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Grocery Budget?

May 21st, 2008 at 03:15 am

Ok, I am a ramen/tuna/cornflakes kind of person who, if peanut-butter and jelly were outlawed, would have to live in San Quentin. In the settlements near the Guild, it's microwaves and George Foreman grills. Not the stuff of haute cuisine.

But my apartment has a kitchen, eeek! And now I have to stock a pantry. I'm thinking that having one meatless meal a day will really cut costs. I'm not a vegetarian (I am a baconarian) but meat=expensive!

I know there are frugal cooking websites, but they seem to be family orientated. I am perennially single, and using Monday's meal for 4 to make leftovers for Tuesday and Wednesday's meals (also for 4) mean that I've got tons of food that's going to waste.

But what's a reasonable amount to spend? I'm organic for dairy, but I can make my own yogurt and cheese is incompatible with bikini season, so it's mainly a milk bill. Cutting down on meat is definitely going to help, but I could cook a chicken or something. There's a local farm cooperative not too far from me that's selling shares. For about 20/week** I can get fresh vegetables (not fruit). I could bake my own bread. Eliminating coffee is slightly less preferable than eliminating air.

So I'm guessing 20+6 for fruit, plus dairy and some meat...that's looking like 35/week? Say 40/week total. Is that crazy?

**this is a half-share. I expect to freeze a ton of stuff for casseroles. If I could find a buddy to pair up with, it'd be 10/week. This is the second peril of singledom. The first is that there's no one to kill the spiders for you.

4 Responses to “Grocery Budget?”

  1. baselle Says:

    For the longest time, I lived on a ham or turkey ham - something I can slice for a bit of protein - along with a lettuce salad or frozen vegetables and bread. It helps if you have some tolerance for boredom and you aren't finicky. If you need the novelty, a nice basic salad-y casserole-y thing that you can dress up differently every day can help. Take tuna salad, for instance - classic sandwich, tuna melt if you like it hot, stuff a tomato or pepper with it, macaroni salad, a dollop on top of a bed of lettuce. If you are looking for non-meat, falafel is a good choice.

    If its cooking for one, I think $40/week is a good first estimate. Buy in season - it will be tight.

  2. aevans1206 Says:

    Invest in some tupperware containers, cook and freeze those larger portions. That leave you with lots of options and the ability to decide to not cook, but still have a meal ready for you.

  3. Petunia Says:

    I used to make one meal for four on Monday, and eat it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. By then it was gone and I was tired of it, but it worked. (I didn't get tired of it until Thursday, so it wasn't that bad.) I had a non-working freezer and a small fridge then so cooking ahead wouldn't have worked for me. As for your budget, try it and see. It's probably not too far off.

  4. greengirl Says:

    i cook for my boyfriend and i, so the meals for four we always freeze half. you can always just half the ingredients and make enough for two nights for yourself.

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