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Old 05-28-2013, 07:51 AM   #22
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Naples, Italy
Posts: 2,517
Originally Posted by leadmare
I've been wondering about this lately. DH and I eat healthy, but not extravagantly. We do live in a higher COL area, but it seems like maybe we eat more than other people. DH is tall, and I am nursing, but neither of us is overweight. We are fit and healthy, but we just seem to eat a lot of food. (I can see this is subjective, but I don't know how else to describe it).

Well, things are tight, and I would love to cut the grocery bill, but I'm not sure how much more I could cut it. We eat oatmeal for breakfasts, things like apples and nuts for snacks, and dinners vary, but feature a lot of veggies. The last few months I've taken out $400 cash at the beginning of the month, and it seems to only get us through three weeks of the month. (No eating out or prepared foods. Just big bags of frozen veggies, meat, eggs, rice & beans, and some fresh fruit). I do meal plan, but lunches seem to do us in. DH works from home, and will make a big lunch most days (he does use leftovers). He might make an egg omlettee with leftover lentils, for example. All this food usage adds up quick. But since he's fit and healthy, I feel bad asking him (or me), to eat less.

Do any of you eat less to make your food money last longer? I know for me, I actually find it easier to eat less the more food we have around because I know it's there if I get hungry later. But if we don't have food around, I want to eat more now to sock it away.

So ladies... I'm curious if you ever eat less when times are lean. How do you handle it? Please chime in!
Yes, and no. I won't let us go hungry, but I certainly do limit our unnecessary food consumption, for both money AND health reasons. DH does not need to eat 1/2 a block of cheese when I'm making dinner and it will be done in 30 minutes. He can definitely wait for the meal to be done cooking. It would be an extravagant waste of money and calories (he would still eat his full portion of dinner and likely seconds). I am constantly reminding him that he is allowed to be hungry for a few minutes. But I'm not unreasonable. Most of our dinners are made for 6 servings, and its rare we have many leftovers. The 1 year old out eats me, and sometimes even DH, so I usually do stop him at a certain point, he just ends up pooping a lot. If he asks for more I give it, but I've stopped offering more when his plate is empty. He will always eat more if its offered, even if he's not hungry (like, to the point of vomiting). DH and I are working on learning healthy portions, so I usually give him the larger serving and make him wait 30 minutes before eating more meat (veggies are always up for grabs). We both find that if we wait, we often find we don't really want/need that extra, but we haven't denied ourselves or anything. I heard somewhere that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize your stomach is full. We also try to drink a large glass (16oz) of water if we think we are still hungry. So yes, we do watch our food intake to decrease unnecessary food costs, but its just as much about health reasons.

Now we live in Europe, eat a mostly paleo/primal diet, and eat as much organic as we can. We don't have cable or fast Internet or expensive cell phone plans or a second car,because the food we eat is important to us. I certainly recognize that not everyone can eat the same as we do and that everyone has to do what they can to feed their families (3 years ago, we didn't always know where our next meal would come from, potatoes, 80% ground beef and dented cans of veggies were a feast), but now that we are in a place where we can opt for the food we want by giving up a luxury, we do. We spend a high amount on food because of our location and choices, so comparing our food cost is apples and oranges. But before moving here and before cutting grains, most legumes, most dairy, etc, we fed our family on $400 a month (2 adults, 1 baby, 1 toddler) in a hcol area, and ate mostly organic. We did so by utilizing Costco (scour Craigslist for a deep freeze if you don't have one, you will be able o save much more money with that though meat, bread, dairy etc in bulk), watching portion sizes, avoiding processed and packaged items, making as much as possible from scratch, saving leftovers (thow thm into soups nd casseroles, give them to kids for lunches), using whole chickens (the juices an bones will make excellent broth and the meat can be stretched far), saving veggie scraps (make broth with them), mixing beans/lentils/rice into meat o stretch it out further, making homemade cleaners, using co-ops (only if it's something you would be buying anyway), using credit card rewards for Walmart/amazon/wherever gift cards (ONLY if you are disciplined enough to pay it off before interest accrues; I pay it off along with bills twice a month, sometimes weekly, and we don't do anything else before we have it paid, which usually isn't a problem since we dont generally put charges on the card unless we have the money in the bank to cover it), starting a garden, and avoiding more expensive cuts of meat. Another thing I wanted o do but we never had the money for was joining a CSA, and also buying half cow and half pig. We were going to do that with tax return this year, but we moved.

One things I've noticed is that if we eat a lot of fruit, we tend to go through it faster. I think because its so much higher in sugar, we burn it really quickly and are more likely to crash, thus needing more food. Veggies seem to keep us steady longer. And good fats and protein help us stay fuller, longer. So I might have a bell pepper and hummus, or salad with oil and vinegar as the dressing, or a tomato salad with some oil and bacon chunks, or chicken salad on greens. I can last a few hours with out a snack if I eat those types of snaks/lunches, but if I only eat a half serving and like an orange, I'm starvin gin in an hour or two.
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