Sunday, July 7, 2024

Off Topic: $444 For A Family of Eight for Ten Days - That Comes Out To $5.55 Per Meal Per Person

Source: Fox Business.

When I was single, I make breakfast at home. Packed my lunch. Cooked dinner most nights. On occasion, I get a burrito or Subway sandwich. I do not splurge much. I'll get a meal from Whole Foods or Chitple a couple of times on weekends. Once or twice a month, I'll meet up with friends for lunch or dinner. I did not have a large grocery bill. After getting married, the cost of my grocery doubled and maybe increased by fifty dollars a month after we got a dog. 

We do not skimp on the quality - fresh veggies and fruits. Fish. My wife likes beef so we get what I assume are good quality cuts. Organic mostly For the two of us, the weekly grocery bill comes out to $150 a week which comes out to $650 a month. 

This Fox Business article highlights a $444 bill for a shopping trip to Trade Joe's - shopping for a family of eight (two adults and six children) for ten days. I think it was meant to highlight the runaway cost of living in a blue state. It is a Fox network after all but it is not as bad as Fox News. Simple math tells us that it comes out to $5.55 a meal per person. For just the two of us, our average meal comes out to $5 per meal. 

The family in the FB article also bought things some things that were considered luxury or items that they did not necessarily need to buy. A lot of the items on the grocery list were prepared food. While Trader Joe's prepared food are convenient, they are more expensive in general than just getting the ingredients and making the yourself. 

I feel that many in the media truly miss about the increasing prices at the checkout counter is whether being grocery to prepare dinner for your family is still cheaper and healthier than going out and buy takeout. 

On Friday night, I bought three dishes from a local Chinese restaurant. The bill came out to $55 after tax and tip and all those crazy California-only charges. We had the leftover for lunch and dinner on Saturday. We eat proportionally to how hungry we are. We are very good about not overeating and portion control. So, that cones out to $9.16 per person over three meals. This is definitely more than $5 per meal from just grocery shopping.

However, we could never make the type of dishes we bought. My wife ordered a lamb chow mein. I don't never know what lamb meat looks like (I did not like the smell). But if we had bought a spinach stir-fry dish, it would have been cheaper and simpler to prepare it at home - a bag of baby spinach cost $2.99 at Trader Joe's. With some olive oil and garlic, maybe the whole dish costs $5. That's for two and most of the tie, we have leftovers we pack for lunch the next day.

I suppose it comes down to the type of meals you prepare and how much you eat. Over all, I find there are trade-offs. Take-outs might taste better and are way more convenient but they'll cost more. Preparing meals at home are cheaper and probably healthier (organic, less salt, and oil) but it does take time. 

I feel articles like this one does nothing more than try to rile up sentiment about inflation and does not provide a lot of context. The family who posted their receipt are just trying to grab attention while Fox Business was happy to have a click-bait article. 

No comments:

Using Generative AI Has Given Me A New Appreciation For Siri and Excited For The Future of Apple Intelligence

I used generative AI this week to find the dimensions of a refrigerator based on the model number. I googled first because of muscle memory ...