prices and portions…

It is obvious that not everyone will have the exact same recipe cost as me. The point of posting the cost information is to give a reference point. It is possible your cost will be higher but it is equally possible for your cost to be lower. Your individual cost will depend on your local market, product availability, current sales, purchasing preferences and willingness to find the best deal in town.

I shop at a different store almost every time I go. It depends on my mood, my needs and, most of all, my laziness. If I am super lazy I will get all of my shopping done at one store which usually means there are a few ingredients that I could have paid less for somewhere else. C’est la vie. The important part is that because of my menu planning, I am still shopping and cooking for super cheap.

SO, just be aware that the prices for my ingredients and recipe totals are going to be general. Your recipe may cost you less, it may cost you more. If you prefer all-natural or all organic, your recipe will cost you more. If you are dedicated to only shopping at small local grocers, then your cost will be more. If you have the time to sift through weekly sales flyers and tool around town buying the lowest price on everything, then your cost will be lower. I’m somewhere in the middle.

The portions I have listed are also fairly general. I know that a man twice my size will eat larger portion sizes. If you feel like you eat a lot, I would go ahead and assume double portion sizes and therefore double the portion price from what I have listed. I base my portions on two things: I am a small woman and I know that as Americans our portion sizes are way out of control already.

Always keep in mind that controlling your portions will also control your spending. Eating more than you need = spending more than you need. Although I don’t always follow this concept, I appreciate the philosophy of only eating until you are no longer hungry, not until you are “full”. We live in a culture of excess and that habit can be hard to break.

My information is just a guide to show you what is possible. If you are having a hard time getting the same results that I do, just ask for help! You may not realize there is a less expensive, good quality substitute for an ingredient you are currently using.

It IS possible to eat for a whole day on less that what one person normally spends on lunch!

22 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    very comprehensive :)

  2. Pardon me if this has been requested before but nutrition information would be very helpful for those of us that are trying to control our calorie intake.

    Thanks,

  3. Anonymous says:

    you can use the recipe generator at sparkpeople.com to figure that out yourself :-D

  4. What a great blog! Love how you have things broken down in price. I do this in my head a lot! I just love getting a good bargain out of a tasty meal! Bye the way, I’m Beth M. too!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Love your site! For more information on the changes in available portion sizes and people’s perceptions you can visit here:
    http://www.divinecaroline.com/22177/49492-portion-size-vs-now

  6. I just came across blog and I love it! I am SO excited to begin trying some of your recipes as they all look fantastic.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your blog! I am not a huge SALE shopper, but I love to see how much I can save every time I learn to do something in the kitchen. Thanks so much! – Abby

  8. Anonymous says:

    I love your site, but would really appreciate the nutrional information if at all possible. Watching my budget is important but most important right now is nutritional information as I am trying to cook healthy in order to lose weight! U

  9. Krista says:

    I’m a college student currently living in the dorms, but next year I’ll have my own apartment with a kitchen. I plan on basically living off of this site, I’m so glad I found it. Great job :]

  10. What a great blog! I absolutely agree that not having much money is not a reason to eat bad food. There is a heap of inspiration here and I’m looking forward to exploring your recipes!

  11. Ideally, the best way to do grocery shopping is to make a list, find out about all the sales and hit at least 2-3 grocery stores trying not to get distracted by other items. But I hear you, it’s not always the case. With our busy lives we do the best we can, right?

  12. I just found your blog from Pinterest, and I’m LOVING your recipes just from my first read-through. I can’t wait to make these!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I just found your site and this is amazing, I’m in my first apartment now and I’ve been trying to save money and I really think I’m going to live off this site now! Everything looks delicious, I can’t wait to start cooking :)

  14. Not only are your recipes FANTASTIC but your blog is super well organized and I really like all the pictures!

  15. Anonymous says:

    new favorite blog. everything i love. eating healthy, on a budget, and making enough for future meals!! I am definitely a firm believer in living in moderation. thank you!

  16. Amazing site! I have found numerous recipes that are simple/cheap and delicious. There is no reason to spend a fortune on groceries just to get a decent meal and this site can help you whether you are new to cooking or an experienced cook. I will definitely be back!

  17. Julie says:

    You can use couponmom.com to pull up a list of your local store’s sale items for the week, and they list if there’s a printable coupon or manufacturer’s coupon to put with the sale item, saving you more money. And no I’m in no way affiliated with the site, I just love that site and find it super helpful :)

  18. cheese

  19. It doesn’t matter when it comes on food.

  20. OMG – I am so glad I found this site. YOU ARE MY HERO!!! THANK YOU!!! I, too, am a number cruncher and spend a lot of time looking up recipes and then calculating costs per meal. I appreciate having a WONDERFUL and DELICIOUS resource with SO MANY more ideas than I would have ever thought! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Love your blog! Thanks for all the steps and pictures! Very helpful.

  22. Michele says:

    I just started mapping out my family meals (to save time originally) then grouped together like minded meat meals to figure out how much of each thing I needed to make the meals…then trippled the recipie. I got the first 9wks down to $400 but after my last haul of big meat sales, I have 8mths of food bought for a total less than $1000. I think that’s pretty good (considering it also includes the snacks, soft drinks, and energy drinks my husband is addicted to).

    Finding new recipies to switch up the meal plan without needing to buy anything else is great! Breaking down the recipie to price per meal is fantastic (as I do this in my head often…which makes me giddy when I get a meal down to $5 or less!).

    Great blog, glad I found you.

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