How do you eat?

Girl Ninja and I have come to the cruel realization it costs a lot of money to fill our stomachs. The two of us drop about $600/month on groceries and dining out related expenses. While most PF bloggers would be looking for a way to cut that cost in half, we aren’t.

We like cooking new things, we LOVE going out to eat with friends, and we thoroughly enjoy spoiling our high school kids with snacks when they come over a few times a week. If we wanted to cut our food bill in half, something would have to give.

Frick that.

It will be a cold day in hell before I turn down a dinner with great friends just so I can put an extra $30 in savings account.

Since everyone is different (some of you probably spend more, many of you probably spend less), I thought it would be cool if we all posted what the week ahead looked like for our stomachs. College students I imagine have a lot of Starbucks, Mac n Cheese, and PBJ on the menu (I know I did). Business folks who travel probably have a week of restaurants lined up. We’re all different people, in different stages of life.

Here’s snapshot of the Ninja itinerary:

  • Monday: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese (we always try to throw one “cheap” meal in a week). Following this with FroYo with friends.
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti (unfortunately this isn’t cheap since we put a ton of fresh vegetables and ground turkey in the sauce).
  • Wednesday: Shoyu chicken. All sorts of weird ingredients we don’t keep on hand (scallions and ginger), but so delicious.
  • Thursday: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. Made from scratch. Where it lacks in health, it makes up for in deliciousness.
  • Friday: Autumn Salad. Girl Ninja has a salad for each season. I kind of hate having salad be my main course for dinner because I have to eat like 8 plates before I feel full. This salad is freaking bomb dot com though.
  • Saturday and Sunday: No freaking clue. We always leave our meals open on the weekends so we can dine out with friends if possible. Otherwise we typically do fend for yourself type dinners at home (cereal, PBJ, omelette, etc).

So there ya have it, this weeks “meal plan” brought to you by my lovely wife. What are you eating this week?

37 thoughts on “How do you eat?”

  1. Interesting. Wish I could tell you but usually we eat on a whim. Which means big bucks. Like you, we say frick that because it is one of our so few pleasures we have by sacrificing so much else. When it comes to groceries, money is no object because eating out is usually way more expensive for us. I do see a ribeye steak in the fridge so that’s one down 6 to go.

  2. Oh this is fun, I love food. It’s def the biggest line item in our budget too, but at least it’s gone done a little since we went vegan-ish. Germany is NOT known for its vegan cuisine, lol. We budget a little over 400 a month for food.

    Monday: Thai peanut stir fry (basically any vegetable that’s left over from the weekend into a homemade peanut sauce)
    Tues: butternut squash risotto and Brussels sprouts (also trying to make some baileys Irish cream cupcakes…yum)
    Wed: sweet potato and chick pea stew
    Thurs: spaghetti (like you we put In a ton of veggies and spinach)
    Friday: probably eat out somewhere? Fridays and Sat we leave free too, and Sundays I usually make a big thing (enchiladas, soup whatever) for lunches during the week.

  3. I totally agree with you on the eating front. One are of our budget we don’t try and clamp down on. Love eating out with friends and family and we need to look after our bodies with good food!! Can you share the recipe for Shoyu chicken – it sounds good!
    We are eating:

    Haggis (yes seriously)
    Pasta Bake
    Pizza (make our own)
    Spanish Chicken

    Weekend is also open!

  4. I always plan our menu before heading out to the store each week so this is right up my alley!

    Monday – Ramen noodles
    Tuesday – Pork chops/ green beans/ stuffing
    Wednesday – Spaghetti / garlic knots
    Thursday – smoked sausages/ peas/ mashed potatoes
    Friday – whatever night (cereal, sandwiches, or soup – something along those lines)

  5. I can totally relate to this! I love trying out different types of food and eating in different restaurants, but of course that means I have to spend a lot of money. It’s kind of frustrating once you’ve realized how much you have spent on all these, but for me, money spent on food is always worth it!

  6. Because I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, our menus include way more vegetables and way less bad carbs (re: refined white sugar) than it did before…I also have to be mindful of portion sizes. Yesterday was BBQ steak and veggies… deee-licious! Because Hubby’s on afternoons this week, he nornally just makes a little extra when he prepares his lunch, and I have that for dinner; typically, it’ll be chicken or fish, and the occasion piece of red meat. I did make low-carb carrot/pinapple muffins last night that turned out pretty tasty. We spend about $150/week on food for the 2 of us, and 95% of our meals are homemade.

  7. This is great, because every Sunday night I plan the week out based on what’s in the freezer… food is definitely one area I need to trim down both for my wallet and my waist, and yet, I can never seem to do it. Mrs. Vie and I must spend between $600 – $800 a month on food and dining out… and every month I say the same thing “How the hell did we spend that much on food?”

    Monday: Chicken in brown gravy, green beans, baked potato
    Tuesday: Chili Garlic pork chops, steamed vegetables, salad
    Wednesday: Tilapa, roasted potatoes, green beans
    Thursday: Fend for yourself night (due to volunteer work at the church, Thursday nights are usually PB&J or cereal for dinner)
    Friday: Pizza and wings
    Saturday: Eating out (yet, I know not where)
    Sunday: Wings, wings, wings…. (we go out to watch football and eat a lot of wings)

  8. Last night: roasted chicken with squash and salad

    Monday: Chicken and broccoli casserole with leftover chicken and squash

    Tues: Leftover casserole and salad, or pork chops if there is no casserole left, a definite possibility

    Wed: BBQ chicken, baked potato and veggies of some sort, probably broccoli

    Thurs: Chicken enchiladas made with leftover BBQ chicken and home made refried beans

    Fri: Leftovers for husb and I, kids have hotdogs and mac n cheese

    Sat and Sun: Probably spaghetti and meatballs with home made sauce and meatballs, I will make this up ahead of time for husb and 7yr old because I am taking the other 2 kids out of town on Sat.

    I make all our meals from scratch, including the tortillas and beans and spaghetti sauce. It keeps cost down and nutrition up. I am trying to keep our monthly food budget to $500 a month for 5 of us, but kids eat like horses, even little kids. It is shocking how much food my 7 and 8 year olds eat.

    I also have to plan out lunches and breakfasts, so everybody gets fed.

  9. We spend between $600-$700 a month on food too. We aren’t too concerned with the AMOUNT we spend, but sometimes we end up wasting more food than we would like, so we are trying to cut down on that right now. I’m sure it will end up saving us some money in the end, but I’m not sure how much.

  10. Crock pot meals work for us, since I work until 5pm and don’t get home until 5:30.

    Monday: mac & cheese, daughter loves it because she can feed herself. This is not a crock pot meal.
    Tuesday: boneless ribs in the crock pot
    Wednesday: Chili, from scratch.
    Thursday: Home made beef stew.
    Friday: typically pizza, from the freezer.
    Saturday & Sunday: Leftovers from the week. We hate to be wasteful.

    This is just for this week, I’ve been researching more and more slow cooker/crock pot meals so that makes the grocery bill a little more at first (buying the ingredients we don’t have like minced garlic, soy sauce, etc…) but then we have those ingredients for next time and only have to buy the meat and vegetables.

    • I am a stay at home mom and I love my crockpots. 2 of my 3 kids are disabled so anything I can do while they are at school to keep the evenings and afternoons stress free are a must. Google crockpot365, Stephanie Shea has 2 books dedicated to all things crockpot, and most of her recipes are from scratch using whole food ingredients.

  11. I don’t plan meals as I am a bachelor. I usually cook a ton on Sunday and eat on it all week. Yesterday I made:

    Chile Rellano Casserole (New Mexican food :D)
    Rasberry Balsamic Grilled Chicken
    A ton of snickerdoodle cookies…Not sure why
    Plus I have still have a bunch of leftover cornbread and chili in the freezer that I can always heat up.

    Gotta try to spice up my diet.

  12. As an undergrad on a meal plan it is whatever the dining hall feeds me. But, I think about this a lot because I’m about to be a married grad student living off my wife’s teaching salary, so…

  13. Nothing bothers me more than people that will go out to eat with you, but not order anything. They sit there with their water, and watch you awkwardly eat your meal. I feel rushed to finish the food and leave, just so the person not eating doesn’t have to wait any longer. They may be saving money, but they suck at friendship.

  14. Fun! I do my meal planning every week and then shop one week at a time. My grocery budget for both the HEB and the farmer’s market is $50, and I can usually stay under that unless I’m stocking up on sale items. This week:
    Mon — a potato/sausage/carrot skillet
    Tues — leftovers from Monday and Sunday (beef curry)
    Wed — rotisserie chicken salad (bought chicken last week when it was on sale and froze it)
    Thurs — chicken stew with remaining rotisserie chicken, and leftover salad
    Friday — dinner with friends and/or leftovers

    I try to cook most of the days of the week and not let anything go to waste.

  15. I live on my own and have had the habit for years of cooking things once a week that can be successfully reheated. This of course excludes a lot of foods that need to be eaten when freshly cooked, but fairly often I’ll also spend a half hour doing something like a veal chop, roast chicken, or a burger.

    I usually cook one or two, at most three meals that I put into plastic containers and keep in the fridge or freeze. Last week I bought three packages of boneless chicken thighs and made them in three different Indian preparations – one in a sauce of tomato, yogurt, ground almonds, cilantro, and a little cream; a second in a sauce of pureed red peppers, onion, lemon, and almonds; and the third in a marinade of lemon, garlic, paprika, and lots of spices. I have a little of the tomato-yogurt dish left and otherwise a couple of nice veal chops which I’ll do alla francese or alla marsala.

    My favorite cuisines to cook are Spanish, Italian, and Indian. I’ve tried Chinese but almost never do well with it. Once or twice a week I’ll go out; we have a lunchtime tradition at work of “Chinese Thursday,” and I usually have lunch out on the weekends.

    • Autumn Chopped Salad

      *6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
      *2 medium pears, chopped
      *1 cup dried cranberries
      *1 cup chopped pecans
      *8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
      *4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
      *Poppy seed Salad Dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
      *Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)

      *On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette) If you prefer your salad to have more dressing, feel free to experiment with the combination.

  16. I’m bad at planning a whole week in advance.

    Sunday was smoked cheddar grits with shrimp, and green beans.

    Tonight was baked chicken breasts with oven-roasted cauliflower and carrots and sweet potatoes.

    Friday is usually quesadillas but we’re out this Friday so no quesadillas this week.

    Grilled burgers (no buns) and grilled peppers and salt and vinegar potatoes on Wefnesday maybe?

    Probably fish on Thursday?

    I would also love Girl Ninja’s salad recipes.

  17. I really enjoy hearing this. I am a single person that probably spends 250-350 on food for myself. I live in California so I think the prices are a bit higher here.

    I never buy meat to prepare, just when eating out.

  18. You used my joke to make your stick figure for this blog! And although I have no real plans for what we’re going to eat this week (I’m usually a good planner unless I have PMS, then the PMS gets to plan), your stick figure just made my week!

  19. Mon: Big garden salad with leftover chicken from Subday’s roasted chicken dinner
    Tues: pasta
    Wed: Salmon, tabbouleh quinoa or garden salad
    Thurs: mini turkey burgers, salad
    Fri: leave open for weekend shopping
    Sat: orzo with mozzarella, basil, tomato
    Sun: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, 2 veggies

    And congratulations on the Plutus Award.

    And congr

  20. Food/meal planning is something I’m really struggling with now. I’m usually all over the place during the week and being in grad school means I lack a real schedule for eating/sleeping/etc, so I postopone grocery shopping and eat catch-as-catch-can. I also have this weird hang-up where I refuse to order delivery, so this can make a bad situation worse.

    However, I can totally tell you what free food I will be hitting up this week:
    Tuesday – pizza at a professional society general body meeting for dinner.
    Wednesday – chinese food at weekly department seminar for lunch.
    Thursday – coffee, donuts, and bagels for breakfast.

  21. I love eating out but it definitely adds up. We spend probably a little more than you do per month on food most months, but we spend less some months too.

    I eat rather cheaply, but my significant other definitely does not. He eats all sorts of processed stuff and expensive stuff. We probably spend about $60/week on eating out (maybe closer to $70 when we factor in my Friday lunches with co-workers). The rest is groceries.

  22. We live in France and spend 160 euros per month on food for two people. We try to make all our meals and lunches and not go out to eat. Sometimes we might order pizza but that’s cheaper than a restaurant (and pizza here is lovely thin crust goodness). In fall and winter we make big batches of soup…this week we have cream of squash:)
    We often make large batches and eat for several days…lately we’ve had:
    Rice Chorizo Pilaf
    Stuffed Eggplant
    Spinach, Egg, Cheese tarte (we make a lot of these ‘pies’, filling!)
    chicken curry
    roast with potatoes dauphinois

  23. I meal plan every week, I try to get the husband’s suggestions but usually he comes up with the same things over and over. Doesn’t make for a very wide array of food…so I usually get most of my ideas off the internet. We were in the habit of spending way too much on groceries and eating out upwards of $800+ every month for just the two of us, so last month we decided to buckle down and only do one ‘night’ dinner out on the weekends and one lunch date during the week and then either Saturday or Sunday lunch out (usually when we are out running errands). So here is this week:

    Tortellini and Morningstar veggie burgers
    Chicken Pasta Bake
    Beef Fried Rice
    Clam Chowder and Sandwiches
    Chicken Enchiladas
    Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

  24. I can’t remember all the way back to Monday, but here are the days I can remember:

    Wednesday–Brussels Sprouts, salmon, brown rice
    Thursday–Turkey Meatballs with sweet and sour sauce, Swiss Chard with chashews and bread

    Tonight we are going to have leftover Turkey Meatballs with kale and rice soup

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