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Old 11-19-2013, 08:51 PM   #161
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Are we possibly confusing eating a diet heavy in produce, rice, beans and nuts, which is economical by default, not design, with what some else referred to as an artery clogging diet of poor quality, cheaply processed foods?

Millionaire or no, I see no problems with the first, and millionaire or no, I see big problems with the second.
Here, we definitely eat to live: groceries for two average $300/mo. Eating out averages the same. At home, I cook a lot of basic healthy foods-- lots of fiber, veggies, chicken, eggs, low-fat dairy, crockpot soups. When we eat out, it's often to get a burger fix, or enjoy a favorite Mexican spot, or start the AM with breakfast and coffee at a local mom and pop shop. A few times a year we'll splurge with friends at a fancy dinner house; but, usually, we grill simple meals here at home for them.

Re. groceries, we discovered Amish salvage stores (non-perishables in dented cans or boxes. If you're sure to check the dates, you can save 70-80% off typical retail). Then, we shop for staples at Aldi; after that, most other items come from the sales at local name-brand grocery stores.

We buy little to no junk food; will splurge on a bag of chips when we know DS is coming to visit. Otherwise, he rummages through the pantry looking for the cookies and chips of his youth, proclaiming, "Hey, Mom! Where's the food?!"

It doesn't matter if we have a nice dinner ready for him and his wife. We need to have the pantry ready for some kind of a raid!

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #162
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Here, we definitely eat to live: groceries for two average $300/mo. Eating out averages the same...
Sorry, but compared to kgtest's expenses, yours do not impress me. If you spend $300 for groceries + $300 eating out or $600 total, then many posters above spend the same or less.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:11 PM   #163
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Single male (no wife/kids). Don't especially hunt for or clip coupons, but do look for "deals" here and there. Don't have a particular diet. Include in my 'groceries' category, which I track, items beyond food that others might categorize as 'sundries'--like light bulbs, shampoo, toilet paper, dish detergent, toothpaste--because I usually buy them, for my daily life, at my local grocery store. (Or at a farther store such as WalMart, Costco, etc. You get the point.)

Result? Some ~$3,000/year. (And dining out at restaurants/fast food places is under $500/year.)

I could probably reduce that annual $3K amount some more, if I did more research. Hmmm?

All-in-all, I'm not especially counting nickels and dimes regarding food.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #164
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Sorry, but compared to kgtest's expenses, yours do not impress me. If you spend $300 for groceries + $300 eating out or $600 total, then many posters above spend the same or less.
Hi, NW--

I hadn't intended to impress anyone.........was just reporting. While I make good efforts at economizing and "cooking healthy" on the home front, the additional $300/ mo. eating out shows how often we fall "off the wagon." That $300, generally, does not represent fine cuisine. We often buy the fun/"less healthy" food that I'm not cooking at home. We usually go out because we're hungry and/or tired (thus, "eating to live"), not because we are hoping to enjoy a fancy restaurant.

So, come to think of it, it looks like we're "good at home," "bad" when we go out!

FWIW

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Old 11-20-2013, 09:45 AM   #165
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So, come to think of it, it looks like we're "good at home," "bad" when we go out!

I see several problems with "eating healthy'. One, we don't really know what healthy is. The recent look back study of the 1960s Sydney heart-cholesterol-diet study published recently in BMJ would convince almost anyone that what we have been told is mostly wrong and sometimes as in this case, 180 degrees wrong, either out of dishonesty or incompetence on the part of the investigators. Another problem is that comfort food is made to be comforting, and it is. Healthy food not necessarily. Another one is that whatever bad things are supposed to happen to us from eating fish and chips say, come way down the road, if they ever come. Everybody knows very old people who ate mostly fried foods and pie. Humans evolved to try to stay alive and to breed. Being concerned about some possible distant problem is just not very motivating for most of us.

I'd say that most people who are dieting and/or exercising are more interested in appearance than they are in some possible health risk down the road, even if they do not admit this. Unless of course some doctor has recently gotten on their case about some dire threat, which may be real or mistaken. IMO this is one reason why singles are more apt to stay slim than marrieds. Singles don't have the near term evolutionary drivers covered, as marrieds do or think that they do.

Ha
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:23 AM   #166
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I see several problems with "eating healthy'. One, we don't really know what healthy is. The recent look back study of the 1960s Sydney heart-cholesterol-diet study published recently in BMJ would convince almost anyone that what we have been told is mostly wrong and sometimes as in this case, 180 degrees wrong, either out of dishonesty or incompetence on the part of the investigators. Another problem is that comfort food is made to be comforting, and it is. Healthy food not necessarily. Another one is that whatever bad things are supposed to happen to us from eating fish and chips say, come way down the road, if they ever come. Everybody knows very old people who ate mostly fried foods and pie. Humans evolved try to stay alive and to breed. Being concerned about some possible distant problem is just not very motivating for most of us. I'd say that most people who are dieting and/or exercising are more interested in appearance than they are in some possible health risk down the road, even if they do not admit this. Unless of course some doctor has recently gotten on their case about some dire threat, which may be real or mistaken. IMO this is one reason why singles are more apt to stay slim than marrieds. Singles don't have the near term evolutionary drivers covered, as marrieds do or think that they do. Ha
Being single, I am mostly guilty as charged to the above statement. I can't ever remember commenting about someone getting divorced and suddenly gaining 25 pounds, but I sure have seen the opposite occur quite often!
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:24 AM   #167
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Three more plans

I have an aunt and uncle that eat two meals a day--and both of them are at the same restaurant. They literally have no food in the house except ice cream and cookies. They seem to think if works for them economically.

Another route to take is what a friend of mine and his wife do--they attend as many of the financial planning "free meals' as they can. They are usually at fancy restaurants and they have no problem eating out at the expense of some financial planner.

When I was growing up, I remember a guy in our town would sneak in the back door of wedding receptions and get a free meal.

So, there are three more ideas--none of which I would recommend.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:35 AM   #168
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Talk about eating out, I just remember that we have a long-time friend of the family. He eats out everyday, and for every meal! He goes to inexpensive restaurants, but it has to be a sit-down place. He will not eat at a fast-food or take-out place. People who have been to his home said his fridge only has a water pitcher. No fruits or snacks of any kind in his home.

This man is not rich, but has led a comfortable life as an accountant. He is retired, in his mid 60s, and has always been single. A very unusual man, and in more ways than one he has some strange behaviors that makes us wonder. He is honest to a fault and has a generous heart.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:43 AM   #169
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Gosh, eating out for every meal could get old very quickly. What happens if you are sick, break your leg, develop midnight cravings, or there is a blizzard? You still have to drag yourself out to a restaurant. And you can't entertain at home.

I once met a doctor who told me she hated to cook and shopped for groceries only once every 6 weeks. I think she didn't eat much and lived on frozen processed foods. Ugh!

Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:48 PM   #170
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Well, I am not quite sure where my annualized numbers are going, but it appears that I am near around 330 for groceries and 100 for eating out (2 parents and newborn). I would really like to push these numbers to 300 and 100. I think with the wife staying at home will really help this.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:13 PM   #171
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I've really enjoyed reading through these posts! Since I read the food stamp article and the part about the mayor's turkey sandwich for lunch, I started tracking our grocery bill for the month. So far it is only about $123 but we have 10 days left and of course, THANKSGIVING!! YEA!! I also will stock up on chicken breasts this month if someone puts them on sale for $1.99. I believe this month has been cheaper than most. I really thought for the two of us, we spend about $5 a day each or about $300 a month all total. But who knows, we may be eating more cheaply than I originally thought.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:15 PM   #172
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Talk about eating out, I just remember that we have a long-time friend of the family. He eats out everyday, and for every meal! He goes to inexpensive restaurants, but it has to be a sit-down place. He will not eat at a fast-food or take-out place. People who have been to his home said his fridge only has a water pitcher. No fruits or snacks of any kind in his home.

I wonder if he mostly likes being around other people, especially if he lives alone? DH and I eat out more than many folks. We usually split a dish and we enjoy getting out and people-watching.

We spend about $300/month on groceries. I do a lot of coupon clipping and stockpiling. For several years I have used The Grocery Game. It saves us some money and I enjoy it.

Tonight DH and I are seeing a comedian (Gabriel Rutledge) at The Loony Bin in Little Rock. When I checked out his webpage, one of his quotes was, Eventually you just get to the point where you say Well honey looks like we’ve eaten ourselves into a monogamous relationship.
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(I deleted and re/posted this because I messed up the QUOTE thing the first time).
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #173
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[

I once met a doctor who told me she hated to cook and shopped for groceries only once every 6 weeks. I think she didn't eat much and lived on frozen processed foods. Ugh!

I used to do that. About once every 6 weeks I'd get up really early on a Saturday morning and drive about 10 miles to Walmart. When I got home I was so exhausted.
We still had to pick up a few items in between times. It worked pretty well but we were working then and eating out more - buying breakfast at work, eating out some at lunch and dinner, eating out couple times on the weekends.
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:28 PM   #174
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I have an aunt and uncle that eat two meals a day--and both of them are at the same restaurant. They literally have no food in the house except ice cream and cookies. They seem to think if works for them economically.

Another route to take is what a friend of mine and his wife do--they attend as many of the financial planning "free meals' as they can. They are usually at fancy restaurants and they have no problem eating out at the expense of some financial planner.

When I was growing up, I remember a guy in our town would sneak in the back door of wedding receptions and get a free meal.

So, there are three more ideas--none of which I would recommend.

Something makes my stomach turn thinking about eating over 700 meals out a year.

For my ole man's birthday this year I think he banked like 7free meals he said. A lot of restaurants offer these freebies on your birthday, some even in your birthday WEEK or MONTH creating even more freebie opportunities.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:57 PM   #175
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Keep in mind some of us posted numbers to prove that it was entirely possible to enjoy a balanced diet without blowing a wad in response to the SNAP article. I don't think it was intended to be turned into a contest to see who spent the lowest dollar amount.

I enjoy the way we eat, heavy in produce and grains, light in the processed department, because it leaves me feeling terrific, energy wise. I have a love-hate with food in general, because it's so bloody easy for me to gain weight. Even with all the hours I spend pursuing our numerous physical activities I still have to count my calories. But then again, perhaps that's why I'm not part of the 70% of Americans currently tagged as being clinically overweight.

Otherwise, with regard to the variety of ways these posts indicate people approach their food, I say vive la difference!
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:36 PM   #176
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If I could afford it both financially and waist-line speaking, I'd eat my main meal out everyday. "Out" food usually tastes better to me than "in" food, plus someone else cooks, cleans, and serves. What's not to like?
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:32 PM   #177
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:32 PM   #178
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I am fortunate to be in a location where within 4 or 5 miles of home I can find the following stores: Fry's, Safeway, Whole Foods, Fresh-n-Easy, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Bashas, Costco, Food City, and of course Walmart. It takes 20 mi to get to a couple of Oriental stores for some exotic stuff, but we do not do that too often.

My wife does not have to clip coupons. She just watches the store specials and makes a grocery run to score all the good deals. Recently, we get raspberries and blackberries for $0.88/6oz. We routinely get 3 lbs of fruit for $1, 4 or 5 small avocados for $1, 3 heads of lettuce for $1, 4 mangos for $1, 4 cucumbers for $1, etc... I can just go on and on.

Anyway, I just remember that I have not been to AJ Fine Foods in years. It's also within 4 miles. This is a local high-end store, perhaps more expensive than Whole Foods. If one looks for exotic import food stuff, this would be the place to go before trying to order on the Web. I will make a run there for bomba rice soon.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:13 PM   #179
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I see several problems with "eating healthy'. One, we don't really know what healthy is.

Ha
I guess I have to disagree with this, at least to some extent. I think there is enough evidence now that eating highly processed foods is not as healthy as eating what I will call "real food". Some examples of what I consider to be "real food" are grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish (such as Alaskan salmon), organic or at least locally-grown vegetables, healthy fats (pastured butter, olive oil, coconut oil), berries (without added sugar). Examples of what I would consider to be generally unhealthy foods would be: fast food in general, anything cooked with trans fats or industrial seed oils, sugary beverages, doughnuts, cookies, crackers (and other foods made with highly processed grains). That is not to say that everyone who eats real food and avoids junk food will live longer than those of us that try to eat mostly real foods (genetics still counts for something). But I think you can tip the odds in your favor by eating the healthy foods I've mentioned above, and minimizing the junk food. My opinion, anyway.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:57 PM   #180
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This has been a really interesting thread.

I have no idea what our actual food cost is, but the "grocery" category includes everything bought at the supermarket plus beer. We eat out very seldom, and that is captured in another budget category.

On average, we spend about $500 a month in this category (two people, one cat), so I think we're in the lower portion of the posters hers.
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