I am very aware of my finances this month.  You know, sometimes you have those months where you are very aware of where your money comes from and where it goes.  This is one of them, for me.

So today I was thinking about how much food costs.  Actually, I usually don’t think at all about the cost of food.  I get groceries, and I cook, and I eat out, and I get take-out, and it’s not a big deal.  So when I think about it today, I don’t even have a clue what to expect for a total.

Breakfast: yogurt with cereal, juice, coffee with milk and sugar

Yogurt:  $.45

Kashi Go Lean Crunch:  $.19

Orange juice:  $.25

Coffee:  $.27

Milk:  $.24

Sugar:  $.02

Lunch:  PB&J sandwich, green beans, peach

Bread:  $.21

Peanut butter:  $.28

Jelly:  $.13

Green beans:  $.25

Peach:  $.50

Snack:  Candy bar from the vending machine:  $.75

Dinner:  Ramen noodle soup (Becky’s recipe), glass of milk

Ramen noodles:  $.27

Frozen mixed veggies:  $.38

Eggs:  $.23

Milk:  $.24

Total for the day:  $4.66

Wow!  Okay, that’s much cheaper than I expected.  This was a typical day, but a cheap day also.  First of all, no meals out!  Not even coffee this morning.  Many days of the week, that is not the case.  Secondly, the soup I had for diner is something I like and I make occasionally, but it’s very cheap.  (Starts with a bag of ramen noodles…what more do you need to know!)  Third, I didn’t eat any meat today.  Meat is more expensive than other sources of protein.

On the other hand, I have expensive taste for some things.  I buy coffee more expensive than your average Folgers.  I eat natural peanut butter and all fruit jelly, both of which are more expensive than the alternative.  And I probably did not need the candy bar.  🙂  Although, I am an afternoon snacker, so I would have eaten something.

If I ate just like this every day, groceries would cost $139.80 a month.  Again, I don’t pay attention to exactly how much money gets spent where, so I have no idea how much higher or lower than reality that is.  I assume it’s lower than reality, because as I said, this seems like a cheap day!

This little research project shows me that you can’t focus on the cost of your food.  At least, I shouldn’t.  For me, it feels like counting calories.  Food is for the nourishment of our bodies and the company of our families and friends.  I eat out more than some people because if I have the opportunity to eat a meal with my friends or family, I take it.  Other people have families, roommates, etc., so they fill that need for companionship on a daily basis, eating in or out, whereas I take advantage wherever I find it.  Also, I live on fresh fruit.  A day or two without it, and I am craving it above and beyond any other food.  It is fresh and living and full of energy.  And it is more expensive than other foods.  But the nourishment of my body and my spirit depends on that investment.

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