Thread Number: 73678  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
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Post# 972959   12/11/2017 at 07:52 by johnrk (BP TX)        

Old habits die hard, as so many of us know.

I began, forty-plus years ago, of watching my food expenses closely in college. Fortunately, I went vegan within a few months, so I was able to calculate costs. To this day, I'll mentally think of the cost-per-meal when I fix recipes. For example, I did a pot roast a few days ago. Had a friend over, and I've eaten two meals off of it also. So I know what I paid per meal for it.

I can't state that I'm a really tightwad buyer at the grocery store, but I do think of cost-per-meal with so much that I buy. And, fortunately, I enjoy cooking and got burned out on fast food crap when I traveled so much with business.

My question--how many of you out there actually make a food budget and adhere to it? Or do you just sort of estimate, as I do?

Post# 972962 , Reply# 1   12/11/2017 at 08:30 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Good question. Honestly, if I had the time/energy to spend on a food budget, I'd spend it on other budget areas.

That said, I do have something of a mental price list in my head of what things cost in my local ACME. So if I come across the item somewhere else, I generally know if it's a better deal or not. I also no longer hesitate to whip out my phone so calculate whether brand x priced per pound is a better deal than better than brand y priced per ounce. Because I'm sometimes lazy, I'll just do it in my head using 15oz per pound instead of 16.

What pisses me off are the following relationships I've learned from trying to be budget conscious about food:

Protein = expensive
healthy = very expensive
healthy and tastes good = super expensive

I tend to be an 'ovo-lacto' vegetarian at home because it seems to save me so much time, energy, and money on cooking & food shopping. It has the added benefit of freeing me to order whatever I damn well please when I go out because I don't have to worry about calories, cholesterol, $$, etc.

No, I have not checked the accuracy of what I was told, but when I was scoped out before my heart surgery I was asked if I were vegan. I giggled and said, "hell no!" Long story short: 50 questions later when they found out I rarely eat meat because I don't care enough to bother (and olive oil instead of butter for the same reason) they all looked at each other, nodded and said, "Well, that explains it." High on 'detachment drugs' (their name), I asked, "Well, what explains what?" They told me that the fat & cholesterol from dairy & eggs (minus butter, I assume) tends to be less artery clogging than the equivalent amount from meat sources. Has anyone heard this?


Post# 972963 , Reply# 2   12/11/2017 at 09:07 by johnrk (BP TX)        

I've been following nutritional leanings since college in the 70's, the old days of protein-combining to reach the 'magic 7'. One thing you'll find if you spend the time is that there are as many theories about nutrition as there are items in the grocery store. Witness all the high/low carb diets, paleo crap, macrobiotics (whatever happened to those people?), etc. The average physician doesn't know sh*t from Shinola about nutrition because they aren't trained in medical school for it. Registered dieticians as I used to see in my hospital work only know the old home-ec models. And, of course, there's the Mediterranean diet, the Atkins diet, the Susan Powter diet, and so on.

What prompted me to reply, though, was your statement about 'healthy' being "expensive". What are you talking about, what foods? I just bought a head of cabbage yesterday at the store for about a Dollar, organic, bought some organic cauliflower and broccoli, organic carrots, organic celery. I'm gonna make a big pot of veggie soup, maybe with, maybe without some meat in it, and it's definitely not going to be expensive.

You know what's the most expensive in any grocery store? Processed crap. You're getting low-quality food where the real money made is by the companies cranking it out. Think of what people are paying now for stupid cereal. Think of all those crummy little Lean Cuisine frozen dinners I see people buying--usually fat people.

I don't remember the last time I bought an expensive piece of meat-wrong, I bought a NY strip last month to test with my new sous vide cooker. Other than that, I don't waste the money. I buy pork loin roasts when they're on weekly special at H-E-B, pressure cook them and convert into BBQ pulled pork, which I freeze in Foodsaver bags the right amount for a perfect sandwich. If I buy a roast I'll cut into pieces, cook enough to flavor the veggies, freeze in pieces. Costs maybe 25 cents per sandwich for that pulled pork. I mean, if you're not a damn hog over various meats they needn't break your budget. And it sounds like you aren't one. So where is the "expensive" coming in? What are you buying that costs so much? I'll state here, though, that rice has been a staple in my diet since teenage years, and still is, in several varieties. As are beans in a dozen different varieties. And they're all inexpensive per serving.

Incidentally, I'm post-bypass even after being either vegan or lacto-ovo for nearly 30 years. It runs in my family; as a gym rat I had my first MI in my late 30's. I should be dead by now like so many before me.

Post# 973028 , Reply# 3   12/11/2017 at 15:07 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I am

Careful with money, but I don't scrimp on certain things, I buy Campbells soups, Adluh flour, Domino or Dixie Crystals sugar etc, and if I fix a roast I buy chuck or bottom round.ONLY whole milk or buttermilk, none of that nasty 1 percent or skim..LOL

Post# 973040 , Reply# 4   12/11/2017 at 15:21 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

We've already established that Lord Kenmore is Poor White Trash, and so it should come as no surprise that his grocery budget is very limited...and he has to do well with staying inside of said budget. He takes strange joy when he completes a month, and has $2 in the budget still remaining.

Post# 973041 , Reply# 5   12/11/2017 at 15:21 by johnrk (BP TX)        
The Funny Thing About Cow Titty Milk

is that apparently it's all reduced to skim, then the proper amount of butterfat is just added back in to make it whatever fat level they need.

Post# 973045 , Reply# 6   12/11/2017 at 15:34 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture

You are correct in every word you wrote. Dr.s know crap about nutrition. When I was doing a small tour of Chemo, the waiting room was filled with Soda, Fruit Juice, Crackers, Non Dairy Creamer for coffee and Candy. All sugars which Cancer loves. Makes me furious when they are serving this crap to sick people. I give a list of supplements and the outline of my diet when I go to a new Dr. and they just look at it and either toss it aside (which to me just confirms they are on the take from Big Pharma) or comment... "You don't need to take all that stuff... it just makes for expensive urine."

"Horse Puckey" I say to them. I have immune system issues, lymphadema in my legs and a few other problems and if I ate a steady diet of junk I believe I wouldn't be here today

BJs... I buy what I call "Nuts and Bolts". That would be Carrots, Potatoes, Green Beans, Fresh Garlic (not the crap grown in China)Romaine Hearts, Apples,Butter, Coconut Oil, and it's Organic. Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs are a 18 each carton for $6.79. There are more and more Organics appearing on shelves and coolers.

Whole Foods. Despite it's nickname as Whole Paycheck, Any vegetable that I am going to consume Raw or Juice. Then watch the sales. Their canned Organic products are 100% competitive with other stores. WF has some of the best tasting Pork I have had in years. I do enjoy beef once in awhile and my friend is the Meat and Seafood Manager at Whole Foods. He will make 8-10 Cube Steaks for me and individually wrap in freezer paper for me. Each one is about 4-6 oz. and that's plenty for me these days.

Stop and Shop or Market Basket I watch for sales.

That's why it's called "Shopping". : )

Post# 973046 , Reply# 7   12/11/2017 at 15:41 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
'healthy' being "expensive".

lordkenmore's profile picture

It's funny, because I sometimes agree that eating healthfully is expensive, and at other times the idea makes my blood boil...


It's expensive in that some foods are not exactly cheap at the grocery store. And it's also expensive in the sense that one could eat for absolute minimum survival for less than eating healthfully.


But...I do buy into the idea that if one thinks eating healthfully is expensive one should price the cost of medical treatment for diseases that could be avoided with a good diet.


Indeed, I've noticed that I feel better when I'm eating reasonably well.



Post# 973049 , Reply# 8   12/11/2017 at 15:48 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

I also tend to be heavily vegetarian, and even vegan with my own cooking. I've been this way (although more "vegetarian" than "vegan") off and on for 20 years. Eating this way saves money, and is considerably more convenient.

Post# 973050 , Reply# 9   12/11/2017 at 15:48 by johnrk (BP TX)        
Whole Foods

I started shopping at WF in the original store well over 30 years ago in Austin. Where I live now, there is no local store. I shopped for years in Houston on the store on S. Shepherd but I think that's been replaced now.

I started juicing in the 70's with an Acme Juicerator, then on to Champion by the early 80's. For a time I even used the grain grinder attachment on the Champion. Bought a 3600+ VM back in the mid 80's.

These days I still juice daily, my favorite is carrot/beet/celery/greens, either kale, spinach or collards usually. I detest crappy Breville centri juicers, they kill any good nutrients with their cheapo Chinese design. I use either a Tribest twin gear, an Omega twin gear (TWN30) or an Omega single auger (NC800). As greens are the overwhelming proportion of my juice, the NC800 really does the best. I never juice fruit--I come from the days when the saying was, "eat your fruit, juice your veggies". All juicing fruit does is concentrate sugar water.

Seeing as 25% of American food purchased by families goes in the trash, whenever I hear about how 'expensive' decent food is, my antennae go up. I just don't see it. There's a large family considered financially challenged in my church parish; I've given them dozens of quarts of my home made chili to help. A few weeks ago I bumped into them in the local H-E-B. I swear, they must've had 50 of those little 'Lunchables' in that cart, piles of boxed and processed foods. No, I didn't comment--but I'll be damned if I float them any more food in the future. It's just pure laziness and stupidity.

Simple foods, prepared properly. That's the talent that so many lack today.

Post# 973055 , Reply# 10   12/11/2017 at 16:07 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture

I make a carrot, Gold Beet, Red Beet, Celery, Broccoli, Kale, with Fresh Tumeric Root and Fresh Ginger. My Herbalist likes a apple in the mix.

My Machine is a Omega Low Speed Masticating Juicer.

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Post# 973058 , Reply# 11   12/11/2017 at 16:38 by surgilator1 (Atlanta, Georgia)        

just finished up 27 weeks of radiation and 8 rounds of chemo 2 weeks ago. in a month or so they are going to check and see if they got it all. one test involves a dye and glucose solution in my veins and see where it goes. cancer loves sugar.

Post# 973059 , Reply# 12   12/11/2017 at 16:45 by johnrk (BP TX)        

The Vert is a good juicer. I'm too lazy to prep stuff properly for it, and I have the counter space for the NC800. I switched to single auger back around 2000; this is the third one I've had. I really, really like the homogenizing function for the banana 'sorbet' with various fruits.

But I like the twin gear juicers also. I really just bought the TWN out of curiosity when Omega introduced it, as the Green Star does a fine job. And it's a damn tank, heavy even to lift.

Are you familiar with the Norwalk, and now the Pure? I've had a few friends over the years, but they seem far, far too much trouble for the limited extra juice they produce.

I agree with what John Kohler says: even the best juicers re yield are useless if the owners don't use them!

Post# 973104 , Reply# 13   12/11/2017 at 21:43 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

 A few weeks ago I bumped into them in the local H-E-B. I swear, they must've had 50 of those little 'Lunchables' in that cart, piles of boxed and processed foods. No, I didn't comment--but I'll be damned if I float them any more food in the future. It's just pure laziness and stupidity.


I can't comment about this specific incident. But I'm sure it's common sight seeing people who are financially limited buying all sorts of processed crap. One real problem is that we have a country full of people who can't do anything in the kitchen but nuke something in the microwave. This is probably not a good situation in general--but it becomes dire, I think, with people who have seriously limited budgets. People with a good budget can at least afford "healthy" processed/prepared items (e.g., organic frozen dinners).


What is sad, too, is there are times when people with very seriously limited budgets have crap practically shoved down their throats. Someone I talked with a year back talked about a food bank in his area. Some of what they gave away regularly appalled him. (I can't remember any specifics. But when I had a better budget, I'd sometimes buy an extra item to donate to the local food bank collection barrel that my grocery store typically had in December. I was often horrified by what I saw in that barrel. And I seem to recall hearing kids laugh about donating a ton of Top Ramen during school food drives. It was cheap, and got the class closer to the prize pizza party...) I'm sure he'd recognize that something might be better than nothing sometimes. But he voiced concerns about the nutritional realities long term, particularly on children.

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