Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Cost of Eating

One more day and then I have $60 for groceries over the next two weeks. In the mean time I've wondered what my meals cost me. Take a typical packed lunch (or more often dinner of mine).

Sandwich = 1 Arnold Select Sandwich Thins ($.32) + 2 Hillshire Farm Hearty slices of turkey breast ($.52) + Mayo (we'll call it free) = $.84
Mott's Healthy Harvest Apple Sauce, any flavor = $.35
Fruitables juice box = $.31
Total Cost = $1.50

Now typically I'll pack an additional something on the side, chips from a large bag, crackers, maybe a cookie. None of these options cost me more than $.50. So we'll call the meal even as $2.00. If I pack a P&J sandwich instead it will probably cost me about $.25 - $.40 less. I know there are ways to cut back such as buying regular bread. Let's just say I'm picky. I better enjoy what I'm eating or why bother with it at all?

Last night I made pasta. Not for dinner but for some latter meals. This meal was a great bargain. I bought the pasta on sale for $1.00 and had a $.50 coupon. My local grocery store doubles coupons to have up to a $1.00 total value. I received the pasta free! While having the sale on pasta they also put one of favorite pasta sauces on sale, Newman's Own 2/$4.00. At the time there was an internet coupon for $.50 on any Newman's Own product. This coupon also doubled up to $1.00. Excellent pasta sauce for $1.00! Get the idea?

While I could have stopped with just sauce and pasta I was in the mood for some beef. So out of the freezer comes 1/2 pound of beef to cook up. I don't recall the price on this. I think the numbers would have worked out to about $2.66/pound. I don't buy a pack of meat for more than $4.00 general because I won't use it that quickly and I only have the freezer from the refrigerator to use.

Pasta = Free!
Pasta sauce = $1.00
1/2 pound Ground Beef = $1.33
Total cost = $2.33/4 servings = $.58/$.59 per serving!

I admit to adding a little bit of cheese to mine. But at less than $.60 a serving it's quiet all right. In addition to the pasta I would love to add some vegetables. I've got some wonderful bags of vegetables your throw in the microwave to steam. I managed to snag each at $1.00 a bag. Again divided into 4 servings it still only brings the meal up to approximately $.85/serving.

Better than fast food eating in either scenario!

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