Informal Poll - spending more or less on food?

Theo166 Posts: 2,564 Member
edited February 2017 in Recipes
Are other MFPr's spending more or less on food than before their switch to eating healthy, and why.

I spend less now than before, but not sure exactly how much.

- almost no $ on fast food, Starbucks, etc.
- Eating half the calories than before, so less total food needed
- Stopped buying junk snacks like Doritos and candy
- I mostly use quality frozen veggies, so little waste. Before I let fresh stuff go bad in the crisper
- I make stuff from scratch instead of buying pre-made
- I use my freezer to store planned leftovers
- less on alcohol, pop, etc

I'm curious why some are spending significantly more than before, unless it's by choice (supplements, high end organic, etc.). Feeding a family at the same calories would remove some of my savings, but I don't get why it must cost a lot more.


  • jen_092
    jen_092 Posts: 254 Member
    I'm spending the same, I think. I didn't have a lot of weight to lose, so volume hasn't really changed noticeably. But I started buying more protein supplements, like protein cookies and Quest bars, which end up being really expensive (but worth it to me). Also, I didn't cut fast food by very much. But I think I am spending less on lunches because I pack them now instead of buying in the cafeteria. So all in all, maybe the same? I should really be budgeting and monitoring better to know the answer!
  • lulalacroix
    lulalacroix Posts: 1,059 Member
    I'm eating the same diet, just less of it. So I would say I'm spending less. Although I would need to factor in the several pints of Halo Top I eat each week.
  • Theo166
    Theo166 Posts: 2,564 Member
    Chatted with a friend offline, who feeds their family a healthy diet now. They were careful with their budget before, so they didn't save on fast food and expensive junk food. Their spaghetti dinner went from noodles and a jar of sauce to also including meat and veggies. No way to avoid their costs going up.
  • annacole94
    annacole94 Posts: 997 Member
    Do you count booze as food?

    We're saving a lot of money on not drinking much beer. It's sad, but cost effective.
  • mhwitt74
    mhwitt74 Posts: 159 Member
    It's just me and my wife now that our daughter is out on her own. We are spending about the same if not a little more on just the two of us as before when there was three. The difference is in the quality of the food. No more cheapo meals from a box or can. We eat real food now that is beneficial to our health.
  • __TMac__
    __TMac__ Posts: 1,665 Member
    Less. We eat the same mostly whole foods we used to, but less of it. Also, we're eating out less and drinking less booze. So probably saving $30-40 a week?
  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,755 Member
    More. I don't eat less food, I purposely choose foods that are less calorie dense foods to get more! I also care about quality, and don't have to stress about cost necessarily...
  • electrickazoo
    electrickazoo Posts: 55 Member
    Less, but mostly because we don't eat out that much anymore. We also found a few ways to get better food for less money (eg. buying half an elk at wholesale prices - cheaper than beef, or any other meat besides pork and much leaner, etc)
  • andrea4736
    andrea4736 Posts: 211 Member
    More. Buying fresh food means I buy more often and I waste a lot more. Ugh.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    Same amount or $40-50 less a week. I have a tight budget so I do keep track of my spending.

    I didn't change the type of food I eat much due to diet. I did not start buying organic grass fed or special diet foods or powders. We did not start shopping at different stores.
    My not overweight family members have not changed their eating or drinking habits. 250-500 calories less a day for 1 person in a household is not that much less food.
    We stopped eating as much beef as it was more expensive. We continue to eat things like eggs, chicken, tuna, ground turkey, beans, pasta or lentils.
    We don't eat out as often as we used to.
    I cook a lot rather than having a lot of pre-made stuff.
    We got more pets (guinea pigs) in the last year who we buy food for- lots more fresh vegetables for them.
  • yayamom3
    yayamom3 Posts: 939 Member
    I'm spending less. I eat less (especially junk food and prepackaged convenience foods), and I don't eat out as often.
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,867 Member
    edited February 2017
    I think I spend about the same. I buy less junk foods (still buy them for the hubs and for the occasional treat), but I still eat out lots and I have a bad habit of letting food spoil..
  • Spliner1969
    Spliner1969 Posts: 3,233 Member
    For me it's probably the same or a bit more. At first it was much more because I went hog wild on the low fat, prepackaged health food, sugar free, you name it more expensive stuff. Now I stick to fresh, lean, and rarely buy that extra stuff. I stick to whole grain breads, but do spend a tad more on the lower calorie versions. I also still buy the no sugar added stuff which is always more expensive (especially ice cream). Otherwise everything else is fresh or frozen veggies (no canned), lean chicken/turkey/etc. That part of it is cheaper. But when it comes to events where I want a treat (birthdays, holidays, etc.) I get slammed with extra cost because I want sugar free, no sugar added, or healthier versions of the same old recipes I used to make with tons of sugar, butter, highly processed carbs.

    As far as eating less.. maybe.. less junk food for sure. I'm a big guy though and tend to eat a large dinner, and fairly large lunches, breakfasts, etc. Now that I'm not dieting any longer I do eat, volume wise, somewhere near what I used to eat, I just don't do all the snacking (which I guess is a cost savings).
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
    My big change came when I started eating gluten-free about 6 years ago. At first, I thought it was going to be sooo expensive because gluten-free substitutes (bread, pasta, etc) are terribly expensive. However, I have found that I am spending waaay less money on food now because I rarely buy those GF substitutes and I cook things that are naturally gluten free. But the biggest cost saver is that I rarely eat out any more because it is difficult to do so. The loads of money I save by not eating out allows me to splurge on higher quality meats, cheeses and produce.
  • Heather4448
    Heather4448 Posts: 908 Member
    I'm spending waaaay less lately, but it has nothing to do with my new WOE. I have created a hard and fast rule; Mom doesn't cook until all the leftovers (and I mean all!) have been eaten. I thoroughly recommend it!
  • Theo166
    Theo166 Posts: 2,564 Member
    I'm spending waaaay less lately, but it has nothing to do with my new WOE. I have created a hard and fast rule; Mom doesn't cook until all the leftovers (and I mean all!) have been eaten. I thoroughly recommend it!

    I've met people that refuse to eat leftovers, something I find very strange.

    When I cook, I always plan to have leftovers and often the flavor improves. However with the dieting, my leftovers are lasting much longer due to smaller portions. With lasagna my weighed portion size is probably a quarter of what it used to be.
  • bbell1985
    bbell1985 Posts: 4,582 Member
    Way way more. I eat a crap ton of veggies and when I am lazy and just want to bring them to work, I buy the boxes/bags of lettuce and little boxes of cherry tomatoes. Almond milk, greek yogurt, carton egg whites, protein bars, protein powder, lots of meat, diet soda, HALO It adds up. Especially in NYC.
  • zdyb23456
    zdyb23456 Posts: 1,706 Member
    I recently quit my job, so we are a one income family. I've always been frugal with groceries, but now we are limiting eating out. We used to go out at least once a week. Now maybe twice a month - one as a date night and the other takeout or pizza. Sometimes we take the kids out for Mongolian BBQ.

    When my husband is traveling I don't take the kids out at all. I might treat them to McDonald's once while he is gone.

    It really makes a difference in the budget. Going out as a family of 5 is at least $50, more like $60-$70 at a sit down place with actual waiters.
  • ridiculous59
    ridiculous59 Posts: 2,438 Member
    I spend about the same. I don't buy any processed foods and cook everything from scratch. We eat way less (Ice cream most evenings is a thing of the past!) and eating out is a treat, definitely not a weekly occurrence. But the food that I buy is better market veggies in the summer and I buy local beef, pork, chicken, and eggs from people I know in my comunity. I even have fish in the freezer that I caught :)