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My $50-a-Week Food Expense

March 23rd, 2014 at 11:17 am

Buying whatever I wanted to buy, I spent $420 on groceries and other food items for the 2 months of January and February. That's an average of $50 per week for 8.4 weeks (59 days). And that's not as a food "budget", where I set out to limit my spending to $50 a week. No. That's $50 a week buying what I wanted and practicing what I call "frugality without sacrifice."*

I kept my costs down by stocking up on storable items when they went on sale, and staying flexible on my weekly choice of vegetables, fruits and other perishables. Since I only ate out 5 times during that two-month period, the $420 I spent paid for 172 meals plus a robust amount of snacking. Here are the details on how I eat on $50 a week.

My breakfasts consist of oatmeal with milk, strawberries and bananas. My lunches include a ham, turkey or salami and cheese sandwich, a pickle, some beer, and fresh apple. Between lunch and dinner, my snacks may be yogurt, apple and cheese, shredded wheat with milk, or toast with peanut butter.

My dinners are heavy on meat and vegetables, low on starches. Neither rice, pasta nor potatoes form part of my usual daily diet. Instead, on my dinner plate you will find either steak, pork chop, country rib, roast beef or chicken along with large helpings of 2 fresh steamed vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower. To this I add a large mixed salad and fruit for dessert.

After dinner, I will do more sporadic snacking on crackers with cream cheese, chocolate, or more fruit or yogurt. And I will indulge my extravagant coffee habit.

I am a Keurig K-cup coffee fanatic. My absolute favorite is Tully's French Roast, and I will go through 2 K-cups of that coffee each day. These normally cost 64 cents each in packs of 18. But I manage to get them at a hefty discount. By using store coupons and leveraged cashback redemptions**, I keep my cost down to 40 cents per K-cup. And I keep my food expense down to $50 a week without making any sacrifices on what I choose to eat.

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*Playing the Frugal Game is Fun:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/14/playing-th...
**Leveraging Up Cashback Redemptions:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/03/18/leveraging...

8 Responses to “My $50-a-Week Food Expense”

  1. Mooshocker Says:

    I think your breakfast regimine has a type............SOME BEER????? LOLOLOLOL Please verify this as I can't stop thinkings it doesn't fit with your description....

  2. Retired To Win Says:

    Read the post again. The beer is with lunch, not breakfast.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Mooshocker made me look again! LOL

    Glad you can buy things you like and bargain hunt at the same time. Good job!

  4. Retired To Win Says:

    Thanks, Rob!

  5. Mary Ann Says:

    Sounds like you have a good plan!

  6. Retired To Win Says:

    It works for me, MaryAnn! Smile

  7. curious Says:

    On your "about me" page you mention that you are married. What does your wife eat? Is she included in this budget? Or are all of her expenses separate from the ones you are mentioning here?

  8. Retired To Win Says:

    Hey, curious...

    During the months of January and February, I had the opportunity to see what my "solo" food expenses would be because I went snowbirding by myself in Florida (and had to supply myself from scratch). So that is where I got my data.

    My wife and I eat mostly the same things, and I think any differing choices we might have balance each other out. So I figure our 2-person food expense is twice what I reported for me alone. (I am gathering data for March now, and it looks like the month's food expense for the 2 of us is going to come in much lower. But a lot of the meats we have been eating have been coming out of our overstocked freezer!)

    I hope that makes sense!

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