Food cost comparisons
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27-07-2013, 04:45 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2013 04:49 PM by amyb.)
RE: Food cost comparisons
Well, of course it says that price/lb on fresh meats and vegetables you need to bag yourself, but I'm not sure about other types of food here in PA.

But I'm not sure people even want to eat healthy. For example, my brother eats only chicken nuggets, pizza, chips, and french fries and will not eat other foods. I'm convinced he'll get sick from malnutrition someday, but he doesn't care, other foods gross him out and it's not worth it to him.

Quote: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.
Yes, and that's why I mentioned the difference between an 89 cent pack of hot dogs and a 5.99 bag of frozen chicken breast. If you get the hot dogs,the total price of your groceries will be lower, and sometimes that matters. That's why I ate ramen noodles at first when I was in college, because that's all I could afford and still be able to pay the rent and other bills, because I could get enough to live several days on in a multipack for $2.

Quote: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.
Yes, but I would also point out that people automatically assume that if a person if fat and on food stamps, it's their own fault. They never seem to consider that the person may have a glandular problem, physical problems leading to being sedentary, or other illness that requires medication that leads to obesity. It's always "look at the lazy fat person in the scooter, they should get off their fat ass and stop eating twinkies." Not saying that's what you said, just that I've seen it said a lot. And skinny people eat twinkies, too. And skinny people can be unhealthy and malnourished.
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27-07-2013, 04:48 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 03:20 PM)Chas Wrote:  On the ranting thread, there was some discussion of the cost of eating healthy foods vs. unhealthy foods.

I thought about it a bit, and I'm sure there are various ways of defining these.
So, without any particular research, I present some eating/shopping categories.
  • Unhealthy diet: Fast food - too much sodium, fat, and calories; relatively expensive.
  • Convenience/prepared foods: Too much sodium, fat, additives - somewhat less expensive.
  • Cheap foods (mac 'n cheese, Ramen): Too much sodium, fat, additives - less expensive.
  • Basic foods/ingredients: control over sodium, fat, calories, additives - relatively inexpensive.
  • Natural/organic: control over sodium, fat, calories, additives - relatively expensive.
  • Gourmet: more sodium, fat, calories - very expensive.

My experience is that one can eat a good diet relatively inexpensively.

Thoughts?

As a mom of 4 who does all the cooking and shopping...I live on a budget because I don't work. We live on just my husband's income.

I think if your more geared toward cooking every meal then sure it totally possible to eat fairly healthy on a very limited income, but it will include a lot of starch -- which is fine in moderation but shouldn't be a whole diet.

Bread, I can buy a loaf of "wheat" bread for around $1.50, this bread is high in sugar and salt. A loaf of whole wheat, lower sodium, little sugar $5.

Milk that's hormone free is double the price of "cheap" milk roughly 3.99 a gallon. Free range eggs are triple the price of regular eggs.

5 pound bag of unbleached flour is around $4 "whole wheat flour is around $6 with a shorter shelf life.

Cake flour is around $6 for a 3 pound box. I can make probably about 4 cakes about...but I also have to add sagar etc...

I can buy a cake mix for a dollar -- not as good but I can't beat the price even if I still have furnish the oil, eggs -- whatever.

A quart of olive oil is around $10
A quart of vegetable oil is $3, canola oil $4

I can spend $30 (roughly haven't checked the price recently) on a whole frozen turkey breast 4 pounds once you remove the bone. I can roast it in the oven and slice it for sandwiches for the week (7 days) for myself and family -- I'd have to probably freeze some and defrost it too.

I could also buy two pounds of processed turkey lunch meat for around $12 (it's thinly sliced so it seems to go further) in the deli case. Or for $6 I could buy a couple packs of Oscar Meyer bologna (yes I had to mentally sing the song) that will last the longest in my fridge.

Don't get me started on the price of peanut butter.

Lettuce is parishble and stupidly expensive. We buy mixed salad mix for around $3.99 a container. That will give us around 4 salads and some left over for sandwiches. Ice burg lettuce is around $1 a head. One head two salads (nutritionally it's inert).

Cabbage on the other hand is dirt cheap and I use that when I make tacos instead of lettuce. But it gives everyone here painful gas so it's avoided. Smile

I don't know...

I'm going to do a little experiment this week.


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27-07-2013, 04:49 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:45 PM)amyb Wrote:  Well, of course it says that price/lb on fresh meats and vegetables you need to bag yourself, but I'm not sure about other types of food here in PA.

But I'm not sure people even want to eat healthy. For example, my brother eats only chicken nuggets, pizza, chips, and french fries and will not eat other foods. I'm convinced he'll get sick from malnutrition someday, but he doesn't care, other foods gross him out and it's not worth it to him.

Quote: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.
Yes, and that's why I mentioned the difference between an 89 cent pack of hot dogs and a 5.99 bag of frozen chicken breast. If you get the hot dogs,the total price of your groceries will be lower, and sometimes that matters. That's why I ate ramen noodles at first when I was in college, because that's all I could afford and still be able to pay the rent and other bills, because I could get enough to live several days on in a multipack for $2.

I can't remember the last time I saw hot dogs at .89 a package. But you're comparing that to a prepared package of frozen chicken. The comparison I would make is to chicken parts at .69 - .89 / lb. The chicken is cheaper.

Your brother is on the fast track to poor health.

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27-07-2013, 04:51 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:49 PM)Chas Wrote:  I can't remember the last time I saw hot dogs at .89 a package. But you're comparing that to a prepared package of frozen chicken. The comparison I would make is to chicken parts at .69 - .89 / lb. The chicken is cheaper.

Yes, I agree completely, and that's why I would buy the chicken. But not everyone thinks that way or compares by the pound.

I see them for 89-99 cents all the time at Walmart and Aldi in Pennsylvania. Not the name brands, but I mean they are hot dogs.

My brother already has poor health, and he's only 22. I think he'd qualify to be on that 'freaky eaters' tv show.
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27-07-2013, 04:56 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2013 05:08 PM by LadyJane.)
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:43 PM)Chas Wrote:  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.

Maybe, but when someone is looking to just fill the bellies and worried they won't fill it tomorrow, then they are not going to be adding any veggies or fruit. 99c cucumber or 99c box of noodles? That cucumber isn't going to stretch as far to fill the hunger void.
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27-07-2013, 05:02 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:56 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  
(27-07-2013 04:43 PM)Chas Wrote:  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.

Maybe, but when someone is looking to just fill the bellies and worried they won't fill it tomorrow, then they are not going to be adding any veggies or fruit. 99c cucumber or 99c box of noodles? that cucumber isn't going to stretch as far to fill the hunger void.

You make a good point, but I was thinking more about lower income, not abject poverty.

Yes, extreme poverty is grinding and lacks opportunity for good choices. But with food stamps, WIC, etc., I think the opportunity to make some choices is there. At least I hope so.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-07-2013, 05:08 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
I buy whole chickens for around $7 for a 5 pound chicken at trader joes, take them home and cut them up myself. I break them down legs, thighs, breasts snd wings...And freeze them myself.

To me, it's the best value. I wish seafood was that cheap.


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27-07-2013, 05:12 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 04:56 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  
(27-07-2013 04:43 PM)Chas Wrote:  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.

Maybe, but when someone is looking to just fill the bellies and worried they won't fill it tomorrow, then they are not going to be adding any veggies or fruit. 99c cucumber or 99c box of noodles? That cucumber isn't going to stretch as far to fill the hunger void.

Exactly. It's like the turkey example. I can make my own, buy processed sliced turkey lunch meat or I can buy a shit ton of bologna that will last way longer for next to nothing.


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27-07-2013, 05:17 PM
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 05:02 PM)Chas Wrote:  You make a good point, but I was thinking more about lower income, not abject poverty.

Yes, extreme poverty is grinding and lacks opportunity for good choices. But with food stamps, WIC, etc., I think the opportunity to make some choices is there. At least I hope so.

I think food stamps on their own count as abject poverty. WIC is a separate issue, I think. I knew some teen mothers on WIC when I was in high school, and they do NOT give you a choice what to buy. you had to buy, say, 1 gallon of 2% milk, 1 specific bag of dried beans (no choice as to what brand or size), etc., so I don't think WIC users are able to get anything except the specific things they have vouchers to get. I've heard that if the mother is above a certain weight, they are only allowed skim milk and not 2%. Food stamps, on the other hand, can be used for a wider variety of foods.
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27-07-2013, 05:18 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2013 05:26 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Food cost comparisons
(27-07-2013 05:08 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I buy whole chickens for around $7 for a 5 pound chicken at trader joes, take them home and cut them up myself. I break them down legs, thighs, breasts snd wings...And freeze them myself.

To me, it's the best value. I wish seafood was that cheap.

With respect to meats, the cheaper cuts are usually more flavorful, easier to cook and more nutritious than the expensive cuts. Chicken thighs are like a third to a quarter of the cost of breasts, taste better and unlike breasts, I can't dry them out no matter how hard I try. Sirloin, tri-tip, flat iron, bottom and top and eye of round are less than 1/2 the price of NY Strip and are more flavorful. Pork shoulder and butt are less than half the price of ribs and provide far more protein. It's almost like the cheaper the cut, the more delicious it is.

Seafood? Yeah that's a different story.

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