Author Topic: ober hates chicken wings  (Read 14276 times)

micah

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ober hates chicken wings
« on: March 13, 2012, 03:58:57 PM »
I feel we've had this conversation before but its on my mind again...

I hate eating at home.  I actually don't mind cooking, but no matter what I make or how good it tastes, I just don't enjoy it like I would had I eaten a similar meal out.

As such, we eat a lot of takeout (3 or 4 nights a week) and go to sit-down-restaurants about once a week.  Now that we're trying to reign in our expenses, we realize that we *should* be able to reasonably cut our food budget in nearly half if we just ate every meal at home but I'm finding it very difficult for a couple reasons.

1) like I said, everything cooked at home sucks.  Even the weekly somewhat-fancy Sunday dinner we eat at my parents house, prepared by my step-mother who is an excellent cook, doesn't excite me like just ordering a good pizza would.  What kinds of foods do you guys have for dinner every night?  What does a typical dinner consist of?

2) researching online how much other families of our size spend on groceries, it seems we should be able to cut our food expenses by several hundred dollars... but every time we cook a meal at home I feel like it cost just as much as it would have to order chinese food or a couple grinders.  What do you guys spend on food on a weekly or monthly basis and what is your family size?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 01:49:25 PM by Govtcheez »
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Jake

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 04:28:44 PM »
First to answer your questions:

1. We cook almost everyday. My wife does on weekdays and I do on the weekends. We eat out maybe 2-3 times a month - it is usually pizza or chinese. What do we cook, I will try to remember but here is what we had the last few days.
Monday: ground beef cutlets with potatoes and red beats
tuesday: Tomato soup - Polish style soups are meals. There is a bunch of veggies, meat, and some sort of carb (potatoes, pasta, etc) in them. My wife cans tomatos and uses them in colder months to make soup. We then eat the boiled meat.
wednesday: hey soup again! yes, often we cook enough to last two days. My mom also made apple fritters
thursday: hunters stew with potatoes
friday: NY strips with coleslaw and dirty rice (we typically eat fish on Fridays but these were merinating for two days already - they were about an 1 and a quarter thick....delish)
Saturday: hunter's stew again
Sunday: I was in wisc; my fam ordered chinese
Monday: Beef strogonuf (sp?) with pickles and potatoes
Today: same thing
tomorrow: chilli - I started it in the slow cooker yesterday night

Our cooking is very much "polish" - we eat a lot of meat and potatoes. We also eat a shit load of pasta because both my wife and son love it.

2) these couple months there are 5 of us; usually only four. It has been a while since I really calculated it, but we probably spend $50-$75/week for groceries. We eat a shit load of fruit. Not as many veggies, but a boat load of fruit. For things like meat and pasta I buy BIG quantities at Cosco or Sams and then seperate it into portions and freeze them. We also go through 3 gallons of milk a week (!) but at least we don't buy formula any more.

I started brown bagging lunch every day recently (also to save some $$$) - before I ate out for lunch 3-4 times a week at an average of $10/day
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micah

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 04:43:18 PM »
thanks! thats the info I'm looking for.
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charlie

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 04:56:20 PM »
We don't eat or order out too much mostly because of cost, but another problem with that for us besides is that when we do order out, what we do order isn't really as healthy as what we might cook at home. It's generally much less balanced of a meal.

So we cook at home. I'm not a cook, but I can make a few meals by following my wife's recipe or doing something simple like spaghetti. She sometimes is out in the evenings and those nights I make food.

Things we cook include (sort of in order of how common they are):

  • frozen orange chicken from Trader Joe's
  • Spaghetti (using sauce from a jar with ground meat and a little brown sugar)
  • Salmon (baked or fried fillets)
  • Other white fish like dover sole (baked or fried with panko)
  • Turbo'd chicken (convection oven)
  • frozen BBQ chicken from Trader Joe's
  • Shrimp pasta (fettuccine noodles, shrimp, peas, white or butter sauce, maybe sausage, sometimes cherry tomatoes)
  • Other chicken (baked or fried)
  • Tuna casserole
  • tacos/sloppy joes
  • steak
  • hamburgers
  • hot dogs
  • Sinigang and other filipino foods (not as much lately, but occasionally mechado, adobo or nilaga)
  • frozen fish fillets
  • frozen taquitos
  • frozen lasagna
With those dishes we usually have these kinds of sides:
  • white/brown rice
  • boxed pasta
  • mashed potatoes (from spuds)
  • cous cous (love this one since it's super easy/fast to make and the kids eat it)
  • veggies in a microwaveable bag (frozen or fresh) - we do this 5-10 per week for lunch and dinner
  • steamed carrots
  • steamed broccoli
  • steamed cauliflower
  • steamed zucchini
  • steamed peas
  • steamed/sauted green beans

Basically, the tl;dr version is that while my wife makes tasty meals on occasion, for the most part I doubt our meals are less tasty than yours so I can't really help you. I just don't care about taste that much. And the once a week we do order or go out, I can't say the food is really that much better, it's just nice to not have to cook it.

charlie

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 04:59:25 PM »
Also, it's hard to estimate how much we spend on food... we have a family of four, (with the fourth being almost 3 and not a big eater). We order out once a week for $30 and spend about $120 a week on groceries, but that includes lunch, breakfast etc and doesn't include Costco trips for milk and stuff like that.

I also spend $8-10 on lunch 2-3 times a week and my wife does as well.

webwhy

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 05:05:11 PM »
$120 a week on groceries is really good...we're spend about $150 a month on groceries for family of three...(youngest being 1 year)

charlie

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 05:24:50 PM »
Yeah, but we also spend $100-$200/month at costco.

According to my BofA budgeting stuff we spend about $150 a week.

Jake

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 05:28:48 PM »
I'd have to watch my bills for the next month or so...maybe we do spend a bit more thand $50/$75 - but then again, a lot of the frozen meals in your list might cost more than making them from scratch. However, there are things we do buy that make more sense than making them yourself - like meatballs from Sams for example.

Additionally - I visit grocery stores and supermarkets almost daily as part of my job - I always look at the ad and buy things in large quantities that are cheap.
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charlie

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 05:29:35 PM »
Wow... that BofA budgeting thing is pretty cool... there goes a couple hours from my work day.

Jake

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 05:32:25 PM »
and micah, the reason your home cooked stuff doesn't taste as good as take out and fast food because it doesn't have a shit load of salt and sodium in it. And it probably doesn't have as many condements, and the ones you have as not as rich in flavor as in restaurants. Even with the panda express orange chicken souce I can never get mine to taste the same way as they can.

My wife always tells me that in order to lose weight you have to cut down condiments. Which makes sense if you think about it. A hot dog without all the condiments tastes like nothing. A typical burger from a typical burger joint without ketchup, pickles, onion, etc etc tastes like ass.
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micah

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 05:34:43 PM »
$150/wk would still be an acceptable savings (especially to start.) In 2011, we averaged over $200/wk so to trim that down even $50 would be a couple hundred bucks a month!

The few meals we make at home usually involve browning meat in a pan (like tacos, sloppy joes or if I'm being fancy, stroganoff) and heating frozen/precooked things up in the microwave.  I've ventured into things like baked/broiled fish and chicken but it never really comes out tasty.

Also, Good point Jake about the sodium and condiments.  You're probably exactly right!
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Jake

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 05:37:57 PM »
Wow... that BofA budgeting thing is pretty cool... there goes a couple hours from my work day.

I recently stopped using my amex for another credit card, but I'm looking at a similar feature for year end. We used that card almost exclusively last year and we spend $1500/year on eating out. I bet $1000 of that is my lunches and other work related food which I got reimbursed for.

$2300 on groceries. that seems about right. add another $500 to that for groceries purchased ad sams.
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charlie

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 05:39:18 PM »
Looks like $50/week on restaurants/dining. More info coming (that you don't give a shit about).

Jake

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 05:41:23 PM »
>>The few meals we make at home usually involve browning meat in a pan (like tacos, sloppy joes or if I'm being fancy, stroganoff) and heating frozen/precooked things up in the microwave.  I've ventured into things like baked/broiled fish and chicken but it never really comes out tasty.

try simple shit like pasta, jarred pasta souce, and either meatballs or browned ground beef.

or pasta with alfredo souce from the jar, slice up some chicken and fry it on light olive oil on a pad, and bam - chicken alfredo. Use some parmesian and you're done.

Get some pork chops, marinate in herbs and apple juice over night. Thrown them on a grill or fry them in a pan. Bam!
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Jake

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Re: Eating at home sucks
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 05:46:27 PM »
speaking of food, list your general area and prices for

1. gallon of whole milk
2. dozen large eggs
3. pound of bannanas
4. pound of colby/cojack/american cheese

Chicago
1. gallon of whole milk - $2.49 ($1.99 on sale)
2. dozen large eggs - $1.19 on ave
3. pound of bannanas - $.39-.$59
4. pound of colby/cojack/american cheese - $3.99

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