Jump to content




Welcome to CreditBoards!


Sign In 

Create Account
Welcome to CreditBoards! Like most online communities, you must register to post in our community, but don't worry - this is a simple process requiring minimal information for you to sign up. Be a part of CreditBoards by signing in or creating an account.
  • Start new topics and reply to others
  • Subscribe to topics to get email updates
  • Get your own profile page and make new friends
  • Send personal messages to other members.
 
Guest Message by DevFuse

Read These Items!

  • Please note changes to the Terms of Service for Creditboards.com.  A "plain language" summary has been added to the TOS and to the registration agreement.  No other changes were made.  If you post after you read this, we consider that acceptance of the new terms.  If you have any questions concerning the new terms, please feel free to PM an admin or email admin@creditboards.com
  • If you're getting an Authentication mismatch error: Clear your cache. Log out of CB. Delete your cookie. Close your browser. Open your browser and log back in.
  • Yo!  AOL email is bouncing and they aren't giving us a way to get off their blacklist.  If you're registered with an AOL email address and you have another one you can use in your settings, please change your email on record, so you can get the notifications you're expecting.


Photo

Spending too much on food!


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#1 Omari

Omari
  • Members
  • 33 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:49 AM

Hi,

I just did a post-mortem of my 2009 finances, and overall I did fairly well. Except for the fact that I averaged a spend of $895.97 per month on things other than rent and student loans (no car). $346.67 of that spend was on food!

I'm living in the San Jose area right now, and I'm wondering what you think of my expenses for someone in my situation (single, 23 y/o, no kids), and where I can afford to make some cuts?

What do you usually spend on food per month? What would be a reasonable target for me to aim toward?

For the coming year (and last year), I've seen that I have only $181.84 per month in fixed expenses (not counting rent and loans), and the rest was/is spent on food and other random stuff I'm trying to figure out.

Basically, the food line item is the one that is really killing me, and I'm just trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, and what is an average amount to target.

Thanks all!

Edited by Omari, 04 January 2010 - 01:50 AM.

  • 0



#2 MB82x

MB82x
  • Members
  • 774 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:40 AM

If you really want to save money on food...

Fresh fruit (what's on sale, preferably), fresh vegetables (some are surprisingly cheap).

Stay away from ready to eat food, single serving versions of things (especially drinks!)... drink more water, less soda and juice...

Pasta and beans are good ways to add "substance" to your food... (eating a plate of green beans is going to make you hungry again very quickly).

Make eating out / ordering delivery the rare exception, not the norm.

Have a plan for your food - don't buy something because you "might want it at some point".

Go shopping with a list. Don't wander the aisles looking for something to buy...

Buy things on sale, use coupons. Preferably buy things sale AND use a coupon.
  • 0

#3 Jdraper

Jdraper
  • Members
  • 103 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:41 AM

I spend about that much on food, too, and I'm also single.

Food is expensive, and unless you're eating ramen and dollar-menu burgers, there isn't really a way around it that I've found.
  • 0

#4 jolla

jolla
  • Members
  • 575 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:53 AM

$346.67 of that spend was on food!

Groceries only? Or groceries and dining out?
  • 0

#5 Pimp_My_Ride

Pimp_My_Ride
  • Members
  • 388 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:58 AM

When you say 'food' do you really mean food or do you mean 'money spent @ grocery stores'? I freaked out once, too and then it occurred to me that we buy cleaning products, OTC medicine, etc @ the 'grocery' store. Those can jack up a bill in a hurry.
  • 0

#6 kb1gra

kb1gra
  • Members
  • 307 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:22 PM

Well, here's what I do.

I buy a big box of sandwich baggies at Walmart.

Then, I head for the meat department. You can usually buy two small steaks, or four small chicken breasts, for around $5 each. These will make four meals each, for a total of 8 meals for $10.

Buy a big bag of basmati rice, and pasta when it's on sale a dollar a box. Measure out portions of the size you would usually make (I typically make 1 cup pasta, or 1/2 cup rice or couscous). This helps keep you from making more than you'll eat and throwing it out.

I also buy Annie's mac and cheese at BJs where it is less than $1 per box in bulk.

Buy canned soup on sale or store brand if you have it.

Buy larger loaves of white bread (or wheat, or whatever) and make toast for breakfast. You get more meals per loaf than you would get from a box of cereal.

Here is my shopping list for this week:

Boneless Chicken Breast 3lbs $3.34 (it was buy 2 get 1 free, so I got 3 1lb packages)
Navel oranges 12lbs $5.40 (I use one bag for fruit for my lunches, and make juice with the rest as a treat)
Lean cuisine entrees $10 (they do specials where they're 5 for $10, so I take some for lunch or I'm too tired to cook)
Sliced Turkey 1lb $2.64 (buy one get 1 free, I bought 1/2lb)
Chicken Nuggets $5.49 for 48oz (10 meals for me)
Salad dressing $2 for 2 bottles (buy 1 get 1)
White bread $1.69 for 2 loaves (buy 1 get 1)
Baguette $1.99 (makes 3 sandwiches)
Orange juice 2 for $3
Frozen ravioli $3 for 3lbs
Pretzels $1.77
Poptarts 99cents (we all run late sometimes!)
Pasta $3 for 3lbs
Fruit cocktail $1.89 for 30 oz
Macaroni and cheese $3 for 3 boxes
Salad 2 for $5 (enough for 8 salads)
yogurt $5 for 10

Total: $59.20 and enough food for one person for two weeks, given the supplies I already have like rice and peanut butter.

Meals look something like this:

Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter, orange slices, coffee at work (where it's free)
Lunch: Small salad with two chicken nuggets (made at home so they're crispy, then sliced) and dressing, yogurt, water
Dinner: Ravioli and meatballs (bought on sale, carefully portioned so I don't cook too much and not eat it)

Breakfast: poptart and coffee at work
Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with fruit cocktail, yogurt, and water
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with rice

I eat as a single person for under $100 a month, easily. I buy stuff when it's on sale, don't buy what's not, and I plan meals around being able to make small amounts of things. A loaf of bread can make at least 8 breakfasts (2 slices of toast) and another 6 lunches. When I buy meat, as soon as I get it home I cut each piece of meat in half and freeze them in separate baggies. A pound of meat makes 4 meals.

When I buy rice, I take the whole container and scoop out half cup servings. This also helps you see how MUCH you're buying when you buy a bag of rice. I know when I buy a 5lb bag of rice that I will get at least 12 half cup servings out of that, and each box of pasta has another six servings. A bag of rice is about $2, so for $4 I have rice and pasta to go with 24 meals a month.

The biggest thing that cut my expenses when i realized I was spending too much on food was that I was making more than I'd eat, filling the fridge with leftovers, and throwing them out. Now, I only cook exactly what I will eat. A small portion of meat, some rice, and if I'm still hungry later I'll grab a granola bar. This, combined with buying things on sale, stretched what I was buying a lot farther. If I make mac and cheese, I save what I don't eat and eat it at work the next day, but I don't plan on keeping leftovers longer than that because I won't eat them.

It requires organization, and work, but once you get the hang of it it's really easy. My list above has enough food for 35 meals if you plan them well.
  • 0

#7 radi8

radi8
  • Admin
  • 27,399 posts
      Reputation: 2,500

Posted 04 January 2010 - 07:28 PM

Food is expensive, and unless you're eating ramen and dollar-menu burgers, there isn't really a way around it that I've found.


Very true. And IMO there is a long-term cost involved with eating "bad" food that should be calculated into the equation. Eating healthy foods will probably serve you well later in life.

DW and I have a chest freezer in the basement, we'll buy stuff that's on-sale and divide it up into dinner-size packages. Esp. with meats, it's about the only way to get a good deal on smaller sized portions.

#8 GEORGE

GEORGE
  • Members
  • 81,453 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:29 PM

Food is expensive, and unless you're eating ramen and dollar-menu burgers, there isn't really a way around it that I've found.


Very true. And IMO there is a long-term cost involved with eating "bad" food that should be calculated into the equation. Eating healthy foods will probably serve you well later in life.

DW and I have a chest freezer in the basement, we'll buy stuff that's on-sale and divide it up into dinner-size packages. Esp. with meats, it's about the only way to get a good deal on smaller sized portions.

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"
  • 0

#9 texaninfl7115

texaninfl7115
  • Members
  • 314 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:42 PM

I have a farmer's market close to me so I buy a lot of fresh produce there for cheap. We eat a LOT of vegetables. My wife and I don't have any kids but we try to get the most for our dollar. I do most of our grocery shopping at Walmart and I use coupons or buy things on sale. For the things we eat or use a lot of, I buy those items at Costco.

As someone suggested, beans are a hearty and inexpensive way to get some bulk out of your food.
  • 0

#10 Operation_Home_Ownership

Operation_Home_Ownership
  • Members
  • 1,633 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:56 PM

Single also...Costco and a box of freezer bags are your friend. I have gotten the grocery bill down to about $200.00/mth if not hosting a party.

Buy what you need in bulk, take the time to divide the bounty up, freeze and cook only what you will eat up in a couple of meals. Perishable items like bread, milk, etc are picked up as needed at the reg grocery store as I do not drink gallons of milk or twin loafs of bread in a timely manner, so going smaller in these categories helps.

Limit the eating & drinking out until you are operating completely on cash [debit] when you do so. I find I indulge more when I break out a CC to eat out. A little discipline a few cuts here & there and I have found 'surplus' cash in which to blow on social time outs in this way. I havent missed a beat.

Edited by Operation_Home_Ownership, 04 January 2010 - 09:24 PM.

  • 0

#11 kb1gra

kb1gra
  • Members
  • 307 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 09:16 PM

While I know for $100 a month I'm not eating the best health food, but I'm also not shopping at whole foods on a $30,000 a year salary.

Most comes from BJs, or the local grocery store that has extensive sales. I eat veggies when I can, and get them from the farmers market in the summer when it's available. We have brutal winters here so fresh produce is imported and expensive. I've found that the meat at BJs is sometimes even better than what is available at Whole Foods.

The key to buying in bulk is dividing it up. Divide up everything, rice, beans, pasta. It really does make a difference...you eat less, and waste less.

Edited by kb1gra, 04 January 2010 - 09:17 PM.

  • 0

#12 Operation_Home_Ownership

Operation_Home_Ownership
  • Members
  • 1,633 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 09:20 PM

While I know for $100 a month I'm not eating the best health food, but I'm also not shopping at whole foods on a $30,000 a year salary.

Most comes from BJs, or the local grocery store that has extensive sales. I eat veggies when I can, and get them from the farmers market in the summer when it's available. We have brutal winters here so fresh produce is imported and expensive. I've found that the meat at BJs is sometimes even better than what is available at Whole Foods.

The key to buying in bulk is dividing it up. Divide up everything, rice, beans, pasta. It really does make a difference...you eat less, and waste less.


Sheesh, IMO Whole Foods is the MOST expensive place to buy items, no matter what your income level is. Items can be found elsewhere for a better price 10 out of 10 times.
  • 0

#13 Guest_Authorization_*

Guest_Authorization_*
  • Guests
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:06 PM

Stock-up on things when they are on sale.

#14 Guest_Authorization_*

Guest_Authorization_*
  • Guests
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:07 PM

Prepare your own meals.

#15 GEORGE

GEORGE
  • Members
  • 81,453 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:08 PM

Stock-up on things when they are on sale.

I do that all the time...

Then I won't buy it when it is not on sale (most of the time)
  • 0

#16 GEORGE

GEORGE
  • Members
  • 81,453 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:09 PM

Prepare your own meals.

Sometimes it saves money...SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T
  • 0

#17 Guest_Authorization_*

Guest_Authorization_*
  • Guests
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:18 PM

SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T

True.

#18 Guest_Authorization_*

Guest_Authorization_*
  • Guests
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:19 PM

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"

Unhealthy fast food and supermarket equivalents.

#19 radi8

radi8
  • Admin
  • 27,399 posts
      Reputation: 2,500

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:34 PM

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"

Unhealthy fast food and supermarket equivalents.



now you've gone and done it. You pulled the trigger for the "FOOD POLICE" post. :rofl:

#20 Operation_Home_Ownership

Operation_Home_Ownership
  • Members
  • 1,633 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:58 PM

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"

Unhealthy fast food and supermarket equivalents.


now you've gone and done it. You pulled the trigger for the "FOOD POLICE" post. :rofl:


Doesnt GEORGE love his fine dinning at TACO BELL? Defends it tooth & nail on more than one occasion. Plus the .40 cent soda machine?

.40, .89 & .99 cents for food may fall under a thirfty budget, but the waistline is a separate issue.
  • 0

#21 GEORGE

GEORGE
  • Members
  • 81,453 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:07 PM

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"

Unhealthy fast food and supermarket equivalents.

I would walk a mile for a double cheese burger

I wouldn't walk across the street for broccoli (even if there was a $10 cash gift at the door)

Edited by GEORGE, 04 January 2010 - 11:08 PM.

  • 0

#22 GEORGE

GEORGE
  • Members
  • 81,453 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:11 PM

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"

Unhealthy fast food and supermarket equivalents.



now you've gone and done it. You pulled the trigger for the "FOOD POLICE" post. :rofl:

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO EAT WHAT EVER GARBAGE YOU WANT...WHY CAN'T EVERYBODY ELSE
  • 0

#23 radi8

radi8
  • Admin
  • 27,399 posts
      Reputation: 2,500

Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:47 PM

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"

Unhealthy fast food and supermarket equivalents.



now you've gone and done it. You pulled the trigger for the "FOOD POLICE" post. :rofl:

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO EAT WHAT EVER GARBAGE YOU WANT...WHY CAN'T EVERYBODY ELSE


They can. No problem with eating whatever they want. I merely pointed out that a diet of "bad" foods has long-term costs that should be taken into consideration.

#24 Pimp_My_Ride

Pimp_My_Ride
  • Members
  • 388 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:53 PM

I would walk a mile for a double cheese burger

I wouldn't walk across the street for broccoli (even if there was a $10 cash gift at the door)



Touche'...

Love it.
  • 0

#25 GEORGE

GEORGE
  • Members
  • 81,453 posts
      Reputation: 0

Posted 05 January 2010 - 12:19 AM

What exactly is "BAD FOOD"

Unhealthy fast food and supermarket equivalents.



now you've gone and done it. You pulled the trigger for the "FOOD POLICE" post. :lol:

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO EAT WHAT EVER GARBAGE YOU WANT...WHY CAN'T EVERYBODY ELSE


They can. No problem with eating whatever they want. I merely pointed out that a diet of "bad" foods has long-term costs that should be taken into consideration.

LAST NIGHT I HAD CRUNCY TACOS and CHEESE ROLL-UPS FROM TACO BELL

Tonight I had smashed tatoes...green peas (Del Monte)...(needless to say)...a couple of spoons of hamburger (browned in a pan) with KETCHUP on it...and a glass of 2% milk

Sometimes I eat good...sometimes I eat bad

I have actually had people tell me it is better to eat NOTHING then eat GARBAGE as some here like to call what I like (FAST FOOD)
  • 0




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users





© Copyright 2003 - 2015 Creditboards.com. All rights reserved. No portion of this site may be reproduced without explicit permission from the owners. The content of creditboards.com is subject solely to the personal whim of its admins. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to remove any and all posts or comments, at any time, for any reason which takes our entirely capricious fancy, or for no particular reason whatsoever, without restriction. Comments or questions regarding the site may be addressed to admin@creditboards.com.