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Old 09-26-2015, 10:09 AM
 
133 posts, read 133,578 times
Reputation: 101

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian Slums View Post
In the nearly 20 years I've been buying Ramen, I've never noticed ANYONE watch me. Do you think maybe you are oversensitive to people looking at you in general?

What you spend on food seems kinda high IMHO.

My advice is F the water ban! If it's a matter of 4 people staying healthy and not starving, I can't think of a more legitimate excuse for breaking a rule!
I have been ignoring people staring for a while now. I think it may be the City all together. I once had a cashier ask me why was I buying bed sheets and pillows once!! I answered ----because I have a bed!! So, matters not if it's food or a food item they seem to care too much what I have in my basket. But, the Ramen Noodle comment the OP mentioned above was said as if something was wrong with the product. There are many of things that aren't the best products with high sodium or calories that I can think of. I do agree with you on the overall spending is kind of high. In which I used to shop for more healthier meals to cook but the price increase on foods have gone up not just a little bit. Such as a family size ground beef use to be $ 7.48 and is now $15.98, chicken breast that were $11.69 are now $ 17.46. This is a hike in price for a 6 month time frame. By the time I add the side dishes of a veggie, 1 starch such as roasted potatoes and a roll you are looking at $ 60 a day and that is just one out of three meals of the day. So if we are talking $80/ a day for breakfast/ lunch / dinner per week that comes to 80 X 7 days =$560 a week. Which is kind of high $ 2240 a month. I can't see that a month!! So, we do skip meals and try to buy cheaper.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:10 AM
 
2,441 posts, read 1,994,565 times
Reputation: 4644
$450+ a week for five people is a lot of money. Do you cook, or do you buy ready made things? How does your budget break down between drinks, snacks, produce, dairy and meat?

If you're spending $16 on mince, that would be roughly two pounds? Five people don't need that much meat. A serving is 100g, cooked, which means a pound is enough for four people. Chicken thighs are way moister and tastier than and cheaper than breasts. Again, a thigh is a serving. The cheapest vegetables are tinned tomatoes (get the kind without added salt and sugar), and frozen peas, corn, etc. With these at $1 a pound to bulk up the meal you can then add in more expensive veggies and fruit according to budget.

Pasta is around a dollar a pound, which is more expensive than ramen, but healthier.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:29 AM
 
133 posts, read 133,578 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildColonialGirl View Post
$450+ a week for five people is a lot of money. Do you cook, or do you buy ready made things? How does your budget break down between drinks, snacks, produce, dairy and meat?

If you're spending $16 on mince, that would be roughly two pounds? Five people don't need that much meat. A serving is 100g, cooked, which means a pound is enough for four people. Chicken thighs are way moister and tastier than and cheaper than breasts. Again, a thigh is a serving. The cheapest vegetables are tinned tomatoes (get the kind without added salt and sugar), and frozen peas, corn, etc. With these at $1 a pound to bulk up the meal you can then add in more expensive veggies and fruit according to budget.

Pasta is around a dollar a pound, which is more expensive than ramen, but healthier.
I cook, breakfast, and dinner, lunch is normally made and taken to work. I posted another response on the cost then seen your response. $450 would last about 1 week and a half here. I think males eat more than females. I do limit certain things- but boys are hungry before the next meal served. I have to give them snacks to act as a buffer between meals. I am trying to come up with a cheaper route but is it really what I'm doing or tricks of the products getting smaller. If the products are getting smaller then I am spending the same but getting less and it isn't lasting in the pantry or fridge.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,026 posts, read 46,836,164 times
Reputation: 63976
Oh, holy lord, you are doing something wrong, OP. You really need to reevaluate what you are buying. I can easily feed 5 people for $200. a week or less.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:38 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 38,439,064 times
Reputation: 39085
It isn't lasting as you have two eating machines in the house!

I agree that your figure of $2240 a month is WAY high.... especially when you state that is just for cooking in (no eating out)!
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
10,552 posts, read 5,807,487 times
Reputation: 8782
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
As silly as it is - I get it all the time. So much to where I thought it was one store- Wal- Mart @529/hwy 6 in Houston, TX. But, I stop going there for a few weeks only to go to HEB and the same thing. No one should monitor what you put in your basket and honestly it psss.. me off each time. I don't care what they have in their carts! I really would like to say something to the watchers but it's not worth it to blow up in the store like that. Just wondered if any one on the planet is going through the same thing?
Interesting.

I occasionally wonder what people think of me when they see me load my cart with brisket, or baking stuff, ......... or cans of cat food. I think, however, it might be something of a delusion because I think I've only gotten three comments over 30 years. Once from an underling who commented that I was one of those people who only shopped (then) once a month, once from a mother who was asking for her child if I had lots of cats and dogs (at the time, I was buying food to donate to the animal shelter), and recently, from the cashier if I have a big pantry (buying lots of canned fruit to prep for upcoming dental surgery).

Now, as the real issue here, I buy, use a lot of spaghetti. Not the canned stuff but the type wrapped in plastic. HEB brand is, I think, $1 for 16 oz now but there's another brand on their shelf that is like twice that for around $1.77 or so. Further, I use a lot of different beans in my cooking. It was a trick I learned when I was a poor college student just out of the Navy and my father said to eat beans; it is how the Army survived before WWII when they didn't have much money.

If you can cook and rationed untrimmed brisket, it's a great way to make a killing in the meat market. At around $2.97 (maybe $2.47)/lb, it undercuts a lot. The CATCH is that one has to buy around 10-20 lbs of it once, so the initial expense is a lot. But once cooked, it can be sliced up, baggied, and put in the freezer for the long term.

As far as what to do about growing, snacking children, afraid I don't have any suggestions there except maybe not buy the snacking food. Might want to encourage them to cook if they want to snack, I think that is the way my brother learned how to cook ribs. Family and children, however, are their own special situation and being single, childless, I know my eating requirements are far, far different. Just as an example, during the rare times when I have pancakes, I never use syrup; t'was a quirk that came with me out of childhood.

As it is, my pantry is full of cans, but I see that as my out of work stock; otherwise, I try cook off from my counter jars supply. Doesn't apply to everything in the pantry; spices/olive oil, canned meats, and croutons buy it the quickest, but generally, the cans remain untouched..........especially after I read the ingredients on canned spaghetti and found corn syrup in it.

Good luck.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:55 AM
 
1,040 posts, read 926,293 times
Reputation: 2818
Beans, spices, pasta or rice, and produce make endless combinations that are healthy, cheap and filling.

To save $ on cooking costs, get yourself a pressure cooker.

Beans are healthy, cheap and have a great shelf life. Soak beforehand to reduce cooking time, then use the soaking water on your garden. Infuse them with flavors while cooking.

Whole grain rice is cheap if bought in bulk. Pasta is cheap and they have many whole grain versions now. You may find other cheap whole grains too.

Produce in season can be cheap if you watch the prices. Make it a game to build your menus around what's cheap and in season.

You may be able to grow spices without using additional irrigation (garlic, basil, etc.). You can probably grow a few different types of beans without much additional irrigation as well. Remember, some types grow in the desert quite well.

Google low water edible plants to find stuff you can grow.
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,784 posts, read 11,269,350 times
Reputation: 19767
It's easier and simpler to increase income rather than cut expenses. How much time do you spend everyday on your investments? That's the key. Learn about various derivatives to limit both risk and capital outlay. Here's a great book to begin.

All About Derivatives Second Edition (All About Series): Michael Durbin: 9780071743518: Amazon.com: Books

I can't recall ever seeing anyone's paying attention to what groceries I buy. I know that I never have any interest in what others purchase.
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,835 posts, read 9,077,486 times
Reputation: 37354
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfur View Post
I have been ignoring people staring for a while now. I think it may be the City all together. I once had a cashier ask me why was I buying bed sheets and pillows once!! I answered ----because I have a bed!! So, matters not if it's food or a food item they seem to care too much what I have in my basket. But, the Ramen Noodle comment the OP mentioned above was said as if something was wrong with the product. There are many of things that aren't the best products with high sodium or calories that I can think of. I do agree with you on the overall spending is kind of high. In which I used to shop for more healthier meals to cook but the price increase on foods have gone up not just a little bit. Such as a family size ground beef use to be $ 7.48 and is now $15.98, chicken breast that were $11.69 are now $ 17.46. This is a hike in price for a 6 month time frame. By the time I add the side dishes of a veggie, 1 starch such as roasted potatoes and a roll you are looking at $ 60 a day and that is just one out of three meals of the day. So if we are talking $80/ a day for breakfast/ lunch / dinner per week that comes to 80 X 7 days =$560 a week. Which is kind of high $ 2240 a month. I can't see that a month!! So, we do skip meals and try to buy cheaper.
Meat is a big problem - you need to eat a lot more beans, lentils, and other legumes. They have a lot of protein and fiber with basically no fat. You can get a pound bag for less than a couple bucks and it will make a huge potful that you can add a few more ingredients (like tomatoes, onions, pasta, spices) and have a couple meals for a family of 4. Look for more crock pot and casserole recipes to stretch your dollars - use meat as a FLAVORING for a dish and not the main star.
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,835 posts, read 9,077,486 times
Reputation: 37354
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineAA View Post
Beans, spices, pasta or rice, and produce make endless combinations that are healthy, cheap and filling.

To save $ on cooking costs, get yourself a pressure cooker.

Beans are healthy, cheap and have a great shelf life. Soak beforehand to reduce cooking time, then use the soaking water on your garden. Infuse them with flavors while cooking.

Whole grain rice is cheap if bought in bulk. Pasta is cheap and they have many whole grain versions now. You may find other cheap whole grains too.

Produce in season can be cheap if you watch the prices. Make it a game to build your menus around what's cheap and in season.

You may be able to grow spices without using additional irrigation (garlic, basil, etc.). You can probably grow a few different types of beans without much additional irrigation as well. Remember, some types grow in the desert quite well.

Google low water edible plants to find stuff you can grow.
Sorry - I kind of posted what you just said! But I'll second all of it. If the OP goes to an Indian or Asian/Chinese store they'll find 10 pound bags of rice for less than $15 - that will last a long time - and it WILL keep for a long time with no worries.
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