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Old 04-23-2015, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,548 posts, read 1,876,262 times
Reputation: 3875

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My family used to eat out more when I was working and in college and my wife was doing the same and we had two kids that weren't old enough for school. One day I noticed our funds were running out quick.

So I decided to see just how much we spent the month before.... $1,134 dollars and 15 days into that month we had spent almost $780.

1,834 dollars in 45 days. Thats 40 dollars a day average for food. including $185 dollars in tax (complete wasted money) and $205 dollars in tips (completely wasted money in my opinion as well, I have never had service I consider worth 10% let alone 20%.) You took my order, filled my drink twice, and brought my food then pretended to care if we liked our meal or not (waiters are especially crap in Oregon.) But because its a social norm I usually the next full dollar amount over 18%.

Anyway, We now have 5 people who eat a ton of crap in my house. Everytime we go to a restuarant any better than a dennys it's rare for me to have a bill less than 80 with tip. We went to a thai restaurant last week and even though the prices were below average. The bill came to 67 dollars and with a proper tip (which is a sore spot for me because I live in a state where workers earn minimum wage+tips) came to $80.40 I can think of a lot of stuff I'd rather have for 80.40..machining tools, computer stuff, I'm just so over it.

I have always been the guy that has 10 year old taste. Hot pockets, random fruits, a piece of bread with butter on it a tortilla filled with cheese. I think people take food way too serious. I just dont find value in a heaping plate of 3 dollar items being sold for $17.99. Although, I will pay for lobster, crab or Prime rib, because those cant be faked and take a bit of skill/time to cook, plus market price is not much more than I would have to pay from a tank.

My wife and I are both decent cooks, our general rule is whoever gets home first cooks and makes it a priority. My wife and I both work 10ish hrs per day not including commutes, and still find time to cook good meals we just had to stop making excuses. It just comes down to taking the first step to get dinner going and having a plan when you go to the grocery store. My kids help us and we have had them cook for us, my 13 yo son is self sufficent at grilling, pan frying and making various pastas. We hold ourselves to a strict budget of $600/mo. We usually spend less than $400/mo at grocery stores and the other $200 is only 2 times eating out....

our society says Spend Spend spend...... until you get in trouble then the chorus sings "you should have saved"

Break the cycle.

Last edited by AndyAMG; 04-23-2015 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Akron, OH
1,567 posts, read 1,463,162 times
Reputation: 815
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I can have lunch in a hotel restaurant, Chinese restaurant, or country restaurant here for under $10. I paid $7 and change yesterday at Burger King for a bacon cheeseburger (no fries), a large shake and a small coke at their drive-in window... and I dropped the coke before I drank it but that's another story.
Same here. I can order a small order of shrimp fried rice and an egg roll for $5.25 or goto Mcdonalds and order some items off the dollar menu. You can get Chipolte or Five Guys for under $10 as well. Just buy drinks from the store or gas station
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:34 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,176 posts, read 39,339,783 times
Reputation: 40695
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma5cmpb View Post
Same here. I can order a small order of shrimp fried rice and an egg roll for $5.25 or goto Mcdonalds and order some items off the dollar menu. You can get Chipolte or Five Guys for under $10 as well. Just buy drinks from the store or gas station

Those are small enough to store in your driver's door map pocket while you're driving home, too.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Akron, OH
1,567 posts, read 1,463,162 times
Reputation: 815
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Those are small enough to store in your driver's door map pocket while you're driving home, too.
Haha good one.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:42 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
72,985 posts, read 64,465,955 times
Reputation: 68928
That's silly. Where's the study that says Americans are broke from health care expenses, overwhelming co-pays on surgery and hospital stays or cancer treatments? Where's the study that says Americans are broke from going in over their head on home mortgages and car loans on SUV's they don't need? And on being shopaholics? Those issues are much more common than people who eat out at restaurants more than they can afford.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
5,289 posts, read 4,586,940 times
Reputation: 13277
Astonishing that we needed a study to think about this!

I have a low income right now by choice, and NOT eating out is a no-brainer for me.

It doesn't mean I have to cook all the time. I do try to plan ahead and cook twice what I'll need so we have leftovers. Five ingredients in a pot to make soup? Takes about 10 minutes and I can eat on that for a week. You can wrap just about anything in a tortilla. Even salad from scratch takes very little time at all.

And it isn't healthy, either.

Once in a while I meet someone new and we start dating...it is inevitable that I will gain 5 pounds in the first month. Then we get past the "I can't have a stranger over to my house" stage and we can start cooking for each other.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:51 PM
 
304 posts, read 315,225 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
That's silly. Where's the study that says Americans are broke from health care expenses, overwhelming co-pays on surgery and hospital stays or cancer treatments? Where's the study that says Americans are broke from going in over their head on home mortgages and car loans on SUV's they don't need? And on being shopaholics? Those issues are much more common than people who eat out at restaurants more than they can afford.
I'm wondering if anyone else actually read the article. This wasn't even based on people that society would consider "broke."
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:06 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
72,985 posts, read 64,465,955 times
Reputation: 68928
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyAMG View Post
My wife and I are both decent cooks, our general rule is whoever gets home first cooks and makes it a priority. My wife and I both work 10ish hrs per day not including commutes, and still find time to cook good meals we just had to stop making excuses. It just comes down to taking the first step to get dinner going and having a plan when you go to the grocery store. My kids help us and we have had them cook for us, my 13 yo son is self sufficent at grilling, pan frying and making various pastas. We hold ourselves to a strict budget of $600/mo. We usually spend less than $400/mo at grocery stores and the other $200 is only 2 times eating out....

our society says Spend Spend spend...... until you get in trouble then the chorus sings "you should have saved"

Break the cycle.
How do you feed a family of 4 on $400/mo.? Do you fill yourselves up on starchy stuff--tortillas and beans/rice, bread with meals or potatoes, and that kind of thing? I'm not able to eat a carby diet, so my grocery bill is over $400/mo. just for me! Protein is expensive.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:10 PM
 
38,558 posts, read 15,430,711 times
Reputation: 16995
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay5835 View Post
Please recommend one.
Chef's Choice Professional 130.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:33 PM
 
8,564 posts, read 6,692,157 times
Reputation: 12893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
How do you feed a family of 4 on $400/mo.? Do you fill yourselves up on starchy stuff--tortillas and beans/rice, bread with meals or potatoes, and that kind of thing? I'm not able to eat a carby diet, so my grocery bill is over $400/mo. just for me! Protein is expensive.
We were talking about this on the Gwyneth Paltrow SNAP thread. Several people posted menus for $29/wk/person. I can't eat refined or starchy carbs either so mine only included half a pound of beans or whole grain like barley for soup. I was able to come up with a meat/nut/egg/non-starchy veg diet for myself for that amount.

The trick is finding a place to buy meat for $2/pound. Here, you can't buy anything at Albertson's or Fred Meyer for under $3.50 and beef is $5 or more. I go to Winco to get chicken breasts and pork sirloin roasts regularly priced around $2 and wait for anything else to go on sale and stock up in my freezer.
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