Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Eating Really Does Cost About $100/month

In response to the skepticism associated with my claim that it is possible to eat for less than $100/month, I have done some further research. Cspice said that I would to get about 400 calories per dollar. Consider the following 5-day food list:

  1. $2 Yogurt - 960 calories
  2. $2.50 Milk - 1440 calories
  3. $2.50 Cereal (Honey Bunches of Oats) - 2210 calories
Lunch and Mini Meals
  1. $1 Spaghetti (Barilla) - 1600 calories
  2. $1.50 Spaghetti Sauce - 420 calories
  3. $2.50 Bananas (10) - 1000 calories
  4. $0.50 Carrots (5) - 150 Calories
  1. $3.50 Hamburgers 1/2 lb. (6) - 1500 calories
  2. $2.00 Chicken Thighs (2) - 240
  3. $0.32 Brown Rice (4 cups) - 800
This gives 10320 calories spread over 5 days to give 2064 calories a day. The total cost for all of this food is $18.32. Multiply this times 6 to fill up a 30 day month and our total cost for food is $109.90. This is really close to the $100 I claimed previously. It is important to note a few things about this list. The prices given are the best sale prices seen at my local grocery store (which come to find out is pretty over priced for my area) in the past month. Also, a few of the items like milk and yogurt last for longer than 5 days, typically around 7 days. Regardless, our monthly total is right around $100. Nonetheless, this is a theoretical minimum, and even though I do, and have been eating like this for the past year while maintaining my body weight and health, it is probably not recommended for everyone. Also, this does not consider any dining out costs that a spicy lifestyler will probably do with friends every once in a while. Eat out once by yourself though, and you are going to be way over $100/month. In the past year or so, I have trained myself to enjoy the foods listed on a regular basis. My diet and health are better than ever. I trimmed the fat on my body while fattening up my wallet.


cspice said...

This is an awesome article, I get a real kick out of seeing wild schemes like this. Just to clarify, I actually said that you would have to get 600 calories per dollar, and it looks like this diet would achieve that. I am a little skeptical that this is all you eat because I know you have mentioned other foods before, such as sandwiches, which aren't listed. But it is really fun to at least see a plan that you are approximately implementing. I have seen an even crazier plan that required only $15 dollars a week, but that was for a skinny Chinese guy who probably didn't require as much energy. His plan involved mostly fish, tofu, rice, and vegetables.

mspice said...

Thanks for the correction on the calorie per dollar count. Sandwiches used to be a staple of my diet, replacing spaghetti as my daily lunch. However, even given the cheapest bread and meet, this diet would cost about $6 per week. I find spaghetti much tastier and more filling. Certainly from time to time, I deviate from the list of foods mentioned, and this will, 9 times out of 10, raise the overall monthly budget. However, mostly I stick to it, which keeps my food budget right around $100 per month.