Meal Plan Cost Analysis
Nancy StamperSeptember 6, 2012 HSS 303/05Meal Plan/Cost Analysis My meal plan is a bit unusual in that I am temporarily living with family after a experiencing a broken relationship and selling my condo. I am not required or expected to contribute to the food costs of the household. However, I do pick up items from the grocery store on occasion and I go out to dinner with friends.
My school schedule is such that I usually eat my meals before and after classes and do not eat at the offerings on campus. I rarely eat fast food or get food from vending machines. During my 7 day food log time frame I spent 42. 93 eating out and around 48. 2 at the grocery. My guilty pleasure is Agave. It is rather expensive but I prefer to use it in my coffee or tea instead of sugar. It has a lower glycemic index and is sweeter than sugar. I prefer the taste. I do like to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I prefer to buy what is in season as it tastes better and is usually priced better. In my past experience it is better to plan your meals around what is in season and on sale that to plan your meals and hope for the best in prices and availability. When eating out, I tend to choose what I want instead of what is healthiest. Eating out is a social event for me.
I like to relax and enjoy myself which, for me, does not include analyzing food choices. Because I am frugal (or just plain cheap) I rarely order drinks when out. I cannot justify spending 2. 95 for a glass of iced tea or 7. 50 for a glass of wine when I can get the whole bottle for 6. 99. One thing that I could to do to improve my eating out habits that would be both healthier and more cost effective is to ask the server to box up half of the meal. Restaurant portions are much larger than we should be consuming. This would prevent me from overeating and provided me with another meal for the next day.
Overall I am a good shopper. I purchase seasonal food to take advantage of better pricing and quality. I shop strictly from a list so I do not over buy. I prepare my list from planned menus and advertised sales. I use coupons to purchase only those items I would normally purchase rather than purchasing an item because I have a coupon. I could improve upon my eating out habits by making healthier choices and eating less. The real benefit of my current meal plan is that my sister is a very good cook and usually prepares dinner every night and she usually makes healthy meals. I ust help clean the kitchen! My food cost breakdown for the 7 days I recorded is as follows: Grocery Store: Grapes @. 99lb 2. 50 Skimmed [email protected] 2. 99 gal 2. 99 Agave nectar @5. 99 23 oz11. 98 Strawberries @ 3. 99 32 oz 3. 99 Banana popsicles 1. 99 Fish sticks13. 00 Frozen peas 3 bags @1. 00 ea. 3. 00 Pluots 2 lb @1. 69lb 3. 37 Yogurt @ 10 for 6. 00 6. 00 Total48. 82 Fruits and vegetables 12. 86 26% Dairy 8. 98 18% Seafood13. 00 27% Misc13. 98 29% TOTALS48. 82100% Eating out: Mc Donald’s x 210. 34 Bob Evans18. 00 (with tip) Waffle House12. 00 (with tip) Dairy Queen 2. 59 Total42. 93