How Much Does it Cost to Eat Per Day?

One day last week Mr. BMM and I were talking about expenses. He commented how expensive it must be to eat a Strongman diet. I asked him what he thought we spent per month on food, snacks, toilet paper, etc. He ever so sweetly thought we spent $300 a month. I kindly responded that we spend about $250 per week. And then I built a tracking file for all of our food and home expenses for 2020. I was pretty close to that budget number. WE SPEND $37.47 PER DAY!

Let me give some context about our diets. I have 14 food allergies so eating a meal with pasta, rice, or other filling grains does not work for me. Popping popcorn for a snack, while inexpensive, will cause me to get very sick. While Mr. BMM deviates from my allergy free foods at times, we primarily eat high protein meals with veggies and fruit. But I still think we have an opportunity to reduce our costs.

Inspired by reading America’s Cheapest Family book where they spent $350 per month to feed their family of 7 back in 2007, I’m going to be making some changes. What am I looking to change? Good question. A couple things are on the horizon to change.

white and green labeled bottle on shelf
  1. Price compare meat prices. Ask a friend to go with them to a warehouse membership store, buy meat in bulk and spend a little bit of time breaking the whole package down.
  2. Kick brand loyalty to the curb. After looking at our kitchen and personal items, we are brand loyal to Cottonelle toilet paper. That’s about to change since I refuse to pay an increased price! I recently price compared toilet paper and Angel Soft is cheapest. We will see how that works out for us.
  3. Meal plan for two weeks. Usually I would meal plan each week and pick up whatever we needed during that week’s shopping trip. I’m now going through the kitchen and writing a list of meals that we can make with what is in the kitchen at the time and only picking up necessary items.
  4. Make from scratch vs. buy. A couple months ago I started making my own chocolate energy bars (absolutely delicious!). I just emailed Mr. BMM a homemade chocolate clif bar recipe and asked him what he thought. Because he takes them to work, I will have to put them in individual plastic bags. He needs to be able to snack without touching the food since his hands get dirty. The total start up cost for these bars is about the same price a 1 box of 12. You know that I’m going to get more than 12 bars out of my original ingredient purchase!

11 thoughts on “How Much Does it Cost to Eat Per Day?

  1. I have found that I stick to one type of paper towel and or toilet paper because I found I use le ss of a certain type because of the layers it has. If I bought one with thinner layers or less layers of paper I tended to use up more of the roll. I have read that shopping at bulk stores like Costco or Sam’s club if they’re only a few in the family, three or less, it generally is not cost effective. If you have a way of storing bulk items and using them before they expire then that could possibly save some money but just think if you bought that pack of hamburger at the bulk store one day that possibly it would go on sale at your local food store and be fresher. It’s really bad shopping on days when I know the grocery store has sales has helped decrease my food cost and knowing that almost every day they put some food items in the discount area that are soon to be expired I have also cut down my cost. You have some excellent ideas and yes a couple of those I do myself. Unfortunately the pandemic has greatly increase the cost of many items at the store.

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    1. I totally get you on the TP. I’m testing a couple brands that claim to be similar. Only time will tell. I refuse to spend money on a membership to buy groceries and agree that a family of 2 + pup likely do not need to wast the money on a membership. I found a couple local restaurant suppliers that have no membership for things that I like to buy in bulk like chicken breasts and thighs. I think doing some make vs. buy calculations will help the most for me.

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  2. I kind of went in the opposite direction for some items! For toilet paper, I found a brand that is more expensive but more sustainable and doesn’t use plastic and supports a good cause (Reel Paper). I also like to buy organic foods which can sometimes cost more. Also found there is a difference in high quality dark chocolate/cacao vs regular dark chocolate – not just taste but I think nutrients and less processing, too. Ice cream is another – sometimes the cheapest stuff has the most questionable ingredients. I guess for me it’s about picking and choosing which things to spend a little more on and which things I can do without! Food is usually worth spending more on (in my opinion).

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    1. Great points! There are somethings that I feel it is important to buy organic and/or spend more for better quality. Surprisingly I found the store brand products to be better than most name brands yet generally cost less. Calculating how much we spend per day was still eye-opening for me. I am looking forward to making all of our snack bars rather than buying them in the stores.

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