Packaged Meals and Clinics - Nutrisystem, Medifast, Jenny Craig, Etc For support and questions about diet meal delivery programs, or weight loss clinics that offer prepackaged meals and products.

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Old 09-03-2008, 05:03 PM   #1  
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Default Be honest...what did you spend on food before?

When ever I read a message board thread (anywhere) and the topic of the cost of weight loss meal delivery plans comes up people always say something like "you would have spent the same amount on junk/food anyway". In my case that is totally not the case. I spend a total of about $150 a week to feed my entire household of five people! We usually only go out to eat once a week to a family type place and spend about $30 so our whole family total is under $200.

Please be honest, I am just curious because I hear this so much. Are there people out there who really spend $100 or more a week on food for one person???????? I guess if you eat every meal out it is possible but other wise how? These people must having money coming out their eye balls or something Just help me wrap my mind around this and satisfy my curiosity!
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:03 PM   #2  
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Okay, I don't think $100/person for food a week is THAT unreasonable. That's under $5 a meal. If you do go out to eat, say, twice a week, you have maybe $80 left for the remaining nineteen meals, which is about $4 a meal. Even if you're making your own meals, things can get pretty expensive. And you have to take into consideration that where you live makes the cost of things change. For example, where I live is the most popular city in the state where everyone wants to live, so things are always more expensive than in the city a hundred miles away.

I understand that you can MAKE it cost less if you're careful, but $100 a week seems completely plausible for the average person.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:18 PM   #3  
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Default it was more the planning then the cost

For me I never could get my act together to make the low cal meals EVERY DAY.. I might occasionally do it but not every meal, week-in and week out. Having the meals ready to go has saved me more days than I can tell you.
I have learned a lot just using the meal plans and will eventually be able to do it on my own but this has been a real training exercise as well.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:23 PM   #4  
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Eating for just one, I would say I spend about $250/ month on food. It's an estimate, but for the most part I eat a lot more eggs (take yoke out) and veggies than I did. I buy a lot of my food at Sam's or Costco. Cheaper produce and cheaper for fish and chicken. I'll have to tally it up sometime with just the food and not with other things I buy.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:38 PM   #5  
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I spend around 60 a week on groceries and then about 25 on goin out to eat. I used to spend ALOT less because I'd hit up the dollar menu, or eat ramem with butter and ketchup, or kraft mac n cheese with hotdogs, or 99cent french loafs with frozen chicken nuggest..you know, crap like that. Now I'm all organic whole foods lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:39 PM   #6  
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It depends on just what we need and also want. Steaks for example cost a lot of money compared to chicken. But for me and hubby only we only spend probably about 300 to 350 a month on food alone. I'm not too sure of the exact number since I've never totaled it just food alone since I do a food/household misc. budget including like cleaners, toliet paper and etc. We do spend less for sure though since we have stopped the fast food lifestyle so much and we have stopped eating out every single night on a weekend as well.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:50 PM   #7  
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As an physically active college student , my 6' 2" son spent $45 a week on groceries. That included any eating out. He ate very little cheap white stuff as he was interested in nutrition and body building. He did not gain the Freshman 15. He ate canned tuna, salmon when it was on sale, chicken breasts (stocked up when they were on sale or bought frozen ones), vegetables (lots of frozen ones as they were easy), oatmeal, eggs, canned black beans. I think he bought grapefruit or oranges by the sack (this is Florida). And of course when he came home to visit, anything in the fridge that wasn't nailed down or growing fur was inhaled.

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Old 09-05-2008, 03:22 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kissesmomof4 View Post
Please be honest, I am just curious because I hear this so much. Are there people out there who really spend $100 or more a week on food for one person????????
Absolutely.

I'm a "high livin' gal" and I would eat out several times per week, always at the best restaurants, always with appetizers and cocktails and tips and valet to boot.

Now that I only go out to eat about once a week, I'm saving a ton of money.

Yes, even though I *also* ate out at places like Taco Bell or Baja Fresh or Arby's, the bulk of the weekly food budget was going to places with not-cheap-per-person menus.

And I don't cook. Ever.

So, there was no "balancing" my dining out with loads of good, fresh foods from the market or the less-pricey options for MAKING my own meals.

Anything I bought from the market was pre-fab or prepared or frozen or "convenience packaged" for my, well, convenience.

And I conveniently spent a buttload of money because of that... and packed on a lot of weight.

So, since I'm not going to cook...
and I'm not going to give up my fancy dining out...

Absolutely, a diet delivery system was smart money.

And now when I DO go out once a week or more, I don't eat nearly as much as I used to, because I've gotten my HABITS in check by learning exactly what a MEAL is supposed to look like, taste like, feel like in my body, etc.

And that means I spend less when dining out too.

And I'm not doing it as often.

As for the CHEAP dining out options, I haven't hit a drive-thru in all of 2008.

My heart thanks me.

HTH,
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:30 PM   #9  
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Thanks for being honest Full of Grace. I guess I have been poor for so long that I can not fathom that there are really people out there who can afford to and do afford to spend that much money on food.

As an experiment I am documenting everything I spend on groceries or meals out. So far nearly one week into the month I have spent $87 dollars to feed my family of five. This total included a few things like toilet paper and paper towels because I am too lazy toi subtract those lol This total included one or two trips to a farmers market for produce. I guess that total can give you an idea on why I think it is shocking when people say "but you would spend that much on food for yourself anyway".
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:55 PM   #10  
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I was on Nutrisystem and Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating, twice each. The longest was for a year on Nutrisystem. They put a serious crimp in my budget, because they were alot more than I was spending on groceries and eating out, at least double. I was only able to do the Nutrisystem so long, because I was living with my parents at the time. I was paying them rent and contributing to household expenses - about 2/3 as much as I would have on my own. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have been able to, because I was able to apply what I was saving on rent and utilities to the food budget.

My husband and I are on disability, we had good jobs so we're in a better position than many on fixed incomes, but still we have to stretch the dollars as far as they will go. A meal service would be out of the question, because the cheapest are about four times our food budget.

So you're not the only one who can't quite fathom how someone could "save money" with a meal service. That doesn't mean, I think they're a bad investment. If there were a way my husband and I could afford one of the better services, I would consider it (Nutrisystem I'm afraid, I just can't stomach the idea of ever again, the food is far too "instant fake stuff in a cup").

But the good news really is that you can eat healthy on a budget, it just requires a little extra creativity and effort.

Last edited by kaplods; 09-06-2008 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:32 PM   #11  
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I'll jump in on the 'yes I can' bandwagon so Grace isn't alone I'm single, often work late, and don't cook. Before going on meal delivery, I ate lunch in the work cafeteria during the week ($7), didn't eat breakfast, ordered takeout or ate out almost every nite ($12 minimum, normally more) and always had cut up veggies and fruit sitting around from the grocery store. For me, even with Bistro which is one of the pricier plans, I'm not spending any more (may actually be saving a little) on meal delivery, along with losing weight, and eating healthy. So it works great for my situation, but that's definitely not the case for everyone.
-Kathy
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:27 PM   #12  
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I also don't think that spending $100 a week on food necessarily means anyone has money "coming out their eyeballs". We all have different priorities, and we all budget our money differently.

Yes, I spend quite a bit on food because I like to cook and for me, eating good, healthy, fresh, food ... with a lot of variety ... is important. I have been a poor student and ate canned tuna fish and beans and mac-n-cheese as regular parts of my diet. And now that I am no longer a starving student (*grin*), I indulge myself by doing things like buying meat from my local butcher so I know it's free range / non hormone fed / etc. I eat lots of fish, which can be expensive - things like fresh mahi and sea scallops and wild salmon. I buy organic fruit and veg whenever possible. I love cheese and will splurge (money wise and calorie wise) on a really good, expensive cheese. Ditto wine - sometimes my dinner will be cheese, wine, and fruit as a treat to myself.

But I don't have kids. I don't own a big house (I love my 2/2 townhome). I drive a 10 year old car that's paid off and still in good shape. I go to the movies maybe 2x a month, if that. I don't shop at high end clothing stores (probably 90% of everything I own is either Target or bought at outlet stores or on clearance sales). I don't play computer games or have a Wii or a Playstation anything like that. I'm lucky in that I don't have health issues that require me to take expensive medications or go to the dr frequently. I actually live a fairly simple life as far as material goods and spending money is concerned.

So the things I choose to splurge on are:
food (buying good fresh food as well as eating out)
pampering myself (pedicures, wax, massage, hair cut)
kitchen things (good knives, all clad cookware, etc.)

That's pretty much it. So for me $100 a week or more on food doesn't mean I'm filthy rich. It just means I use my money differently that some other people.

I"m pretty sure if I had kids, or if I had a $400 car payment, or if I was the type of girl to go clothes shopping every weekend, or whatever ... I'd probably spend much less on food. I can't see feeding 3 kids imported gorgonzola, figs, grapes, and Merlot for dinner!

It's all about priorities, really.

.

Last edited by PhotoChick; 09-06-2008 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:53 PM   #13  
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I think it's important to to realize that it is ok to have your priorities exactly as you've determined them. Sometimes the meal program folks will try to guilt you into their programs, making it sound like a plan "anyone" (namely, you) can afford if they (you again) have the "right" priorities. If you have to live in your car, or stop taking your kids to the doctor when they're sick, in order for you to afford a meal delivery plan, then it's ok to say it's not right for you. Just as it's fine for someone to make sacrifices (hopefully, not those examples) in order to afford it.

It's not unlike any other thing you spend your money on. The people selling it are trying to convince you that you need and can afford it, and you have to determine for yourself whether that's true, and whether the product or service is worth it and affordable to you. There's no "wrong" in deciding yes or no.

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Old 09-11-2008, 02:34 AM   #14  
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Ditto, Kap and Photo.

I actually thought about this thread after posting in it (haven't been back since 'til now) and thought, "Oh, I should've mentioned that I have a gluten sensitivity and that means I cannot buy Lean Cuisines or many other of the convenience foods folks might buy when they're like me and don't/won't cook for themselves. I had to buy Amy's Organics or other 'specialty' foods in order to avoid wheat gluten, and that ALWAYS made my grocery bill higher, even for prepared foods, convenience foods, etc."

And then I also thought about how I left out the fact that there are TONS of things I spend WAY less on than other people do.

I was the single gal in the studio apartment with a 9" TV with rabbit ears (no cable, no remote), the last one on the planet (it seemed) to get a cell phone and even then got something with no bells and whistles and the "emergency" plan, dial-up Internet WAY after everyone else was going high-speed, and I *still* drive an "old" car.

Yes, now I'm in a nice home, have a nice big TV with cable (still not an EXPENSIVE TV--I got it used; still no "premium" cable), an iPhone (love it), and high-speed Internet, but--as mentioned just above--still driving my old (1990) car. That means my insurance is low too! But I have always been able to help others "cut costs" when they complain about not being able to afford something (but they have a fancy cell phone, a new car with car payments, a larger apartment than they need with no roommates, a cleaning service weekly, full cable on a flat-screen TV, and credit card debt out the wazoo). I'm actually quite frugal in lots of ways (grew up poor) and the "high living" I described in my initial post is because food is a celebration to me.

My husband and I went for a walk tonight. It was great. We ended up passing a cute restaurant we've never tried before and decided to go in. Ordered a bottle of champagne. The waitress asked what we were celebrating and the answer came from both of us at once: "Life." It's just "our way," I guess.

We both drive "old" cars because we're not into the whole "Hollywood image" thing where that's concerned. We don't shop at the fancy boutiques... we shop online and always shop the sales. We buy used/pre-viewed DVDs (and not often), we buy used books, we walk when we can save on gas and parking by doing so... and when we GO OUT, we go ALL out. We tip big, we don't skimp on anything, we treat ourselves well.

So, yeah, my weekly food budget--between the "high living" and the gluten-free needs and the not cooking and the priority being saving money ELSEWHERE instead--was absolutely in the neighborhood of $150/wk., which is less than what I spend on my customized BistroMD plan now.

BONUS: My food is pre-packaged, pre-measured, pre-approved for weightloss and I had NO assurances of that before.

Worth every penny, IMO. And I don't mind taking shortcuts in other areas to make up for where I'd prefer to "overspend," if that's how it's perceived. I own my own business, all our bills are paid, we're saving up to buy a house pretty much outright, and when/if we want to do things like have new cars or more toys or whatever we'll do those things too. But for now, it's really great to be TREATING myself to a better body.

Yeah, I've spent nearly $5K this year on BistroMD... but I've not regretted a minute of it. If I could justify spending that much several times over on something that drives my body around, how could I POSSIBLY consider NOT spending that much to have a body that will stay healthy enough to BE driven around for a nice long time?

Bigger picture, here, in my mind. What's the point of a nice, fancy gadget if I'm too unhealthy to get to spend time playing with it?

I guess it's the old L'Oreal ad: "I'm worth it."

And yes, I'd have spent as much in this same amount of time on "junk" that keeps me unhealthy too. So, I'd rather be spending it on something I know makes me more fit.

Again, everyone is different. Home delivery might not make sense for people who are really good at frugal living where their meals are concerned. I choose other areas for my frugal living. So, this works for me.

Hope that makes sense.
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