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#1 Old 09-02-2008, 07:12 PM
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Hello,



I 'm going to be starting out on my own soon and was wondering what would my food cost's be? over 200.00 dollars for a grocery bill?





I know it depends on what you buy.
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#2 Old 09-02-2008, 07:39 PM
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It depends on so many factors:



~Where you live

~Are you buying organic or conventional produce?

~Do you have access to a farmer's market? (not always cheaper than the grocery store but usually)

~Do you have access to CSA? (Basically you pay in advance and generally you get a box of produce every week for a certain period of time - usually works out to cheaper than the grocery store)

~Are you buying fresh whole foods or processed foods?

~Are you willing to take the time to cook?

~Do you watch for sales? Use coupons?





I don't think anyone here can say it will cost you $50/$100/$200 a week or whatever because there are just too many factors involved.



It's possible to eat for less on a vegetarian than omni diet... and vice versa. It all depends on your food choices.
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#3 Old 09-02-2008, 07:52 PM
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Buying for myself in Wisconsin where most of our produce is imported, I spend between $20-$25 a week. I've been eating lots of raw food lately, so it's been a bit higher....but I'm trying to find a happy medium.

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#4 Old 09-03-2008, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_GreenTea View Post

Hello,



I 'm going to be starting out on my own soon and was wondering what would my food cost's be? over 200.00 dollars for a grocery bill?





I know it depends on what you buy.



How often are you shopping and for how many people?



We average $70 a week for 2 people.

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#5 Old 09-03-2008, 06:21 AM
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like fyvel said, it depends.



Opt to buy fresh greens from produce instead of a ready made bag of salad.

Only buy fake meats sparingly, because they can be expensive.
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#6 Old 09-03-2008, 07:17 AM
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Regardless of all dependencies, I spend about 30$ a week for all meals for 1 person. I buy lot's of organic stuff but when possible I buy discounted stuff (sometimes there's some discount on organic food too).
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#7 Old 09-03-2008, 07:28 AM
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I average about $100 a week for 4 people. Some weeks we spend more, some weeks I don't go to the grocery store at all, but that's about the average.



We eat a lot of beans, tofu, grains (rice, bread, pasta, etc), veggies and fruit.
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#8 Old 09-03-2008, 07:32 AM
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I live alone and I'm struggling to keep my grocery bill under 50 bucks a week just for myself! And that's buying mainly cheap frozen veggies, clipping coupons, and only buying organic when there isn't another choice. I'm a big guy though so perhaps it's just a quantity thing. Also, I never eat out so 100% of my meals come out of my grocery budget whereas others here probably eat out a few times a week. I think my bill will come down though as I become more experienced, such as buying bulk dried beans instead of canned.
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#9 Old 09-03-2008, 07:45 AM
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I live alone and I'm struggling to keep my grocery bill under 50 bucks a week just for myself! And that's buying mainly cheap frozen veggies, clipping coupons, and only buying organic when there isn't another choice. I'm a big guy though so perhaps it's just a quantity thing. Also, I never eat out so 100% of my meals come out of my grocery budget whereas others here probably eat out a few times a week. I think my bill will come down though as I become more experienced, such as buying bulk dried beans instead of canned.



We don't eat out either. We pack breakfast/lunch and cook dinner every night. My bf can pack it away too. He eats like 3X as much as me at any given time if not more. I fear the time we may have teenage sons.

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#10 Old 09-03-2008, 08:15 AM
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My bf can pack it away too. He eats like 3X as much as me at any given time if not more. I fear the time we may have teenage sons.

LOL...



I've looked at the food threads here to get an idea of what people's menus are like. What some folks here eat in an entire day wouldn't satisfy me for one meal. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that my grocery bill is double or more what others pay. Problem is veggies just don't fill me up like meat did, and I've been making sure to get plenty of protein and fiber.



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#11 Old 09-03-2008, 08:37 AM
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LOL...



I've looked at the food threads here to get an idea of what people's menus are like. What some folks here eat in an entire day wouldn't satisfy me for one meal. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that my grocery bill is double or more what others pay. Problem is veggies just don't fill me up like meat did, and I've been making sure to get plenty of protein and fiber.



Jim



My bf eats 3 packets of oatmeal for breakfast, and often will grab a muffin or whatever is in the house on the way out the door too, and slug down some milk. Lunch for him is a sandwich, pretzels, jello, fruit, and a vegetable or salad (he is not vegetarian) plus often leftovers from the night before (yesterday he took a serving of "sushi salad" with brown rice, veggies, avocado, seaweed, etc...). Then dinner last night he had several bowls of whole wheat pasta with grilled peppers, squash, eggplant and collard greens. Then he had a homemade pureed fruit ice pop for dessert. Does that sound more like a day's worth of food to you?

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#12 Old 09-03-2008, 08:48 AM
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Beans are super-filling and cheap. Load up on those. Seitan is really filling too. It's expensive pre-packaged but you can make it yourself really cheaply.
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#13 Old 09-03-2008, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

Does that sound more like a day's worth of food to you?

Haha. Yeah that's definitely closer to what I eat in a day.
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#14 Old 09-03-2008, 09:03 AM
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My bf eats 3 packets of oatmeal for breakfast, and often will grab a muffin or whatever is in the house on the way out the door too, and slug down some milk. Lunch for him is a sandwich, pretzels, jello, fruit, and a vegetable or salad (he is not vegetarian) plus often leftovers from the night before (yesterday he took a serving of "sushi salad" with brown rice, veggies, avocado, seaweed, etc...). Then dinner last night he had several bowls of whole wheat pasta with grilled peppers, squash, eggplant and collard greens. Then he had a homemade pureed fruit ice pop for dessert. Does that sound more like a day's worth of food to you?

Are you sure that your pictures in the What the Veg*n World Eats thread showed all of your groceries for one week?

How much is a standard package of oatmeal (I guess it's not 500 g or ~1.1 pounds like here)?
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#15 Old 09-03-2008, 09:27 AM
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Are you sure that your pictures in the What the Veg*n World Eats thread showed all of your groceries for one week?

How much is a standard package of oatmeal (I guess it's not 500 g or ~1.1 pounds like here)?



There were 3 boxes of instant oatmeal sitting there :P (To supplement the case of it we buy once a month or so). One packet of oatmeal makes about 1/2 cup of oatmeal.



I also have a well stocked pantry. :P

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#16 Old 09-03-2008, 09:43 AM
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I'm feeding 5 people and I struggle keeping food cost below $200 per week, and one of those people is 8! I do buy a lot of organic and a lot of produce, in general, but we eat at home (or packed lunches) for every meal and throw anything away.

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#17 Old 09-03-2008, 09:46 AM
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We spend about $80/week for 2 people. We also eat out a few times per week. My husband buys a lot of pre-made foods that he can eat quickly - and he also buys meat. My groceries are a lot of vegetables, fruits, and things like veggie burgers, tofu, beans, pastas...
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#18 Old 09-03-2008, 10:25 AM
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I should mention that I've only been vegetarian for about a month, so a portion of my 50 dollar/week grocery expenditure has been stocking my pantry (spices, condiments, flax seed, bulk stuff, etc). I imagine in time my average bill will come down a bit when I'm primarily just buying perishables. I DO eat a lot of food though. Just to maintain my current weight I need 3000+ calories per day, which may be close to double what other folks require.
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#19 Old 09-03-2008, 10:31 AM
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Mine...honestly...depends on what part of the month is. Generally, at the first of the month (or when it runs out...I share with my omni family although they don't really get into my food that much[I pay rent which sometimes pay for some groceries I use of their's so it works out]), I stock up on my pantry staples...beans, rice, spices, etc so my bill is on the higher end nearing $50-60. Any other time it's around $25-30. I tend to eat more whole foods and veggies.
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#20 Old 09-03-2008, 10:46 AM
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Beans are super-filling and cheap. Load up on those. Seitan is really filling too. It's expensive pre-packaged but you can make it yourself really cheaply.

Thanks for the advice Kristy.



I don't want to hijack the thread with dietary questions so perhaps I'll start a new thread or find an old one to add onto. But I do try to eat lots of beans. About two cups per day (at least one 15oz can). I make my own black bean veggie burgers, bean burritos, meatless chili with lots of beans, I put beans on my salads, etc. I also make a one-minute flax muffin just about daily and it's nothing but fiber and good fat.



On average I've been getting between 60 and 80 grams of protein a day, and 45 to 50 grams of fiber, so I don't think I'm lacking in that regard. As a meat-eater, breakfast would be a couple slices of bacon with two eggs and toast (about 370 calories total) and that would hold me over quite well until lunch. Now I eat cereal and/or a muffin and toast plus fruit and an hour later I'm eating again.



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#21 Old 09-03-2008, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for the advice Kristy.



I don't want to hijack the thread with dietary questions so perhaps I'll start a new thread or find an old one to add onto. But I do try to eat lots of beans. About two cups per day (at least one 15oz can). I make my own black bean veggie burgers, bean burritos, meatless chili with lots of beans, I put beans on my salads, etc. I also make a one-minute flax muffin just about daily and it's nothing but fiber and good fat.



On average I've been getting between 60 and 80 grams of protein a day, and 45 to 50 grams of fiber, so I don't think I'm lacking in that regard. As a meat-eater, breakfast would be a couple slices of bacon with two eggs and toast (about 370 calories total) and that would hold me over quite well until lunch. Now I eat cereal and/or a muffin and toast plus fruit and an hour later I'm eating again.



Jim





I'm not terribly surprised that the switch in breakfasts would leave you hungry. Meat eater breakfast = LOADS of protein, Veg breakfast=very little protein. Something like a tofu scramble, or peanut butter/nut butter on your toast would probably keep you full a bit longer. Or try one of my favorites: a heaping bowl of steel cut oats with blackstrap molasses, cinnamon, ~milk, fruit, and nuts. You can make a big pot for the week and reheat it with some fresh ~milk every morning.

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#22 Old 09-03-2008, 12:21 PM
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Hey to answer the first posters question:



theres is a local nature food store called Nature's cub bard. I've been in there before its well resonable and i got stuff from there like 2 yrs ago.



we have a pear festival where you can get fruits and veggies. my fave is the pear jam!

its the third week in September.
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#23 Old 09-03-2008, 12:52 PM
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I defiantely agree that it'll depend largely on several things, also another one to consider would also be the seasons.

Make sure you take this into consideration when shopping. Whatever fruits & veggies you can find in season will be alot cheaper than those out of season.



I spend around $250.00 bi-weekly for a family of 4, 2 adults & 2 teenagers (who eat like adults). But I also have a pretty stocked pantry.



So for one adult, I would think somewhere around $60.00-$100.00, again this depends on alot of different variables.



Good luck!



Michelle
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#24 Old 09-03-2008, 02:58 PM
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I spend $125 weekly for a 95% eat in family of 5. (There are 4 adults and 1 toddler.) 2 of those adults eat veg or primarily veggie, and the other two adults are meat eating folk. The toddler eats a little bit of everything, but actually prefers tofu to hamburgers.



If I were only feeding two of us, though, I think it would only go down to 80ish. There is some economy of scale at work. An average nightly meal only costs me about 70 cents/serving to make, but if we had less people the dish would last for too long and get old and untasty.
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#25 Old 09-03-2008, 07:21 PM
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My costs vary wildly with how much I eat out and if I'm buying prepackaged stuff, expensive prepackaged stuff, or raw materials. The best way to figure it out though is to make a sample list of the food you'd eat in a week, and then estimate the costs. An example for me the last 3 days.



Stir Fry (made 3 lunch/dinners):
  • Mushrooms - $1.50
  • Rice - $1.00
  • Tofu - $1.50
  • Brocolli - $1.00
  • Various seasonings/oils - $1.00

Seasonal fruit - $3.00

Bagels - $0.50 x three

Milk - Half gallon at $2.50/gallon = $1.25

Ice cream - $3.00 (an expensive treat)

Burrito at Chipotle - $6.76 (sad that I have that memorized)



which comes out to just over $20. If I did it for the entire week, it'd probably be around $50, but could be brought down if I eschew ed some of the more expensive treats.



Of course, it varies from person to person, but a simple list should give you a good idea of what to expect. If you aren't on your own yet, make a list over the next week of what you eat and then figure out what the prices of those things would be.



One a final side note, I find that whenever I walk out of the local "farmers market" type store (as opposed to the generic grocery store) that I always feel like I got a whole lot of food for very little money. Not sure if that's actually the case or just a feeling, though I'd guess a bit of both.
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#26 Old 09-04-2008, 01:37 AM
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I see, thanks. We do not have instant oatmeal here. When I said oatmeal I really meant porridge (cooked oats) or müesli (uncooked oats with dried fruit soaked in plant milk or soya yogurt). Oats are very cheap here, about 1.15 ($1.66) for 500 g (~1.1 lbs) organic, and less than half the price for non-organic ones. Cheapest yet nutritious (and filling) breakfast ever.

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There were 3 boxes of instant oatmeal sitting there :P (To supplement the case of it we buy once a month or so). One packet of oatmeal makes about 1/2 cup of oatmeal.



I also have a well stocked pantry. :P

What I assumed. I put the things I would use from my pantry like grains/legumes (and the entire packages, regardless if Id finish them) into the (yet to be posted) picture too, making it look as if I ate like a hog - while you guys seem to get by on so little (in comparison).
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#27 Old 09-04-2008, 06:29 AM
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I see, thanks. We do not have instant oatmeal here. When I said oatmeal I really meant porridge (cooked oats) or müesli (uncooked oats with dried fruit soaked in plant milk or soya yogurt). Oats are very cheap here, about 1.15 ($1.66) for 500 g (~1.1 lbs) organic, and less than half the price for non-organic ones. Cheapest yet nutritious (and filling) breakfast ever.



What I assumed. I put the things I would use from my pantry like grains/legumes (and the entire packages, regardless if Id finish them) into the (yet to be posted) picture too, making it look as if I ate like a hog - while you guys seem to get by on so little (in comparison).



For myself I do cooked oats on the stovetop. The boy isn't quite so motivated.



I thought the pics are just one weeks worth of bought food? I don't think I have enough counter space to drag out all the jars and bags things I get food bits out of

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#28 Old 09-04-2008, 07:00 AM
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I thought the pics are just one weeks worth of bought food? I don't think I have enough counter space to drag out all the jars and bags things I get food bits out of

Yeah, youre right. It was my own misinterpretation. I tried to make it similarly to the photo essay (and different from the German familys groceries featured there, to be sure), incl. all of the fresh stuff for one week - not recommended, the remaining greens are not so fresh anymore now! But at least I was clever enough to put only one spice jar and one oil, representing all the different ones I use during the week. (wrong thread for this anyway, sorry)



Regarding the OP, as others already said, it differs greatly not just depending on where you live but imho most of all depending on your preferences and expectations.

I know very well how to get by on a low budget, but it means not much organic foods, less fruit, less fresh/raw vegetables (more frozen broccoli/kale instead), not buying things like fancy spice mixes, and not as much variety overall. All of which I really like, so when I can afford it, I dont mind spending a bit more. But it definitely is manageable to get by at the equivalent of $200.

Always buying foods in the least processed form available (e. g. dried legumes instead of canned, flour and yeast to make your own bread), sticking to seasonal (and local, if possible) produce, cooking from scratch and in larger batches (to freeze and reheat, or eat the same or something similar, with alterations, several times in a row) helps a lot.
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#29 Old 09-04-2008, 07:11 AM
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I think I spend far too much on food

I buy all my staples in bulk and don't buy canned pulses (dried only), and I have a well-stocked pantry with lots of whole spices and things. My fruit and vegetables come from the farmers market, which is always very cheap for the basic fruit & veg.



I have all of that solved, but I think my problem is that I absolutely love "treats", like jars of antipasto vegetables, wild rice, exotic fruits (I go through $12-$15 worth of fresh dates every week, and some of my favourite fruits are up to $2 per piece!), almond milk, gourmet olives and oils etc. It doesn't seem like much at the time I'm choosing all my little treats, but when it comes time to pay I'm a little shocked! I think I'm going to have to cut down on all that luxury, as soon it won't seem special to me... plus I'm putting on weight quite rapidly
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#30 Old 09-04-2008, 10:35 AM
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I hear ya Havoc,



The fresh fruit is what kills ya, at least in my neck of the woods. One small grapefruit at my store is 1.50 on sale. Just one grapefruit a day is 20% of my food budget! LOL. I'm living on a grad student budget right now so frozen and canned fruits/veggies have really saved me. Obviously you have to buy lettuce and other salad fixings fresh, but at two bucks a head even iceberg lettuce is pricey for me. I really need to start checking out farmer's markets and see if there are any close enough for me to get to. I gave up my vehicle so if I can't get there by foot or bus, I'm outta luck.



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