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Old 12-10-2011, 09:04 AM   #21
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I am eating pretty healthy food, I think. The problem is I want to eat good-tasting food, even if it costs more. Those often are not healthy.
You would be surprised. DW is an excellent cook and very focused on healthful preparations and ingredients. It does cost more but taste need not take a back seat to health .
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:08 AM   #22
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Eh, my wife is also a good cook. When I said good-tasting food, I meant more meat products. Though I am a ferocious carnivore, I do not believe in the paleolithic ("caveman") diet. As said in another post, I eat a lot of veggie. No medical study has said veggie is bad for you.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:14 AM   #23
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Eh, my wife is also a good cook. When I said good-tasting food, I meant more meat products. Though I am a ferocious carnivore, I do not believe in the paleolithic ("caveman") diet. As said in another post, I eat a lot of veggie. No medical study has said veggie is bad for you.
Peace

Check bison and Piedmont beef. Much lower levels of saturated fat.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:22 AM   #24
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Peace

Check bison and Piedmont beef. Much lower levels of saturated fat.
I had bison when stopping by Cheyenne, WY, on my RV trip. It's lean, and too dry. Healthy, for sure, but expensive and not good tasting compared to my everyday every-weekend beefsteak.

I never spent the time to study grass-fed beef vs. regular beef. It may be something to check into.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:27 AM   #25
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I use one of them vacuum sealer machines to prevent freezer burn on foods. Also, I use the machine to reseal potoato chip bags and put stuff like cookies and cereal in masson jars (air vacuumed out) to make them last longer.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:30 AM   #26
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I find a healthy diet that provides about 2500 calories and 90 grams of protein a day, costs me around $6 per day. Going much cheaper than that would require me to cut protein, healthy fat, fruit or vegs. With a lot of work, I think I could get that to $5 without compromise, but I already shop at Aldi, cook from scratch in bulk, keep a price notebook, etc.

I splurge on stuff like nuts, avacado, yogurt, cheese, hummus, berries, melon, etc. No meat though. IMO eating a broad, balanced diet is such an investment in long term health that we have to pay whatever it costs. The return is almost indisuptable.

I could get all my calories from flour for well under 50 cents a day. I wouldn't feel very good.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:33 AM   #27
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We're probably not on the low end spending $510/month for DW and I, but we like food/cooking and eat very well at home 5 nights/week.
  • We generally don't bother with coupons though we probably should.
  • We used to buy all our groceries at the most convenient well stocked grocery store near us. Now we go to Target first and buy everything on our on list they have, at about 20% lower prices. Then we buy the balance from our list at the local grocery store, but they've lost more than half our business to Target. We mostly buy produce and natural/organic at the higher priced grocery.
  • We also pay closer attention to discounts/specials. Where we used to stock up on staples only as needed, when we see staple items on sale, we buy whether we need them (at the time) or not.
  • We do try all the in store goods, many are equivalent so we stay with them. The ones that aren't equivalent, we just buy name brands.
  • We used to buy more expensive exotic ingredients, now we stay away from them for the most part. Also used to drink more expensive wines, now we're all about value wines except special occasions. Can't get DW to switch to a cheaper Scotch though (yet).
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:34 AM   #28
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Back on saving money on food, we have the advantage of living in the suburb of a metropolitan area. There are many competing groceries stores, who always have some sales. My wife just scans their flyers, and buys their loss-leaders. As most of these stores are in a 5-mi radius of my home, we do not spend a bunch on gas to make the rounds to scoop up the bargains.

Once a week, we would go to the further-out ethnic stores (15-20 miles) to get other bargains. It's something my wife enjoys doing (she shops for groceries and little else). No good deal escapes her.

PS. As posted in another thread on budget, we spend around $500/month.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:36 AM   #29
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Breakfast is 4 waffles or a bowl of oatmeal:$1, .60 cents
Lunch is a 4 meat frozen pizza and soda:$4
Evening meal is chef boyardee or chicken soup:$1
Food before bed varies: sometimes I have an easy to make microwaveable dish with noodles and vegies in a creamy sauce:$2 more often I just have a granola bar or 3-4 cookies: .25cents

Total of above comes to $5.85-$8/day. I've been consistenly very close to $200/mo for 1 person. Not the healthiest diet but i'm young(32) and very thin so it seems to be working fine. All blood test numbers are excellent.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:47 AM   #30
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All blood test numbers are excellent.
I never bothered to have annual doctor visits until I was 45. Ate anything I wanted, and still stayed thin. My friends who had meals with me were scared of my voracious appetite. When I began to have annual exams, things were still very good.

Then, slowly something changed. My BP and weight started to inch up. I began to watch my calorie intake more. Then, I changed my diet. Then, get into more physical activities. Still does not have the effect that I thought I should get.

So, if you are young, eat all you want now, because it is the best time in life to enjoy food.

PS. My BMI is 25. My doctor says I need to be lower.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:50 AM   #31
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I had bison when stopping by Cheyenne, WY, on my RV trip. It's lean, and too dry. Healthy, for sure, but expensive and not good tasting compared to my everyday every-weekend beefsteak.

I never spent the time to study grass-fed beef vs. regular beef. It may be something to check into.
It depends heavily on how you cook the bison. It generally requires a far more gentle hand than beef and it took me a bit of practice and experimentation to figure it out. Then again, since I will have nothing to do with factory farm beef and generally find beef to be excessively fatty, it may have a lot to do with personal preference.

I have not troubled myself to find grass fed beef here as of yet, since bison is readily available (they sell a variety of cuts at my local Costco).
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:58 AM   #32
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For a family of 4 plus a cat, we spend around $500/month on total groceries and household items, so probably $300-400/month just on food alone. I don't track household items separate from grocery (since most comes from walmart), but that is a rough approximation looking at recent receipts.

We eat well at home (a wide variety of good stuff), since it is typically way cheaper to cook well at home than go to a restaurant, and you know what is going into your food health wise.

Like you, OP, we mostly shop at walmart and buy mostly store brands there (as long as the quality is not compromised which it rarely is). But we also shop at the local grocery store a couple times a month to take advantage of sales prices (if we can save enough to justify a trip). And we shop at Aldi's, a deep discount grocer. Lately I bought a bunch of high quality low price fresh fruits, veggies, plus dairy items there. The ethnic stores make an infrequent appearance, and provide higher quality ethnic ingredients than walmart, but at lower prices than walmart, plus fresh veggies and fruits at cheaper prices typically.

Fresh fish is about the only thing we have a hard time getting at these combos of stores, and usually settle for whatever the local supermarket has (which occasionally means paying full price around $8-10/lb - typically for sushi which is still way cheaper than eating sushi at a restaurant).

Right now we don't shop at Sams/Costco/BJs because we don't want large quantities of a lot of things (not a ton of pantry space, no deep freeze, smallish fridge, etc). The warehouse club may be an option as the kids get older and we need larger quantities of 1 item.

We buy a bunch of fresh fruits and vegetables weekly or more often. Some are more expensive than others, so we focus on buying the most quantity of the cheapest items (apples, oranges, bananas typically for fruit, and carrots, celery, green peppers, onions, frozen peas, frozen broccoli, zucchini, and squash). We don't have a real hard time getting these for $0.50 to $1 per pound, but will pay more if we really want them or for convenience (to save a trip to another store for example).

For meat, we usually buy when on sale and freeze for later. Luckily for our budget, we like cheap meat. I like london broil, top round roast, and the like (lean meats), chicken breast, pork loins, etc. These are typically available around $2-2.50 per pound. Ground beef or ground turkey is also around $2/lb when on sale or close to sell by date.

DW likes some of the fattier cuts of meat, which in her case means cheaper meat. Chicken thighs/legs are $0.40-$0.50 on sale, and pork shoulders are under $2 all the time.

If we are cooking fish, frozen fish is ok. Salmon, flounder, tilapia, etc are usually $2-4 lb on sale and taste just fine to us.

Bottom line is that most fruits and veggies are $1/lb or less, and meats are around $2/lb on average.

Edit: about to go throw some carrots, celery, squash, zucchini, onions, green peppers, green peas and fresh sliced up steak into a stir fry and serve with rice and lo mein (made from $0.18 ramen and $5 sesame oil imported from japan! - the good $hit ). Mmmm good eatin!
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:02 AM   #33
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I never bothered to have annual doctor visits until I was 45.
The only reason I had annual blood tests done is because it was madatory with my former employer. They would have nurses come in to work once per year to take the tests. If you wanted health insurance thru work then you had no choice but to do the tests. Now that I don't have insurance I won't be getting any test done for many years.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:07 AM   #34
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Looking at my 2011 expenses, I averaged:
$38 / week on groceries
$76 / week on groceries + restaurants
$95 / week on groceries + restaurants + liquor store

I'm single, cook most of my own meals at home, try to eat healthy and don't really watch my food expenses, I just buy whatever I like.

I eat out about once per week and it's interesting to see that my annual restaurant expense is about the same as as my annual grocery bill. Big opportunity for savings there, but where would be the fun in that?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #35
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It depends heavily on how you cook the bison. It generally requires a far more gentle hand than beef and it took me a bit of practice and experimentation to figure it out. Then again, since I will have nothing to do with factory farm beef and generally find beef to be excessively fatty, it may have a lot to do with personal preference.

I have not troubled myself to find grass fed beef here as of yet, since bison is readily available (they sell a variety of cuts at my local Costco).
Agree with you cooking bison. It looks the same and leads many to cook the same way, which ends badly. Bison at Costco - that's something I've never seen. It would drive down the price around here, which is sorely lacking competition.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:14 AM   #36
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I guess one cost savings for me is my big vegetable garden & fruit trees. That gave me a lot of produce this summer, which I'll still be eating through winter and spring. (I canned and froze a lot of it). I know some people go nuts on that they spend on their garden, but my garden is pretty basic so it was a pretty minimal expense.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:29 AM   #37
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Rough estimate......around $200/mo, not including med's. I can pick up a nice lunch with veggies for $6-7 and can usually get 2 meals out of it. Cereal for breakfast, something light at night and there is not much cost in a day. I do eat out here and there at night, but no real expensive restaurants around my area. Now if I lived in a city like Ha or W2R, I would have to get out more and enjoy the nicer restaurants. Food expense would certainly go up.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:33 AM   #38
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We spend about $225/week for 2 people. I cook everything from scratch and our meals are generally simple. It's the "extras" that add up pretty quickly like wine and artisan cheeses.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:37 AM   #39
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Agree with you cooking bison. It looks the same and leads many to cook the same way, which ends badly. Bison at Costco - that's something I've never seen. It would drive down the price around here, which is sorely lacking competition.
It does not hurt that I live maybe 30 minutes from at least one herd. The Costco here even sells stuff like bison hot dogs.

I have thought about buying a quarter bison from one of the local ranches, but since I am the only one in the family that eats it and I travel a lot for work, 100 pounds of bison would be long in the tooth by the time I was finished.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #40
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Hard to calculate "our food" from the grocery bill since I buy a lot of other stuff there. Easily over $700 to 800/month which includes paper products, detergents/cleaning, pet food, etc. We have 2 dogs and 1 cat indoors. Also 2 stray cats we feed. I've noticed the cost of feeding our animals has risen as well. One has diabetes so we put them both on dog food from the vet (expensive!)

I cook a lot as there are not any good places to eat in our small city. Just the usual fast foods, Applebees,etc. The food at the local eateries is actually worse than what I cook at home. That is a disincentive to eat out. When we eat out, we drive 45 minutes to an hour to the larger cities near us.

If I ballpark the grocery bill and the eating out bill perhaps 8 times a month...it is easily over $1000 a month and sometimes more. 2 people, 2 dogs, 3 cats. That includes the other things we use as well...paper products, detergents, cleaners etc. No Costco near us - an hour away.
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