Good eating, good prices, REAL EVIDENCE

Hello. I’ve had a minor success in my recent daily life that I wanted to share with you so that you too can achieve this minor success that I’m currently enjoying. It’s called “good eating, good prices, REAL EVIDENCE.”

I reach out to you in the same way Jared “the Subway Guy” Fogle (had to Google last name) reached out to America and said “If I can do it, anyone can do it, and my pants were ginormous enough that I’d fully understand if you laughed at them. Go ahead. You can see me, I can’t see you; it’s television.”

Now, we eat good here at __ _____ St./Rd./Ave. Apt _, Philadelphia PA. Regular readers probably already figured that we eat good, but we eat good EVERY DAY. Our household income is low, but we do not eat Ramen and we do not eat gunk in cans, and I wanted to use science rather than assumptions to prove this.

In fact, I have a list* of the things we ate that prove over the course of a month, we eat many good-tasting things. Dates chosen arbitrarily. Does not include eggs, cereal, other boring things.

April 4, 2012-May 4, 2012:

  1. Chocolate chunk cookie bars
  2. Popcorn (on the stove)
  3. English muffin bread (came out pretty salty, tasted like pretzels, probs my mistake)
  4. White chocolate cupcakes with mixed berry buttercream (frosting was a concoction I could not create again if I tried)
  5. Fish in Caramel Sauce with Tangy Fruit Salad and Rice
  6. Chocolate chip Chewy bars (HIGHLY recommended)
  7. Chocolate chip muffins (sub choco chips for blueberries, obviously)
  8. Iced chai tea
  9. Soft pretzels
  10. Fudgesicles
  11. Foccacia (no rosemary cause I DUN LIKE IT)
  12. Chocolate peanut butter cookies (with peanut butter chips instead)
  13. Shredded chicken (just like, for stuff)
  14. Carolina-style BBQ sauce (double batch cause it’s AWESOME)
  15. Wheat thins (another one to definitely try, interesting and good!)
  16. Graham crackers (ditto)
  17. Marshmallows (ditto)
  18. Pizza
  19. Salsa fresca
  20. Tortilla chips
(*Documented as part of a spreadsheet I keep to avoid forgetting my own daily life)

I also recorded one month of our grocery bills to ensure that Adam Linder (freebie singer/songwriter/guitarist for the indie-punk band Sister City and full-time IT specialist) and I (temp agent and freebie internet citizen) were not spending unnecessary amounts on the necessity of food, as I thought might be the case, eating so darn good all the time.

These figures include Willow and Jaden’s MOST favorite pellets (store brand; they seriously love them) and one can wet food a week PLUS non-food items such as paper towels, cleaning spray, etc. that I didn’t feel like factoring out.

Reveal: Surprising each and every one of us, the grand total for one month came to $350, which I’ll EVEN bump up to $400 in case I missed a couple receipts somewhere.

Counting one cat per person, we gotcha $200 a pop a month, and dividing it down…
$50/week
$7/day
$2.50/meal
=3 meals a day and “FREE” desserts and “FREE” cat food and (best of all) “FREE” LYSOL AND PAPER TOWELS!!!!!
=What?!?!? I’m amazing!!!!!


If you refer to the USDA average spending charts I posted about awhile ago, you’ll see that this plops us right between “thrifty” and “low cost,” probably more towards thrifty though considering the extra goodies.

I give you this as HARD EVIDENCE of how little good food in your own home costs. Food fiends, I know you already had my back on this. But civilians, I know you were thinking it. I know you were thinking “well, you can eat cheap at home if you get frozen dinners and salty noodle packs and eat Cheetos as your dinner, PUH! I like to eat good food.”

I understand that most people do not cook nearly as much as I do, but I hope to increase your faith that doing a little extra cooking DOES save money and that the cost of ingredients does NOT decrease food choices/quality. You don’t have to speculate anymore! There’s no magic. Those are the numbers, and those are the foods. If I can do it, you can do it, so DO IT!

Other lifestyle notes:

  • I went out to eat twice in this time and spent a total of $25, eating 4 meals total including leftovers.
  • None of the four members of our household drink when we go out, or really at all.
  • The only non-booze beverage I purchase is milk. Otherwise just water, water, water.
  • I eat pretty small portions, which cuts costs a bit and also lost me 15lbs (over many months) with barely any exercise (not ideal, obviously) all while enjoying all this excellent shiz! Just like Jared enjoyed his excellent Subway.
  • I do not care much for Subway but will eat it if I’m there with someone.
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About Jen Cantin

Follow Jen Cantin on Twitter if you have nothing better to do! Wouldn’t want to impose… Two cats and three times more ‘tude than the leading car insurance provider.
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One Response to Good eating, good prices, REAL EVIDENCE

  1. joyce rossignol says:

    You are Grandpa Gilman’s own girl Jen. We eat good, too, for about $300 and no cats. My secret is: mostly we buy it raw and cook it at home. I even make my own spaghetti sauce now. Actually we do buy one of those rotisserie chickens at Stop n Shop for five bucks, but we get a lot out of that: creamed chicken, home made soup, chicken sandwiches.
    Took me 60 years of married life to figure out that eating cheap doesn’t have to be Chef Boyardee. You know the old saying: too soon old; too late smart? Love, Grandma

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