How much is food for an apartment?

August 20, 2008 at 9:49 pm (budgeting) (, , , , , , , )

Well, again, it depends on where you live. General food supplies like milk are usually far more expensive in, say, New York than they are in, say, Michigan.

I have a system when I shop. I don’t like buying things if they aren’t on sale. Sales usually go in rotation and apartment complexes provide sale ads. If not, perhaps invest in a subscription to your local newspaper. They tend to offer discounts to those in apartments and in the Sunday paper you can get sale ads and coupons. Places like Kroger usually double coupons as long as the coupon value is or below 50 cents off.

You should write a list of things you know you’re going to consume when you grocery shop. And never grocery shop hungry! (Because, duh, you’ll buy things you can’t afford and don’t need because everything looks good to eat.) You’ll need breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I can sum up a list of things that I purchase as a staple for food:

1. Milk (dairy)
2. Juice (fruit)
3. Cereal (wheat, grain, fruit)
4. Potatoes (starch)
6. Fruit (whatever is on sale, usually apples, strawberries, blueberries, etc) (duh)
7. Frozen Vegetables (duh)
8. Pasta Noodles (wheat/ grain)
9. Crackers (wheat/grain)
10. Meat/ Mushrooms/ Peanuts (protein)

I use frozen vegetables because I live alone. It’s very hard to consume the quantities provided. Things can go bad pretty fast! I like to keep frozen corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and other things if they are on sale. (Notice how I keep saying sale? Try to buy sale items if possible. That way you can buy more in the long run and save yourself a lot of money.) Be forewarned. Many foods that are bad for you will usually be on sale. You’ll slip into buying more of them and probably gain a lot of weight! Make sure you eat healthy things first and dessert last. You won’t have as much room for it but still satiate your sweet cravings. If I’m stocked on those things, then I spend extra on other things like onions, a dessert, eggs, olive oil, vinegar, condiments, chips, cheese, etc.

Your personal budget will depend on how you eat. I allocated 70 dollars maximum a week towards groceries. A pair of friends of mine spend significantly less a week (probably around 30 dollars for the 2 of them and their baby). I usually wait for things like chicken to go on sale because it can become VERY, VERY expensive to buy on it’s own. Red meat costs less but is also worse for you. Also when milk goes on sale, I buy two gallons. That way, I can use one for now and stick the other in the freezer. The milk stays good, it’s harmless, and then you can use it later rather than running out and paying 50 cents to a dollar more when you really need it. If my fruit is about to go bad, I wash it, cut it up, and stick it in baggies and pop those in the freezer as well.

Also remember. You don’t have to eat the way you grew up eating. Just because your mom bought and made fancy dinners, doesn’t mean you have to. As long as you’re getting proper nutrition and can afford what you do, don’t worry. If you don’t want to make bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast, invest in poptarts. If you don’t have much of an apetite at dinner, eat an apple. Just do whatever works for you.

Shop around as well. You can write a list of everything you need for the week and go to a couple of different stores to get the best prices. It will save you gas so you don’t have to keep going out for trips during the week and you’ll be nicely stocked since you spent less by buying things cheaper. (Notice how I keep emphasizing buying things on sale? PLEASE DO! It’s imperative if you plan on living in a budget. True story.)

You can figure your food budget by simple determining what you eat and gathering prices at the store to figure out how much you spend on average. USUALLY 50 dollars per person works just fine if you want to live with a little bit of extra food lying around. And just because your budget is 50, that doesnt mean you have to spend it. I figured “fun time” into that 70 if a friend wants to go out for dinner. So just watch your spending and have fun buying for yourself! You’ll get the hang of it.

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6 Comments

  1. Allen Taylor said,

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

  2. aphroditesrabbit said,

    Thank you, I appreciate it!

    -K

  3. Acai Berry said,

    Nice bog you have here. I pretty much lurk the internet when I’m bored and read all I can about the organic lifestyle, but I really liked you view on things. I’ll bookmark the site and subscribe to the feed!

  4. aphroditesrabbit said,

    Thanks for the feedback! Let me know if you ever have questions I can post about.

    -K

  5. Tigger Raven said,

    What day would you say is the best for sales in grocery stores?

    • aphroditesrabbit said,

      Tricky question. It depends on the store and what your aim is. They rotate sales by week usually. But it’s the worst going to a sale at the end of it because all that’s left is slim pickins. USUALLY they start new sales on Saturdays and Sundays and run them for about a week. Ask your local store what their policy is.

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