Student budget for groceries (Around 20 bucks a week)

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    Aug 21, 2011 7:11 AM GMT
    Ok so here's the deal, after calculating my income and expenses, I find that I can spend around 20 bucks a week on groceries.

    So, what did you buy that would fill you up, and last for a week.

    This week, my grocery list was:

    2 packs of 18 large eggs ($ 3.99 each) = $ 7.98
    2 bags of 24 slice texas style bread ($ 2.88 each) = $ 5.76
    4 bags of milk (1 L each) = $ 4.99

    Total (including 13 % tax) = $ 21.16

    So I did it for 21 bucks... which is around my budget. Boil 5 eggs and eat it with the bread...(3 in the morning and 2 in the evening) and drink 2 cups of milk next to it (1 in the morning and 1 in the evening) - and it would last my comfortably for 7 days.

    What would you do instead? Would you recommend something else?

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    Aug 21, 2011 7:18 AM GMT
    /bump because I know I am not the only student living on my own with a tight budget.


    or am I... icon_neutral.gif
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    Aug 21, 2011 7:48 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidHey man, being a student is not the only reason to be interested in this, buddy. icon_smile.gif I'm self-employed and it's tight right now, lol.

    I think I would switch out the bread for chickpeas or even Indian Chana (which is usually much cheaper but basically a rustic version of the same thing). Bread....it's just a whole lot of processed nothing usually.

    I think the chickpeas/chana would provide protein on top of the same amount of carbs as you would get in the bread alone, for the same price (or much less actually). And since you would be getting some of your protein from that, I think you could do with less eggs (maybe just one 18 pack) so that you could instead buy some cheap seasonal veggies. Zucchini is on for 59 cents a pound right now! You can't beat that! And your diet is woefully deficient in veggies and fibre.

    Likewise....4 litres of milk....sigh. If you want to have pop, just have pop, lol. Imo, the only reason to buy a gallon of milk ($4.29 to buy a gallon in BC instead of your 4 1L bags, btw), the only reason would be to make your own yogurt. There simply is not enough nutrition in milk to dedicate 25% of your weekly budget to it (in my opinion)...it's basically fortified sugar-water. Drink water and buy some fucking in-season fruits and/or veg....bananas: 59cents a pound. Hell, a lot of veg/fruit stands will have "$1 dollar bags" of misc stuff that needs to be used in the next day or two....dedicate $1 a day to that, fill in your protein and carbs and THEN look at (shit foods) like milk.

    Okay, jalapeno peppers: A) they're a hell of a lot of fun. B) they're incredibly high in vit-C (like stooooopid high) and high in fibre. (Oh yeah...you need some damn vit-C!!!! Jesus M, your new bf isn't gonna love seeing your O-face if your teeth fall out from scurvy, lol!) icon_lol.gif

    Oh shit, just remembered: cut your eggs down to a dozen and buy a couple of tins of sardines (or salmon if you find it on sale): you need your DHA/EPA Omega 3s and you're not getting them elsewhere. Jalapeno sardines (my fav) are $1 a 106gr tin. You can get chinese sardines in tomato sauce for even less.

    So yeah, your planned diet is too simplistic I think. This is an opportunity to be creative...it's not a prison sentence. I've been living on an incredibly low budget for months and I love it. But my store is 100ft from a wicked fruit/veg store that always has in-season deals 1/3 the price of the supermarkets. You wouldn't believe how well I eat for how cheap I do. :-)


    I might cut one pack of 18 eggs for a bunch of veggies and a couple of oranges for the vitamin C...and maybe cut one pack of bread for chickpeas.

    but I need milk... I definitely need milk (and I love it)...

    thanks for the reply, icon_smile.gif I appreciate it.
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:34 AM GMT
    What do you eat for lunch and all the other meals between morning and night?...
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:50 AM GMT
    Dude....

    Get a student job

    Work 10 hours a week in a gig as a waiter or something... you'll at least get a complete meal out of it.... Or suck it up and take a job bussing trays in your college canteen. Same deal free food

    During my college term to make ends meet I...

    Sorted email through the night (10pm -8am) at an online gaming company
    Barista in a cafe
    Did cold calling for a market research company
    Worked the counter at a department store
    Unpacked boxes on a delivery ramp
    Did radio station promotions
    Tutored high school kids in Math and Science

    There is money out there.

    Living on your own? Get a roomate, split the rent and bill

    Apply for a grant, financial aid, food stamps

    There's no excuse to be living on bread, eggs and milk

    Plus there are always people giving out food on campus, everywhere banks trying to sell you their credit cards, companies trying to recruit you into their ranks, religious organisations, marketing companies looking to crack the youth market...Show up eat the free PIZZA and leave, they expect it

    Or make some friends, most parents are feeders going through empty nest syndrome. They will gladly feed their kids friends in exchange for a microcasm of involment in their offspring's life. Call them Mrs X, and say you're 'studying' with their kid. They'll think your a good influence on your kid and leftovers are a small price to pay
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    Aug 21, 2011 3:16 PM GMT
    _Mohamed_ said/bump because I know I am not the only student living on my own with a tight budget.


    or am I... icon_neutral.gif


    Is that ALL you plan on eating in a week or are you going to get meals at uni/from elsewhere too? icon_eek.gif
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    Aug 21, 2011 3:24 PM GMT
    icon_eek.gif

    Keep that up and you'll get scurvy.


    Skip the bread (or buy less) and get some pasta instead (cheaper and more filling) and if you have an oven buy flour and make your own scones or other easy-to-make bread with few ingredients.

    Buy beans, lentils and chickpeas (protein and vitamins) and root vegetables - these are cheap and can be made into great curries or stews. Tuna is usually cheap as well.

    Potatoes are wonderful things - they've got protein, carbs and vitamins and can be cooked with a lot of variation.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Aug 21, 2011 3:37 PM GMT
    Are you anorexic?
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    Aug 21, 2011 3:38 PM GMT
    Shop at Aldi and that $21 will get you a lot more, seriously. Probably should add some fruits and vegetables to that diet.
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    Aug 21, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    Mohamed, I'm starting to feel sorry for you. Why not try brown rice, more veggies, tuna, and sardines. Maybe fewer eggs. I know why you like the milk and bread -- it fills you up. Bananas are a miracle food also. Does your culture have certain dietary prohibitions?
  • metatextual

    Posts: 774

    Aug 21, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    If you're going to be living downtown, go to Chinatown and Kensington Market...

    You'll be able to find a bunch of bananas for less than a buck. half dozen mangoes for the same, or a bag of fruits and veggies for all under a buck [the trick is that you have to eat it within a day or two].
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Aug 21, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    There really is no reason for any sane person not addicted to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, to starve in ANY US city. As a student, you can get food stamps. The usual requirement is that you work a minimum number of hours. When I did it in college I got $150 a month (and the balance carries over). If that isn't an option for you there's always food banks. You can also look at joining a co-op, where you agree to work a few hours a month in exchange for significantly cheaper groceries. A little resourcefulness can get you way more than just basics.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Aug 21, 2011 4:40 PM GMT
    wrestlervic saidShop at Aldi and that $21 will get you a lot more, seriously. Probably should add some fruits and vegetables to that diet.


    Ditto, if they have aldi's in canada. If Aldi's is close, dont spend the whole 20 bucks at one go because you might need something throughout the week. Off and on my budget for food has been 30 bucks a week. Eggs, Milk, peanut butter, bread(I splurge and buy whole wheat, 7 grain, etc), bagels, cream cheese spread, pierogies, cheese, bag of frozen pasta/veggie medley, a big bag of party mix, oatmeal, potatoes, bananas some more veggies and some fruit......ok, yeah, I usually buy some of their german chocolate too. To get more fresh veggies in my diet I sometimes pick up some asian food on the way home every once in awhile.

    It's a toss up between eggs with potatoes(green peppers and onions), and veggie pasta medley with a baked potato.....Those two meals are most likely the cheapest and most filling meals I've ever eaten.

    Oh yeah, and sometimes I buy rice cakes and use that as bread, since rice cakes don't spoil.
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    Aug 21, 2011 4:56 PM GMT
    HisAlterEgo saidThere really is no reason for any sane person not addicted to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, to starve in ANY US city. As a student, you can get food stamps. The usual requirement is that you work a minimum number of hours. When I did it in college I got $150 a month (and the balance carries over). If that isn't an option for you there's always food banks. You can also look at joining a co-op, where you agree to work a few hours a month in exchange for significantly cheaper groceries. A little resourcefulness can get you way more than just basics.


    Not in the U.S.... I live in Canada. lol.
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    Aug 21, 2011 4:57 PM GMT
    ohioguy12 saidAre you anorexic?


    Nope, not anorexic.
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    Aug 21, 2011 4:59 PM GMT
    MsclDrew saidDude....

    Get a student job

    Work 10 hours a week in a gig as a waiter or something... you'll at least get a complete meal out of it.... Or suck it up and take a job bussing trays in your college canteen. Same deal free food

    During my college term to make ends meet I...

    Sorted email through the night (10pm -8am) at an online gaming company
    Barista in a cafe
    Did cold calling for a market research company
    Worked the counter at a department store
    Unpacked boxes on a delivery ramp
    Did radio station promotions
    Tutored high school kids in Math and Science

    There is money out there.

    Living on your own? Get a roomate, split the rent and bill

    Apply for a grant, financial aid, food stamps

    There's no excuse to be living on bread, eggs and milk

    Plus there are always people giving out food on campus, everywhere banks trying to sell you their credit cards, companies trying to recruit you into their ranks, religious organisations, marketing companies looking to crack the youth market...Show up eat the free PIZZA and leave, they expect it

    Or make some friends, most parents are feeders going through empty nest syndrome. They will gladly feed their kids friends in exchange for a microcasm of involment in their offspring's life. Call them Mrs X, and say you're 'studying' with their kid. They'll think your a good influence on your kid and leftovers are a small price to pay


    I have a student job. I get paid 11 bucks an hour.
    However, I get little hours because NO one there except the managers is allowed to get full-time.

    Therefore, I work permanent part-time. And besides,university is difficult (or at least the program I am in), so I will not be able to handle two jobs + study.

    and I am getting OSAP in mid-september. Which will help.
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    Aug 21, 2011 5:10 PM GMT
    bag of milk?
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    Aug 21, 2011 5:13 PM GMT
    Dallasfan824 saidbag of milk?


    yes, here in Canada we have bags of milk.

    bagged.jpg
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    Aug 21, 2011 5:13 PM GMT
    Do you have access to costco or someone that does?

    I buy packs of quinoa there for $8, and that lasts me a while... and quinoa is way better for you than rice. you can get cans of tuna or chicken really cheap. Or buy the fresh chicken breasts/thighs and freeze them.

    Superstore might be just as cheap.

    Oatmeal is really cheap. If you have protein powder you can sprinkle it on for flavour/protein.

    Canned chickpeas for $1. Rinse them to get rid of preservatives and make cheap hummus.

    Ethnic stores for veggies usually are the cheapest / taste the best.
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    Aug 21, 2011 5:14 PM GMT
    _Mohamed_ said

    I have a student job. I get paid 11 bucks an hour.
    However, I get little hours because NO one there except the managers is allowed to get full-time.

    Therefore, I work permanent part-time. And besides,university is difficult (or at least the program I am in), so I will not be able to handle two jobs + study.

    and I am getting OSAP in mid-september. Which will help.


    Well dump that job for one that will give you more hours...

    As for university being difficult (or just your program).

    I'm not buying it, Iread your profile we did the same program, took almost the same classes (I never took physics) and I remember freshman year...

    No offense but if you found freshman year hard. Wait until senior year when your taking the same class load of twice as dificult classes, writing a research thesis and tackling MCAT/GAMSAT.

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    Aug 21, 2011 5:14 PM GMT
    steamfunk saidDo you have access to costco or someone that does?

    I buy packs of quinoa there for $8, and that lasts me a while... and quinoa is way better for you than rice. you can get cans of tuna or chicken really cheap. Or buy the fresh chicken breasts/thighs and freeze them.

    Superstore might be just as cheap.

    Oatmeal is really cheap. If you have protein powder you can sprinkle it on for flavour/protein.
    Canned chickpeas for $1. Rinse them to get rid of preservatives and make cheap hummus.

    Ethnic stores for veggies usually are the cheapest / taste the best.


    totally forgot about oatmeal. Def. need to subsititute that instead of bread.

    and I know there's a costco in Toronto - if not, I could always go to the one beside UTM.
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    Aug 21, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    _Mohamed_ said
    Dallasfan824 saidbag of milk?


    yes, here in Canada we have bags of milk.

    bagged.jpg


    weird.
  • metatextual

    Posts: 774

    Aug 21, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    _Mohamed_ said
    Dallasfan824 saidbag of milk?


    yes, here in Canada we have bags of milk.

    bagged.jpg


    Shoppers' brand Diaryland dairy products all suck -- including milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.
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    Aug 21, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    Dallasfan824 said
    _Mohamed_ said
    Dallasfan824 saidbag of milk?


    yes, here in Canada we have bags of milk.

    bagged.jpg


    weird.


    lmao... why?

    Never seen one of these?

    f9435a684c1e84b1363f7d85c7e9.jpeg
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    Aug 21, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    metatextual said
    _Mohamed_ said
    Dallasfan824 saidbag of milk?


    yes, here in Canada we have bags of milk.

    bagged.jpg


    Shoppers' brand Diaryland dairy products all suck -- including milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.


    I usually get Neilson.

    milk_in_bags_instead_of_bottles-province