The $200 / month diet

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The $200/month diet

We have at least one sample of a $200 diet. Please consider posting yours.

Sample 1

  • Breakfast
  • 3 eggs ~33 cents, 18 pack of eggs from safeway is $2.
  • bowl of cheerios with almond milk and a banana ~ 32 cents for cheerios(2 pack from costco is $6.39, one box is good for ~10 breakfasts) 33 cents for almond milk (3 pack from costco is 6.99, one carton is good for ~7 breakfasts) 25 cents for a banana(usually pay $1.50 per bunch of 6 at safeway) total cost is 90 cents
  • average cost for breakfast= 61 cents
  • Lunch
  • PBJ ~25 cents for pb(2 pack from costco is 9.99, I usually buy when its on sale for 6.99, 1 jar is good for 20 sandwiches) ~6 cents for jelly(1 jar is 5.99 and is good for 100 sandwiches) ~20 cents for bread(20 slices for $2) total cost is 52 cents
  • leftovers ~free!(usually good for 2 lunches per week)
  • average cost for lunch=36 cents
  • Dinner
  • Soup, salad, and garlic bread ~75 cents for soup(8 pack is $6) ~$2 for salad (A friend and myself split a $4 bagged salad) ~$1.75 for garlic bread(A friend and myself split a loaf of garlic bread that costs $3.50) total cost $4.50
  • Pasta ~89 cents for one box of pasta ~$1 worth of mushrooms ~75 cents worth of broccoli ~$2 for sauce(usually can be acquired for cheaper) ~$1.50 for chicken. total cost $6.14
  • chicken, rice, and beans ~$1.50 for chicken ~13 cents for 1 cup of rice(I get the 25 pound bag from costco) ~80 cents for a can of beans. total cost $2.43
  • pot stickers and rice ~$1.49 for 10 pot stickers(a bag of 60 is 8.99 from costco) ~13 cents for rice. total cost is $1.62
  • nachos ~58 cents for a half pound of chips(a 3 pound bag is $3.50 from costco) ~$1 for cheese(a bag of cheese is $6 and is good for 6 rounds of nachos) ~80 cents for beans. total cost $2.38
  • mashed potato concoction ~$1.70 for 2 pounds of potatoes ~75 cents of broccoli ~$1.50 for chicken ~30 cents for milk and butter(I usually poach these from my housemate, I ask for permission before of course, so this is my best guess of what it would cost) ~50 cents for half of an onion. total cost $4.75
  • costco pizza ~$5 (I split one with a friend when we go to costco every week)
  • average cost for dinner= $3.83
  • So, average cost for a day is $4.80, which brings me to about $145 per month spent on food.

Sample 2

I do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joes, a little at Fred Meyer, and some at the co-op downtown. Each week I spend $25-35 on that week’s groceries and $10-$15 on eating out or one serving frozen meals. There are also pantry staples that I spend around $40 a month replenishing. Together, this equals about $200-$225 a month. Below is the kind of stuff I buy:

BREAKFAST (Weekly cost $3-5):

I eat small breakfasts. Examples are:

Chia pudding (4 servings) ($2) (coconut milk, chia seeds, frozen fruit)

Bananas (3) ($1)

Bars (5 in a box) ($3)

LUNCH (Weekly cost: $5-8):

Kale salad every day.

Kale ($2),

veggie toppings (e.g. carrots, tomatoes, squash, root veggie and/or cucumbers) ($3-5),

Some nut, grain, or seed, sometimes cheese, and a hearty dressing (all costs from monthly basics)

SNACKS/SIDES (Weekly cost: $3-6)

Usually I buy 2 a week for lunches. Examples:

salsa and chips ($3.50)

air popped popcorn kernels ($1)

cheese sticks (12 for $4, so $2 for a week),

avocado and rice cakes (2 avocados & half bag of rice cakes $4)

Veggies & Homemade Hummus ($3)

DINNER (Weekly Cost: $10-15):

Example meals and costs (+ some spices/sauces from my monthly staples). Usually I’ll make 2 or so a week and eat leftovers the other days:

Sweet potato noodles – 2 servings - $3 (2 sweet potatoes + 1 lime + sauce made from monthly basics)

Sweet potato soup – 8 servings - $7 (2 pounds of sweet potatos, 2 onions, veggie stock)

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto – 3 servings - $4 (squash, fresh basil, lemon)

Bowl- 3 servings- $5 (some combo of roasted veggies or squash, fresh veggies and frozen edamame, beans, rice or quinoa, sauce from my basics)

Potstickers – 3 servings - $3 (frozen pork potstickers from trader joes)

MONTHLY BASICS: ($40 a month)

It’s hard to say how much this all costs but I know every week I have to pick up a few basics that I always have on hand like, for example rice, quinoa, and farro (these I buy in bulk at a co-op), beans, lentils, a few cheeses, and peanut butter. I also have hemp seeds, slivered almonds, or pumpkin seeds which I put on salads and bowls but go through slowly (~$6 a bag every couple months each). For making sauces and salad dressings I use combinations of apple cider, white wine, balsamic, and rice vinegars, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic, and tahini. Keeping these stocked works out to about $35-50 a month.