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Grocery Budgets


V.H.
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The grocery store thread made me wonder how many people have a weekly/monthly grocery budget and how many people just always buy whatever strikes their fancy without a thought to cost. A couple of years ago we tracked how much we spent monthly on groceries and it was about $300-400 a month. Now we have a two year old toddler who we admittedly spoil with good food so our bills are probably higher. I'm thinking about instituting a monthly grocery budget and was curious as to what folks think would be a reasonable budget for a family of two adults and one child. We are omnivores and pack lunch about 80%of the time from leftovers.

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The grocery store thread made me wonder how many people have a weekly/monthly grocery budget and how many people just always buy whatever strikes their fancy without a thought to cost.  A couple of years ago we tracked how much we spent monthly on groceries and it was about $300-400 a month.  Now we have a two year old toddler who we admittedly spoil with good food so our bills are probably higher.  I'm thinking about instituting a monthly grocery budget and was curious as to what folks think would be a reasonable budget for a family of two adults and one child.  We are omnivores and pack lunch about 80%of the time from leftovers.

I generally come in at about $100-$110/week for food for myself, Mrs JPW and Peanut. I do a weekly menu that I base the shopping list around. We eat well, but not terribly extravagently.

This week's menu (pretty typical for summer)--

Monday - Beef fajitas

Tuesday - Salad with grilled chicken

Wednesday - Pork Tenderloin with corn on the cob

Thursday - Leftovers (usually quesadillas)

Friday - we generally go to one of our neighborhood cheap eats

Mrs JPW almost always brown bags lunch; I rarely do.

Buying meat from Whole Paycheck is the number one expense, but it's generally of such better quality than any place else. Sure I can get pork tenderloin a few bucks cheaper at Snider's or Safeway, but why would I when I can get the Niman Ranch at WF. Same thing with the Bell and Evans chicken versus Tyson/Purdue.

Now that Upstream has opened, I can get good seafood cheaper, but what I really need is a local butcher.

PS - Note well that alcohol and cigars are NOT covered in this budget :lol:

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if you can budget for $400-$500 a month, i think you are doing pretty good. a toddler shouldn't be adding too much to the food expenses, but wait until they start growing up. people who talk about their teenagers aren't kidding. of course, there are a lot of factors here that need to be considered, such as how often you are eating out (if it hasn't been slowed down by your child, then your baby sitting expenses are going up?) and where you are shopping. also, how much time do you have to spend in the kitchen? you can save a lot of money by baking, etc. and you will probably have much better meals, but that is a luxury for us. we stay away from most frozen and canned foods, which tend to be expensive, but could live fairly comfortably on good canned tomatoes, dried pasta, olive oil, parmesan and bread.

for two adults who eat out a few times a week, we spend roughly $80 a week on produce at the farmers market (less in the winter, when apples and root vegetables about sum up what's available locally) and another $80 at grocery stores, but we pretty much stay in the neighborhoods in the city where we live and work, so you may have better alternatives. fresh produce at the grocery stores we frequent, including whole foods on p street, can be fairly grim all year round no matter what price you are willing to pay. i had trouble finding one decent head of lettuce there on monday. though i haven't checked lately, the marvelous market at dupont circle has a decent but small selection of produce, although often at twice the price as the farmers will sell to you, i.e., heirloom tomatoes have been running $3 a pound this summer, so you can get them here for $5-6. i have seen whole foods selling them also (at a high price), but they seem to have problems with anything that is halfway perishable, i.e., their tomatoes were picked too early or they are rotting.

your child should be eating just about the same things as you are, and that helps control costs.

we don't really budget each month for food, but we follow a routine that provides a fairly accurate idea of what the costs will add up to. buying whatever suits your fancy can be dangerous in a store like whole foods, which is booby trapped all over the place with lures for impulse buyers. half a pound of spanish almonds here, some irish cheese, a couple bottles of pomegranate juice, jars of portugese tuna and anchovies -- and before you know it, you are walking out of the store with one or two bags of groceries that just cost you $200 with only enough food to last for half a week.

at least in the cooking department, our philosophy is to eat fairly simply, but even that doesn't necessarily come cheap.

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We don't budget, but should. Right now we spend about $150 a week on food, not including dining out 1-2 times a week. Costs have gone down now that Ian is out of diapers. I make breakfast every day, 5-6 dinners, various snacks, and lunches for 3 during the week. We go through an incredible amount of fruit and vegetables, that's probably half our weekly costs. I would love to buy meat at Whole Foods but we simply cannot afford it on one income, so our meat is mostly from Costco where I can buy in bulk and freeze.

Scott brown bags, but eats probably twice as much as a normal person (yesterday he brought 2 sandwiches for lunch and had to go to Giant in the afternoon because they were gone by 11am. :lol: ). We have a 6-year-old and and a 3-year-old that have their dad's metabolism - each takes a whole sandwich, 8 oz. of milk, fruit or veggies, and sometimes a cookie for lunch. I buy lots and lots of peanut butter, sliced turkey, tuna, baby carrots, small apples, grapes, hydroponic cucumbers, broccoli, peppers, etc..

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I have no idea what I spend at the grocery store. I am not sure I want to know, I think I might have a heart attack if I found out what that number would be. It's just my wife and I and we generally buy what we want. I brown bag it and she rarely does.

Dining out budget and budget for the cats are clearly unrelated to the 'groceries' tab, natch.

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We don't budget, but should. Right now we spend about $150 a week on food, not including dining out 1-2 times a week. Costs have gone down now that Ian is out of diapers. I make breakfast every day, 5-6 dinners, various snacks, and lunches for 3 during the week. We go through an incredible amount of fruit and vegetables, that's probably half our weekly costs. I would love to buy meat at Whole Foods but we simply cannot afford it on one income, so our meat is mostly from Costco where I can buy in bulk and freeze.

Scott brown bags, but eats probably twice as much as a normal person (yesterday he brought 2 sandwiches for lunch and had to go to Giant in the afternoon because they were gone by 11am. :D ). We have a 6-year-old and and a 3-year-old that have their dad's metabolism - each takes a whole sandwich, 8 oz. of milk, fruit or veggies, and sometimes a cookie for lunch. I buy lots and lots of peanut butter, sliced turkey, tuna, baby carrots, small apples, grapes, hydroponic cucumbers, broccoli, peppers, etc..

Wow. Nearly four years later our groceries are now closer to $250-300/week, and we now almost never dine out. The 7-year-old and almost 10-year-old eat a lot more than they did back then, and everything is more expensive.

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Wow. Nearly four years later our groceries are now closer to $250-300/week, and we now almost never dine out. The 7-year-old and almost 10-year-old eat a lot more than they did back then, and everything is more expensive.

Ditto for us. We now have a 1 yr old and a 5 yr old and they are both big eaters despite their tiny size.

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Wow. Nearly four years later our groceries are now closer to $250-300/week, and we now almost never dine out. The 7-year-old and almost 10-year-old eat a lot more than they did back then, and everything is more expensive.
Could it be that you are spending more on groceries because you are dining out less frequently?
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farmers market prices zoomed over the last couple of years, and they don't seem to have come down this year despite the bad economy. two weeks ago, i paid $8 for one quart container of strawberries, which were still just starting to come in, and the priced dropped to $6 the following week. i know one stand where i customarily walk away with half a pound of salad mix and a couple of pints of vegetables, and it costs $20. two small containers of cherry tomatoes last week cost $8. yesterday, two bunches of asparagus, two crab cakes, cherries, a loaf of bread and a container of butter cost about $60 at the market. these prices add up quickly. looking above i can see that i was paying $80 a week at the market in 2005. that price has now risen to at least $120, and i am buying less food, though more flowers.

ortiz tuna is now back on the shelves at whole foods, after maybe a year's hiatus, but it is more expensive than fresh tuna. what was previously in the neighborhood of $10 for 10 ounces, roughly, is now maybe $15 or $16; i have driven the price partially out of my mind because i'm not going to pay it (meaning eventually i might, but haven't so far). good cheeses can easily exceed $20 a pound these days. good bottles of champagne from smaller vineyards have moved into the $40-$50 range, from $30 a few years ago. dry italian pasta has gone from about $5 to $7 a pound. even today, i have seen prices rising at whole foods, and they aren't always just creeping. i don't know what they would charge if they actually had a good loaf of bread in the store.

if you work for the government, i suppose you are better insulated from the high prices. but even around here, which is faring relatively better than most of the rest of the country, i am seeing pay cuts, furlows, layoffs and downsizing. food is one of the only things cheering us up.

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That's about what I'm seeing, gs. I have for the most part given up on making anything more than token purchases at the farmer's market, as my kids can eat $16 worth of strawberries in two days.

Good cheese these days is also out of the question. Epoisses was $15, now it's over $20, and other cheeses I used to enjoy have jumped to $15-25/pound.

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This may deserve a separate topic (and I may create one), but given the post above about eating on $50 a week . . . here goes (my first post):

I'm considering attempting the "2 dollar difference" during Lent 2010. This challenge involves trying to eat on $2 a day (like so many people around the world do) and then donating the difference between your typical food expenditures and what you spend during this challenge.

I already cook almost all my own food, brew my own coffee, etc., but I'm sure I spend somewhat more than $2 a day. What I'm looking for are sites or suggestions for very low cost meals (less than $1 per serving) and/or charts that indicate the cost per serving of various ingredients. Sure, I could eat beans and rice for the entirety of Lent, but I'd like to try to be a bit more creative than that . . .

Any accounts of similar experiences would also be welcome.

Thanks!

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This may deserve a separate topic (and I may create one), but given the post above about eating on $50 a week . . . here goes (my first post):

I'm considering attempting the "2 dollar difference" during Lent 2010. This challenge involves trying to eat on $2 a day (like so many people around the world do) and then donating the difference between your typical food expenditures and what you spend during this challenge.

I already cook almost all my own food, brew my own coffee, etc., but I'm sure I spend somewhat more than $2 a day. What I'm looking for are sites or suggestions for very low cost meals (less than $1 per serving) and/or charts that indicate the cost per serving of various ingredients. Sure, I could eat beans and rice for the entirety of Lent, but I'd like to try to be a bit more creative than that . . .

Any accounts of similar experiences would also be welcome.

Thanks!

Good for you. A noble effort. Here are some sites to get you started. click. clack.

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This may deserve a separate topic (and I may create one), but given the post above about eating on $50 a week . . . here goes (my first post):

I'm considering attempting the "2 dollar difference" during Lent 2010. This challenge involves trying to eat on $2 a day (like so many people around the world do) and then donating the difference between your typical food expenditures and what you spend during this challenge.

I already cook almost all my own food, brew my own coffee, etc., but I'm sure I spend somewhat more than $2 a day. What I'm looking for are sites or suggestions for very low cost meals (less than $1 per serving) and/or charts that indicate the cost per serving of various ingredients. Sure, I could eat beans and rice for the entirety of Lent, but I'd like to try to be a bit more creative than that . . .

Any accounts of similar experiences would also be welcome.

Thanks!

Don't have any web sites, but making your own pasta and bread will certainly help to keep your food costs down.

On a side note, does the $2/day take into consideration the differences in average food prices around the world?

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This may deserve a separate topic (and I may create one), but given the post above about eating on $50 a week . . . here goes (my first post):

I'm considering attempting the "2 dollar difference" during Lent 2010. This challenge involves trying to eat on $2 a day (like so many people around the world do) and then donating the difference between your typical food expenditures and what you spend during this challenge.

I already cook almost all my own food, brew my own coffee, etc., but I'm sure I spend somewhat more than $2 a day. What I'm looking for are sites or suggestions for very low cost meals (less than $1 per serving) and/or charts that indicate the cost per serving of various ingredients. Sure, I could eat beans and rice for the entirety of Lent, but I'd like to try to be a bit more creative than that . . .

Any accounts of similar experiences would also be welcome.

Thanks!

There's this blog-now-book: click

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WOW! Thanks for the quick responses.

@dcs -- thanks for the links, they will help

@ mdt -- I can bake my own bread and make my own pasta (though I wasn't thinking of doing either, so thanks for the reminder). I don't know about the $ conversions, but I think the $2 figure is actually what many people LIVE on (so would include things like cooking fuel and any other necessities beyond food). I think the point of the challenge is to become more conscious of our spending, regardless of the specific amount we end up spending . . . you can read more about it at http://2dollardifference.com/

@Sundae in the Park -- well isn't it timely that the book "On a Dollar a Day" came out just as I was contemplating this? . . . PERFECT! Thanks for the link!

This was my first post, so thanks again for all the positive responses.

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dewluca, great first post! revisiting this thread, I discovered the $50/wk blog-I read through it & picked up lots of great ideas-soup, use the breadmaker, make yogurt... I think we're still doing OK, about $150/week, not much eating out, 2 adults, 1 teen & 1 preteen (vegetarian)-we shop mostly at the army commissary, supplemented by trips to Trader Joes's, H-Mart-I still haven't visited Wegman's yet (I need to, right?} I'm looking forward to spring, when I can garden, & try to grow some salad stuff, at least...

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This may deserve a separate topic (and I may create one), but given the post above about eating on $50 a week . . . here goes (my first post):

I'm considering attempting the "2 dollar difference" during Lent 2010. This challenge involves trying to eat on $2 a day (like so many people around the world do) and then donating the difference between your typical food expenditures and what you spend during this challenge.

I already cook almost all my own food, brew my own coffee, etc., but I'm sure I spend somewhat more than $2 a day. What I'm looking for are sites or suggestions for very low cost meals (less than $1 per serving) and/or charts that indicate the cost per serving of various ingredients. Sure, I could eat beans and rice for the entirety of Lent, but I'd like to try to be a bit more creative than that . . .

Any accounts of similar experiences would also be welcome.

Thanks!

You could try Vietnamese homestyle cooking to keep costs down. Typically we'd have rice with a big pot of green vegetable soup and a small quantity of meat. You could get a few pounds of chicken leg quarters, cut the meat off and make something like ga kho My link. Take the bones and use to make a big pot of chicken broth and add a pound or two of green vegetables like mustard greens, or cabbage, cut up into bite sized pieces. You can really use any kind of veggie in this soup. I frequently use a mixture of daikon, cabbage, and green onions. I would think you could get at least 6 meals out of this.

3 lbs chicken quarters: can be found on sale for $.49 or less=$1.50

2 lbs veggies for soup: $1.50 or less if you shop at an Asian grocery store

2 lbs uncooked rice would make plenty, at $.50 a pound=$1.00

So about $4 for 6 meals, maybe bump it up to $5 to account for pantry items like fish sauce and salt and pepper and such.

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You could try Vietnamese homestyle cooking to keep costs down. Typically we'd have rice with a big pot of green vegetable soup and a small quantity of meat. You could get a few pounds of chicken leg quarters, cut the meat off and make something like ga kho My link. Take the bones and use to make a big pot of chicken broth and add a pound or two of green vegetables like mustard greens, or cabbage, cut up into bite sized pieces. You can really use any kind of veggie in this soup. I frequently use a mixture of daikon, cabbage, and green onions. I would think you could get at least 6 meals out of this.

3 lbs chicken quarters: can be found on sale for $.49 or less=$1.50

2 lbs veggies for soup: $1.50 or less if you shop at an Asian grocery store

2 lbs uncooked rice would make plenty, at $.50 a pound=$1.00

So about $4 for 6 meals, maybe bump it up to $5 to account for pantry items like fish sauce and salt and pepper and such.

Thanks VH . . . I do some Thai and Szechuan cooking, but haven't tried Vietnamese.

Around here (Minneapolis) rice, beans, and lentils are around $1 a pound, regardless of how much you buy . . .

and even the "family packs" of chicken are much more than you list, but I appreciate the recipe ideas.

Thanks!

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On a side note, does the $2/day take into consideration the differences in average food prices around the world?

Another opportunity to plug Hungry Planet, a truly fascinating book.

The folk behind the $1 blog admit their 1-month experiment wasn't particularly good for their health and seem to have been as motivated by the prospect of getting a book contract as they were by genuine humanitarian values.

Since your goals are of a different nature, why not gauge how much you spend now and cut that in half? Observe Lent by forgoing all but what Michael Pollan calls "real food", but instead of shopping where he does, go to the stores where budget-conscious local populations spend less to prepare nutritious meals, especially large stores catering to Asian, Latin and African cultures (as recommended above). Creative dishes with beans, grains, and produce, not just beans with hot sauce over rice. (See 101 Cookbooks, for example. Cookbook section at Arlington's central library.) Also monitor weekly specials at more mainstream supermarkets and be mindful of bargains such as kale, collards and mustard greens which go for 79 or 89 cents a lb. at Giant and Safeway. Oatmeal's a buck a pound at Whole Foods in bulk. Rely on your pantry and honor what's in season which often costs less (though cauliflower and Latin American asparagus were on sale just about everywhere last week).

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We actually ate our way through our pantry over much of the Snowpocalypse (once back from a foray to NYC). It was interesting to see what we could come up with based on what we had in the larder and what we could get to inspire us on the web or in a cookbook and improvise.

But when the toilet paper started to run low, clearly a foray in to the snowlands of insanity was required.

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I have been sort of tracking my purchases and noticed that my grocery bills have increased by a lot. It's such inverse logic to me, but I wish making sure eating right (i.e., no hormones, antibiotic, or extraneous chemicals added) costs a lot more to buy than buying arsenic chicken these days.

Some of my main food purchases have gone up by 10%.

And with the vanilla bean shortage, it means baked goods and ice cream prices will increase too.

What is everyone else seeing?

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Prices are and have been going up. The thing that (for some reason) has caught my attention the most is that Idaho russet/baking potatoes have become way expensive. They seem like one of those budget items that you don't expect to take a hit on, but they've really increased in price (and this is actually something I noticed a while ago.) Paying well over $1/lb. for those seems strange. Bananas are another cheap item that went up, but I haven't bought any in quite a while, so I don't know where they are now.

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Prices are and have been going up. The thing that (for some reason) has caught my attention the most is that Idaho russet/baking potatoes have become way expensive. They seem like one of those budget items that you don't expect to take a hit on, but they've really increased in price (and this is actually something I noticed a while ago.) Paying well over $1/lb. for those seems strange. Bananas are another cheap item that went up, but I haven't bought any in quite a while, so I don't know where they are now.

Simple, gas prices go up then the cost to harvest and ship go up then the cost to purchase goes up. I have to wonder what volume of chemicals are in conventionally farmed root vegetables and tubers.

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I've been watching our food budget more closely too. We only really buy meat at the farmers market. For more expensive cuts of meats, I've noticed prices are up. Even as a treat, I'm not buying $20 a pound cuts of meat. We've cut back on chops and steaks and individual cuts of chicken in favor of ground meat, whole chickens, and things that can stew or braise.

Organic berries are $3.99-$5.99 for a six ounce container. Since the boy can eat that in 2 minutes and want more I've tried to limit that to special occasions. We are eating more apples and buying citrus in bulk. Dairy has gone up too.

Mostly I'm trying not to waste food. If I'm throwing away spoiled or uneaten food, then I'm just throwing the money down the drain. Plus if I'm using what we have, hopefully I'm not running to the store as often so I'm using as much gas.

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I've been watching our food budget more closely too. We only really buy meat at the farmers market. For more expensive cuts of meats, I've noticed prices are up. Even as a treat, I'm not buying $20 a pound cuts of meat. We've cut back on chops and steaks and individual cuts of chicken in favor of ground meat, whole chickens, and things that can stew or braise.

Organic berries are $3.99-$5.99 for a six ounce container. Since the boy can eat that in 2 minutes and want more I've tried to limit that to special occasions. We are eating more apples and buying citrus in bulk. Dairy has gone up too.

Mostly I'm trying not to waste food. If I'm throwing away spoiled or uneaten food, then I'm just throwing the money down the drain. Plus if I'm using what we have, hopefully I'm not running to the store as often so I'm using as much gas.

I'm with you on the meat options. As to the berry conundrum, fresh is best, but very expensive , especially organic and not locally in season. Have you considered buying frozen? Trader Joe's aren't certified organic, but are very good quality and not terribly expensive. Your little boy might even like munching on still-frozen ones. Kind of like mini popsicles, minus the sugar. You can get frozen organic at Whole Foods, but no bargains there.
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We do frozen organic berries at home to snack on and for homemade yogurt. But it is too messy for school lunches. TJs does have great prices. Frozen pineapple and frozen mango work well in school lunches too. It will be nice when more fruit is in season locally. He'll happily take peaches and nectarines every day. And I will indulge his aprioct obsession for the 45 seconds they are in season!

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We do frozen organic berries at home to snack on and for homemade yogurt. But it is too messy for school lunches. TJs does have great prices. Frozen pineapple and frozen mango work well in school lunches too. It will be nice when more fruit is in season locally. He'll happily take peaches and nectarines every day. And I will indulge his aprioct obsession for the 45 seconds they are in season!

What about dried fruit? It does taste different, but dried apricots, peaches, nectarines and cherries are tasty alternatives when fresh is out of season. And raisins, of course.
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With rising costs and 2 new kids, I've really changed my shopping paradigm. In addition to buying a big chest freezer, I switched from shopping from Safeway, Super HMart, and Harris Teeter and now shop mostly at Whole Foods, but have still managed to save money. The big switch in our eating habits is buying more whole foods (dried beans and rice) and only buying things on sale there instead of going in with a rigid grocery list. I tweak alot of recipes to sub on-sale items.

A month ago I must have bought 20 organic whole chickens on sale at WF and put them in my chest freezer. The one-day sales on Friday are insane, and you can get case discounts on most items too. I also buy alot more (organic) eggs, nothing like a fried runny egg on top of an otherwise boring entree to make it feel luxurious. Someone needs to put butter on sale here soon, I am about to run out of my stash.

I haven't done CSAs but I have developed a relationship with my veggie vendor at the H Street Farmer's Market, and buy bulk local at better prices. I also buy veggies at the Florida Market for insane (cash only) prices. My in-laws really like the deals on ribeye at the Florida Market, but I'm trying to be more responsible when it comes to meat purchases.

So basically, I've cut down on our meat at home (plenty of opps to catch up when we eat out) and reduced the non-pantry grocery list to eggs, butter, milk, eggs, and whole chickens. 50% of our plate is rice or beans (or hummus from my Vitamix). I also buy 24 pounds of Benton's bacon at a time, it's actually cheaper by the pound even after shipping than the bacon at WFs, and a little goes a long way to spritzing up a dish. Don't pay retail for fruits and veggies.

Sprucing up leftovers is another issue, and I'm getting better at casseroles. I agree with bookluvingbabe, the main thing is minimizing waste. Also, I try to eat slower and therefore less, that's a trick my 2 year old taught me.

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What about dried fruit? It does taste different, but dried apricots, peaches, nectarines and cherries are tasty alternatives when fresh is out of season. And raisins, of course.

I'm not sure if this is a new thing or not, but some pediatric dentists have been advocating against dried fruit, particularly raisins for children. This is due to the fact that raisins (or dried fruit) get stuck in the children's molars and create early onset of dental cavities because some parents are not so diligent about teeth brushing at home. There is definitely an increase in baby teeth cavities over the past few years, due to more frequent snacking + sugary beverages + less diligent brushing and flossing.

I also buy 24 pounds of Benton's bacon at a time, it's actually cheaper by the pound even after shipping than the bacon at WFs, and a little goes a long way to spritzing up a dish.

DaRiv18: What is the Florida Market? Is it the one by the main post office/Bladensburg in DC? Also, how does the 24 pounds compare to TJ prices?

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I'm not sure if this is a new thing or not, but some pediatric dentists have been advocating against dried fruit, particularly raisins for children. This is due to the fact that raisins (or dried fruit) get stuck in the children's molars and create early onset of dental cavities because some parents are not so diligent about teeth brushing at home. There is definitely an increase in baby teeth cavities over the past few years, due to more frequent snacking + sugary beverages + less diligent brushing and flossing.

When I was in my early twenties and went to the dentist after having not gone for an embarrassingly long time, he asked me about whether I ate raisins. (I can't recall how the discussion came about, but he was an old, traditional dentist, so it was not some trendy thing.) I had, since being on my vegetarian and health kick, been eating tons of raisins, and he said that it causes cavities because the sugar sticks to the teeth. I guess if you brush right away, it might not be a problem, but that was the reason he gave that I had a ton of cavities after having not having had any cavities in my life up until that point. I did occasionally eat raisins when I was younger, but it was almost always in Waldorf Salad. I had never snacked on them until the few years prior to this.

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goodeats, it's on Morse and 4th Street, between Florida and New York, next to Galludet and about a 3 minute walk from the NY metro. This video gives you a feel, I go to the place around 2:00 mark for the veggies. There are some asian veggies too and it is all good quality, but I would use them soon. Great prices though, but you do have to be able to tell good produce from not so good produce. Did I say cash only already? I also buy Coca-Cola from Mexico at one of the shops there.

For Benton's bacon, I paid $24 per 4 lbs and $21.00 shipping, so for 24 pounds it comes out to $6.875/lb. Trader Joe's apple cured bacon runs $3.99/12 oz, so you are spending $.3325/ounce at TJ vs. $.43/ounce with Benton. I personally feel it is still worth the difference, as I save most of the ample drippings from the bacon and reuse it for stir-fry or pot pie doughs. Plus the bacon is awesome too, I julienne it for seasoning and rarely use it for breakfast strips.

EDIT: I am leaving out sales tax (and of course, travel costs) for Trader Joe's, so it is less than $.10/oz difference.

Edited by DaRiv18
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When I was in my early twenties and went to the dentist after having not gone for an embarrassingly long time, he asked me about whether I ate raisins. (I can't recall how the discussion came about, but he was an old, traditional dentist, so it was not some trendy thing.) I had, since being on my vegetarian and health kick, been eating tons of raisins, and he said that it causes cavities because the sugar sticks to the teeth. I guess if you brush right away, it might not be a problem, but that was the reason he gave that I had a ton of cavities after having not having had any cavities in my life up until that point. I did occasionally eat raisins when I was younger, but it was almost always in Waldorf Salad. I had never snacked on them until the few years prior to this.

My daughter had her permanent teeth sealed when they first grew in, and never had a single cavity despite not being a diligent brusher and eating plenty of dried mangoes and apricots. I always thought that the worst offenders as far as teeth went were the moms who put their toddlers to bed with a bottle of milk or apple juice. Every generation makes its own discoveries.
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