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Old 11-18-2013, 08:13 AM   #81
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A food budget is important and a big factor, but a Europe vacation will cost $3000+ including flights, hotel, and dining for just one week. That is an extra $250 a month for a year.

So maybe one person likes to vacation and eats beans and rice, while the other likes to cook fancy meals but prefers staying at home.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:56 AM   #82
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Can I do both? Will you call me greedy?

PS. I am not traveling right now, but just finished surfing youtube looking for ideas to braise lamb shank.

PPS. Chef John on youtube recommended adding a bit of cinnamon to the braising liquid. This, I will do.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:23 AM   #83
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Also, the snap program is a SUPPLEMENTAL program (That's the S), it is not meant to be the sole source of food dollars for the recipient, but is intended to supplement their food dollars. What we used to call food stamps and now call snap has morphed from assistance to full support in news articles such as this (and by many politicians).
Yes, this is always confusing.
I'd say that the maximum SNAP benefit is intended to pay the entire cost of "thrifty" meals.
But, most recipients do not get the maximum benefit. They have some income, and the SNAP formula assumes they will spend some of that income on food.
So the average SNAP benefit is not intended to pay the entire cost of "thrifty" meals.

A politician who wants to make a point of eating on a SNAP budget should spend the maximum benefit, which is about $6.30/day for a single person or $5.27/day per person for a family of four.

And, that politician doesn't have to make it up as he goes along. He can look at the SNAP education program in his state to get the advice they provide.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:45 AM   #84
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A food budget is important and a big factor, but a Europe vacation will cost $3000+ including flights, hotel, and dining for just one week. That is an extra $250 a month for a year.

So maybe one person likes to vacation and eats beans and rice, while the other likes to cook fancy meals but prefers staying at home.
A long time ago I realized that my real life is what I did 11 months/year, and the vacation month was only to let off pressure. So to me, I want the 11 months to be as good as possible, and the vacation if any is subordinate. Modern leisure travel IMO has little to recommend it, at least compared to making everyday life like food, entertainment, and books better.
Yesterday I had my woman friend over. We watched the Seahawks, had a drink, and I fixed salad and lamb chops and Brussels sprouts, with a claret.

OK, there's $28, even with a cheap wine. Oh yeah, coffee, and I don't use Maxwell House So already I am in the hole for Sunday according to the frugalistas. Not only that, one's attractiveness to others depends at least in part on what their experiences with him are like, and what expectations they can reasonably form.

You may be different, but when I accept a dinner invitation, it at least in part depends on what I will be expected to eat, as well as what other experiences I might look forward to.

I know different regions are different in food costs, eg. Texas is cheap. But there are limits to this, and often if one thing is cheaper, another thing costs more.

One summer I didn't want to live in my parent's home, so I took a room nearby with an old man who had been wealthy his entire life. I didn't eat there, thank heavens, but I saw his food. Not pretty!

I stand pat on my statement- there is something a little unusual about millionaires eating on a budget very similar to SNAP recipients. It is absurd to categorize this as "living to eat". If I were living to eat, I wouldn't weigh the same as I did in high school.

If people with plenty money prefer to save it, or spend it on travel, hooray for them. But there is no inherent virtue in this stance.

Ha
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:49 AM   #85
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...had a drink, and I fixed salad and lamb chops and Brussels sprouts, with a claret.

OK, there's $28, even with a cheap wine.

Ha
That $28 would have bought maybe one glass of wine each, if that, at a restaurant.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #86
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I spent roughly $300 a month on groceries this year. I buy as much organic as I can, and grow some of my own produce. I've been eliminating meat from my diet over this year so I guess my grocery cost will drop some in the future.

This thread prompted me to inventory my freezer and I realize I have enough to feed myself for a few months...or more. My goal is to eat that food and start buying what I eat...no more stocking up like I still have 2 boys at home.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:18 AM   #87
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A long time ago I realized that my real life is what I did 11 months/year, and the vacation month was only to let off pressure. So to me, I want the 11 months to be as good as possible, and the vacation if any is subordinate. Modern leisure travel IMO has little to recommend it, at least compared to making everyday life like food, entertainment, and books better. Yesterday I had my woman friend over. We watched the Seahawks, had a drink, and I fixed salad and lamb chops and Brussels sprouts, with a claret. OK, there's $28, even with a cheap wine. Oh yeah, coffee, and I don't use Maxwell House So already I am in the hole for Sunday according to the frugalistas. Not only that, one's attractiveness to others depends at least in part on what their experiences with him are like, and what expectations they can reasonably form. You may be different, but when I accept a dinner invitation, it at least in part depends on what I will be expected to eat, as well as what other experiences I might look forward to. I know different regions are different in food costs, eg. Texas is cheap. But there are limits to this, and often if one thing is cheaper, another thing costs more. One summer I didn't want to live in my parent's home, so I took a room nearby with an old man who had been wealthy his entire life. I didn't eat there, thank heavens, but I saw his food. Not pretty! I stand pat on my statement- there is something a little unusual about millionaires eating on a budget very similar to SNAP recipients. It is absurd to categorize this as "living to eat". If I were living to eat, I wouldn't weigh the same as I did in high school. If people with plenty money prefer to save it, or spend it on travel, hooray for them. But there is no inherent virtue in this stance. Ha
Hmmm, I got the opposite message from your intent. $28 spent with a lady friend coming over and showing up at your doorstep? Sounds like a very frugal way to gain favor with a member of the opposite sex! And a helluva lot cheaper than marriage.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #88
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Hmm... Didn't see Haha mention any dessert and digestif? The latter is essential, I would think.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #89
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Hmmm, I got the opposite message from your intent. $28 spent with a lady friend coming over and showing up at your doorstep? Sounds like a very frugal way to gain favor with a member of the opposite sex! And a helluva lot cheaper than marriage.
Hey, I agree with you. And the whole story is quite a bit better.

Ha
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #90
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I stand pat on my statement- there is something a little unusual about millionaires eating on a budget very similar to SNAP recipients. [...]If people with plenty money prefer to save it, or spend it on travel, hooray for them. But there is no inherent virtue in this stance.
I feel that way, too. It is wonderful to be able to afford delicious, healthy food that appeals to me, instead of fattening, artery-clogging food that has no appeal other than sustaining life (for a time). I can't imagine voluntarily limiting myself to the food I could buy on such a low budget, any more than I could imagine voluntarily refusing to enjoy and appreciate our well known local restaurants/chefs, and instead cooking everything myself at home. I don't have to scrimp on food, and I won't. But as you point out, these are choices and others may make different choices.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #91
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What I was trying to say is that for some people, dining out 15 times a year at $60 each might be as enjoyable as shelling out $3000 for one week's entertainment.

We use blankets in the winter instead of heating the whole house, eat quite a bit of rice and beans, and shelled out $16,000 for two brand new sleds (ok, they were the previous year model and on deep sale, but still new). No financing of course.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:03 AM   #92
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Hey, I agree with you. And the whole story is quite a bit better.

Ha
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:10 AM   #93
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600-800 per person. I view food as chemotherapy to prevent diseases. So our is packed with fruits, vegetables, fish, dark chocolate, nuts, red wine.

We don't dine out much.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:31 AM   #94
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Speaking of cooking at home, I have found that I tend to eat less when I am the cook. Do not know why - can one get calories from just the aroma? - but I have the "girlie" figure to prove it. I do like watching people enjoying what I cook.

And when we do eat out, I tend to be more fussy when choosing a restaurant because I cook. My wife knows people who are owners of 3 or 4 Italian restaurants in town that seem to be thriving. She had eaten there a few times, and was raving about it. So for a family dinner we went there one time. When the dishes came out, whether it was seafood pasta or chicken, they appeared to be drenched in the same generic sauce that they poured on everything. It was not bad, but not as good as I expected.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #95
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Speaking of cooking at home, I have found that I tend to eat less when I am the cook. Do not know why - can one get calories from just the aroma? - but I have the "girlie" figure to prove it.
Eating out once in a while does that to a person. If you ate out regularly, you would order differently and just eat a reasonable amount at restaurants (despite their serving sizes big enough for four people, there is no reason to eat ALL of it any more than you would overeat at home).

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And when we do eat out, I tend to be more fussy when choosing a restaurant because I cook. My wife knows people who are owners of 3 or 4 Italian restaurants in town that seem to be thriving. She had eaten there a few times, and was raving about it. So for a family dinner we went there one time. When the dishes came out, whether it was seafood pasta or chicken, they appeared to be drenched in the same generic sauce that they poured on everything. It was not bad, but not as good as I expected.
I pity those of you living in "restaurant hell". It doesn't sound worth the time and money to eat out, where you live.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:41 AM   #96
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Speaking of cooking at home, I have found that I tend to eat less when I am the cook. Do not know why - can one get calories from just the aroma? - but I have the "girlie" figure to prove it. I do like watching people enjoying what I cook. And when we do eat out, I tend to be more fussy when choosing a restaurant because I cook. My wife knows people who are owners of 3 or 4 Italian restaurants in town that seem to be thriving. She had eaten there a few times, and was raving about it. So for a family dinner we went there one time. When the dishes came out, whether it was seafood pasta or chicken, they appeared to be drenched in the same generic sauce that they poured on everything. It was not bad, but not as good as I expected.
I definitely agree. I eat less when I eat at home. I don't eat out more than once a week, not because my wallet can't afford it, it's my waistline that can't. I stay fairly vigilant to keep myself in shape, and since I am a "plate cleaner" restaurants would make me fat in no time. I guess I have some "low rent" blood in me, because I prefer cheap junk food over "good healthy" food. If I didn't have any discipline or were not cognizant of the impact food choices make on your health, I would have a short food rotation of potato chips, hamburgers, pizza, pasta, snack cakes, and candy.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:41 AM   #97
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I view food as chemotherapy to prevent diseases. So our is packed with fruits, vegetables, fish, dark chocolate, nuts, red wine.
That is a good way of looking at your food budget.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #98
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I no longer go to typical American restaurants that give such big portions that you have to take home a doggy bag. My favorite French restaurant (owned by a French) would not leave you hungry at the end of 2 or 3 hr dinner, but they won't stuff you either. It's also not cheap to gorge oneself there. But I'd rather have quality than quantity at this point in life.

Yes, there are good restaurants here, but they tend to be expensive, hence I do not go often.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #99
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...(despite their serving sizes big enough for four people, there is no reason to eat ALL of it any more than you would overeat at home).
Seems Mexican and Italian joints are the worst at giving such outrageous portions. But I always get another meal or two by taking advantage of go-boxes.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #100
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Seems Mexican and Italian joints are the worst at giving such outrageous portions. But I always get another meal or two by taking advantage of go-boxes.
We generally split a meal between the two of us, as our main meal of the day, and even then we often get to-go boxes. The waiters are very nice about it and admit that nobody in his right mind would eat an entire serving. We also don't order just *anything* we want on the menu; that would be a fast way to extra pounds too. I have lost 42 pounds since last spring, while eating lunch out every single day. For me, wise choices and portion control are more important for weight loss than whether I eat at a restaurant or at home. Eating sensibly at restaurants also keeps the cost down.
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