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What Should My Food Budget Be?

Vancouver, Canada
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What Should My Food Budget Be?

So I am planning on a trip near Goderich ON. I am staying at my friends place. He says he lives off of $160 a month. However, he eats here and there.

For a person who eats times a day plus a snack or two, how much should I be saving up for my food budget? Would it be possible for me to do $160? We would not be dining out and this would be for groceries.

I also look for good deals on food and try to use coupons when i can. I'm not willing to pay outrageous prices for food. Lol,

I don't really know my budget.

???? Food

$290 for bus ticket

$100 transportation (I have a relative out there)

$100 spfor getting into places

$0 souveiner (not my thing)

$0 alcohol (don't drink)

My travel companions? Well heading out on my own but staying at my friends and we will be doing things together.

Part of town I'll be in? Close to Goderich.

Likes and dislikes? Well since this post is pertaining to food, I'll make the likes and dislikes towards that

Likes: Ichiban, macaroni, chicken, salad, banana, black plums, cherries, pizza, cheese roasted garlic cloves

Dislikes: brusselspouts, any unbattered fish unless its strictly lake fish, greasy food, gummy bears gummy worms, caramel,

Uhm, yeah. XD lol.

SE Ontario
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1. Re: What Should My Food Budget Be?

Grocery prices in Goderich will not be all that different from those in Vancouver ... so really it's a question of how much you spend on groceries at home.

here's a link to the major grocery stores in town - take a look at the weekly flyer:



So really - I'm sure you can figure out your own food budget ... you don't need a group of strangers to do it for you.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: What Should My Food Budget Be?

Oh, really? Didn't know that. Haha.

I don't. o.o I live with my parents turning 19 in august so.... but my mother may be able to help me out knowing the pieces here and dividing their budget by 4. Because i don't even know what their budget is.

Awesome thanks! :-)

Lol perhaps, if not, well, I may just have to come back to this post. XD

SE Ontario
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18,721 posts
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3. Re: What Should My Food Budget Be?

I suggest you go to the grocery store with your mother this week and find out first hand. It's probably about time you learned.

Whitby, Canada
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688 posts
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4. Re: What Should My Food Budget Be?

I would have an extremely difficult time on $160 / month. Really, just over $5 per day???? You can't even get a decent breakfast for that price...and then you have the rest of the day.

Burlington, Canada
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5. Re: What Should My Food Budget Be?

This all depends on what you like to eat and how much you're willing to spend. If you ate Kraft dinner it would cost you $1. If you like a nice fat steak you're looking at $12-15 for a nice big T-bone.

So by going on what your likes are I can help you in a few areas....frozen pizza will cost you approx. $5, chicken breast is 5 times more expensive than legs or thighs, lettuce will be about $2 for a head, pasta is cheap as is tomato sauce, fruit can be expensive but buy what is in season and it's cheaper (apples, pears, peaches etc, and bananas are not expensive). Also look in the store flyers for deals. If your friend has a fishing rod you can catch your own fish near Godrich but now you'd be really stretching it!!

As mentioned, take a trip to the grocery store and have a look at some prices to get a better idea. If you really want to get by cheaply then you can do it for about $10 a day but you'll be eating quite poorly such as peanut butter sandwiches, pasta, eggs, rice, potatoes.....don't look to be eating a lot of meat or fruit.

If you want to eat fairly well you can do this quite easily if you spend about $120 for the week....and that is not much when you think about it. Your friend who says he spends $160 a month tells pretty tall tales or else he eats a lot of cat food.

Edited: 13 May 2013, 23:12
Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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6. Re: What Should My Food Budget Be?

Estimating based on one quarter of your mom's budget for your family may not really be a valid comparison, since you will be starting from scratch and she has basic staples on hand and doesn't have to buy everything all at once that might be needed to make a meal. Also, if you are trying to keep your costs as low as possible, you will probably make different menu choices than she would. If you can cook, buying "ingredients" rather than already-made foods is usually cheaper on a per-serving basis, as well as much healthier than most processed foods, but if you have little experience shopping, then I'm guessing you may not have much experience with cooking either.

$40 a week sounds awfully low... your friend either doesn't eat much at all, or else maybe he is a master of cooking with rice and dried beans... which is cheap and nutritious (well, brown rice is, anyway). Or maybe krusty nailed it. LOL In any case, I would be willing to bet that he is not getting anywhere near the recommended 5 to 10 daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables.

When my kids first left home, they were spending about $75 to $100 per week on groceries ... but we also live in a place where groceries are expensive; on the other hand, they also worked in cafés and restaurants, so some of their meals were provided at work.

But if you are willing to eat ichiban, that will keep your costs down. That will fill your stomach but has basically zilch for nutrition and is very unhealthy with the amount of salt it contains. (Am guessing that if you haven't been grocery shopping with your mom, you also haven't learned to read labels for nutrient content.) However, you can improve it as a meal by adding some veggies, a protein source like tofu or canned salmon or tuna, beans etc.

One way to start your day off cheaply is with porridge ... cooked oatmeal or Red River cereal or similar... buy the kind you actually have to cook, and a kind that is whole grain (not cream of wheat, for instance); it's nutritious, super cheap (especially compared to boxed breakfast cereal) and very filling.

Edited: 14 May 2013, 14:00
7. Re: What Should My Food Budget Be?

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