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Old 11-18-2013, 05:19 PM   #141
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Arborio rice is what they carry, but every store carries that. I did a bit better with chorizo sausage. Not imported, but made in USA to Spanish style. Hmmm... It's more expensive than the typical Mexican chorizo, so it's better be good.
The regular grocery stores in SoCal care Portuguese linguiça which is very similar to Spanish chorizo. I like to make paella on the BBQ, but I have no good advice for the bomba rice.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #142
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Great results, W2R! DH and I are working on controlling/losing weight ourselves, following Weight Watchers. DH is within 10 pounds of goal and I have, ahem, more to go. We just talked about the above this week.

The past 6 months we haven't been losing much weight (not gaining, just sort of staying in place). DH pointed to the fact that we had moved from eating out twice a week to 3 OR 4 times. I told him I didn't really think it was that. Rather it was not making as good choices. We happened to be at Chili's at the time. I pointed out that there are plenty of things at Chili's (or Panera - another favorite) that I could eat every day and still stay within my WW points. That day, I went in and scanned the nutritional information for Chili's (on my iPad) and just didn't even look at things beyond the amount of calories I wanted to eat. I know when I go there that there are 5 or 6 things that I can eat every day with no problem. Same thing at Panera. I could eat there every day as long as I stick with the several things that work well for me (usually a pick 2 with a salad and soup or rarely a lesser calorie sandwich).

So it isn't the eat out a lot that causes weight gain (or not losing). It is eating out a lot without making the best choices.
+1

I couldn't agree more! I am following WW also, and choices are so important for me when eating out. Also, most of the restaurants that we eat at, do not have nutritional information online since we prefer "mom 'n' pop restaurants" rather than chains. So, figuring the points is a puzzle. My approach is to always try to over-estimate the WW points of the meal I select. I just assume that the chef wasn't thinking about my waistline when he prepared that gumbo or grilled that chicken breast. That approach seems to be working for me, although I have been on a plateau for a couple of weeks. I am hanging in there and this too shall pass.

And thanks!
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:32 PM   #143
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We are lucky in that we have a lot of restaurants so tons of competition including drink prices . We usually eat out once or twice a week . We also split the meal or just get appetizers to save calories .I enjoy cooking ( not to the extent of some of our posters ).What frustrates me is "What to cook " . If my So would post a weekly menu I would gladly cook it.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #144
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About 800/mo for just food. Feeding four adult appetites on that amount
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #145
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Between $500 and $600 for the two of us, not including dining out, which we do about 2-3 times per week.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #146
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To each there own, and I suppose In n Out beats most fast food burgers, but I'd give Five Guys the nod. Fuddrucker's is slightly more pricey, but better than both, and they have bison burgers, if you're into really lean meat.

Though plump buns are a good thing...
We usually do not go out for burgers, but recently tried Five Guys because my daughter said it was a hot thing. Not impressed, but could it just be that store near me? Not too many people there either. I thought In-n-Out burger was better.

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The regular grocery stores in SoCal care Portuguese linguiça which is very similar to Spanish chorizo. I like to make paella on the BBQ, but I have no good advice for the bomba rice.
All I have read say arborio makes an excellent substitute, and that what I used before. I just wanted to "kick it up a notch" this time with the real thing, if I could get it.

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I enjoy cooking ( not to the extent of some of our posters ).What frustrates me is "What to cook " . If my So would post a weekly menu I would gladly cook it.
My wife used to complain that she ran out of ideas. So, ever since I learned to cook about 10 years ago, I would help her out with suggestions. And whenever I start to cook in the kitchen, she feels like her domain gets invaded. So I usually start the preparation then she eventually takes over.

I've just got golabki put in the oven. I made the filling, the tomato sauce, and seasoned everything. My wife then took over with rolling the cabbage. She surely got a better handling of that than I would.

Dinner will be served in 1 hr. Man, I am salivating already.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:34 PM   #147
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ARGH - I thought I was pretty darned economical when it came to my grocery bill. We avg 520 / month for two including "non grocery items" (mostly paper goods and cleaning products). Lets call it 500 for food alone. We have pizza delivery 1x a week for 'date night' so that 500 is for 4 nights a week. We have meat 3x a week and pasta meal 1x a week. To give you an example of my frugality - I've made 3 turkeys over the past 4 days since the price is now 59 cents a lb. Each 14 lbs. I froze them into meal sized portions after they were cooked. I've done the same for the past two years. I don't get it ... I thought I was so good. Maybe I'm not segregating food vs non-food categories well enough, but still ... .
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:54 PM   #148
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To each there own, and I suppose In n Out beats most fast food burgers, but I'd give Five Guys the nod. Fuddrucker's is slightly more pricey, but better than both, and they have bison burgers, if you're into really lean meat.

Though plump buns are a good thing...

Yah, different tastes - wanted to like Five-guys after reading glowing things about them, but with all the options I pretty much ended up with a soup sandwich - just way too sloppy for me. we do agree on plump buns - those flat wrinkly ones just don't do it for me. you know, like Carls jr.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:01 PM   #149
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We never really bother with figuring out our food cost. For example, what is the cost of my dinner tonight?

My package of ground pork is around $3, and I used only 1/2 of it. To the filling, I added 1/2 cup of old white rice, 1/2 of a chopped onion, a couple of teaspoon of garlic. How much is the rice? Beats me. The onion, we have paid as little as $1 for 3 lbs. So what's 1/2 onion? Do I care? The cabbage, we bought today so I still remember the price: $1. We used 1/3 of the head today.

For the tomato sauce, we had 1/2 can of sauce left in the fridge. It was not enough, but there were some fresh tomatoes that were past their prime for salad. Smashed up and into the sauce they went.

So, how much was this meal? I guess I could painstakingly price everything, including the salt and pepper, the pinch of thyme, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, but I do not care to.

PS. Even when we cook for 20-25 people in the family for Thanksgiving and Xmas, we never bother with the cost. All we know is that we can feed a houseful of guests for about the same that we spend for a nice dinner for 2 at a French restaurant. Well, the drinks for the guests add up to a lot more, but they usually bring a bottle or two.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:53 PM   #150
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By the way, speaking of New Orleans, when we were there on an RV trip 6 months ago, the stay was not long enough for us to explore small local neighborhood eateries, though I intended to.

However, we did enjoy lunch at restaurants in Uptown/Carrollton. These were small family-run restaurants that were converted from a residence, and of course were right inside small charming residential neighborhoods. The lunches were not too expensive ($35-50 for 2, IIRC as I drank and had dessert). At one place, I tried to get reservation for dinner but was told they were booked solid for the next couple days that we were able to go. After lunch, a walk around Audubon Park was great for an exercise, as well as for viewing the grand homes surrounding the park.

A restaurant we tried in French Quarter was a disaster. I think they are all tourist traps. Uptown/Carrollton restaurants were much better. We did go to a low-key place to get crawfish to go, as recommended by the RV park owner. Driving around and not knowing where to go can be a bit scary in some neighborhoods.

Before getting to NO, in Baton Rouge we went to Parrain's, the place rated #1 in Yelp. It was good, not expensive, and I got my fix of Cajun food there first. That place was busy with the locals.

I did not get to explore NO as much as I thought, but this time with the RV was a lot better than my 1st visit 15 years ago when we stayed for only about 4 days.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:44 PM   #151
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The regular grocery stores in SoCal care Portuguese linguiça which is very similar to Spanish chorizo. I like to make paella on the BBQ, but I have no good advice for the bomba rice.
This is what I use also - Portuguese linguica instead of Spanish chorizo. When I lived on the east coast, I could get the Spanish chorizo - but here in San Diego all chorizo is Mexican style - and it is NOT good in paella.

(That said - DH discovered if he uses a little pork chorizo (Mexican style) in his lasagna red sauce - it tastes really nice... he claims it is "what Lasagna has been missing". He's 100% Italian and learned how to make lasagna from his Sicilian grandmothers... so he's allowed to make statements like that - and his lasagna is VERY tasty.)
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:59 PM   #152
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(That said - DH discovered if he uses a little pork chorizo (Mexican style) in his lasagna red sauce - it tastes really nice... he claims it is "what Lasagna has been missing". He's 100% Italian and learned how to make lasagna from his Sicilian grandmothers... so he's allowed to make statements like that - and his lasagna is VERY tasty.)
That's how I like to make lasagne too! I don't have any Italian ancestry and I just figured it would taste good. Whenever I serve it to guests, they want second helpings and doggie bags and I never have any leftovers!
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #153
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Make that 3 posters who have enticed me to try something new. Of course I have seen Mexican chorizo in markets, but it is usually raw, refrigerated, and feels soft to touch which makes me reluctant to try, besides the possibly mysterious ingredients that may go beyond the organ meats that I occasionally eat.

At Sprouts, I have also seen ground meat like pork or chicken that is seasoned with chorizo seasoning. I have been meaning to try that, but this thread gives that more priority.

Oh, so many dishes, so many exotic ingredients, so many calories... What to do, what to cook next?
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:29 PM   #154
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I use mexican style chirozo to make frittata. Eggs, chirozo, colby cheese - done ! Fast, easy and inexpensive to boot.
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:43 PM   #155
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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.
Wow! Congrats!
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:15 PM   #156
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I was wondering how much others spend on groceries per month. This doesn't include non-food items.
There was an article in the paper the other day about our mayor and other officials who took the food stamp challenge by trying to live on $4.83 worth of food a day. They made it sound hard. My husband and I eat very well on about $5.00 each per day. We splurge once in a while but sometimes we eat less than $5 too. All the stores I shop are on the bus route for those who live in the inner city so I don't get it.
Incidentally, the 'measly' lunch the mayor said he ate was a turkey sandwich, chips, apple and something else I don't recall. That is my typical lunch and that is about what I carried for lunch when I was working.
HMMMM..

(Aren't most food stamp recipients overweight anyway?)
In college some 30 years ago, I lived on $1.70 per week for couple of summers. I lived in a single room without refrigerator, or access to kitchen so what I can buy was limited. My grocery for the week consisted of rice, salami, top ramen, and eggs. Even in today's inflated dollar, I do it with less than $4.83 per day whenever the opportunity comes up (my wife is away for a week or two visiting my in-laws). Not like 30 years ago, I will eat well with $4.83 per day of grocery.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:48 PM   #157
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In college some 30 years ago, I lived on $1.70 per week for couple of summers. I lived in a single room without refrigerator, or access to kitchen so what I can buy was limited. My grocery for the week consisted of rice, salami, top ramen, and eggs. Even in today's inflated dollar, I do it with less than $4.83 per day whenever the opportunity comes up (my wife is away for a week or two visiting my in-laws). Not like 30 years ago, I will eat well with $4.83 per day of grocery.
I don't think I have had ramen noodles since college. But I ate a lifetime amount of them in 4 years, so I am still good without them. In college I quickly learned the more ramen noodles I ate, the more money I had leftover to buy beer.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:54 PM   #158
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This month me and my wife spent about $200 on our grocery bill. That was $100 at CostCo and $100 at the actual grocery store. We eat out maybe once a month and it costs $50-60 and I eat out for lunch maybe 1-2x per month for a total of $20max.

With my math that comes out to about $4.60/person per day.

There was a couple weeks last year I did this experiment to see how cheap I could eat and I think with the bananas, PB and J and soups I was eating super cheap at like less than $2/day.

We are twigs...combined weight of 280 on a good day. #HealthIsWealth.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:02 PM   #159
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That $200/month is very low. In Maui even! I am impressed.

Are the bananas enough to count as the fruit and veggie servings that one would need? I eat a wide assortment of veggies and fruits, more than most people I know. It is not for health reason alone, because I love them all and have to rotate.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:09 PM   #160
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My wife eats lunch and dinner at "work" quite a few days a week, I don't drink and she rarely if ever drinks alcohol so that helps. Plus we just don't really eat a lot of food. If it's steak we grill 1 and share it, make some green beans and potatoes. I eat a lot of green beans, potatoes, and whatever free fruit + veggies the earth can produce out here in Maui. Once a month work pays for a free lunch but I have to actually "learn" something while eating it lol.

I used to indulge in food beyond belief. I lost 50lbs in a year when I jumped on the wagon.

I would eat pizza buffet and Chinese buffet every week...two buffets in a week is ridiculous. After going through somewhat of a health transformation, very similar to a financial transformation that it seems I just eat a lot less these days. I still eat breakfast and dinner, and *sometimes lunch.

I will go on a workout binge here soon and my food costs will increase a bit. I am at the point where when I am using protein to build muscle in my workout I can anticipate a little bit higher grocery bill as I eat just a bit more.
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