Food cost comparisons
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27-07-2013, 04:10 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 03:20 PM)Chas Wrote:  My experience is that one can eat a good diet relatively inexpensively.

Thoughts?

Sure you can. Beans and legumes are cheap. Eggs are cheap. Greens are cheap. Even exotic black rice and quinoa are relatively cheap. I think you could even make the case that the less money you spend on groceries, the healthier the diet is.

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27-07-2013, 04:13 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
^Yes, it's possible. I just don't think it makes sense to automatically assume everyone is going to do it, or that everyone would choose to. Not everyone likes eggs and quinoa.
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27-07-2013, 04:16 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:07 PM)amyb Wrote:  
(27-07-2013 03:49 PM)Chas Wrote:  From this week's grocery ads (prices are $US):
Hot dogs: 2.49 - 3.49 / lb.
Chicken: 1.99 / lb.
Pork: 2.49 / lb.
Hamburger: 2.99 - 3.99 / lb.
London broil: 1.99 / lb. (special)

O.J.: 2.99 / 64 oz.
Pepsi: 1.30 / 67 oz. (2 liter)
Coke: 4.00 / gal. (cans)

Yogurt: 0.50 / 6 oz.
Bread: 2.50 / loaf

Potatoes, seasonal veggies, rice are all inexpensive.
Depends where you shop. I was just at Aldi, and hot dogs were 89 cents there. So yes, I'd consider that cheaper than chicken (and cheaper chicken is usually with bones included, so you aren't really getting as much meat as the more expensive, boneless chicken breasts, etc).

As for per the pound, that may not be how people shop. They might see a $5.99 bag of frozen chicken, or a 99 cent packet of 8 hot dogs, and get the hot dogs because they at $5 cheaper. Same with soda. They don't buy it by the gallon. If it's $3 for a 64 ouncer of OJ, and generic soda is $0.89 for a 2liter, they may well go for the 89 cents one. I think the problem is you're assuming people are doing the math and figuring out what is cheapest per ounce, per lb, etc and I don't think they are. I think they are going by what will give them a smaller number at the cash register, not what will give them the best value per dollar.

Potatoes and rice aren't expensive, but I don't think they have much nutrition in them, either.

Yes, I think part of my point with this is that people don't shop smart.

That chicken price was boneless breasts; thighs and legs were 0.89 / lb.
Potatoes and rice are sources for carbohydrates and fiber, which we need.
A reasonably varied and balanced diet can be had for not a lot of money. I see people loading their carts with all kinds of awful things.

As in most areas of life, knowledge and effort pay off. I check the sales, I do the math, I (sort of) plan meals.

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27-07-2013, 04:18 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(27-07-2013 03:20 PM)Chas Wrote:  My experience is that one can eat a good diet relatively inexpensively.

Thoughts?

Sure you can. Beans and legumes are cheap. Eggs are cheap. Greens are cheap. Even exotic black rice and quinoa are relatively cheap. I think you could even make the case that the less money you spend on groceries, the healthier the diet is.

I agree. It does, however, take more effort.

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27-07-2013, 04:19 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:13 PM)amyb Wrote:  ^Yes, it's possible. I just don't think it makes sense to automatically assume everyone is going to do it, or that everyone would choose to.

I agree. I think very few do. And I also think those that could benefit the most are the least likely to do so.

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27-07-2013, 04:19 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:13 PM)amyb Wrote:  ^Yes, it's possible. I just don't think it makes sense to automatically assume everyone is going to do it, or that everyone would choose to. Not everyone likes eggs and quinoa.

I'm not assuming anything. I wanted to explore the subject; my experience tells me that one can eat pretty well without breaking the bank.

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27-07-2013, 04:29 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
^Yes I know, but I just mean that I don't think the average person even pays a bit of attention to these things.

Even in college, I lived on ramen noodles and Pepsi. Now I tend to buy fresh produce and chicken instead. And I don't really spend that much on food, but I still manage to eat lots of fruits, fresh veggies, nonprocessed meats. But I think a lot of people pay more attention to (1)the price tag (not the cost per oz/lb) and (2)does it sound tasty (which is why people buy Doritos instead of a bag of rice or something).

So yeah I would agree it's possible to eat well without spending a lot. I just don't think it's likely that many people will,or would even want to (possibly because of natural cravings for fatty/sweet stuff, as well as kids being raised to think that cake is somehow better than meat and vegetables, more highly valued, etc. Then they grow up and can buy all the cake they want, and no one tells them to eat their vegetables. On the other hand, I had parents who both hated peas, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach, and now I love these things. I was never allowed to have them as a kid.)
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27-07-2013, 04:36 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
Except that some families are literally pinching pennies. A meal at those prices are $15-25 dollars (minimum) for a whole family vs.( $2 for a box of mac n' cheese X 2 or 3) $5-10. Over the course of a week or two, that's a couple hundred dollars which for some can make or break other living costs.

ETA: but yes, prices comparisons and creativity can make up for a lot.
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27-07-2013, 04:36 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:29 PM)amyb Wrote:  ^Yes I know, but I just mean that I don't think the average person even pays a bit of attention to these things.

Even in college, I lived on ramen noodles and Pepsi. Now I tend to buy fresh produce and chicken instead. And I don't really spend that much on food, but I still manage to eat lots of fruits, fresh veggies, nonprocessed meats. But I think a lot of people pay more attention to (1)the price tag (not the cost per oz/lb) and (2)does it sound tasty (which is why people buy Doritos instead of a bag of rice or something).

So yeah I would agree it's possible to eat well without spending a lot. I just don't think it's likely that many people will,or would even want to (possibly because of natural cravings for fatty/sweet stuff, as well as kids being raised to think that cake is somehow better than meat and vegetables, more highly valued, etc. Then they grow up and can buy all the cake they want, and no one tells them to eat their vegetables. On the other hand, I had parents who both hated peas, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach, and now I love these things. I was never allowed to have them as a kid.)

I think you are confirming many of my own thoughts on it.

In Massachusetts, the unit price has to be listed on the shelves, making comparison shopping relatively pain-free.

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27-07-2013, 04:43 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:36 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  Except that some families are literally pinching pennies. A meal at those prices are $15-25 dollars (minimum) for a whole family vs.( $2 for a box of mac n' cheese X 2 or 3) $5-10. Over the course of a week or two, that's a couple hundred dollars which for some can make or break other living costs.

ETA: but yes, prices comparisons and creativity can make up for a lot.

Sure, but you are comparing subsistence eating with eating a meal. If you add a vegetable or salad to the mac 'n cheese, it's a fairer comparison.

That's why I tried to categorize types of food/eating style. A dinner from scratch ingredients is usually cheaper than an equivalent meal from prepared foods.

I'm not saying that people are going to do this, just that a lower income doesn't automatically lead to poor diet and obesity. I've seen that claim too many times.
Lack of education, lack of knowledge, and advertising/product placement are the likely culprits, I believe.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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