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Old 13-04-2012, 05:28   #1
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Food Budget - What Are You Eating?

I was reading a "budget" thread. From it and others like it seems there are a lot of people budgeting $100-$200/mo for food. That's $3.33-$6.66/day!

What I want to know is just what are you planning to eat on this budget?

I'm sure you can buy enough rice/beans/pasta to keep you alive on this, but really!
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Old 13-04-2012, 05:55   #2
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

If i cant grow it myself , as i do when in the USA, I buy at a local market- i never eat crap from a can- I feel eating fresh foods is cheap health insurance
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Old 13-04-2012, 06:35   #3
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

On my usual weekly grocery trips I spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $40. Always a few fresh veggies, usually lettuce and tomatoes, something green. Whatever is fresh and possibly local, like green beans, brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc.. 2 green peppers, a few very small onions or challots, and maybe a sweet potato or two. And I'll get enough fruit to have one or two pieces a day for the week. Usually just banana's and a few apples, or whatever is fresh and local that week. And I always get 3 avacados. And usually some type of tortilla chips for snacking. That's generally less than $20 And provides all the veggies I need for the week.
I usually buy bread, eggs, and cheese. But, often a dozen eggs lasts me more than 1 week. Lately I get the deli's wheat french bread for $1.79 And I'll often get a few 2 liters of generic soda.

Then I buy whatever is needed for my non-weekly stuff. Things like paper towels, soaps, Coffee (my local store has a great deal on 2lbs fair trade coffee from south america for $10). 2lbs of coffee beans usually lasts me more than 2 months just drinking 16oz every morning. Sugar lasts several weeks/months and I usually stock up on it, I get the raw or organic cane sugars...oatmeal, flour, jams, some kind of hot peppers, peanuts, spices, soy sauce, etc... I'm usually well stocked up on this stuff so I'm never buying it all at one time.

Then If I haven't gone over the budget yet, I'll get a few canned goods mainly to keep stocked up things. I try to keep a 1-3 months worth of canned/dry goods on board and rotate them out as I use them.

To stock up on things I use the 'use one, buy two' method... That way I'm only buying a few things each week, yet I stay stocked up. Stuff like brown rice and lentils lasts for many months and are only a few dollars. I tend to have much more than I'll ever need.

That covers my $200 a month budget, but I'm not a vegetarian, so I do buy meats occasionally. I just don't include them in my weekly shopping trip. I'll buy whatever I feel like eating that day. (usually only 2 or 3 times a week), I'll stop and spend about $5-7 on meats that will last 1-2 days. Sometimes I'll get a half-gallon of milk.

A typical day of eating for me is pretty simple. A 16oz cup of coffee (or sometimes tea), and small bowl of oatmeal with raisins and sugar, almost every morning... a banana for a mid-morning snack. A few handfulls of peanuts and an apple for lunch. Then a nice dinner of meats and veggies in some fashion. Yesterday I grilled a $5 ribeye and sauteed some fresh green beans, carrots, and challots... Tonight, since I won't stop and buy meat again, I'll probably have something like an egg/cheese sandwich, or maybe some rice and veggies stir-fry. On the days I don't stop to buy meat (like today) dinner is completely random and usually turns out to be some of the best meals. This is when it's time to get creative and come up with something new, or perfect an old recipe, etc...I'll usually use a combination of canned goods, dried, and fresh produce to come up with something really good. It's usually some type of stew, soup, or stir-fry. Or if I don't feel like cooking, I'll just make some tuna salad and have a sandwich.

I grow sprouts quite often, but not every week. Have yet to go through the 2lbs of mung beans and 1lb of alfalfa that bought more than 6 months ago..

Thats it'. Less than $300 a month, usually closer to $200... I Stay stocked up, eat very healthy and simple. Not beans and rice everyday, but I do eat them often.


I keep my 'entertainment' budget separate from my food budget. So alcohol, and the occasional over spending on dinner falls into this category. Why? Because if I need to save a few extra pennies that month, I know where to cut back and I don't have to scrimp at the grocery.
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Old 13-04-2012, 06:49   #4
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

An hour in the water with a speargun and $10 to the local farmers and we are eating for a week.

Mark
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:20   #5
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

Plenty of veggies here. Eating quasi vegetarian and cooking your own you can live on that "3.33" here! You will go all the way to like 3.50 if you chuck in a bottle of wine or a bar of quality chocolate now and then. Then you will go to maybe 5.00 if you splash on fruits.

Eating veggies in a veggies country is cheap.

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Old 13-04-2012, 07:50   #6
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
An hour in the water with a speargun and $10 to the local farmers and we are eating for a week.

Mark
Nice snapper Mark!
Yes its easy to find sea food in the Caribbean, in fact it easier to jump in or put a line out and get dinner than it is to buy it in the stores in many places
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Old 13-04-2012, 09:47   #7
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

I generally do two meals a day with a snack or two. Breakfast could be cereal or blueberry pancakes with sausage or bacon. Main meal would be a chicken gumbo, Jambalaya, curry, or roast beef stew. Sometimes just grilled cheese or a hamburger and fries.

Yes rice and potato's, plus onion, garlic, green and red peppers, celery, tomato's , etc. Lots O spices, some caned chicken, ham or roast beef. No microwave meals.. (No microwave!)

Drinks are brewed tea's and lemonades. Cookies are made from scratch..

Generally shop in several stores to get to lowest prices and sale items. I generally get the least expensive items and avoid the word organic. You could easily spend twice to three times my $30 a week budget getting the exact same items in the same store. The high end grocery stores are crazy expensive.

Nothing fancy, no five course meals, but good food never the less.

I should point out that I don't drink coffee, beer or wine (no reason, I'm just weird), so that saves me a bunch right there...
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:05   #8
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

filet mignon here in la cruz is less than 5 dollars. veggies are less than 2 dollars. fresh fish is cheepo.
living in the usa is pricy--get out and sail to find cheaper foodstuffs to eat.
eating out5 can be a slow as 2 dollars for a meal.
beer is 10-15 pesos. in a restaurant/bar/club...cheaper to buy an ocho..

dude--yer inda wrong place.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:05   #9
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

Our food budget ranges from $200-400 a month, depending on where we are cruising and how much is coming out of ships stores. We eat extremely well, probably far too well looking at our waistlines!

I stock up on cheap items whenever I see them, canning excess if necessary.

Breakfast is porridge,cereal or at weekends bacon and eggs. I bake bread every other day, carrying bulk supplies for that. Bake cakes and cookies once a week. make all our own preserves, pickles etc.

Fresh meat when it's on offer, fish when we catch one, otherwise canned protein(home canned) or vegetarian using beans, lentils rice, whatever is about.

I enjoy a glass of wine most evenings, that's included in our budget. The other half prefers iced tea/coffee. Grind our own beans, grow sprouts when access to fresh veg limited.

Bake pizza once a week usually as a treat on a Friday night! Enjoy making patisserie and complex recipes when not on the high seas.

Household products are all purchased in bulk, loo rolls, kitchen towel, cleaners etc. Mostly use own brand once I have tested to make sure the quality is ok.

We buy the occasional steak, leg of lamb, shrimp and entertain once or twice a month.

I investigate prices and outlets in any place that we will be reprovisioning in before I buy. Check out special deals and ALWAYS go armed with a list!

Chocolate can blow our budget out of the water so that is only bought when on offer or we are about to head offshore for some time and need lots of treats!

Favourite meals include from scratch curry with homemade naan bread and all the trimmings.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:18   #10
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

$4.00 a day is pretty easy if you shop meats (less than $4 a pound) and eat stuff that's not prepackaged.

Of course that's not including all the "stuff" you might put on food as some go crazy with dressings/condiments/seasonings etc and of course household goods like cleaners, al foil, etc which REALLY add up.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:41   #11
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

I would like to know what countries you are eating fresh veggies and meat for $3 a day per person. I used to keep a spread sheet of our budget but no longer do. Cook most food from scratch, buy what is the best price on each island. Best we can do is $400 per month for 2 from the Virgin Islands to Grenada.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:43   #12
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

baking anything in tropix is a difficulty----unless ye cook it in bbq-er. is also a lil cheaper to buy it already made....just sayin.
i spend, usually, less than 300 dollars in foods--is approx.3000pesos i udget for foods, and make it with extra. peso is about 12.5 to one dollar.

i am in la cruz de huanacaxtle, nayarit, mexico, in banderas bay
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:11   #13
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
(...) Generally shop in several stores to get to lowest prices (...)
!

We have a most similar technique:

- butter&yoghurt - Carrefour (French),
- fruit&vegs - Spar (Dutch),
- anchovies - Mercadona (local),
- flour from El Corte Ingles,
- chocolate from Hiperdino ... ;-)

The items that we buy mostly outside of big networks are tea&coffee, none of which can be had at the quality we like from local shops. So we buy coffee at IKEA (Swedes!) and tea from an Indian or Russian shop.

Now if I could only get some on that tinned Earl Grey we used to buy from Lider Price ...!

Not only we save loads like this but we also get the best from each shop (plus walking between the shops helps us keep fit).

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Old 13-04-2012, 11:18   #14
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pinhacolada anybody?

In the Azores:
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:25   #15
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Re: Food budget - what are you eating

A T-bone twice a week is my reward for getting through the week. This steak has to have the largest price swing of any meat. "Normal" price of $12.99 to $14.99 per pound, but for some reason on a super sale, $4.99 per pound. When that price is offered, I call the butcher and ask that he wrap individual steaks in freezer paper and set 100 lbs worth in a shopping cart and place in his walk-in freezer. I pick up the next day and transfer to my chest freezer. Since they are frozen and won't leak juice, I placed each wrapped steak in a freezer rated zip-lock bag, squeeze the air out and zip. I am able to re-use those zip-locks on the next purchase. Plus because they are frozen fast, they are in good shape and my freezer doesn't have to work so hard freezing them.

Also, at remote anchorages, you get a good rep when you BBQ T-bones for your guests.
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