Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

My Food expenses are really high according to Mint.com Summary

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post


    Bars are trouble. Just a couple of beers or mixed drinks and an appetizer and you're probably out $25 or more. Do that even once a week and you're spending $1,300/year. Add in a $25 dinner and it's double that amount.
    I can tell you haven't been to a bar in a while. Some bars have $25 cover charges, and then the cocktails are $15-$20 each, depending on ingredients. It is all "craft" stuff now.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post

      I can tell you haven't been to a bar in a while. Some bars have $25 cover charges, and then the cocktails are $15-$20 each, depending on ingredients. It is all "craft" stuff now.
      Great point - alcohol is, in general, a large and hidden part of people's food budget. Its also a huge component of one's entertainment budget.
      james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
      202.468.6043

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

        It's great that you're taking the time to dig into the numbers and realizing that there is a problem there. The bottom line is simply that you are eating out way too much. You really need to focus on cooking more at home, packing lunches from home, and maybe entertaining more at home instead of going out so much. Also, cutting back on the alcohol consumption probably wouldn't be a bad idea for various reasons beyond just financial.
        Yea it looks like I'll have to cook every meal. I thought I was cooking a decent amount until I dug into mint.com. Just going out alone seems to do a lot of damage, like someone mentioned above, cover charges exist at some places.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by lootpacman View Post

          Yea it looks like I'll have to cook every meal
          That would be the most extreme solution which probably isn't realistic, but what your'e doing isn't really sustainable either. You need to find a happy medium that fits your budget and your lifestyle.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post

            I can tell you haven't been to a bar in a while. Some bars have $25 cover charges, and then the cocktails are $15-$20 each, depending on ingredients. It is all "craft" stuff now.
            I know clubs have cover charges. I've never been to a bar that had one.

            As for the cost of cocktails, I'm well aware of that as my wife and I are whiskey aficionados. We have ordered $20+ drinks numerous times, but I also realize that we're ordering higher end items. You can get a basic drink made with trough spirits for a lot less. And if you go at Happy Hour, you can spend way less like $3 beers, $4 shots, $5 mixed drinks or something like that. So not everything is "craft" although that it is a trendy thing now.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

              That would be the most extreme solution which probably isn't realistic, but what your'e doing isn't really sustainable either. You need to find a happy medium that fits your budget and your lifestyle.
              Bars/clubs are one thing I will reduce for sure I would be saving over $3000, enough to put towards a car/house/IRA.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by lootpacman View Post

                Bars/clubs are one thing I will reduce for sure I would be saving over $3000, enough to put towards a car/house/IRA.
                There is so much power in seeing the numbers like you are doing. That's really the only way you can set yourself on a good path going forward. You need to know where your money is going in order to decide where you really want it to be going.

                Keep us posted on your progress.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                • lootpacman
                  lootpacman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks! Will do!

              • #23
                I don't want to ruin your social life which seems to rotate around bars/pubs and eating out. Suggest making modest changes that reduce spending without wrecking sociability. Easiest of all, take coffee to go from home, make coffee at work using system they provide. Take lunch from home; easiest is to take remainder of previous night's dinner. What are your 5, favourite meals? Cooking at home, primarily from scratch is healthier than packaged or restaurant, fat, salt, sugar, chemically loaded entrees. Possibly cook Sunday and treat special friends + enough for a few lunches. Budget eating out only Friday, Saturday + one.

                I've no idea what you like to eat but roasting a cut of beef is merely a few spices & correct timing. Shrimp scampi is simplest of all if you remember to buy and use fresh shrimp. Lamp chops/ leg of lamb depends on condiments. Roasting a chicken [or buying a rotisseried chicken] with common, chopped up root vegetables of choice is easily sliced, wrapped in meal sized segments. waiting in your fridge's freezer for the side dishes your prefer from pasta, rice, potato, even easy to use, packaged filo dough or add a bag of coleslaw, to create Asian stir fry. Really, pick an ethnicity you like, www.allrecipes.com, type ingredient to use in the 'search' block and follow the instruction using the amount of product adjusted for the number of servings you desire.

                BTW, it goes much faster if you can adjust to the newer, Hot Pot [electric pressure cooker] adjustment from oven cooking. le you like to eat. I counted 11 different bagged salads at the local grocery. Buy two at a time and rotate. Any frozen vegetable you're willing to eat. Finally, you can buy a whole bottle of wine or liquor for cost of cover charge & one drink in the pub! The experts tell us, Restaurant meals cost about 5 times the cost of make it yourself.


                Last edited by snafu; 09-08-2018, 09:48 AM.

                Comment


                • #24
                  As Snafu and many mentioned, cooking at home does save a ton of money. A big thing is planning. Grocery stores offer sales on cycles. I stock up on certain items that we use a lot when they are on sale. I have a good pantry and keep the freezer full when I can find things on sale. I plan my weekly meals and then grocery shop. Anything I can fix ahead of time, I do, so I don't have an excuse to say, "Let's eat out." There are two of us and I will make a large pot of soup and will freeze part of it in containers that we will eat in one sitting. Same thing with things like goulash.

                  We do eat out, but when we do, it is for a reason besides we are going out. Not eating out as much as we used to for convenience has helped in three ways : 1) Eating out has become something special; 2) It saves us money; and 3) We tend to eat healthier at home.

                  Comment


                  • lootpacman
                    lootpacman commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I like the sound of that, aiming to get into that mindset.

                • #25
                  We've been looking at buying in bulk from a restaurant supply store in here in Portland. They have deals like 50 lbs of rice for 18 bucks.
                  james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                  202.468.6043

                  Comment


                  • #26
                    Originally posted by snafu View Post
                    I don't want to ruin your social life which seems to rotate around bars/pubs and eating out. Suggest making modest changes that reduce spending without wrecking sociability. Easiest of all, take coffee to go from home, make coffee at work using system they provide. Take lunch from home; easiest is to take remainder of previous night's dinner. What are your 5, favourite meals? Cooking at home, primarily from scratch is healthier than packaged or restaurant, fat, salt, sugar, chemically loaded entrees. Possibly cook Sunday and treat special friends + enough for a few lunches. Budget eating out only Friday, Saturday + one.

                    I've no idea what you like to eat but roasting a cut of beef is merely a few spices & correct timing. Shrimp scampi is simplest of all if you remember to buy and use fresh shrimp. Lamp chops/ leg of lamb depends on condiments. Roasting a chicken [or buying a rotisseried chicken] with common, chopped up root vegetables of choice is easily sliced, wrapped in meal sized segments. waiting in your fridge's freezer for the side dishes your prefer from pasta, rice, potato, even easy to use, packaged filo dough or add a bag of coleslaw, to create Asian stir fry. Really, pick an ethnicity you like, www.allrecipes.com, type ingredient to use in the 'search' block and follow the instruction using the amount of product adjusted for the number of servings you desire.

                    BTW, it goes much faster if you can adjust to the newer, Hot Pot [electric pressure cooker] adjustment from oven cooking. le you like to eat. I counted 11 different bagged salads at the local grocery. Buy two at a time and rotate. Any frozen vegetable you're willing to eat. Finally, you can buy a whole bottle of wine or liquor for cost of cover charge & one drink in the pub! The experts tell us, Restaurant meals cost about 5 times the cost of make it yourself.

                    This is all great advice. I will check out allrecipes.com.

                    Comment


                    • #27
                      I think single and 25? You have to socialize and date. How else will you meet someone? Frugality you can try and meet someone who shares the same values. Plus couples tend to naturally stay in more once they find someone. Less bar trolling.

                      That being said I love all of snafu ideas. For sure keep the eating out during lunch minimum and instead pack a lunch. Then instead of eating dinner and bar, go to just bar meetup and eat dinner at home. That'll make life cheaper but without sacrificing too much. Have to go home, walk dog, change, shower, laundry then meet up

                      I might add pre-made heatable options at costco or trader joes are also cheaper than eating out. And yes it's less healthy than eating from scratch cooking but a lot of moms I know depend on that instead of take out or eating out all the time. I think it's probably better than those two options but i could be wrong.
                      LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                      Comment


                      • #28
                        Glad that you cleared up the monthly to bi-weekly pay. I was wondering how you were managing to sock away most of your paycheck before you got it and then spend all of what you do on food/liquor. That is a lot of money going into your tummy! Hoping you don't have a weight problem at this point, but unless you get the spending/eating under control you are going to find that as you get older your metabolism will slow down and you will start gaining weight.

                        As someone that has been a teetotaler for my entire life, I can't even conceive of spending that much on liquor. Nor will I offer any advice in that area.

                        I also don't drink coffee although I do buy it for hubby to make. I have found that I can usually find his favorite brand at CVS on sale for $5.99/6.99 for the 34 oz can. Across the street at the grocery store, it is usually $10+! I also buy cereal at CVS when it is on sale, as well as my addiction chocolate. At first, I was figuring that food on drugstore sales would have been sitting there for months until I became a way too frequent visitor there and saw the shelves would empty and be restocked frequently. So you can trust a name brand pharmacy if you have to shop there anyhow.

                        As to your amounts that you are spending on food in whatever way unless I read your charts wrong, you have slashed thousands this year from that area of the budget and I congratulate you. Of course, there are still a few months left to go. One of the things that I think you need to do is sit down with pen and paper and write down all the reasons that you ate out this past week/month, or as much as you can remember. Was it to go out with the 'gang'? Going out with workmates? Were you depressed/down in the dumps so eating out to cheer yourself up? Were you lonely and wanting to be around people? Tired and not wanting to cook? There are lots of reasons for why we eat out. By making a list like this, then if anything on it other than "I went out to eat with Kathy and Susan because they are great friends and we get together every month to eat out as a restaurant is closest for all of us to meet since going to each others house ends up being extensive travel. That I would consider a good reason to eat out. You are making decent money and should be able to eat out for special reasons. However if many of the reasons were just sheer laziness, or being tired, or lonely, those things need to be solved by other means.

                        I would focus on your eating out, drinking out and coffee out as the things to be working on first off. In the meantime start to work on bringing you coffee from home as well as lunch which many times should be doggy bags from the night before. As you start to pull back from eating out, you need to be making grocery lists, and not necessarily a list with just beans and rice. Buy what you enjoy eating out, only now you are going to learn how to make it at home. You can find cookbooks at your library, you can find recipes online - oodles of them and also recipes for those restaurant meals! Have a friend that also wants to increase her eating in, come over on a Saturday and have a cook ahead and freeze meals so that you know you always have things to eat. On our honeymoon, my hubby and I had a cook and freeze session. The fridge was packed with spaghetti sauce, spiced taco/burrito meat, etc. It is much easier to know you have food prepped. What we didn't realize when we did this is that I was going to come down with severe RA, and as we went on endless runs to doctors and me too tired and ill to do anything, those meals that we had made ahead were a real blessing. I still try, when I do manage to make a big batch of something, to freeze some ahead of time for days I can't do much in the way of cooking (just about always). As you start cooking more and more at home, go ahead and buy what you want to eat. I have been able to find prime rib roast on sale that while they seem expensive are the same price as eating at McDonald's. I try to always get the lowest price package of meat when I shop. We will never notice that one meat package had $1 more in it and we will be satisfied with the amount I bought. Make sure you have loyalty cards for each store you purchase food from, including the drug store as that will get you discounts.

                        Sorry, I could write a book. You make a decent income, so no reason to eat like you are impoverished. Just try for balance in your spending. One of the things I do, even though things are very tight here moneywise, is I buy what I want at the store. I'm almost 63 and have been supporting myself since I was 17. I decided that as long as I don't go nuts, I get what I need and want, granted not like you spend because your food spending is about what our monthly income is, but we don't feel like we being deprived.
                        Gailete
                        http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

                        Comment


                        • #29
                          Originally posted by Gailete View Post
                          Glad that you cleared up the monthly to bi-weekly pay. I was wondering how you were managing to sock away most of your paycheck before you got it and then spend all of what you do on food/liquor. That is a lot of money going into your tummy! Hoping you don't have a weight problem at this point, but unless you get the spending/eating under control you are going to find that as you get older your metabolism will slow down and you will start gaining weight.

                          As someone that has been a teetotaler for my entire life, I can't even conceive of spending that much on liquor. Nor will I offer any advice in that area.

                          I also don't drink coffee although I do buy it for hubby to make. I have found that I can usually find his favorite brand at CVS on sale for $5.99/6.99 for the 34 oz can. Across the street at the grocery store, it is usually $10+! I also buy cereal at CVS when it is on sale, as well as my addiction chocolate. At first, I was figuring that food on drugstore sales would have been sitting there for months until I became a way too frequent visitor there and saw the shelves would empty and be restocked frequently. So you can trust a name brand pharmacy if you have to shop there anyhow.

                          As to your amounts that you are spending on food in whatever way unless I read your charts wrong, you have slashed thousands this year from that area of the budget and I congratulate you. Of course, there are still a few months left to go. One of the things that I think you need to do is sit down with pen and paper and write down all the reasons that you ate out this past week/month, or as much as you can remember. Was it to go out with the 'gang'? Going out with workmates? Were you depressed/down in the dumps so eating out to cheer yourself up? Were you lonely and wanting to be around people? Tired and not wanting to cook? There are lots of reasons for why we eat out. By making a list like this, then if anything on it other than "I went out to eat with Kathy and Susan because they are great friends and we get together every month to eat out as a restaurant is closest for all of us to meet since going to each others house ends up being extensive travel. That I would consider a good reason to eat out. You are making decent money and should be able to eat out for special reasons. However if many of the reasons were just sheer laziness, or being tired, or lonely, those things need to be solved by other means.

                          I would focus on your eating out, drinking out and coffee out as the things to be working on first off. In the meantime start to work on bringing you coffee from home as well as lunch which many times should be doggy bags from the night before. As you start to pull back from eating out, you need to be making grocery lists, and not necessarily a list with just beans and rice. Buy what you enjoy eating out, only now you are going to learn how to make it at home. You can find cookbooks at your library, you can find recipes online - oodles of them and also recipes for those restaurant meals! Have a friend that also wants to increase her eating in, come over on a Saturday and have a cook ahead and freeze meals so that you know you always have things to eat. On our honeymoon, my hubby and I had a cook and freeze session. The fridge was packed with spaghetti sauce, spiced taco/burrito meat, etc. It is much easier to know you have food prepped. What we didn't realize when we did this is that I was going to come down with severe RA, and as we went on endless runs to doctors and me too tired and ill to do anything, those meals that we had made ahead were a real blessing. I still try, when I do manage to make a big batch of something, to freeze some ahead of time for days I can't do much in the way of cooking (just about always). As you start cooking more and more at home, go ahead and buy what you want to eat. I have been able to find prime rib roast on sale that while they seem expensive are the same price as eating at McDonald's. I try to always get the lowest price package of meat when I shop. We will never notice that one meat package had $1 more in it and we will be satisfied with the amount I bought. Make sure you have loyalty cards for each store you purchase food from, including the drug store as that will get you discounts.

                          Sorry, I could write a book. You make a decent income, so no reason to eat like you are impoverished. Just try for balance in your spending. One of the things I do, even though things are very tight here moneywise, is I buy what I want at the store. I'm almost 63 and have been supporting myself since I was 17. I decided that as long as I don't go nuts, I get what I need and want, granted not like you spend because your food spending is about what our monthly income is, but we don't feel like we being deprived.
                          Late reply. I don't have a weight problem (but I do weigh a lot hehe)...I'm actually quite muscular and in pretty good shape.

                          But the main reasons are, drinks with friends that turn into dinner, weekend dinners with gf and being tired and not wanting to cook or getting home too late to cook. Still working on eating in more, I usually cook when I have the strength I think the hard pretty is when I get tired from work.

                          I've been cooking more on Sundays and after the gym, so I've been making progress there.

                          Thanks a lot of great tips above.

                          Comment


                          • #30
                            Originally posted by lootpacman View Post

                            being tired and not wanting to cook or getting home too late to cook. Still working on eating in more, I usually cook when I have the strength I think the hard pretty is when I get tired from work.

                            .
                            I think this is the area where you can concentrate your efforts without impacting your social life. Eating at home when it's just you and you've had a long day and are tired. A couple of suggestions are to: 1) Set yourself up with good at-home options and 2) Accomodate and work with the fact that you are tired.

                            For #1 (setting myself up with good at-home options), during times when I know my schedule is going to be really tight and I'm not going to feel like cooking I plan ahead for "salads, sandwiches (or wraps), and soup." If I have a day off, I cook a pot of soup that I eat over several days. I also keep plenty of salad and sandwich fixings on hand, because it's pretty easy to throw together a salad or sandwich after a long day. I make sure I have a good assortment of fresh veggies, low-sodium canned beans in the pantry, and 2 different salad dressings for variety. I also buy a small tub of hummus at the grocery store that I use for sandwiches/wraps (instead of mayo or other spreads). For breakfast, I make sure I have a couple easy options. My go-to breakfast is quick cook oatmeal that cooks in the microwave in 2 minutes (I buy the big tub of store brand ... really economical), topped with unsweetened applesauce & cinnamon or jam & chopped nuts). Those are my choices. The key is to figure out what works for you.

                            For #2, I keep some items on hand for those times when even #1 is too much to deal with. My grab and go choices are Bel Vita breakfast biscuits and Amy's bean & cheese burritos (bought in a "club pack" for economy). I also buy a frozen pizza to stick in the freezer for when I know my schedule is going to be insane. Sticking a pizza in the oven is actually easier than ordering takeout or grabbing fast food. Again, figure out what will work for you. When are the times you cave and grab fast food or order delivery? What less-expensive at-home options would you enjoy?

                            Good luck!

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X