily.

by Anonymousreply 83August 12, 2021 1:49 PM

$250-$350 seems about right if you are eating most of your meals at home.

You should figure most of what you cook for dinner will be two meals as it is hard to buy meat in portions small enough for one person.

Many DLers are fat, many cook elaborate meals for every meal and many are factoring in frequent take-out and/or prepared, hence the very high numbers.

But when I was single, I would rarely spend over $75/week on food, and that included filet mignon once a week and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

by Anonymousreply 84August 12, 2021 1:55 PM

There goes a lot of planning, preparation and storage into this. In such an endeavor, the need for instant gratification is your enemy. Shopping list, clean kitchen, plenty of time and plenty of storage are required. No more impulse shopping. Get what you need in the supermarket and then get the hell out (not just because of COVID scare).

However, if you can pull it off, the extra benefit is that feeling of self empowerment where you can take good care of yourself and your needs without any assistance. A lot of my friends were positively surprised about how self-sufficient they could be during the pandemic. Before the pandemic we weren't really the big going out kind of guys (going to clubs, bars, and restaurants), but we did hang out and order pizza. But now friends are eager to show off their home cooked meals.

by Anonymousreply 85August 12, 2021 2:06 PM

one hundred dollars is more than enough for one person. you all must be fatties.

by Anonymousreply 86August 12, 2021 2:10 PM

UK here, I spend about £75 per week excluding wine & beer, so $420-450 pm.

by Anonymousreply 87August 12, 2021 2:11 PM

[quote]Do you all weigh 300 lbs? My monthly food bill is only about $200.

R67 I eat mostly healthy food, don't drink, never eat out, and I'm not overweight, but I can't imagine spending only $50 a week on food. That's only about $7 a day. What exactly are you eating on any given day?

by Anonymousreply 88August 12, 2021 2:12 PM

I imagine R67 eats a lot of canned/processed foods and fast food, or else they're not counting another food source, like fresh vegetables from their garden or a fairly large take-out budget. Either that or they are foraging for berries and seeds and drinking rain water.

by Anonymousreply 89August 12, 2021 2:14 PM

Silicon Valley here, spend about 1K a month at Whole Foods. I'm a shitty planner and probably go 2-3 times a week.

by Anonymousreply 90August 12, 2021 2:16 PM

R89 lol

by Anonymousreply 91August 12, 2021 2:16 PM

Lol x2

by Anonymousreply 92August 12, 2021 2:17 PM

I imagine some DLers having fight to the death matches with hordes of raccoons at dumpsters.

by Anonymousreply 93August 12, 2021 2:18 PM

The more healthy your diet, the more your monthly food bill will be. When you're poor, you can eat very well on $5 a week, but it's going to be Ramen.

by Anonymousreply 94August 12, 2021 2:20 PM

Ramen is very, very cheap. You can eat 3 to get your calories for the day and spend less than $1! Maybe switch up some and have some beans and rice.

by Anonymousreply 95August 12, 2021 2:21 PM

[QUOTE]I imagine some DLers having fight to the death matches with hordes of raccoons at dumpsters.

I pity the raccoons. Bitches around here are vicious.

by Anonymousreply 96August 12, 2021 2:21 PM

R95 calories, yes. Protein, vitamins, and minreals? No.

The latter cost money.

by Anonymousreply 97August 12, 2021 2:23 PM

I focus on a diet that keeps my diabetes under control and A1c is below 6.0

So I pay no attention to prices which means $800 a month.

by Anonymousreply 98August 12, 2021 2:23 PM

^minerals

by Anonymousreply 99August 12, 2021 2:23 PM

R97, yeah, I was being sarcastic. It's why so many poor people are obese, because pure calories are so cheap and feel good on top, with little prep, which if you're poor you're unlikely to have much motivation for.

by Anonymousreply 100August 12, 2021 2:26 PM

Agree r82, that's why I said we do eat leftover soups, stews and sauces. The meat and vegetables are surrounded by a liquid or sauce of some kind, which keeps that warmed-over flavor at bay. Chilis and stews and spaghetti sauces are really good leftover.

But a piece of leftover chicken or fish just won't get eaten, not unless it's something that can be sliced and eaten cold, like teriyaki chicken or marinated steak, for instance. That's why I go out of my way to not make too much food, so I don't have to deal with leftovers.

by Anonymousreply 101August 12, 2021 2:32 PM

About $100 a week sounds about right. You have to factor in all the things you buy at the grocery, like paper products and pet food. I count restaurant food as an entertainment expense.

by Anonymousreply 102August 12, 2021 2:37 PM

About 300.00 but that includes organic, skinless, boneless chicken for my little dog.

by Anonymousreply 103August 12, 2021 2:38 PM

[quote]You have to factor in all the things you buy at the grocery, like paper products and pet food.

No, you don't. And that's probably a reasonably substantial difference between the people spending $75 a week for grocery and those spending $250. Some are counting Drain-o and toilet paper, while others are excluding it.

No worry, though. We do this all the time at Data Lounge. Have bitter disagreements and fight with each other about things that are not clear in the first place. It's our way.

by Anonymousreply 104August 12, 2021 2:44 PM

[quote]But a piece of leftover chicken or fish just won't get eaten, not unless it's something that can be sliced and eaten cold, like teriyaki chicken or marinated steak, for instance.

Aa lot of people eat cold chicken. As long as it's not rubbery chicken breast. If it's on the bone, it's usually good cold, and a lot of people make chicken sandwiches or chicken salad. Or reheat it in a pan with some gravy. Fish can be reheated in the microwave, with a little water in the container, to make it moist. That can be put in the frying pan or on a sandwich with mayo, whatever.

by Anonymousreply 105August 12, 2021 2:46 PM

Too many DLers think they need to make Greg style meals when they cook for themselves.

Grilled chicken + broccoli + rice is probably around $10 and easily gets you two meals, or dinner and lunch the next day.

An omelet or scramble with three eggs, fresh spinach and fresh mushrooms is about $3

Do you all just snack a lot on expensive junk food?

Or are you factoring $30 worth of sushi (including delivery fees and tip) into your numbers?

by Anonymousreply 106August 12, 2021 3:01 PM

Who is the moron who thinks leftover chicken is inedible? There are literally thousands of common recipes that call for pre-cooked chicken. It's literally the most versatile leftover imaginable.

by Anonymousreply 107August 12, 2021 3:06 PM

[quote] The more healthy your diet, the more your monthly food bill will be.

[bold] This is 100% why people are fat. [/bold]

Because the reverse is true.

If you eat healthy, you don't eat as much and fresh meat, fish, eggs, nuts and vegetables are not all that expensive. You don't need to eat fake beef, artisinal cashew pasta or wild caught halibut every night to east healthy sane meals.

Whereas the cost of Doritos, Lays, Pringles, Oreos, Ben and Jerry's and the like adds up quickly.

by Anonymousreply 108August 12, 2021 3:08 PM

Agree about the chicken but very much disagree about the fish, r105. I've never had any luck reheating any kind of seafood. I'll keep things like crab cakes and eat them cold, maybe fried shrimp I can reheat, but that's about it.

I do love cold chicken but I don't find chicken thighs warm up well, they start to taste gamey. Chicken breast that's been marinated before cooking can be sliced up and eaten cold and is delicious.

by Anonymousreply 109August 12, 2021 3:08 PM

I have a friend who says poultry's taste changes dramatically once it's cooled off and can't eat the "dead bird taste" even if it's just picking turkey off the bone after Thanksgiving dinner. He's not wrong, it does taste different.

by Anonymousreply 110August 12, 2021 3:08 PM

I posted a link at r75 explaining the warmed-over flavor issue, r107. I know you're not interested in actually having a discussion because of what you posted -- I never said all leftover chicken was inedible, for starters, you made that up -- but I don't know why you're asking a question that has already been answered.

by Anonymousreply 111August 12, 2021 3:10 PM

[quote] We do this all the time at Data Lounge. Have bitter disagreements and fight with each other about things that are not clear in the first place. It's our way.

Very very very true.

by Anonymousreply 112August 12, 2021 3:11 PM

R108, calorie-wise, junk food is often cheaper I'd say, especially when you factor in the cost of planning and preparing food - and I don't just mean financially. A tube of Pringles is over 1,000 calories, requires no equipment, planning or preparation. That's cheap and easy to get fat on.

by Anonymousreply 113August 12, 2021 3:13 PM

There are numerous recipes that taste better once the ingredients have time to set, that you cook, let sit for a day and then reheat the next day as it tastes better.

DLers are such major prisspots

by Anonymousreply 114August 12, 2021 3:13 PM

R75 When you (and others here) say leftovers, what do you mean? Eat it letter that day or the next day, or eat it after a few days? Cause no food tastes weird or smells funky after a few hours/a day in the freezer.

by Anonymousreply 115August 12, 2021 3:13 PM

Eat your cabbage, girls. Cheap, nutritious, tasty.

by Anonymousreply 116August 12, 2021 3:14 PM

R105 I'll agree fish is harder to re-use than chicken. But if you have batter fried fish and mix it up with some mayo it makes a good sandwich on a roll. Probably need to mix it while it's still moist, that works better. R111, despite what you posted I've never found leftovers to taste "rancid" or "funky".

by Anonymousreply 117August 12, 2021 3:15 PM

[quote] He's not wrong, it does taste different.

Meat absorbs the surrounding spices and flavors. Liquid gets absorbed, too by the dishes' ingredients. That gives the dish a more intense flavor.

I guess, the difference is of the invididual's reaction is based on his or her upbringing where eating leftovers is either good or bad / tacky.

by Anonymousreply 118August 12, 2021 3:15 PM

[quote]Eat your cabbage, girls. Cheap, nutritious, tasty.

Belchy, farty.

by Anonymousreply 119August 12, 2021 3:15 PM

[quote]Eat your cabbage, girls. Cheap, nutritious, tasty.

And stink up your home with your noxious sulfurous farts? No thanks.

by Anonymousreply 120August 12, 2021 3:17 PM

[quote]He's not wrong, it does taste different.

I'm kind of surprised more of you didn't have cold chicken, on a picnic -- or cold fried chicken leftovers -- or chicken salad. I grew up on this stuff.

by Anonymousreply 121August 12, 2021 3:18 PM

I'm from Balkan so I don't understand how $30-40k a year is considered a low salary in the USA and people are barely surviving on it since you only spent 200-300 dollars a month on food. Where does all the money go then? Gas prices are way lower than in Europe, clothes costs the same, cars are the same price. Real estates are probably more expensive but not that expensive. So on what does your monthly payment goes, cause sure it's not on groceries?

by Anonymousreply 122August 12, 2021 3:19 PM

[quote]Cause no food tastes weird or smells funky after a few hours/a day in the freezer.

[quote] despite what you posted I've never found leftovers to taste "rancid" or "funky".

Okay. So what? Obviously, based on comments here and in what I posted, there are plenty of people who do find leftovers, especially once they've been reheated, to taste weird or bad. I'm not understanding why this is personally offending you so much, or why you refuse to believe it. You're acting like I'm the only person who has ever said such a thing.

I would personally love it if I could eat leftovers, but after trying food prep and all sorts of tips and tricks to fix food ahead of time to make it easier when it's time to make dinner, I know that, generally speaking, I can't. There are some foods that I've already mentioned that I'm happy to fix ahead or eat leftover, but not that many.

I know and am not offended by the fact that a lot of people are happy to fix food in advance or eat leftovers. Not sure why you're offended that some people don't like leftovers.

by Anonymousreply 123August 12, 2021 3:21 PM

[quote]Too many DLers think they need to make Greg style meals when they cook for themselves.

Let them eat prunes!

by Anonymousreply 124August 12, 2021 3:23 PM

"Too many DLers think they need to make Greg style meals when they cook for themselves"

Who the hell is Greg?

by Anonymousreply 125August 12, 2021 3:29 PM

R125, Greg is the resident weird culinary troll who makes up stories of elaborate dinner parties and dishes that he's creating.

by Anonymousreply 126August 12, 2021 3:31 PM

I’m scared to look at how much I spend on food each month. I buy whatever I want at the grocery store.

by Anonymousreply 127August 12, 2021 3:35 PM

R89 Nope, I just have common sense when it comes to shopping. Also, often times I do eat leftovers (they don’t bother me) so that may factor into things too. Each week I check out all the ads for the grocery stores in my town, and once a week go shopping at those stores and get the stuff I need whenever it’s on sale. A pound a chicken breast on sale for example is $2.99. I get ground beef in bulk when it’s on sale (I’ve gotten 80/20 on sale for as low as $2.99 per lbs). Pasta is $0.50 on sale if you buy the generic (which tastes the same as the brand name to me). A head of lettuce is $0.79 on sale. You get the idea. As for canned foods, the only canned things I buy are things like red beans and canned tomato for chili, tuna, corn, etc.

Not starving and and eat relatively healthy. Oh, and I don’t buy fou-fou organic shit. Been there, done that, didn’t notice a difference in taste, and was not worth the extra cost IMO. So all the “organic” shit you buy is definitely going to increase your bill.

by Anonymousreply 128August 12, 2021 3:36 PM

R25 & R26 Thank you! I’m not sure how the fuck people are having $400-$500 grocery bills a month for ONE person. They must be going to the most expensive stores and buy only organic, or they drink a bottle of wine with dinner on a regular basis.

by Anonymousreply 129August 12, 2021 3:42 PM

OP, I don’t understand how some people are spending the amounts they are as a single person. I never spend more than $50-60/week at TJ’s. Their frozen reduced guilt Mac & cheese is $1.99. Salad kits are $3.99. Greek yogurt is 99 cents. Bananas are 19 cents each.

It’s very easy to eat quite comfortably on $50/week.

by Anonymousreply 130August 12, 2021 3:44 PM

R129 - R25 said that he spends $250 *per week* on food.

by Anonymousreply 131August 12, 2021 3:45 PM

R131 Ridiculous. But he did say he shops at Whole Foods (America’s most expensive grocery store), Trader Joe’s (also expensive), and some health food store (and you know those are a ripoff). No wonder he’s wasting so much money! He must not realize that other decent grocery stores carry organic food too and for much cheaper.

by Anonymousreply 132August 12, 2021 3:51 PM

On what planet is Trader Joe's expensive?

by Anonymousreply 133August 12, 2021 3:53 PM

[quote]Not sure why you're offended that some people don't like leftovers

Nobody's offended (at least I'm not) I was just saying I disagree. I think it was saying there's nothing that can be done with leftover chicken, I didn't find it offensive, just hilarious.

[quote]OP, I don’t understand how some people are spending the amounts they are as a single person. I never spend more than $50-60/week at TJ’s. Their frozen reduced guilt Mac & cheese is $1.99. Salad kits are $3.99. Greek yogurt is 99 cents. Bananas are 19 cents each. It’s very easy to eat quite comfortably on $50/week.

I think a lot of us are also counting in our toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, windex, laundry soap, whatever else we get at the store that's on our receipt. But even for food I think it's hard to live on 50 dollars a week unless you never want to eat any tasty food. Frozen mac & cheese, a salad kit, the cheapest Greek yogurt, and bananas (what store prices them by the banana?) doesn't sound very appetizing.

by Anonymousreply 134August 12, 2021 3:56 PM

All that prepared food? Of course it is more expensive.

by Anonymousreply 135August 12, 2021 3:56 PM

R12 Eats lobster, caviar, and prime filet mignon on a regular basis.

by Anonymousreply 136August 12, 2021 3:59 PM

R30 - I used to not eat the same thing twice. However, some of the cream soups, stews and salads I have learned to cook since I moved in with my roommate a few years back are so good that if I think about re-heating them, I don't crave other stuff. Greek chicken lemon soup, paprika chicken stew, goulash, some types of beef borscht and certain Mediterranean salads are, surprisingly, tangier and tastier the second time around. Maybe the spices and herbs have had time to seep in. Also of note is that they almost all contain some sour note like lemon.

by Anonymousreply 137August 12, 2021 4:05 PM

Also, R19 eats like a cube frau. That is what I would see seriously overweight conservative women in the office (not the ones with graduate degrees) eat each day.

by Anonymousreply 138August 12, 2021 4:08 PM

R134, Trader Joe’s only sells fruit by the piece, not the pound. Bananas are 19 cents, apples 59, 69, 79 cents (depending on variety), plums and peaches 49-69 cents etc.

I only shop at TJ’s. Love it and it’s dirt cheap.

I’m a vegetarian, so no meat and that helps save on a lot too.

$50 for a single person is quite easy. No, this does not include cleaning supplies or other things I buy on Amazon like toothpaste, paper towels, etc. Only good.

by Anonymousreply 139August 12, 2021 4:09 PM

R139- OP stated in his title Monthly FOOD budget for 1.

by Anonymousreply 140August 12, 2021 4:13 PM

R139 I might as well say I never understood the appeal of Trader Joe's and don't finds it dirt cheap. Markey Basket (in Massachusetts) is much cheaper, Bananas are 39c a pound. I disagree $50 is easy, though. I think most people here know if you go to the store to pick up a few items, it can come close to 50 dollars, and you can't really live on those items all week, at least I can't.

by Anonymousreply 141August 12, 2021 4:14 PM

*Market Basket

by Anonymousreply 142August 12, 2021 4:15 PM

R139 - me too pretty much but I get my meat elsewhere and stuff like toothpaste and paper towels at Wal Mart. Trader Joe's is incredibly good if you want to do affordable meal prepping. Their black bean and cheese burritos (not frozen), pre-packaged salad kits, sauces, gyoza, vegetable and seafood burger keep me from wasting money on take out. I am on a few Facebook groups which have the best meal ideas that are healthy too.

by Anonymousreply 143August 12, 2021 4:16 PM

$75 a week in most cities and suburbs is pretty doable if you plan your meals, keep breakfast and lunch simple, drink mostly water and don't make a lot of desserts. Especially if you rely on frozen vegetables and things like potatoes and sweet potatoes which can be stretched further than meats.

by Anonymousreply 144August 12, 2021 4:17 PM

How many of you are on food stamps?

by Anonymousreply 145August 12, 2021 4:21 PM

[quote]I think it was saying there's nothing that can be done with leftover chicken, I didn't find it offensive, just hilarious.

I never said that. Ever. I don't think anyone here did.

All week I've seen multiple threads where someone gets dunked on for something they never actually said, because people are desperate to feel superior and itching for a fight. If I want to deal with that kind of immature bullshit, I'll go to Twitter and disagree with Roxane Gay about something inconsequential.

by Anonymousreply 146August 12, 2021 4:25 PM

My secret to save money is to stay out of Costco. I swear when ever I go the bill is always over 100 USD.

by Anonymousreply 147August 12, 2021 4:26 PM

[quote]I'm from Balkan so I don't understand how $30-40k a year is considered a low salary in the USA and people are barely surviving on it since you only spent 200-300 dollars a month on food. Where does all the money go then?

Housing mostly.

For example, our income (after taxes, 401K contributions and insurance) is spent roughly on 30% mortgage, 20% food, 30% utility/phone/ student loans/internet, 5% prescriptions and medical/dental, and the rest incidentals, a much of which goes into a savings. A lot of people have car payments too.

by Anonymousreply 148August 12, 2021 4:31 PM

[quote] Who the hell is Greg?

And what the hell is "Greg style?"

by Anonymousreply 149August 12, 2021 4:34 PM

STUDENT LOANS.

Between student loans and the exorbitant cost of health care in America, all but the very richest feel the pinch to some degree.

by Anonymousreply 150August 12, 2021 4:35 PM

[quote]Markey Basket

Ah yes, the rapper turned actor turned supermarket.

by Anonymousreply 151August 12, 2021 4:36 PM

R139 So if you buy, let's say, 30 plums, does cashier count them all?

by Anonymousreply 152August 12, 2021 4:38 PM

[quote]I never said that. Ever. I don't think anyone here did. All week I've seen multiple threads where someone gets dunked on for something they never actually said, because people are desperate to feel superior and itching for a fight. If I want to deal with that kind of immature bullshit, I'll go to Twitter and disagree with Roxane Gay about something inconsequential.

Okay, okay. It's obviously you who are offended, not those of us who disagreed with your post. I don't know about others but I just made a post originally saying you could have cold chicken, or salad, or reheat in gravy. Sorry if you thought that was picking on you. Sorry if you were offended.

by Anonymousreply 153August 12, 2021 4:38 PM

R149 R151 Off topic, but how do you quote on DL?

by Anonymousreply 154August 12, 2021 4:39 PM

$100 a week in Denver. Food only.

by Anonymousreply 155August 12, 2021 4:40 PM

See below. BUT close the two spaces you see below that are within the brackets.

[ quote ] Then type what you want. When you hit ENTER, that's the end of the quote.

by Anonymousreply 156August 12, 2021 4:42 PM

I think 100 a week anywhere is realistic. You can squeeze it for 75, but 50 is difficult.

by Anonymousreply 157August 12, 2021 4:42 PM

R154, click the Help link in the upper-right hand corner. Then click the Need more Help? link. Then click the Post Formatting link at the bottom of the FAQ.

by Anonymousreply 158August 12, 2021 4:42 PM

$600/month for 2 excluding booze. No takeouts or eating out yet.

by Anonymousreply 159August 12, 2021 4:42 PM

R156 R158 Thanks

by Anonymousreply 160August 12, 2021 4:43 PM

I cannot imagine that R12 is just cooking for themselves R136

I suspect they live alone but frequently host dinner parties and whatnot.

Many others are likely referring to household food budgets.

Filet mignon may be as much as $35/lb but a single person is not going to eat an entire pound-- more like a quarter to a third. So immediately the cost of that steak comes down to around $7-$10 for a single meal

I suspect other DLers buy a lot of food and liquor for when they have people over. Or they're just fat and snack all the time.

If nothing else, lockdown showed me how much you save when you're having all your meals at home. And how easy it is to cook things quickly from scratch

by Anonymousreply 161August 12, 2021 4:52 PM

Shopping at Costco for a single person wouldn’t work for me as I couldn’t eat the huge portions of fresh foods like fruits and vegetables before they go bad, plus not needing oversized jars of condiments etc. I ditched my membership because even for two people it just wasn’t worth it. But I get that the place has a cult-like following.

by Anonymousreply 162August 12, 2021 4:53 PM

[quote]they live alone

"They" can never live alone!

by Anonymousreply 163August 12, 2021 4:54 PM

You can make healthy meals for as cheap as $10 a week, so certainly $50 a week ($200 a month) is enough.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 164August 12, 2021 5:05 PM

How is she going to live on that ($10 worth of food) for a week? She bought ONE banana. Plus that was about using coupons. I'm diabetic, most of the cheap food choices you read about are carbs. A bag of rice means nothing to me, I'm not eating that.

by Anonymousreply 165August 12, 2021 5:14 PM

$350 food only. If I add in organic matcha, tea, and mineral water, it adds another $100. I’m plant-based, rarely eat eggs or cheese but I will have some bivalves (mussels, clams, scallops, oysters) every week. I eat a wide variety of vegetables, both fresh and frozen. Right now my splurge is organic potatoes of different types.

by Anonymousreply 166August 12, 2021 5:15 PM

Do you all buy the cheap 90 cent dozen eggs or the free range or organic eggs? There really is a significant taste difference, the yolks are darker and seem richer. And the cheap eggs used to give me diarrhea while the better ones don't.

by Anonymousreply 167August 12, 2021 5:18 PM

[quote]I'm from Balkan so I don't understand how $30-40k a year is considered a low salary in the USA and people are barely surviving on it since you only spent 200-300 dollars a month on food. Where does all the money go then?

Health care. We have a for-profit medical system, we don't have single-payer government health care system or any other Medicare for all type of system. Many people spend hundreds or thousands a year on health care or meds.

by Anonymousreply 168August 12, 2021 5:32 PM

A big problem here is that no one can agree what a "food budget" is. Some see it as simply their grocery budget and are including cleaning products, pet food and other supplies that aren't for human consumption AKA "food." Some are including take-out and dining out, some are including only one or the other, and some see those as entirely separate from a "food budget" despite literally being food.

Then you have people adding in their alcohol intake, which while resembling "food" in that it is consumed, it's a wild variable in a large pool of people from complete teetotalers to apparent $85/a day wine drinkers. It's also, to my reckoning, not truly "food" since almost no one consumes alcohol for nutritional value, caloric energy, or to sate hunger. To me, alcohol is much more of an "entertainment budget" entry than a dinner out, which includes a literal meal.

by Anonymousreply 169August 12, 2021 5:39 PM

You all budget fat.

by Anonymousreply 170August 12, 2021 5:41 PM

I think most of you are underestimating your monthly food budgets. I'm seeing a lot of estimates without including takeout, restaurant visits, alcohol and Starbucks, etc. That adds up to a lot more than you think. Like $50-100 more every month.

by Anonymousreply 171August 12, 2021 5:42 PM

All that R169, plus people factoring in the twice a month dinner parties they throw

by Anonymousreply 172August 12, 2021 5:42 PM

SOME FATASSES IN HERE! $50 A MONTH FOR ONE PERSON

by Anonymousreply 173August 12, 2021 5:46 PM

R173 - tell us how...

by Anonymousreply 174August 12, 2021 5:47 PM

R122 - those of us in driving cities have to spend about the same on gas due to longer distances. Clothes don't really coat the same but more a little. Also, insurance and medical co-payments and housing is expensive.

by Anonymousreply 175August 12, 2021 5:50 PM

Does anyone know how much money you can spend every month on groceries if you get food stamps?

by Anonymousreply 176August 12, 2021 5:50 PM

I can’t believe some of you cheap asses are only eating out once a month. Everyone I know eats me out on a daily basis. My apartment dumpster got so full of takeout containers that they told everyone not to stuff them down my chute.

by Anonymousreply 177August 12, 2021 5:50 PM

Also, R122, my roommate is asking how the women in the Balkans can afford weekly salon visits and clothes and so much professional grooming once married. Obviously, single young women can get by on a little food from the farmer's market, but once married or over 40, don't you need to allocate some budget to food besides some cold cuts and bread?

by Anonymousreply 178August 12, 2021 5:53 PM

[/quote] Everyone I know eats me out on a daily basis

You must know only fish lovers.

by Anonymousreply 179August 12, 2021 5:54 PM

[quote] Everyone in my local Bear group eats out on a daily basis. Sometimes four or five times a day.

by Anonymousreply 180August 12, 2021 6:05 PM

"I don't understand how some people make less money than me"

by Anonymousreply 181August 12, 2021 6:17 PM

For those inquiring who Greg, the elaborate meal troll, is, I refer you to the thread and response below:

Tonight's dinner with a good friend: Poached Cod in Tomato Sauce with Prunes But I'm not sure what type of Mediterranean side dishes to serve with it. I'm thinking something with couscous. Any ideas?

—Greg

by Anonymousreply 182August 12, 2021 6:25 PM

[quote]Do you all buy the cheap 90 cent dozen eggs or the free range or organic eggs? There really is a significant taste difference

Bullshit. I’ve bought the free range eggs a few times and noticed no difference other than I was more likely to find spots in the yolks of the brown eggs and the brown eggs are harder to crack (and peel if boiled).

by Anonymousreply 183August 12, 2021 6:25 PM

R183 - exactly. No taste difference. At all. Just between eggs grown in different countries and extreme stuff like that.

by Anonymousreply 184August 12, 2021 6:30 PM

R168 Then why are Americans so much against universal health care if that is something that so many of you spend majority of your paycheck? I haven't been to doctor in more than 20 years. I guess I would be rich in the US, even with the 30K paycheck.

by Anonymousreply 185August 12, 2021 6:31 PM

R185 - we aren't against universal health care. The Republicans are.

by Anonymousreply 186August 12, 2021 6:33 PM

[quote]Then why are Americans so much against universal health care if that is something that so many of you spend majority of your paycheck?

Because there are a lot of retards in this country.

by Anonymousreply 187August 12, 2021 6:34 PM

It has been my experience that one can live as cheaply as two. Many of the stores in my neighborhood don't package things for single people. If you cook your meals you can save a lot of money, I make my own breads, and have a lot of spices to make stir fry, or curry, hummus and other things so it isn't boring, and it's cheap.

by Anonymousreply 188August 12, 2021 6:35 PM

Mostly because people are stupid and the health care industry and the GOP has scared people into thinking that what they'd get would be far worse than what they have now.

That scare tactic is helped along by the unfortunate name "Medicare For All" which does sound like "The Cheap and Bureaucratic Medical Care That Welfare Recipients Get... For All" to many people's ears.

by Anonymousreply 189August 12, 2021 7:05 PM

[quote]You have to factor in all the things you buy at the grocery, like paper products and pet food.

[quote]No, you don't. And that's probably a reasonably substantial difference between the people spending $75 a week for grocery and those spending $250. Some are counting Drain-o and toilet paper, while others are excluding it.

I was going to say this. When I go to the grocery store all I buy is food. Toiletries, paper products, cleaning products, etc. are purchased separately (and less frequently) at Target.

[quote]OP, I don’t understand how some people are spending the amounts they are as a single person. I never spend more than $50-60/week at TJ’s. [...] It’s very easy to eat quite comfortably on $50/week.

I spend around $200-250 per month on food from the grocery store. In the middle of a heatwave like we're having right now I eat less, even sitting in the A/C I won't have much of an appetite after I've spent time outdoors.

by Anonymousreply 190August 12, 2021 7:07 PM

Ditto R190 but as you know the heat spurs many DLers to consume a pint of ice cream in order to avail themselves of its cooling properties

by Anonymousreply 191August 12, 2021 7:10 PM

[quote] NYC area, about $400-500 a month, last year when we were told to keep our kitchens fully stocked about $600-750 a month.

Seems like the spending should go back down to $400-500 per month, once your stock level is where you want it.

by Anonymousreply 192August 12, 2021 7:18 PM

[quote] Do you all weigh 300 lbs? My monthly food bill is only about $200.

Depends on where you live. The same bag of food could cost more or less, depending on where you live.

by Anonymousreply 193August 12, 2021 7:20 PM

[quote] Any vegetarians/vegans on here have tips? I think it SHOULD be cheaper if you don't splurge on good meat and fish every time.

My diet is mostly vegetarian with cheeses & half 'n' half (for coffee). Frankly, my food bill is higher than you'd think $400-500 per month. Produce can be expensive, too.

My tip would be to shop occasionally at health food-type stores that have bulk bins. That's where I get good deals on grains (steel-cut oats) and spices like chili powder, Italian seasoning, etc.

by Anonymousreply 194August 12, 2021 7:25 PM

I posted on the other thread. Beans, rice, eggs, frozen or can veggies if you don't like messing up the kitchen. Condiments, spices, olive oil, vinegar and such. A bit of fake meat. 100 to 125 bucks where I live. I'm not pursing the farmers' market. Once in a while, OK.

by Anonymousreply 195August 12, 2021 7:29 PM

Some bread, tortillas...

by Anonymousreply 196August 12, 2021 7:30 PM

If you are cooking most of the time, I would compare the cost of meal services like Hello Fresh which as a single person cost me around $80 per week (for 4 recipes, 2 portions each). On top of that I would spend another $25 - 50 or so a week on fruit and pantry and you're looking at around $450 - 550 per month. That's if you want to spend comfortably on quality food as other posters have stated.

Can you get by on $250 per month? Of course but it won't be quality food. A lot of added expense for me is opting for Uber Eats when I should be cooking. I should be sticking to my grocery budget. I'd be eating healthier too.

by Anonymousreply 197August 12, 2021 7:33 PM

[quote] A big problem here is that no one can agree what a "food budget" is.

I'm not counting cleaning supplies, etc., into my food budget. Food only. I do count restaurant and takeout food as a food expense. I don't count my coffee / caffeine expenses. When I did used to drink alcohol, that would be a separate expense as well.

by Anonymousreply 198August 12, 2021 7:35 PM

You all are some fat fucks.

I rarely buy frozen or canned goods, almost always buy organic

Shop at a combination of Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and FreshDirect

And yet for two people, our average bill is $500/month, plus we use ButcherBox for meat and fish, which is $150 every six weeks, so let's factor that as another $100/month.

So $600 for the two of us, or $300/month per person

That includes filet mignon, wild caught salmon, the $10 vegan cheese my husband likes and Jeni's overpriced ice cream and a bag of TJ macadamia nuts.

WTF are you all eating?????

by Anonymousreply 199August 12, 2021 7:49 PM

Whoever said leftover pizza is bad is crazy. I will sometimes order delivery of pizza and whatever is left over, I put into freezer bags and freeze it immediately. When I want it again, I spray it with some cooking spray with olive oil and pop it in the oven around 350 degrees for about 15 or so mins and it tastes no different than when I first ordered it.

So much wasted food and money. And for those freaking out that a single person can spend up to $400 per month on groceries, before Covid it was more like $300 for me but because I was trying to limit my exposure, I started buying my paper goods/cleaning supplies at the grocery store too so I wouldn't risk going into Target for stuff that was cheaper. But to each their own...

by Anonymousreply 200August 12, 2021 10:03 PM

Buying "organic" is the dumbest thing anyone can do and it reeks of privilege. There is no difference in taste and it's a huge scam because most of what is labeled organic really isn't.

Penn and Teller did a Bullshit show about organic foods. You should really check it out. People who swore that organic food tastes better were given blind taste tests and almost always picked the GMO food as tasting better. They even take a non organic banana, cut it in two, and tell the people tasting that one part is GMO and the other is not and based on their believing something is organic, they would choose the one side they thought was the organic one. The pieces literally came from the exact same banana. Organic food pushers are in a cult.

by Anonymousreply 201August 12, 2021 10:11 PM

Organic food isn't sprayed with pesticides though. I'd rather not get cancer from my berries.

by Anonymousreply 202August 12, 2021 10:24 PM

R62 I strongly suggest prepping and storing ingredients by freezing, and dehydrating. It has saved me tons of money, and I've even sent dehydrated items to my siblings (who do not dehydrate). I just got ten pounds of whole carrots a few days ago for .49/lb. My dehydrator is currently full, and I'll have them for months ahead. It's totally worth the time and initial investment for the dehydrator.

by Anonymousreply 203August 12, 2021 10:28 PM

Well this is eye opening! I'm not wealthy, but I do live comfortably and for the past 20 years I've spent at least $1000 every month on food. I do a lot of takeout, utilize Factor and Freshly often, love a healthy burrito and many types of protein enriched salads, but I definitely cook breakfast each day at home. I can see by reading this thread, I do NOT shop for food smartly.

by Anonymousreply 204August 12, 2021 11:32 PM

R201 I don't disagree with you but your comment came across as so very adamant with telling the Penn & Teller thing, it made me chuckle. But yea, for produce I don't think it really matters as long you're washing your stuff thoroughly.

I'm not as convinced with meat though.

by Anonymousreply 205August 12, 2021 11:33 PM

Idk pesticides can seep into produce skins pretty easily. If it'ss produce where you eat the skin of course.

by Anonymousreply 206August 12, 2021 11:40 PM

R201, you do not seem to have understood the video you were discussing.

Organic versus Non-Organic. It has to do with the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers versus all natural forms of growing food.

GMO versus Non-GMO. These have to do with genetically modifying a food item or not.

But GMO and organic... no.

by Anonymousreply 207August 12, 2021 11:41 PM

[quote] I've even sent dehydrated items to my siblings

Yeah, just what they wanted for Christmas - your leftovers.

by Anonymousreply 208August 12, 2021 11:42 PM

I'm starting to love the Sprouts near me quite fondly! I had gone to one before in a different city years ago but it was a bit dirty with lame products. Maybe they've stepped their game up since then, but the one near me is on fire! Clean, well stocked within interesting high quality products. I got a pound of cherries there the other day and DAMN they were good. I was sucking and spitting those things out like nobody's business (they had pits)!

by Anonymousreply 209August 12, 2021 11:42 PM

"I MEAN IT'S ONE BANANA, MICHAEL, WHAT COULD IT COST? TEN DOLLARS?"

by Anonymousreply 210August 13, 2021 12:04 AM

Organic farmers still use pesticides. And the amount of farmland it takes to grow it is shameful. We could solve world hunger with GMO crops but because people need to feel superior, they think buying organic makes them so.

by Anonymousreply 211August 13, 2021 12:17 AM

LOL

There's a difference between some bullshit frozen "organic" food that has as many "organic" chemicals in it as a Lean Cuisine and spending a whopping 75 cents more to get the strawberries that haven't been sprayed with pesticide (as per R202) I would not expect to taste any difference.

Reason #345 why DLers (and Americans) are fat.

by Anonymousreply 212August 13, 2021 12:20 AM

Okay, this thread is derailed, but anyway, my monthly food budget is about $120.

by Anonymousreply 213August 13, 2021 12:22 AM

The sad truth is, factory farming is factory farming, whether its organic or conventional. Many large organic farms use pesticides liberally. They're organic by certification, but you'd never know it if you saw their farming practices. As Michael Pollan, best-selling book author and organic supporter, said in an interview with Organic Gardening,

"They're organic by the letter, not organic in spirit... if most organic consumers went to those places, they would feel they were getting ripped off."

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by Anonymousreply 214August 13, 2021 12:23 AM

R11, the GMO politics is fucked up. I remember reading how the US was going to give some country in Africa a ton of some GMO crops, but then Europe got involved and scared the country from accepting it our something, but in reality there would have been EU countries whose crop industries would have been hurt by the US supplying crops to this country instead of Europe.

I may not be remembering all the details, but it was something along these lines.

by Anonymousreply 215August 13, 2021 12:24 AM

^ R211 not R11

by Anonymousreply 216August 13, 2021 12:25 AM

Luckily the organic store I go to for produce and meat sources locally. They even have their own greenhouse in the back and they sell what they grow. I wouldn't trust Whole Foods anymore than I would my local Safeway tbh.

by Anonymousreply 217August 13, 2021 12:33 AM

I probably spend between $300.00 to $350.00 a month for food for myself.

by Anonymousreply 218August 13, 2021 12:33 AM

$100 a month living in the Midwest on Jenny Craig I buy fruit vegetables dairy and raw almonds at grocery store in addition to JC cuisine.

by Anonymousreply 219August 13, 2021 1:08 AM

Oops $1,000 a month

by Anonymousreply 220August 13, 2021 1:09 AM

That's a big oops, R220.

by Anonymousreply 221August 13, 2021 2:20 AM

[quote]but because people need to feel superior, they think buying organic makes them so.

I cook nearly every day. I have for the last 30 years. I know produce.

I buy things for their flavor.

The organic onions and carrots I buy are superior to the others at my local supermarket. They're juicer and have a more intense flavor. Same with the pasture raised eggs.

I buy what I find (through trail and error) what tastes best.

"Feeling superior" has nothing to do with it. Actually your comment says more about you.

by Anonymousreply 222August 13, 2021 3:53 AM

$325/month includes cook wages.

I’m lucky to live close to my siblings and their families— 12 adults and 3 children in total. We have a lady that comes 4 hours a day, 6 days a week to cook for all of us. I just have to pick up the food from my sisters place

by Anonymousreply 223August 13, 2021 4:30 AM

Strong organic proponents also argue that organic food tastes better. In the same poll where 95% of UK organic consumers said they buy organic to avoid pesticides, over two-thirds of respondents said organic produce and meats taste better than non-organic ones. But when researchers had people put their mouths to the test, they found that people couldn't tell the difference between the two in blind taste tests...

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by Anonymousreply 224August 13, 2021 5:37 AM

To those criticizing those of us who don't go out to eat much...

I grew up cooking with my grandmother and my mother. Plus we also gardened and canned regularly. In addition, I've worked several jobs as a line cook and a prep cook, and I know I can easily make many dishes at the restaurants I worked for at a fraction of the price.

I went out to a Mexican restaurant a couple of days ago with some friends and my check was nearly $35 (before tip) for a steak fajita dinner and one margarita. I could have made that entire meal for under $7 easily, aside from the tequila for the margarita. They used a super cheap cut of beef, I'm guessing something like thinly sliced bottom round because it was tough as shit. I can get an entire pack of thinly sliced NY strip steaks for <$10.

by Anonymousreply 225August 13, 2021 6:58 AM

R203 "Dehydrated foods have a higher calorie content by weight and can be high in sodium and sugars, depending on the food. In excess, these nutrients can cause weight gain and increase your risk of obesity, heart problems, and diabetes"

by Anonymousreply 226August 13, 2021 8:35 AM

[quote] That scare tactic is helped along by the unfortunate name "Medicare For All" which does sound like "The Cheap and Bureaucratic Medical Care That Welfare Recipients Get... For All" to many people's ears.

The Right Wing strategy is telling their followers "Do you really want medicare for all? Do you really want the undesirables, the moochers, the foreigners, the gays, the heathens, your loud and noisy neighbors, etc. get treated better as they are now? Is that REALLY what you want? ... ... of course not!".

by Anonymousreply 227August 13, 2021 9:06 AM

[quote ] r183 - exactly. No taste difference. At all.

Only when you are blind.

First impressions matter. There is a clear visual difference between chicken farm eggs and what is labelled organic eggs. That first visual impression carries over to the taste because of expectancy.

It's like DL's famous spat of cut vs. uncut. No matter how clean someone's uncut cock is, someone who strongly prefers cut dicks will gag of the mental image of dick cheese hiding under the hoodie and not be able to get near the uncut dick without heaving even when the uncut dick, is totally clean.

by Anonymousreply 228August 13, 2021 9:16 AM

Sorry, gag at the mental image ...

by Anonymousreply 229August 13, 2021 9:18 AM

Regarding organic.

Organic only means that certain already established pesticides have not been used during the growing process.

It's like with doping in sports. Doctors come up with all kinds of enhancement drugs that are not yet categorized as doping to give desperate clients an advantage for them to keep or gain endorsements.

by Anonymousreply 230August 13, 2021 9:26 AM

Was waiting for when someone will bring up uncut dicks.

by Anonymousreply 231August 13, 2021 9:29 AM

r231, it's DL after all. Cocks and gay sex will find their way to any thread discussion, including threads about food.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 232August 13, 2021 9:49 AM

My monthly budget is about $150. My mom was a hippie so I grew up eating things like lentils, beans and brown basmati rice, so I need to buy these just about once every few months and they store fine in airtight containers. They are also easy to cook in small proportions. I also do what r18 said and make a large pot roast, or chili or beef stew, or roast chicken and freeze the leftovers in small quantities and then use them as side dishes or integrate them into a lentil dish (yellow lentils cooked with a small portion of pot roast is absolutely delicious). The thing about meat is that the time it takes to cook is not worth it for single person daily cooking, so preparing it in bulk and storing it works out better, and more economical. Fish is the only meat I cook and consume immediately.

I also cure meats like venison and bulk beef at home so I have plenty of stuff for work lunches.

Some weeks, salad materials and fruit are the only grocery I need to buy.

Cooking is a sort of zen practice for me, so I try to cook every day. I have a large pantry and deep freezer and it always give me pleasure to see it stocked fully with canned, bottled, and dry foods. I make my own jams, relishes and tomato sauce when these fruits and veggies are in peak season.

by Anonymousreply 233August 13, 2021 9:53 AM

Expensive leftover salmon can be made into delicious salmon cakes. Mix with breadcrumbs, egg, onion, celery, herbs and spices and fry them up. Serve with tartar sauce or tzatziki and a mixed green salad.

by Anonymousreply 234August 13, 2021 9:58 AM

I'm one of those people who would get nauseated just a little when eating eggs, but I don't have that problem with the brown, free range organic eggs from the store these days. There's no difference in the nutrition between brown and regular eggs so I'm assuming either the brown eggs at my store are fresher, or that I used to be a little allergic but have developed a tolerance over the years.

by Anonymousreply 235August 13, 2021 10:03 AM

He's not r218, r221. He's that guy who pretends to be people in threads just to create confusion.

by Anonymousreply 236August 13, 2021 10:06 AM

[quote]Buying "organic" is the dumbest thing anyone can do and it reeks of privilege. There is no difference in taste and it's a huge scam because most of what is labeled organic really isn't.

That could very well be true, but I buy a few organic things because they're better quality and they taste good, not because they're organic. Through trial and error I've discovered the "Smart Chicken" organic brand at my store has a far lower percentage of woody, tough chicken breasts than any other brands, and the bone-in thighs taste better and have nicer skin. Well-meaning store employees tell me that the Smart Chicken comes from the same place as the super low price Heritage Farms stuff but I don't care, because I'm buying the brand that has had better taste and quality overall, in my experience.

I also get this Simple Truth brand of canned spicy black beans because they are delicious. If someone wants to froth and rant about, fine. Imma be over here eating my delicious chicken and beans.

by Anonymousreply 237August 13, 2021 10:17 AM

The thing is, it's all in our head. When you believe you do good by buying organic food you feel great while preparing, cooking and eating it. If you are obsessed with sales, you feel like a million bucks when you prepare, cook, and eat the stuff you got on sales.

I am absolutely not discouraging people to buy organic food. It's about the critics who try to convince other people there is no point in buying organic food.

by Anonymousreply 238August 13, 2021 10:32 AM

[quote]I just have to pick up the food from my sisters place.

Oh, R223! Your cook doesn't deliver???

Your family must have cornered the market on Tupperware.

by Anonymousreply 239August 13, 2021 11:32 AM

[/quote] was sucking and spitting those things out like nobody's business

R209 - are you a single, nelly bottom a bit over 40 and a bit corpulent?

by Anonymousreply 240August 13, 2021 11:53 AM

R228 - that is kind of not true. There is zero taste difference between brown and white eggs that are laid by chickens fed the same thing and raised in cages. None. I can tell you that the eggs out here in Eastern Europe that we used to get fresh from a farm near the city, where we saw the actual chickens in a yard who were being fed grains and given no hormones had a dark orange yolk and creamy taste. When we buy them in the market, where they are obligated by EU law to tell you what they were fed and how they were raised, both brown and white eggs taste the same if the chickens had the same diet and lived the same way.

by Anonymousreply 241August 13, 2021 11:58 AM

R100- Many of the FAT WHORES on My 600lb Life are too LAZY to cook and get most or all of their food from drive thru restaurants.

by Anonymousreply 242August 13, 2021 12:05 PM

r241.

My comment had nothing to do with the taste difference of brown vs. white eggs. My comment was about the difference between conventional eggs (chicken farm eggs from battery cages) and organic, free range chicken eggs.

by Anonymousreply 243August 13, 2021 12:13 PM

R243 - my apologies. I misunderstood. Have you also noticed that the free range and organic lack the sulphur smell when hard boiled that so many DL-ers find offensive?

by Anonymousreply 244August 13, 2021 12:19 PM

Remember the movie, "Yours, Mine and Ours"...back in the late sixties. It was about a family that had a combined family of 18 kids. There was a scene where they went grocery shopping. The amount for the groceries, after checked out, was a little over a hundred dollars...for a family of 20 (parents included). That would be what a single person would spend, on average, weekly now. Crazy...the inflation and prices today.

by Anonymousreply 245August 13, 2021 12:23 PM

I will only shop at the high end grocery stores in my town. That means I'm not leaving out of those stores with anything under $50. I'm sure you Walmart shoppers can keep your grocery bills low, but you're also getting shit food and you have to mix with the trash while shopping. No thank you.

by Anonymousreply 246August 13, 2021 12:35 PM

Oh, R246! I'm absolutely certain you are no stranger to mixing with trash, no matter how expensively dressed they might be.

by Anonymousreply 247August 13, 2021 12:37 PM

[quote]I'm absolutely certain you are no stranger to mixing with trash

You better believe it R247 and because I have mixed with trash I know that I don't want to mix with them anymore than I have to. So I stay away from Walmart and other low price markets.

by Anonymousreply 248August 13, 2021 12:41 PM

I shop at Walmart for staples, but never go in. I order online and use their pickup service. Never have to mingle with anyone.

by Anonymousreply 249August 13, 2021 12:51 PM

I can easily do 50 a week for food and feel well fed. Breakfast is some variant of a protein shake, poached eggs with garden herbs, oatmeal, yogurt and fruit or toast and cheese. Lunch is either ramen with eggs and veggies, fried rice, home-made veggie chili, home-made burrito, a stuffed baked potato, or a bagel sandwich with some sort of fish salad or hummus. Dinner will revolve around pasta, whole grains, veggies, crepes, fish, ground beef, ground turkey, chicken breasts or thighs, or rotisserie chicken. Flank steak is once a month.

If 100-200 a week works for you, great. I assume you eat out or order in a lot, are a drinker, and eat a lot of beef. If you reduce meat, alcohol and prepared food consumption, you'll save a lot. Granted, not everyone wants to or has to.

by Anonymousreply 250August 13, 2021 12:53 PM

Yeah R246, there is a pretty wide variety of shoppers at the Wal-Mart in Canoga Park. No shortage of upper income people who pop in as it is in the same plaza with a Sprouts, Trader Joe's and organic vegan fast food. I get zucchini, baby tomatoes (same brand as Kroger's), other produce, and the EXACT same brands of dried goods that I would from Amazon or Kroger's. Not to mention paper towels, detergent, and other cleaning products. I started going in 2012 and it has cut my spending by at least $150 a month. Why would I go next door at Ralph's and 35% more for the exact same shit? And trust me, it is the same.

by Anonymousreply 251August 13, 2021 12:55 PM

R250 - I agree about the Ramen being handy but it is in no way healthy. Obviously you are adding protein and vegetables, so it's ok. I have learned from my roommate that just buying some Soba or chow mein noodles in bulk and making your own broth once every six weeks (freeze cubes in freezer) is a good and quick substitute as long as you have some soy sauce, Siracha, curry powder (for an occasional change of tune) and fish sauce on hand. Obviously, when I get home I will be way too lazy for the ice cubes but I did like getting the low-sodium broths from Trader Joe's aks adding them to food so I will just do that. The variety is also nice.

by Anonymousreply 252August 13, 2021 1:01 PM

I had a friend whose self-worth was tied into the brands she used and the programming her mother gave her about the stores that constituted middle-class refinement. She refuses to shop anywhere other than Whole Foods but her preparation of food is often lousy and she throws out half of what she buys.

by Anonymousreply 253August 13, 2021 1:04 PM

Another good way to save $ is to invest in a good wok. I make a LOT of quick and nutritious meals like that.

by Anonymousreply 254August 13, 2021 1:05 PM

[quote]No shortage of upper income people who pop in

It has nothing to do with upper income people. I said trash. Trash doesn't automatically equal low income. There are plenty of people who make 6 figures and above who are trash. Walmart is trash, no matter what neighborhood it's in.

by Anonymousreply 255August 13, 2021 1:08 PM

[quote]Is $250 a month about right?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 256August 13, 2021 1:08 PM

I have an ex who worked in marketing. He really believed in brands. He drank that Kool-aid. He was so easily led by marketing statements and weird, unsubstantiated, beliefs that "people want this," or "people don't like that." And it was all just whatever was bouncing around in his pretty, but empty, head. He would go to a grocery and spend any amount of money, confident that he had made the best choices because he selected only the best brands.

Wherever he is now... I wish him well.

by Anonymousreply 257August 13, 2021 1:13 PM

R255 - if you consider a surgeon and a teacher trash, so be it. I know two from my gym who pop in and get things like Duracell batteries, a Gilette razor, and teaching supplies. But be my guest and pay 35% more on Q-tips, Tide detergent, Charmin, baby tomatoes and Haas avocados. I would rather use that $ on things that actually need to be bought at higher prices.

by Anonymousreply 258August 13, 2021 1:13 PM

OP, thanks for this thread. I've been struggling with this for about 3 yrs. a nd especially during COVID quarantining last year. The price of groceries has definitely gone up. I think $250-$300 is very reasonable and you can eat well for that amount. I have been struggling to get my food bill down to $240-280. But last month it was $303. I review my expenses every month. I rarely eat out these days, and I don't drink because of medication,. I shop at Costco for certain specific things. Olive oil, nuts, bottled water and there prepared foods like my favorite Sikh Chicken Tikka Masala. They also sell chicken/Kale/Mozzarella burgers I love, and I buy 1 lb. package of smoked salmon from the Kosher section. These aren't regular purchases. I limit myself to one special something a month. I also go to the supermarket for most things and Whole Foods for fresh salmon fillets. I bought enough toilet paper and paper toweling and cleaning products in March, 2020, to last probably another year! Mostly at Home Depot. I live in the metro Atlanta area, and the cost of food, especially meats and fresh produce has really gone up. I mostly eat Chicken, fish and beans. Although I do make an eggplant and ground lamb stew from a Turkish recipe that's really good.

by Anonymousreply 259August 13, 2021 1:17 PM

I find that the store brands are just as good, in some cases, better than the known brands. Wegmans for example....better canned tuna, better plastic wrap, better orange juice, aluminum foil, mixed nuts.... just off the top of my head. I don't turn my nose up at store brands.

by Anonymousreply 260August 13, 2021 1:19 PM

^^Frozen vegetables, too. I never buy brand named frozen vegetables, unless the vegetable is only available in a brand name.

by Anonymousreply 261August 13, 2021 1:22 PM

[quote] I will only shop at the high end grocery stores in my town. That means I'm not leaving out of those stores with anything under $50. I'm sure you Walmart shoppers can keep your grocery bills low, but you're also getting shit food and you have to mix with the trash while shopping. No thank you.

AND NO ONE WILL EVER SUSPECT THAT MY PARENTS WERE BLUE COLLAR WORKERS WHO DIDN'T GO TO COLLEGE AND THAT I WENT TO SUNY-POTSDAM!!

AS GOD IS MY WITNESS THEY WILL NOT!!!

by Anonymousreply 262August 13, 2021 1:22 PM

Re: Organic

I know that there is a wide range in terms of how "organic" or chemical-free most of the produce is.

But I'd rather spin the wheel and pay 50 or 75 cents more for the organic produce as the odds of it having fewer or even no chemicals are much higher.

I figure $50 a year is a small amount to pay for that precaution.

by Anonymousreply 263August 13, 2021 1:28 PM

The raw organic chicken looks better, fresher, somehow. The regular kind looks more yellow.

by Anonymousreply 264August 13, 2021 1:29 PM

I have thee bags of frozen veggies in the freezer I probably have to throw away, because I never used them last year. A bag of mixed vegetables, broccoli crowns and corn. I get my canned tuna from Costco. Best prices.

by Anonymousreply 265August 13, 2021 1:30 PM

[quote] I will only shop at the high end grocery stores in my town. That means I'm not leaving out of those stores with anything under $50. I'm sure you Walmart shoppers can keep your grocery bills low, but you're also getting shit food and you have to mix with the trash while shopping. No thank you.

SEE THESE SHOES??

THEY'RE PRADA!!! (YOU CAN TELL BY THE RED STRIPE!!)

I STARTED A THREAD ON DATALOUNGE ABOUT BRANDS THAT ONLY UPPER CLASS PEOPLE WEAR AND PRADA WAS ONE OF THEM!

THEY COST $750 WHICH IS 30% OF MY MONTHLY PAYCHECK, BUT AT LEAST NO ONE WILL THINK I AM TRASH!!!

NO ONE!!!!

by Anonymousreply 266August 13, 2021 1:31 PM

For those who want to improve their cooking skills:

J Kenji Lopex-Alt is my new Youtube food guru. He's not theatrical. He explains food chemistry and when to salt and season. His videos are brief. The recipes are fusion and not difficult. Other chefs are more entertaining and have more gadgetry but he offers the most bang for the buck.

The best investments I ever made were my Instant pot, cast iron and ceramic cookware, Vitamix, decent knives , a convection toaster oven and a chopper gadget guillotine that slices veggies into perfect cubes. If you bake a lot, get a stand mixer. I don't and never did.

Buy lots of spices and herbs in the smallest quantities you can. Split with friends if it's convenient. Grow herbs if you possibly can.

Nuts and seeds are great for stirfries, salads and garnishes. Fresh garlic, kosher or sea salt, scallions, olive oil and lemons improve almost everything. Plating makes a difference and dollar store squeeze bottles are great for sauces.

Learn how to rescue things like adding sugar to something that's too spicy. And if you can't, no sweat. Mangia.

by Anonymousreply 267August 13, 2021 1:37 PM

I like this thread. It's so interesting what people buy, their budget and how they prepare their meals. It sort of runs the gamut here...the high end to lower. You pick up ideas.

by Anonymousreply 268August 13, 2021 1:42 PM

Beth over at her site BudgetBytes has been sharing low cost recipes for years now. Definitely worth checking out.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 269August 13, 2021 3:10 PM

R254 how is a wok different from any high quality pan? I guess I don't understand what superior function it has over a regular pan other than being able to toss a lot of food at one time.

by Anonymousreply 270August 13, 2021 3:12 PM

Budget Bytes is a mix of completely gross and tryable. One pot pasta is disgusting.

by Anonymousreply 271August 13, 2021 3:33 PM

R266 Might you be YMF? Seems a similar or familiar style of chiding the bastards if not, good job.

by Anonymousreply 272August 13, 2021 4:38 PM

I live in the Bay area and I earn a very high salary even for Bay area standards but groceries (just food) won't be more than 250-300 $ per month.

I don't eat out and every time I go to Sprouts/Trader Joe's, the bill is approximately 40-50$, I usually go to grocery stores just once a week (unless I am looking for a specific ingredient which is missing from my kitchen). I buy fruits (usually 5 bananas, 3 apples, or one of plums/mandarins/blueberries, 2 avocados), vegetables (spinach, broccoli and tomatoes but I don't buy them everytime), milk (1 gallon), eggs (12 to 18), bread, cheese and butter (again not every week), meat (mostly chicken breast, shrimp and salmon). I rarely if not never eat red meat, so that's a big cost saver. I am also on a weight loss journey which is making me stop eating outside and cook my own food everyday. I occasionally splurge on ice creams and tacos but that's very rare.

I buy food that I frequently use in Costco like Spaghetti, Almonds, Walnuts, Rice bag etc. But that's only twice or thrice a year.

by Anonymousreply 273August 13, 2021 5:00 PM

For those who maintain there's no difference between organic food, you are leaving out missing info every step of the way.

For one, much of the older substances used in organic farming are NOT associated with cancer as GLYPHOSATE is. There may be other issues from a Biodynamic perspective as regards copper, and other compounds, (I believe neonicotoids are bad for bees) These at least were banned in 2018. No seeds in organic farming are modified to UPTAKE and SYSTEMICALLY ABSORB pesticides like GMO Corn, Soy, and Canola crops.

When animal feed is comprised of these crops, not only is Glyphosate concentrated in their fat from exclusively being fed Corn, Soy, and Canola, but their fat profiles are off as well...more PUFAS as well as Omega 6 vs the healthy Omega 3s. How ironic the article on warmed over flavour implicated PUFAS. If there are more naturally saturated fats in the chicken and meat, and one cooks with saturated fat, perhaps leffovers can be enjoyed more easily without this funky under-note?

Another aspect which many of you may be completely unaware of is that nearly all (98% or more in the US) of conventionally raised and prepared chicken and pork cuts are injected with "sodium solution" this isn't simply a brine, but rather phosphates, and sometimes sugar as well. Phosphates and Phosphorous are too things I personally keep to a minimum on account of a family history of CKD, as well as my own numbers from labs/panels. I eat Keto, so I would be intesting a tonne of phosphates if I were eating feedlot chickens and pork all the time. Many have no clue the sodium levels of these cuts are often so high, it warrants caution when seasoning them. Organic chicken and Pork by law in the US cannot be injected with these "plumping" solutions.

I'm afraid some participating in the taste tests have very poor sense of taste, as ai can tell the difference between Organic Pastured Chickens, and "regular"... same as regards their eggs.

Grass-Fed Organic Beef smells different when cooking, tastes different, and there is absolutely no way you could fool me. The fat when rendered oerforms differently when cooking with it as well. So does the schmaltz from Organic chicken.

Produce, unless on tbe Dirty Dozen, probably makes the least amount of difference.

Dairy is no contest for me either, as the fat profiles are often different, and the Organic DOES taste better to me. Outside the US, I have no problems with British or Irish milk and butter, but I will pass on conventional American dairy products if I cannot but organic. It's not snob appeal for me, it's the taste and the healthfulness of the food..

by Anonymousreply 274August 13, 2021 5:13 PM

Aldi and Costco have a selection of organic and sustainably caught food. If you cut down on prepared foods and eating out, it evens out the expense.

by Anonymousreply 275August 13, 2021 5:21 PM

Everybody is different OP not to mention different prices in different locations.

by Anonymousreply 276August 13, 2021 5:26 PM

R275 That they do! I've had their grass-fed beef, and it's good. They often have Australian and New Zealand lamb as well. They're specialty items in most US Aldi locations, but I stock up on their lamb when the "Specially Selected" is on offer.

by Anonymousreply 277August 13, 2021 5:32 PM

This question is LITERAL VIOLENCE!!

by Anonymousreply 278August 13, 2021 5:46 PM

[quote] J Kenji Lopex-Alt is my new Youtube food guru.

I'd like to watch his videos, but can't handle watching them. He films via a GoPro camera mounted on his forehead. Very jerky.

by Anonymousreply 279August 13, 2021 6:06 PM

R224 That article means nothing to me.

I cook.

I cut into vegetables every day. I know the texture, color, moisture.

The organic vegetables that I have zeroed in on (in my case mostly onions, carrots) are better than the other offerings.

Same with eggs: the pasture raised eggs are thicker when mixing them. The yolks sit higher. The regular commercial eggs are runny.

I honestly don't care for the grass fed beef at my supermarket. It has a mineral taste that I just don't like.

by Anonymousreply 280August 13, 2021 6:11 PM

Yeah to claim regular eggs are the same as organic is an outright lie. It's actually one of the few things that are noticeably different. Dairy and meat have distinctive differences when using organic vs non organic. Produce is a mixed bag imo. Dry goods I couldn't tell a difference at all.

by Anonymousreply 281August 13, 2021 6:21 PM

[quote][R255] - if you consider a surgeon and a teacher trash, so be it. I know two from my gym who pop in and get things like Duracell batteries, a Gilette razor, and teaching supplies. But be my guest and pay 35% more on Q-tips, Tide detergent, Charmin, baby tomatoes and Haas avocados. I would rather use that $ on things that actually need to be bought at higher prices.

Are you sitting in the parking lot at Walmart watching who goes in?

by Anonymousreply 282August 13, 2021 7:00 PM

Oh, please, all kinds of people go to Walmart.

by Anonymousreply 283August 13, 2021 7:06 PM

R283 Agreed. Aldi as well.

by Anonymousreply 284August 13, 2021 7:14 PM

R270, if you do a lot of stir-fry, a wok is good to get. The food gets cooked faster because of the shape of the pan and the flavor is better. Here is a video from American Test Kitchen where they make the comparison. Don't get a non-stick wok because the chemicals from the wok will eventually seep into the food. Better to get carbon steel, it's natural and more healthy.

I don't have a wok because I don't do a lot of stir fry and it takes up a lot of space in my kitchen.

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by Anonymousreply 285August 14, 2021 12:43 AM

For those who say they won't eat leftovers because it doesn't taste good, especially chicken, then don't microwave. I find the left over chicken tastes better when it's baked or cooked in a regular stove compared to microwave oven. I bought a convection/air fry/toaster oven. It cooks the meat faster and is tastier, doesn't take up a lot of energy.. I also heat leftover pizza in the air fry/toaster oven.

by Anonymousreply 286August 14, 2021 12:48 AM

Same, r286. I rarely use the microwave to reheat leftovers. If put in the oven there is no difference between what it tasted like the first day you made/bought it.

by Anonymousreply 287August 14, 2021 12:52 AM

I'll take care of and cook for the frugal SF daddy.

by Anonymousreply 288August 14, 2021 12:53 AM

R286, I have an old fashioned toaster oven on the counter, but I have been thinking of getting what you have. I think I'd use it more . I hate using my oven unless it's for something big.

by Anonymousreply 289August 14, 2021 1:01 AM

R286 agreed. an air fryer, for the most part, works is great for leftovers. I use mine all the time.

by Anonymousreply 290August 14, 2021 1:02 AM

For those saying that leftovers just need to be reheated in an oven and not the microwave, the Serious Eats taste testing article said that the method of reheating really didn't make much difference.

The problem is oxidization. A large piece of meat that has no breading or sauce will be exposed to more air and will taste worse because it's oxidized more. That's why soups and stews taste good leftover and reheated but a chicken breast will often taste rubbery.

For me, a brined or marinated chicken breast or turkey breast that is leftover is still good if it's not reheated and just eaten cold, like in a salad or on a sandwich. But I know there are some people who simply can't eat leftover meat once it cools and begins to oxidize, and there's an actual scientific reason for that.

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by Anonymousreply 291August 14, 2021 9:18 AM

Leftovers also can contribute to migraines. It's a pain having to have fresher food but what can you do. Food has become very costly for us since we moved somewhere with only electric cooking too. An electric stove sucks to cook on. It's ruined cooking completely.

Plus having covid has made eating suck even more because most meals don't sound or taste good anymore. I'm wondering how many people will end up with that problem long term.

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by Anonymousreply 292August 14, 2021 12:53 PM

Well they can do all the studies they like, but but from personal experience, I have to say,...it depends on what kinds of left overs they are. I will reheat Fried chicken in a regular oven or even stove top, but for something like a stew or chili I do the microwave. The whole premise of heating food is to dry it. And it will turn chicken rubbery.

by Anonymousreply 293August 14, 2021 1:05 PM

So the leftover debate is actually about large leftover chunks on chicken on the bone or steaks, not any sort of stew-like meal.

In that case, yes--I might have the chicken cold but steak and a whole chicken on the bone do not reheat well and usually do go to the dog, who is happy to eat them (and yes, we take the meat off the bone before we give it to him.)

But plenty of other food tastes great reheated and if you know you are going to be making more than you need, then just cook some sort of dish that does reheat well.

by Anonymousreply 294August 14, 2021 1:15 PM

R69 - here are a few recipes:

A big bag of rotini pasta boiled and drained (in a colander bitches), sliced black olives $1.29 at Trader Joe's (can skip them or replace with sliced mushrooms), canned artichoke hearts in water $2.29 at Trader Joe's (also drained in colander and from Trader Joe's), baby tomatoes sliced in half or just chopped tomatoes (Wal Mart), Trader Joe's Romano Caesar dressing, a dash of pepper, and chill in the fridge . In fact, everything but the artichoke hearts and the dressing can be found at Wal Mart or dollar stores. You can add green onion and parsley too. My sister loves it but always adds some chicken breast slices to it.

Another one is drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, chopped avocado, cilantro, baby or chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion which I drizzle with lemon, olive oil and add a teaspoon of sumac.

Also, lettuce, same dressing as above with a bit of oregano, sliced cucumber, chopped tomatoes, canned sweet corn kernels, feta, some chicken breast and mixed really well as the creamy feta mixes nicely with the dressing. I sometimes add mushroom slices too.

by Anonymousreply 295August 14, 2021 1:47 PM

Anyone claiming to spend only $250-300 per month is either eating like a third world peasant or failed math. That's about $3 per meal including your snacks plus tea or soda or milk or whatever non-alcoholic beverage. I don't buy it. Especially SF sugar daddy buying shrimp and salmon.

by Anonymousreply 296August 14, 2021 3:47 PM

R296 That's because you don't cook. You have no clue.

by Anonymousreply 297August 14, 2021 4:43 PM

[quote]That's about $3 per meal.

My menu for today:

Breakfast: coffee at my local coffee shop $1.90

Lunch: two scrambled eggs. Avocado & tomato salad with some feta cheese.

Dinner: Spaghetti with zucchini, onion, tomato

Bottled water as beverage.

That is well within $9.

by Anonymousreply 298August 14, 2021 5:07 PM

[quote] including your snacks plus tea or soda or milk or whatever non-alcoholic beverage.

You type fat.

But let's factor in tea, to prove R297's point

A box of 100 Twinings English Breakfast Tea bags on Amazon is $9.25 or 9 cents/bag.

So even if you have two cups of tea, it's 18 cents a day.

With a refrigerator with a filtered water dispenser or even a Brita filter on your tap, water is free.

And People Who Are Not Fat don't drink soda with most meals nor do they factor "snacks" into their daily meals.

by Anonymousreply 299August 14, 2021 5:10 PM

[quote] including your snacks plus tea or soda or milk or whatever non-alcoholic beverage.

You type fat.

But let's factor in tea, to prove R297's point

A box of 100 Twinings English Breakfast Tea bags on Amazon is $9.25 or 9 cents/bag.

So even if you have two cups of tea, it's 18 cents a day.

With a refrigerator with a filtered water dispenser or even a Brita filter on your tap, water is free.

And People Who Are Not Fat don't drink soda with most meals nor do they factor "snacks" into their daily meals.

by Anonymousreply 300August 14, 2021 5:10 PM

[quote]Leftovers also can contribute to migraines.

Oh, give me a break.🙄 I’m pretty sure the starving people on the streets would be more than happy to take those leftovers off your hands and will take the risk.

by Anonymousreply 301August 14, 2021 5:13 PM

R298 Don’t bother to try to tell these people anything - they want to just keep making excuses for their ridiculous spending.

by Anonymousreply 302August 14, 2021 5:17 PM

R299 - incorrect. I wasn't fat before the pandemic and had a six pack and still, sadly, couldn't quit trashy Diet Coke. Also, snacks were factored in because I had to eat every 3 hours and protein (versus chips and other gunk) costs money. One bag of unsalted almonds at Trader Joe's was $6.99 back when I was in the US and, at that size, was a better deal than what I got even at Wal Mart. I did however get over the Wal Mart snobbery and dollar store snobbery and got lots of produce and staples there. I also checked sales at Whole Foods and Sprouts and stocked up on good stuff.

by Anonymousreply 303August 14, 2021 5:40 PM

I'm in the 200-300 range. Here's today's food. Sorry I can't break down the prices. Maybe not to everyone's liking but it works for me.

breakfast steel cut oats with cinnamon- Aldi Coffee and rice milk- Costco

lunch veggie chili shredded cheddar, onions, tortilla chips --Aldi

dinner salmon burger (from canned salmon on sale ) cole slaw w/ dijon dressing cukes and yogart

The chili and salmon burger were made several weeks ago and frozen. The chips are tortillas baked in the convection oven.

Frozen banana ice cream for dessert (via blender)

The oatmeal and coffee were purchased in quantity more than a month ago. I make four days worth of oatmeal in the instant pot and it keeps. The slaw is prepared fresh/

by Anonymousreply 304August 14, 2021 7:20 PM

Another inexpensive day that works for me.

B- poached eggs w. fines herbs and English muffin; homemade latte Herbs from Penzey's specials

L- tuna salad on a pita or sesame bagel (day old bagels are 4 for 1.75) (sustainable tuna from costco, celery, scallions, mayo seasonings

D- Dirty rice with ground turkey sauteed spinach long grain rice, diced pepper, onion, turkey, spices

Dalgona coffee for dessert

by Anonymousreply 305August 14, 2021 7:33 PM

I've never had a food budget or added up what I spend but I know it's a shit ton. I need to pay more attention. My partner cooks and does the shopping most of the time and is smarter with money than I am. Before I met him, I went out to lunch and dinner every day. Probably spent 300-400 a week on food. Not fat. But could lose some weight. I like to get out of the house now that we are working from home so eating at home every night is too much home time for me. Like to get out and see people. I guess I am lucky I've always made enough to eat whatever and whenever and not think about it. Was raised the same way. But it might be kind of fun to see how cheaply I can do it.

by Anonymousreply 306August 14, 2021 7:51 PM

[quote] snacks were factored in because I had to eat every 3 hours and protein (versus chips and other gunk) costs money.

And clearly this is a common food consumption habit for others and thus needs to be accounted for.

SMH

by Anonymousreply 307August 14, 2021 9:43 PM

[quote]Not fat. But could lose some weight.

R306 is 600 lbs and bedridden.

by Anonymousreply 308August 14, 2021 9:52 PM

R301 that's as goofy as saying that about people that have food allergies ("bet starving people on the street would risk eating those peanuts!"). They def wouldn't risk eating something that is known to make them go to the ER or puke for 24hrs. All I was trying to say is that there is validity to some people not eating leftovers -- I've solved that problem though by not over making food in the first place.

by Anonymousreply 309August 14, 2021 11:40 PM

An ex had multiple food allergies. It took a while, but I learned how to cook around it. I projected my feelings onto to him, wrongly, about not being able to have a number of foods. Once I asked something stupid about how difficult it must be for him to have to forego chocolate and peanut butter.

"Why would I feel bad about not eating chocolate which makes me sick or peanut butter that could straight up kill me? I don't even want to see that stuff." He was right, of course. The bluntness of that statement cleared it up for me.

by Anonymousreply 310August 14, 2021 11:54 PM

I notice some posters here mentioned Hello Fresh. How do you like it and would you recommend it to others? What is your favorite dish from there? I really like their salmon dishes.

I bought into the plan a couple of months ago when I had a discount but that's now expired. I get 3 meals a week and that is around $63 a week for 3 meals. Since I live alone, that adds up to 6 meals a week so I order it every other week.

by Anonymousreply 311August 15, 2021 12:11 AM

you are a dumbass?

by Anonymousreply 312August 15, 2021 12:12 AM

I never understood the criteria for typing fat. Could someone explain it to me?

by Anonymousreply 313August 15, 2021 1:13 AM

There is nothing wrong with diet soda in moderation. I drink a can of diet Pepsi a day, it’s my midmorning second caffeine shot.

by Anonymousreply 314August 15, 2021 1:16 AM

A can of Pepsi in the morning is just so trashy.

by Anonymousreply 315August 15, 2021 1:24 AM

An 8 oz can of Pepsi has 9 teaspoons of sugar.

by Anonymousreply 316August 15, 2021 1:28 AM

Pour your bag of Lance peanuts in your drink for a great breakfast!

by Anonymousreply 317August 15, 2021 1:35 AM

R315 I said DIET Pepsi. Learn to read, cretin.

by Anonymousreply 318August 15, 2021 1:45 AM

I stick to vodka, slightly burnt toast, and a cigarette for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's about $100 a month

by Anonymousreply 319August 15, 2021 3:31 AM

I love this whole thread because it confirms that Datalounge is still full of gay men!

by Anonymousreply 320August 15, 2021 4:44 AM

Diet Pepsi is worse in the chemicals they use to make it. You are putting poison into your body willingly.

And I've been posting on here, r320 and I'm a big old Lezzie.

by Anonymousreply 321August 15, 2021 4:53 AM

All food planning is dependent not only on how much time and money you have but how big, active and hungry you are. It's much easier to economize on food or go thrift shopping when you don't have to do it and it's your choice. There are no rights and wrongs or one-size-fits-all solution.

Rotisserie chicken is a loss leader everywhere and Whole Foods sells organic rotisserie chickens and runs a weekly special. That's at least two meals plus chicken stock for a soup for 7 or 8, Throw in an omelet, pasta and a dinner salad and you've got six dinners taken care of. Really good,, seasonal fruit is the best dessert.

I'm in walking distance of a large grocery store and I prefer to shop late at night or early in the morning--no lines

I learned how to make decent versions of the food I regularly order out for--pad thai, pho, green curry beef and eggplant, butter chicken, pizza. However, poke bowls, empanadas and sushi are outside my wheel house. If there's something you can learn to make yourself, , do so. No way will I ever go out for french toast, carbonara, omelets, burgers, frittatas or lattes.

Some one-purpose gadgets are worth buying. Ever tried to pit cherries one by one? Chopsticks can be used as tongs. A mesh teaball can hold herbs for stock. Want quick, perfect mashed potatoes--microwave them and run them through a ricer. A really great deal for someone starting out is a powerful (500w) immersion blender with attachments for food processing, whisking, making smoothies.

Don't force yourself to eat food that didn't turn out well or is past its prime. Eating bad food will make you resent the process of economizing.

Food is a way of celebrating life and simple meals of fresh food and quality ingredients are a form of self care.

by Anonymousreply 322August 15, 2021 6:14 AM

OP is trolling with inflation fear porn.

Troll thread.

by Anonymousreply 323August 15, 2021 6:21 AM

Less than a dollar a day. 😭

by Anonymousreply 324August 15, 2021 6:23 AM

Darfur orphan makes a good point. Send the money you save to a local food bank or an overseas hunger drive.

by Anonymousreply 325August 15, 2021 6:26 AM

[quote]I never understood the criteria for typing fat. Could someone explain it to me?

If you "need" to eat every three hours...you might be typing fat.

by Anonymousreply 326August 15, 2021 10:00 AM

One diet soda a day doesn’t hurt. Most things don’t, in moderation.

by Anonymousreply 327August 15, 2021 1:48 PM

Like commas, r327?

by Anonymousreply 328August 15, 2021 1:52 PM

R328 ? Please explain this editorial suggestion.

by Anonymousreply 329August 15, 2021 2:23 PM

One diet soda a day does hurt, many things do, in moderations.

by Anonymousreply 330August 15, 2021 4:57 PM

Like many things, one diet soda can be harmful even in moderation..

by Anonymousreply 331August 15, 2021 5:07 PM

I thought that Sally Struthers was still alive. I didn't see anything in the media about her dying.

by Anonymousreply 332August 15, 2021 5:36 PM

I don’t know where to begin with R330 and R331.

by Anonymousreply 333August 15, 2021 5:42 PM

You could not be more off topic R322 but Sally is alive.

by Anonymousreply 334August 15, 2021 6:03 PM

I cook in batches and don't mind eating leftovers. In fact, I'm very happy to have leftovers.

I drink about one Diet Coke per day as my afternoon caffeine boost. (Coffee in the morning.) My caffeine expenses go on a separate tab from my food expenses. It's about $60 per month for Diet Coke, coffee, sugar, and half 'n' half. (Yes, I count sugar / half 'n' half as a caffeine expense.)

by Anonymousreply 335August 15, 2021 6:53 PM

Well then I am going to put my Berry Expenses on a different ledger R335

Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries--all on a different tab from my food expenses.

by Anonymousreply 336August 15, 2021 6:57 PM

R336, that's a sound decision.

by Anonymousreply 337August 15, 2021 6:59 PM

Don't forget about me! And I will not be a hidden tab on your spreadsheet!

by Anonymousreply 338August 15, 2021 7:06 PM

You can easily solve the "leftovers" debate on here by recognizing some foods/dishes are terrible reheating them the next day. Cook the right portion of what you intend to eat on any given day, don't bulk cook something with the intention of having leftovers for the next several days.

Pasta dishes immediately come to mind. It only takes a few minutes to boil some water and cook some pasta. Reheating some shit from several days ago is awful.

by Anonymousreply 339August 15, 2021 7:44 PM

Bingo R339

Or the Lunch Thing

If you have it for dinner at night, you can have it for lunch the next day. Even salads usually survive for that long in the refrigerator.

by Anonymousreply 340August 15, 2021 9:05 PM

I like leftover pasta that was sauced last night. Sometimes it's even better. Do you throw away leftover lasagne, r339?

by Anonymousreply 341August 15, 2021 9:07 PM

R339 - of course but there are stews and soups that are actually better as leftovers. Because of the hardship of procuring fresh ingredients, I have found that a lot of the thicker soups and stews cooked here in Eastern Europe are actually better re-heated as the herbs and spices have had time to give some fragrance to the food..a local saying is clear soup is best the first time, while thick soup needs time to thicken. My beef stroganoff is always better reheated. No idea why. All I know is the second time around, I look forward to a creamier and tastier sauce.

by Anonymousreply 342August 15, 2021 9:09 PM

350-450, 1 person, Brooklyn. 250 is low to me, so kudos to you.

by Anonymousreply 343August 15, 2021 9:15 PM

R343 - I have read, from being the dorm that I am on all kind of Trader Joe's and Cosco groups on social media, that prices in the NY boroughs are a bit higher than in the rest of the country. For example, if canned artichoke hearts are (were), $2.29 in Los Angeles in 2019, people in Manhattan said they were $2.99.

by Anonymousreply 344August 15, 2021 9:27 PM

For me, 2020 changed the way I shop and It is going to be how I shop from now on. I bought toilet paper, paper toweling, and house cleaning products enough to last me more than a year. I haven't bought toilet paper since March 2020. for instance. Which works for me. I live in a small apartment. 800 sf one bedroom. So I had to be creative about how I store that stuff.

I also stocked the panty with dry goods and canned goods. Mostly condiments, cereals, beans, tomato sauce, etc. When I shop I'll get a couple packages of chicken, maybe two or three salmon filets, a pork loin I'll cut into serving sizes, and freeze them. two or three times a month for milk, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, vegetables, and fruit. I will replace any canned goods I use. But I think it has saved me money. I spend $280 on average each month. And I eat very well

by Anonymousreply 345August 15, 2021 11:41 PM

You all should look into Butcher Box or similar meat delivery services.

Not only is it great tasting, but the steaks and fish are individually wrapped so you only need to use one at a time.

by Anonymousreply 346August 16, 2021 12:51 AM

^^Link

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by Anonymousreply 347August 16, 2021 12:52 AM

The problem with HelloFresh and similar services (from friends who have tried them) is that you're sort of locked into whatever they gave you and sometimes you don't feel like having chicken or Mexican that night. That, or you get invited to dinner and then you have an extra dinner and they don't really freeze well.

by Anonymousreply 348August 16, 2021 12:54 AM

You gays eat too much.

by Anonymousreply 349August 16, 2021 12:59 AM

[quote] Greg is the resident weird culinary troll who makes up stories of elaborate dinner parties and dishes that he's creating.

Nope. I make nothing up. Hard for you to believe that someone actually cooks? My dinner parties are not elaborate either.

by Anonymousreply 350August 31, 2021 7:52 PM

I cook but never pair Prunes with Cod.

by Anonymousreply 351September 1, 2021 10:14 AM

Yeah, no prunes with cod.

When I want my baked fist to be sweet, I slather it in maple syrup.

by Anonymousreply 352September 1, 2021 12:06 PM

[quote] I cook but never pair Prunes with Cod.

[quote] Yeah, no prunes with cod.

Come on guys—someone do me a favor and just make this and then tell others out here how good it is!?!

I promise you you'll like it.

by Anonymousreply 353September 1, 2021 12:38 PM

You have already broken your promise. I found it vile.

In fact after tasting it I thought you were joking and had made it up to make us sick. Then I googled and found out it had been a traditional lentin dish and you did not make it up to fuck with us.

Still vile.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 354September 1, 2021 12:51 PM

[quote] You have already broken your promise. I found it vile.In fact after tasting it I thought you were joking and had made it up to make us sick. Then I googled and found out it had been a traditional lentin dish and you did not make it up to fuck with us. Still vile.

Oh, no! Are you sure that you really made it? Of course I did not make it up to fuck with you. If you really made it and found it terrible, I'm sorry. But I really have been served this at a dinner party and I've made it myself for others at my place and I think it's delicious.

by Anonymousreply 355September 1, 2021 4:06 PM

Ugh. Martha, what were you thinking!

My roommate & I spent $60 on Thai food last week. I've decided to buy the Thai pastes and coconut milk and curry leaves, and make my own shit.

by Anonymousreply 356September 1, 2021 5:34 PM

R356, a friend of mine makes a run to the Asian market, buys all the veggie ingredients for Tom Yum in larger quanties, then divides them up into individual baggies (enough to make one batch of soup) and freezes them. He can then thaw, add chicken and or shrimp and chicken broth when ready. Saves a ton of money and solves the problem of figuring out what to do with all the extra lemongrass and kafir leaves you have if you only make one entree.

by Anonymousreply 357September 1, 2021 5:42 PM

Excellent idea R357. An Asian market just opened up and I got kafir leaves and lemongrass and all kinds of other ingredients. Because a lot of Vietnamese people ce to Romania in the 1970's to study and some stayed, there are quite a few ingredients that were a pleasant surprise and even a market. I just wish I had them all in one place but your post gave me an excellent idea to just do a day spree of stocking up and freezing. Does your friend freeze cilantro? (I want to buy it in a larger quantity and freeze it because they only supply once every 2 weeks).

by Anonymousreply 358September 1, 2021 8:18 PM

I'm single and cook for myself so I tend to eat a lot of leftovers. Even a split chicken breast is dinner one night and lunch the next day. I try to buy fresh produce from the local Asian market. They also sell fresh fish.

I do not "bulk" cook on weekends. I know WW recommends that for people who don't have a lot of time to cook but, as much as I like chicken, there's no way I'm cooking 3 or 4 chicken breasts so that I don't have to cook too much the rest of the week. I like my food freshly prepared and hot.

For those who are looking to save money, please know that the store brand pasta is most likely the same as the name brands. My ex used to work for a commercial scale company. He would often visit factories to calibrate their scales. He told me one factory was packing Barilla pasta when he got there. An hour later, they changed the boxes to some store brand. Makes sense since it's highly unlikely that Shop Rite is making it's own pasta products.

by Anonymousreply 359September 8, 2021 7:14 PM

$250-$300 is about right, not including wine, if you are a drinker, that is.

Costco is a great place to shop, the membership pays for itself and the prices are much lower than my local supermarkets. I stopped eating meat years ago, I still eat chicken and sometimes fish.

Costco has a great selection of frozen chicken (I prefer the plain Kirkland breasts), I also buy the already breaded frozen chicken.

The eggplant parmigiana is great. Costco always has an interesting selection of frozen foods. I also purchase the small Greek spinach pies and the mini-egg rolls. Since I stopped eating red meat, pork etc, I make my own concoctions of various soups, for one soup, I use the Costco bone brother or the Knorr bouillon as a base, I then add the Ling-Ling potstickers and the plain frozen Kirkland vegetables, it's my own version of a stew. I also add buckwheat sobu noodles which I purchase at a local Japanese mini-market.

My Costco isn't super large but they have fairly good selection of interesting foods, they sell seaweed, but not the sobu noodles.

Costco also has fresh burritos in the refrigerated area. The also have a great selection of hummus, salsas and guacamole. I try to keep my diet varied, easy to prepare and tasty. Of course, I also eat fruit.

by Anonymousreply 360September 9, 2021 3:58 AM

Did Costco pay you for that?

by Anonymousreply 361September 9, 2021 4:15 AM

My niece does not cook. She is like R360, her freezer is full of frozen family meals. She is a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids and a husband (who has a good job) and all she does is put the meals in the oven or microwave. I don't think I could eat frozen meals everyday, there's just too many chemicals in frozen foods.. There's nothing like a home-cooked meal.

by Anonymousreply 362September 9, 2021 9:59 AM

I made stuffed peppers for the first time in years with a bag full of bell peppers I got from Costco. They have avocados, tomatoes, cukes, mixed greens, and assorted veggies and fruits, that way cheaper than my grocery. Large carton of Greek yogurt also very versatile. In fact yesterday was a big cooking day. I work from home so I made stuffed peppers, a meat loaf, two pork tenderloins, and a batch of spaghetti sauce. Froze a lot of stuff. This weekend I'll probably make my lamb and eggplant stew, also good for freezing. I do like to roast a three or four chicken beasts because they're versatile.

I will cook like this maybe once a month. Believe it or not it saves me money. I may get bread, milk, and eggs, maybe a few items of fresh produce, but with prices so high I 'm doing the best I can. The other day I noticed a vey small jar of Fleischman's yeast was more than $6. That's a lot! Right now the only things that aren't too inflated are the bakery items, so I buy fresh bread for $3-4.

by Anonymousreply 363September 9, 2021 1:05 PM

If you have a family, I guess shopping at Costco makes sense but it’s only me. I don’t buy fruits or veggies there as I end up not able to eat it all.

by Anonymousreply 364September 9, 2021 6:18 PM

R364 - Yeah, I didn't do that back in LA but got a vit crazy during the pandemic and since only essential businesses were open for so long, I started exploring supermarkets...German ones, French ones, Italian and Romanain. Now I have a freezer FULL of meats and shit I need to cook with. My ex loved Cosco, but I thought it was crazy to have 12 frozen chicken breasts. I will try it based on the marketing R360 just did.

by Anonymousreply 365September 9, 2021 6:57 PM

Your niece is lazy R362. Cooking is the main part of being a stay at home wife, jeez what else is there for her to do!

by Anonymousreply 366September 9, 2021 7:27 PM

Live abroad. We usually shop everday or every other day for food. No Walmart here and we hate waiting in line at places like Aldi, Lidl, et., so we almost never go to these places. Our shopping budget is about 400€ (473$) per week for food for the 2 of us and our 4 dogs and 1 cat. We also go to a restaurant or order take away a few times per month on top. Food is definitely not cheap here! We went to a steakhouse a few weeks ago for my father-in-law's 70th birthday. 5 adults, 2 children. The bill was almost 800€! Absolutely insane. And NO, we are not fat or rich

by Anonymousreply 367September 9, 2021 7:31 PM

The Spinach pies at Costco are expensive. I found some really good ones at Trader Joe's that were a lot cheaper. At my Publix, it costs between $4-$6 for a small container of Mixed greens. If you want a large container of mixed greens they cost $7. At Costco a large container of mixed greens is $4. Some with tomatoes. The bell peppers in a bag at Costco were $4 for 6 bell peppers. The point of it all, including buying the chicken beasts, is that I want to avoid going to the store as much as possible, and I want to save money. Trader Joe's has good prices on produce too.

by Anonymousreply 368September 9, 2021 10:57 PM

R368 - I can make a fabulous lunch from Trader Joe's with about 4.50. I once did a calculations...get shit and Trader Joe's and some basic staples at Kroger's and you are good to go. Also, get as much at Wal Mart as possible...baby tomatoes, zucchini, baby spinach, flour, butter, Tyson and whole grain pastas and sides. Spruce it up with some Trader Joe's and suddenly you realize how restaurants and others rip you off daily

by Anonymousreply 369September 9, 2021 11:40 PM

I get my butter at Costco. I paid $9.99 or four one pound boxes. Much cheaper than a store.

by Anonymousreply 370September 10, 2021 2:34 AM

How long does that last you? That would be 6 weeks of butter for me.......

by Anonymousreply 371September 10, 2021 5:09 AM

Rather, more like 3 months.

by Anonymousreply 372September 10, 2021 5:10 AM

I found a really good pre-made pizza dough by Wewalka, which you unspool onto a sheet pan. The other day I made a white pizza with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. Used mozzarella and Monterey Jack and topped with basil from the garden. I got four servings out of it for approximately $10.

If you're able to grow herbs in your patio, back yard or garden, it's a huge savings and the herbs improve everything you make. Of course, the excess can be dried and stored.

The golden rule for freezing food is to label and date it with painter's tape, then use it within 3-6 months. Stews, stocks and soups freeze surprisingly well.

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by Anonymousreply 373September 10, 2021 6:05 AM

[quote][R364] - Yeah, I didn't do that back in LA but got a vit crazy during the pandemic and since only essential businesses were open for so long, I started exploring supermarkets...German ones, French ones, Italian and Romanain. Now I have a freezer FULL of meats and shit I need to cook with. My ex loved Cosco, but I thought it was crazy to have 12 frozen chicken breasts. I will try it based on the marketing [R360] just did. [quote]She is like [R360], her freezer is full of frozen family meals

What's the problem with frozen foods? Family meals? WTF are you talking about? I hate to shop, plus, I don't have the time to food shop weekly like most people do. My partner and I shop twice a month.

I can certainly cook, but my partner (who also cooks) and I have very stressful jobs. At least we prepare part of our meals from scratch. Lots of people order in almost every night. Talk about a waste of money and having unhealthy diets.

The Costco plain frozen chicken breasts are good value as are the Costco bags of frozen plain vegetables, the Stir Fry and Normandy mixes are great.

Not everyone has the time and energy to cook a meal from scratch every night.

by Anonymousreply 374September 10, 2021 6:08 AM

R374 - it is great for you because you're not a single guy with 12 frozen chicken breasts in the freezer.

by Anonymousreply 375September 10, 2021 6:53 AM

This woman feeds her family of 5 on $100 a week.

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by Anonymousreply 376September 10, 2021 7:14 AM

[quote][R374] - it is great for you because you're not a single guy with 12 frozen chicken breasts in the freezer.

WTF is the PROBLEM with anyone having "12 frozen chicken breasts in the freezer"? You seem obsessed with this topic, you sound unhinged. Not all single people shop daily for their dinner.

For me, keeping a well stocked fridge and pantry is about the convenience not having to shop daily or even weekly. I already stated I hate to shop.

btw, I know lots of single people who don't shop daily or weekly. Some even bring their lunch to work.

by Anonymousreply 377September 10, 2021 7:20 PM

I get a kick out of people who tell me they don't even make their coffee at home in the morning, drip coffee machines are cheap enough.

These people are half asleep, they then go out to a local coffee shop to get their coffee. WTF is that about?

I'm not talking about showering, getting ready for work, then picking up coffee and breakfast before going to work, I'm talking about getting out of bed, throwing on some clothes, then going out to buy coffee, then going back home to shower and prepare for work. WTF is the logic behind that?

by Anonymousreply 378September 10, 2021 7:23 PM

There is nothing convenient about 12 frozen chicken breasts. They're hard as rocks and have to be thawed a day in advance before they can be used. Thawing meats is inconvenient, time consuming and messy. It can be done. It can save money, but not really not much, especially when balanced against the inconvenience. Plus, you MUST factor in the cost of running that extra large refrigerator freezer 24 hours a day. For what? Rock hard chicken breasts.

And a separate freezer? Unthinkable. A colossal indulgence and waste of energy. Not to mention the space taken up in your home by a noisy freezer. No. Just no.

by Anonymousreply 379September 10, 2021 7:31 PM

I like having chicken breasts in the freezer. They're versatile. Sometimes I'll roast 4 at a time then refreeze them. I have a microwave so it doesn't take two days to thaw. And I will sometimes cook them frozen. I use them in salads, chicken stir fry, chicken pot pie, chicken cutlets, Chicken parmesan, and tons of other stuff. I get my 12 pak at Costco.

by Anonymousreply 380September 10, 2021 7:39 PM

Thai curries. I'm not claiming this is authentic, but it is a tasty shortcut, IMO. Here are the four necessary ingredients:

1. Thai curry paste. My preference is red curry paste.

2. Can of coconut milk. Full-fat, not low-fat. Do *not* use "Coco Lopez," which is sweetened and for piña coladas, etc.

3. Peanut butter, preferably smooth.

4. Fresh lime juice.

Make a curry sauce with these four ingredients and you can mix in whatever vegetables or meats you like. Good with rice.

by Anonymousreply 381September 10, 2021 7:49 PM

[quote]I like having chicken breasts in the freezer. They're versatile. Sometimes I'll roast 4 at a time then refreeze them. I have a microwave so it doesn't take two days to thaw. And I will sometimes cook them frozen. I use them in salads, chicken stir fry, chicken pot pie, chicken cutlets, Chicken parmesan, and tons of other stuff. I get my 12 pak at Costco.

I think the loon @R379, who is overly obsessed with NOT having chicken breasts in their freezer, has no clue how small those Kirkland frozen chicken breasts are. After cooking them, they shrink down to nothing.

"Extra large refrigerator freezer" WTF? My partner and I have a regular size fridge, with the freezer portion on top. We sure don't need an extra large fridge or separate freezer to stock up on ANY frozen foods. Seems this loon has no clue about the types of chicken breasts we are talking about, They might assume these chicken breasts are super large, like huge turkey breasts! 😂 🤣

My partner and I prepare the Kirkland chicken breasts roasted, use them for chicken salad, make chicken parmesan and I also cut them into pieces when I make chicken stew. I also add pieces to left over Chinese food. The plain chicken cutlets are very versatile and extremely convenient.

Let's ignore the Anti-Frozen Chicken Breast Troll. Boy, are they tedious.

by Anonymousreply 382September 10, 2021 8:04 PM

Everybody has different things that they find useful and will stock up on. My fridge / freezer probably look kind of odd to someone else, but I rarely waste food that I buy for myself (throw away due to spoilage, etc.).

by Anonymousreply 383September 10, 2021 8:07 PM

[quote]Let's ignore the Anti-Frozen Chicken Breast Troll. Boy, are they tedious.

My pronouns are He/Him.

by Anonymousreply 384September 10, 2021 8:18 PM

[quote] I think the loon @[R379], who is overly obsessed with NOT having chicken breasts in their freezer, has no clue how small those Kirkland frozen chicken breasts are.

No man, we are at least 2 different people telling you that having 12 frozen chicken breasts isn't ideal for single folks. He's the guy telling you they get rock hard and aren't so great. I am the single guy at R375. Also, I said it's different because I am single. Plus, how much of it can I, as a single guy, eat in one month? It would just hang around for 2 months. I also only eat meat once a week. Also, never had Kirkland. I get that big breast at Sprouts once a month and make a dish with it. It's organic and more expensive but then I alternate meats or proteins all the time so one week it's fish, another beef, another turkey, etc.

by Anonymousreply 385September 10, 2021 9:21 PM

Buy fresh chicken breasts. Marinate them in individual bags; then freeze. Before you go to work, put one in the fridge. It will defrost by the time you get home. I usually do six at a time.

There are about 3,000 different meals you can make with rotisserie chicken, another Costco specialty.

I thought the woman who spent 100 on food a month basically didn't give a shit. None of the stuff she served was made with any care. Granted having three young kids is exhausting..

I know I cycle in and out of cooking. Was big on it during the pandemic, then got burned out and am now finding my way back.

by Anonymousreply 386September 10, 2021 10:24 PM

R367 - just out of curiosity...what EU country do you live in? The prices sound like a Scandinavian country. 800 € is quite steep indeed. Of course, it depends on the food, establishment, number of people, beverages, etc.

by Anonymousreply 387September 10, 2021 10:55 PM

I never added it up before, but now that I am doing grocery pickup once a week instead of going to the grocery whenever I felt like it, It’s easy to total. I spend around $50 a week. That includes everything bought from the grocery store, so not just food. I don’t cook anything at home, so anything served hot is just something that goes in the microwave. I get a lot of frozen vegetables and frozen entrees (I never pay more than $2 for a frozen entree). For snacks, I get low-fat mozzarella sticks and cereal (store brand) with relatively low sugar content that I eat from the box. With frozen vegetables, you can get packages of various combinations with sauce and/or seasonings for $1.50 or sometimes a $1 and the contents are big enough to be a whole meal. I don’t eat desserts, except for some unsweetened apple sauce or low-fat yoghurt. I don’t try to eat cheap other than buying things when they are on sale and getting store brand for some things. I suppose I could eat cheaper if I clipped coupons or checked the sales more diligently.

by Anonymousreply 388September 11, 2021 2:36 AM

I spend about $100 per week if I buy meat or chicken. If not then I spend about $75.

by Anonymousreply 389September 11, 2021 2:38 AM

R381 - We did that last night but because the coconut flavor was still pretty detectable through it, we also added a dash of fish sauce, a few tablespoons of chicken broth, and before anything else we fried some onions, garlic, lemongrass and fresh ginger in oil and THEN browned the chicken cubes a bit. It is amazing. I find that carrots and some brown sugar are must tone down the heat. I was surprised at how well it turned out actually. I served it with fresh basil leaves and sprinkled some cashews on it.

by Anonymousreply 390September 11, 2021 8:33 AM

Sorry, but I am very wary about frozen meat. Or frozen anything. Does it still have flavor? Also, a freak about expiration dates. Always pick through things to find the item with the furthest expiration date. How many times have I been disappointed by something that turns mouldy or a strange color days BEFORE the expiration date. Not a snob but have a very sensitive stomach. Will continue to visit my local boulangeries, poissonneries, butcher shops , etc., as much as I can.

by Anonymousreply 391September 11, 2021 4:06 PM

[quote] We did that last night but because the coconut flavor was still pretty detectable through it, we also added a dash of fish sauce, a few tablespoons of chicken broth, and before anything else we fried some onions, garlic, lemongrass and fresh ginger in oil

R390, I'm glad you tried it! I'm sorry I wrote "1 can" of coconut milk. You really don't need the whole can. I first tried that shortcut b/c it was hard to always have lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves on hand.

by Anonymousreply 392September 11, 2021 4:21 PM

I usually spend 10-12k a month

by Anonymousreply 393September 11, 2021 10:54 PM

R392 - yes, I spruced it up with a bit of fish sauce for "umami" and some kaffir lime paste which is concentrated. Luckily, the coconut milk we added slowly until we got the right consistency. The biggest thing, according to what I read, is to fry some red onion a few minutes, and then on top of that fresh ginger, lemongrass, dried basil, and garlic because that makes such a difference. I kind of take an idea and research online and then work with what I have as it goes by until I get the taste I want. I almost always do a corn starch flurry with any liquid sauce as per a friend of mine who worked in a Chinese restaurant during college.

by Anonymousreply 394September 12, 2021 9:03 AM

My goodness, some of you sound absolutely ridiculous abut you obsession with fresh meat. You must realize not even 'fresh meat' found in the refrigerated section of a supermarket hasn't already been frozen. You have no idea what the meat industry does to your precious 'fresh meat'.

The only way any of you would likely be able purchase freshly cut meat, is if you can still shop at a local butcher shop. Not many of those places are still around.

Growing up in Brooklyn, there was a butcher shop around the corner from where we lived. Now it's some ridiculous hipster clothing shop.

by Anonymousreply 395September 12, 2021 12:08 PM

I was going to the local butcher shop, and they had these beautiful chickens, organic brand, I was paying about $12 for, and one day I found those fuckers at Costco for like $7.99. I stopped going to that store. You want fresh go to the source. There are some farmers who will sell direct. You have to take their word for it there are quality and safety controls in place but freshly killed poultry does taste different. My Granny used to go to "the chicken store" once a week to actually pick out the chickens in their cages, or wandering around the store, and the butcher would kill them and pluck them ( you had to re- pluck them at home). We even had a live turkey in a big cage in the basement a few days before thanksgiving and granny would kill it. And we did not live in a small town. We lived in a Chicago Suburb.

by Anonymousreply 396September 12, 2021 12:48 PM

"...and granny would kill it".

Poor thing.

by Anonymousreply 397September 12, 2021 5:28 PM

Certainly, animals you eat are not dead, r397.

by Anonymousreply 398September 12, 2021 5:33 PM

R398. For sure they are. But my granny didn't kill them with an axe....as far a I know.

by Anonymousreply 399September 12, 2021 6:03 PM

Yeah R395 and R396, not all of us came from tough immigrant grandparents who could kill their own birds or go to a butcher shop. I think my grandfather would have died if she saw such a thing and my other one NEVER set foot in a butcher shop. I am not an elitist...hell, I LOVE being in Eastern Europe and seeing things like this but this is all new to me. I freeze good meat too. I have to admit that R382 gave me some ideas and I got a buch of breast and will make a chicken in a white wine sauce with capers, one in a red pesto and pecorrino sauce and I will just stir fry the rest in a fried rice recipe in my wok.

by Anonymousreply 400September 12, 2021 10:45 PM

[quote]my other one NEVER set foot in a butcher shop.

So, exactly where did your grandparents purchase their meat? Or did they send their staff out to purchase all their food? Was it delivered?

Fresh chickens were prevalent, even in the 1960s and in big cities, not only in the boondocks. Customers could purchase live chickens. Not all customers necessarily killed their fresh chickens, but they'd pick out the specific chicken they wanted.

Years ago, at least in the US, people purchased their meat and poultry from a local butcher. There were fish stores which sold fresh fish. Few supermarkets sold meat, poultry and fish back then.

I grew up in a lower middle class Brooklyn neighborhood which had many butchers, fish stores and delis. Most of the food back then was fresh and people did not pay premium prices for fresh food. Fresh food was the norm.

by Anonymousreply 401September 14, 2021 4:19 PM

I visited working-class Brooklyn annually as a kid in the 60s to see my mother's relatives, and the small ethnic food store scene was very different from anything I encountered in a large Midwestern city. Large supermarkets were the norm here with ethnic bakeries and butchers sprinkled in, but you weren't picking out chickens or pointing out which lambs you wanted slaughtered. Before the internet and the Malling of America, there were distinct regional differences. Also you had a lot of different ethnicities represented in Brooklyn while in the Midwest they would each occupy different neighborhoods and would require special trips.

I thought Brooklyn had the Midwest beat hands down. An incredibly vibrant food scene. R401 was lucky to grow up with that.

by Anonymousreply 402September 14, 2021 5:26 PM

R402. I am old as hell but now "growing up" with this reality as an expat living in a farming community in Europe. We still have all of those things here. Butchers, Fish Shops, etc., This weekend, my father-in-law told us the he has Kobe beef reserved for us from a local farmer in his region. He told us that the cow will be slaughtered on x day and that he is planning a BBQ for the family here to sample the meat. Although I appreciate the gesture and great expense, I am struggling with the concept. It's one thing to buy mysterious meat at your local supermarket or butcher. Not the same as specifically coordinating the death of a beast for your consumption. When I discussed this with him over beers this weekend, he was completely puzzled by my concern and maybe rightfully so. We come from different worlds and I love him dearly.

by Anonymousreply 403September 14, 2021 7:14 PM

more than the cow! time for man steaks!

by Anonymousreply 404September 14, 2021 7:20 PM

R401 - my mom's mother lived and grew up in Pasadena, California so she really DID have a Mexican maid who did that (as non-politically correct as it sounds today). Later, when my mom and uncle were grown and grandpa died, she would wonder around the supermarket for fun and cook for herself (it's what I do...we are a strange family, I know...). My dad's parents had a cook as well, but it was common at the time. His mom was a ballerina and his dad was a tenor. Grandpa was a dandy but he DID love to fish and brought home his catch and grandma very rarely cooked...my grandpa did a lot of grilling. She did have a pasta sauce recipe and some Italian recipes but maybe once a year. I wrote about my grandpa at R14 here so you get the idea...not posh but at least bohemian and "off-center". It's why I am a bit warped.

Actually, a lot of Jewish families from NYC do have some pretty nice delis that also serve good cuts out where I live in LA and out here in Eastern Europe I can see a lot of where that food came from.

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by Anonymousreply 405September 14, 2021 7:50 PM

[quote]Fresh chickens were prevalent, even in the 1960s and in big cities, not only in the boondocks. Customers could purchase live chickens. Not all customers necessarily killed their fresh chickens, but they'd pick out the specific chicken they wanted. Years ago, at least in the US, people purchased their meat and poultry from a local butcher. There were fish stores which sold fresh fish. Few supermarkets sold meat, poultry and fish back then.

While yes, most towns still had butchers and maybe a fish monger, a 1960s supermarket had everything you needed.

by Anonymousreply 406September 14, 2021 11:07 PM

[quote] It's one thing to buy mysterious meat at your local supermarket or butcher. Not the same as specifically coordinating the death of a beast for your consumption. When I discussed this with him over beers this weekend, he was completely puzzled by my concern and maybe rightfully so. We come from different worlds and I love him dearly.

People who have seen Midsommar know what Europeans are like.

by Anonymousreply 407September 15, 2021 1:29 AM

We are very divorced from how people used to eat. There is much to be said for fresh ingredients, and especially in ingredients that spoil quickly, such as poultry and dairy products. However, having meat and vegetables available year-round is something that has only been available in northern climates for the past 60 years or so. Before that, people were limited in late fall, winter and spring to long-storing vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, onions, and heads of cabbage - in the past, these were stored in a root cellar - a cold, unheated part of a basement usually. Animals were only slaughtered at certain seasons of the year, and what was not eaten immediately was preserved by making sausages and hams, or salted and smoked. Fruits were only available in their season in whatever region people lived. In my northern location, the progression is rhubarb (available May-June), strawberries, cherries, raspberries, (June, early July), plums, peaches, (August) pears, and apples (September and October). Apples, if well-stored, could be eaten until perhaps February. Likewise, certain kinds of pumpkins and squash could be stored through winter, but wouldn't be edible by spring.

I don't think many of us would relish returning to that way of eating, which would mean that from February to April or May, there would be no fresh vegetables at all and only an occasional apple for fruit, if not too mealy. The cabbages might last until February if well-stored, but after that would be yellowed and shriveled. Carrots would be dry and shriveled too by the end of the winter. We would be eating dried beans, prepared by soaking and boiling, and flavored with bacon most of the time, or dried sausages and dried fish, or beef jerky. . We would have potatoes until those became too shriveled or moldy. Otherwise, flour products, such as bread and biscuits would be our sources of carbohydrates, or, perhaps some big bins of rice or oats could vary the grains.. Some root crops could be stored in the ground and dug out when the ground thawed, but still wouldn't taste anything like fresh vegetables taste in the summer.

Our modern food delivery system has made all sorts of crops available year-round from different climates and different hemispheres. Still, the very freshest of crops are those bought at a farmer's market in the summer or grown in one's back yard, and consumed that same day.

by Anonymousreply 408September 15, 2021 8:12 AM

[quote] We are very divorced from how people used to eat

And that is exactly what the vegan hairstylist whom I wrote about in another thread said. She said her grandparents ate freshly cut meat 2 times a year and the rest was preserved and most meals were dairy, seasonal veggies and fruits and lots of grains and legumes. Of course, they grew everything naturally but it's how she ate for a long time as well and her skin, hair and figure are flawless. There is a lot we can learn from that.

by Anonymousreply 409September 15, 2021 10:34 AM

I hate eating processed foods. So that's my problem with veganism. They promote Vegan "cheese" and it isn't cheese at all it's plants. Now I could go meatless if I could have some dairy. Eggs, milk, cheeses, yogurt, etc. But the plant based diet relies too much on "bacon" and "cheese" and a host of processed crap I am not into.

by Anonymousreply 410September 15, 2021 12:29 PM

[quote] We are very divorced from how people used to eat

Yes, that’s why you don’t see rickets, scurvy, beriberi, pellagra, etc. so much.

by Anonymousreply 411September 15, 2021 3:52 PM

What an exhausting thread!

From people's monthly food budget for one person to how fresh meat was, and is currently, purchased.

Leave it to DL! This place is better than taking a sleeping pill.

by Anonymousreply 412September 15, 2021 4:14 PM

Yet R412 obviously read the whole thread.

by Anonymousreply 413September 15, 2021 8:28 PM

It's a natural detour if you're talking about how expensive the freshest, most unadulterated food is. Staying on a food budget requires time, energy and planning. It's not hard to say "what the hell" when you're starving and want a good meal.

by Anonymousreply 414September 15, 2021 8:32 PM

[quote]Yet [R412] obviously read the whole thread.

Doll, it sure wasn't late at night when I posted. Different time zones, different countries etc, DL is an international forum. Are you new here?

Move it along toots!

by Anonymousreply 415September 15, 2021 8:36 PM

You can easily spend $50 on one dinner out. For the people who are trying to economize, how often do you go out and what sort of restaurant do you go to? Fine dining? Ethnic? Comfort food neighborhood joint?

I try to stick to Asian food or BBQ, and I try to limit it to no more than twice a month.

by Anonymousreply 416September 16, 2021 7:11 AM

My days of going out to dinner, ordering drinks, then wine with dinner, and a dessert are over. Now it's brunch or lunch.

by Anonymousreply 417September 16, 2021 1:48 PM
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