Living Budget

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
TheFutureLawyer
Posts: 3881
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:28 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:18 pm

starchinkilt wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:I'm not in LS yet, but I do this as a single working person. A lot of casseroles, big pots of soup/stew, crock pot recipes, stir fry, etc. Make two different things on the weekend, and divide them up into single-serving containers (I have to do this or I'll overeat and stuff down half a casserole in one sitting) that will feed you all week, for lunches and/or dinners.


Glad I'm not the only one who has to do this.


lol, maybe I'll start doing that. Whenever I cook I make enough for like 4-6 meals, but usually eat it in like 2-3 sittings.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13918
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Living Budget

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:30 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
starchinkilt wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:I'm not in LS yet, but I do this as a single working person. A lot of casseroles, big pots of soup/stew, crock pot recipes, stir fry, etc. Make two different things on the weekend, and divide them up into single-serving containers (I have to do this or I'll overeat and stuff down half a casserole in one sitting) that will feed you all week, for lunches and/or dinners.


Glad I'm not the only one who has to do this.


lol, maybe I'll start doing that. Whenever I cook I make enough for like 4-6 meals, but usually eat it in like 2-3 sittings.

Exactly my problem. :) It also has the bonus of allowing you to wash the baking dish/pot right away, instead of letting the food crust on in the fridge for a week as you take out your servings. Much less effort in the long run.

User avatar
DonDrapersAttorney
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby DonDrapersAttorney » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:04 pm

There was about a 3 month period in UG where I had my rent completely paid but no actual money. I was still getting $20 a week transferred to my bank account, left over from my high school "allowance" days. So each week I had $20 a week to spend on food and/or fun. I usually hit my regular bar once each Sunday for one $6 cocktail, so at least $8 gone after tip. So it's possible to do a $20 a week grocery list, you just have to be very careful and it's probably not the healthiest lifestyle. TONS of pasta. You can buy a box which is enough for about 4 meals for around $1 and some cheap pasta sauce is normally about the same. Granted, meat is going to run up your bill a lot, so unless you buy it on sale or just eat hotdogs, it'll certainly drive up your budget. So $200 a month can still easily be done, but don't expect to be drinking a lot and you'll have to learn to LOVE store brands over other typical brands you might buy. Not to mention looking for buy one, get one free sales.

In my experience, I used to have a BJ's Membership card (it's similar to Sam's Club) but after looking at it realistically. If you buy the grocery store brand versions of most things it comes out to about the same as the bulk warehouse costs, so you actually save more not doing the bulk route. My warehouse store was out of the way, so extra gas and time, plus $30 for the membership. So, long story short, it can be done, but you will drastically have to change your eating lifestyle. It's not nearly as easy as you think to cook everything all the time, especially if you're typically used to just swiping your meal card and having ten different varieties of food infront of you.

sidhesadie
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby sidhesadie » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:46 pm

Single mom here, feed myself and my son for under $300 a month (he's hitting puberty, so he's not like an easy/cheap to feed toddler, lol) We do not eat ramen noodles. ;)

I have TONS of cheap, easy, filling recipes. If anyone wants some, PM me.

I'd buy a decent casserole pan, a slow cooker and a rice cooker/veggie steamer, and you'll be good to go.

User avatar
crossarmant
Posts: 1116
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:01 am

Re: Living Budget

Postby crossarmant » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:52 pm

I subsist very well on a very low food budget already (other than drinking, going out, etc. though that'll go out the window once I start 1L).

The Staples -

1. Dried beans in bulk. A pound of dried black beans is around $1, cooked up it makes ~3 lbs. Same for chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, great northerns, etc. Incredibly cheap, high in protein, iron, and fiber.

2. Bulk bin shopping at health food stores of rolled oats and brown rice. Each are like $0.75 a lb and you can stock up on those easily.

3. Large bulk bags of fruits and veggies from Costco. $7 for 5 lbs of broccoli, cauliflower, blueberries, peas, etc.

Actual Groceries -

The only real fresh groceries I don't buy in bulk are really cheap anyways. Big bags of onions and potatoes you can store easily and they last for a long time. Carrots are like $0.60 a lb, Kale is $1 a lb, bananas are $0.40. The only real splurges on the grocery bill of mine are natural peanut butter and nice whole wheat bread, which even then aren't really expensive. Meat will really drive your prices up, but since I'm a vegan it doesn't matter to me. Dried legumes are going to be a lot cheaper for you.

All in all, I think I spend about $75 on groceries every 2-3 weeks.

User avatar
Yeshia90
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:23 am

Re: Living Budget

Postby Yeshia90 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:44 pm

This thread is why I want to go to law school in NYC, where I have tons of family. Whenever I'm running low on cash, I can just invite my dad/grandparents/aunt+uncle/cousins with jobs out to dinner on their dime. Mooching FTW.

User avatar
soj
Posts: 7735
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:10 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby soj » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:49 pm

sidhesadie wrote:Single mom here, feed myself and my son for under $300 a month (he's hitting puberty, so he's not like an easy/cheap to feed toddler, lol) We do not eat ramen noodles. ;)

I have TONS of cheap, easy, filling recipes. If anyone wants some, PM me.

I'd buy a decent casserole pan, a slow cooker and a rice cooker/veggie steamer, and you'll be good to go.

Relevant to my interests. I PMed you, but you might wanna share the recipes anyway since I'm guessing others are also curious.

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: Living Budget

Postby typ3 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:20 am

I normally make things like chicken & rice or enchillada caserole / hamburger caserole.

They are cheap and as a single person you can get like 8 meals or so out of them (canned vegetables / soup + frozen meat) Supplement with something fresh like some lettuce or an apple on the side and you're golden.

gens1tb
Posts: 315
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:36 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby gens1tb » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:18 pm

I could live on this stuff:
Image

and it's $2 a pack.. maybe a little extra if you add meat, but chicken is really cheap if you clean it yourself

User avatar
chem
Posts: 867
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:14 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby chem » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:28 pm

You can stretch meat quite a ways with breadcrumbs, cut grains, and particularly onions. Onions are super cheap

User avatar
crossarmant
Posts: 1116
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:01 am

Re: Living Budget

Postby crossarmant » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:50 pm

gens1tb wrote:I could live on this stuff:
Image

and it's $2 a pack.. maybe a little extra if you add meat, but chicken is really cheap if you clean it yourself


Fuck that noise. You can buy a pound of red beans for $1 and two pounds of rice for $1. Season it yourself. That's how you save money.

gens1tb
Posts: 315
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:36 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby gens1tb » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:11 pm

crossarmant wrote:
gens1tb wrote:I could live on this stuff:
Image

and it's $2 a pack.. maybe a little extra if you add meat, but chicken is really cheap if you clean it yourself


Fuck that noise. You can buy a pound of red beans for $1 and two pounds of rice for $1. Season it yourself. That's how you save money.


Got it I wrote in my diary about how if I make it from scratch it's cheaper

User avatar
thelong
Posts: 992
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:55 am

Re: Living Budget

Postby thelong » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:54 pm

I've been a poor writer and photographer for years, so I've got the living on $100-$150 a month thing down (it was higher while I was working in Alaska because food prices were much higher than most places for obvious reasons).

You said you have a crock pot? You're set. Do you like roast? Roasts are usually very inexpensive. Put that thing in a crockpot with some veggies and some spices/water/sauce for flavor and turn that thing on low before you head out for class. Bam, dinner when you come home and you can stick the rest in the fridge for the rest of the week.

Whole chicken in the crockpot is easy too. Or chicken adobo. Just throw it in there and let it cook.

Chili is the lifeblood of the cheap-nutrituous diet and you can make a huge vat of it in a crock pot. Lots of beans, some hamburger maybe, whatever, it's hard to mess up a chili unless you have trouble putting things you'd want to eat into a crock pot or hate tasty meals.

Do you have a rice maker? Do you like rice, quinoa, cous-cous and so on? Get a rice maker. Get one with a steamer on top. Get a huge bag of your favorite veggie. Broccoli works great, so do green beans and asparagus. Put 'em in the steamer. Put your rice in the bottom cooker with water, set it to cook and profit.

The key really is buying foods for value, not for convenience. Pre-sliced lunch meats cost more than cooking a ham and putting it on a sandwich. Is it worth it to you to pay more for the convenience? It might be! I'd rather spend the money on a beer or sock it away for something awesome later.

NegaDuck
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:35 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby NegaDuck » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:23 pm

I'm new here and have mostly just been reading everything and taking it all in. This is the first post I actually felt compelled to respond to, being that I feed a family of 3 on less than $250 a month. And we're not eating ramen every night. I cook a wide variety of foods. If you know how to cook and want to feed yourself on the cheap, you'll quickly figure out how to do it. Buying what you can in bulk is definitely (usually) a good thing. Also:

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Month-Cookin ... 0805418350

Especially since you may be wanting for time, this is helpful.

bkbkbk
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby bkbkbk » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:10 am

I am single, working my first job out of my UG, and never learned to cook. I have solved the meat problem by buying whey protein in bulk and using it to supplement my diet that mostly consists of grains, yogurt, and salads. A 5 pound bucket of some good brands are often on sale for 27-35 dollars shipped on Amazon and lasts about a month if you are doubling up the servings. Be sure to work out and you will also gain lean muscle that I would imagine would not hurt you at OCI.

User avatar
Flips88
Posts: 13659
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:42 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby Flips88 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:57 am

bkbkbk wrote:I am single, working my first job out of my UG, and never learned to cook. I have solved the meat problem by buying whey protein in bulk and using it to supplement my diet that mostly consists of grains, yogurt, and salads. A 5 pound bucket of some good brands are often on sale for 27-35 dollars shipped on Amazon and lasts about a month if you are doubling up the servings. Be sure to work out and you will also gain lean muscle that I would imagine would not hurt you at OCI.

You could just buy two big things of turkey a week for roughly the same price.

LawWeb
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:26 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby LawWeb » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:35 am

KibblesAndVick wrote:You can stay below 200 a month pretty easily. You have to be willing to cook instead of eating out. That's easier said than done. Especially if you don't like cooking, arent very good at it, or don't have the time. But if you're committed to it you can feed yourself on less than 50 dollars a week. I had months in college where I spent less than 70 bucks on food. But pretty much all I ate was pasta, rice, ramen, and pp and j. I really wouldn't recommend that and it's god awful for you nutritionally but it's certainly possible.

Meats and fresh fruits and vegetables are generally expensive so if you're on a tight budget you might have to sacrifice in those areas. Cooking large meals and eating left overs is really credited too.

Don't mean to be an idiot dwelling on a typo, but had to LOL at your new sandwich invention.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby sunynp » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:38 am

bkbkbk wrote:I am single, working my first job out of my UG, and never learned to cook. I have solved the meat problem by buying whey protein in bulk and using it to supplement my diet that mostly consists of grains, yogurt, and salads. A 5 pound bucket of some good brands are often on sale for 27-35 dollars shipped on Amazon and lasts about a month if you are doubling up the servings. Be sure to work out and you will also gain lean muscle that I would imagine would not hurt you at OCI.


So do you make protein shakes? I've never used something like whey protein.

User avatar
Noval
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:33 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby Noval » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:54 pm

I had 300$ on budget and i was mostly eating meat, especially ground beef.

1)Ground beef ain't that expensive.
2)Eggs too, depending on sizes.
3)If you wanna eat pasta, just buy instant ramen/udon noodles and use them in your recipes, there are virgin packages that only come with the noodles, just avoid the brand Shin Ramyun as it's a one way trip to a heart attack.
4)For veggies, just buy frozen ones...probably healthier than McD's.

viking138
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:55 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby viking138 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Veggies really are not that expensive if you aren't buying fancy things. I cooked almost every night last year for my bf and myself. We spent ~$60-75 a week on groceries (including cat food). I'd make pastas with homemade pasta sauce (it's the easiest thing ever, chop up and saute an onion, throw in some garlic, then a can of crushed tomatoes and some salt and pepper, and you're basically done). Leftovers were lunch the next day.

Also, roast veggies = win. Chop up almost anything, toss it in some olive oil and salt & pepper, throw it in that casserole pan you bought and roast it on 450 in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Sooo good.

Key is planning ingredients ahead of shopping time so that you use half an onion for a dish one night and save the other half for the next night, things like that. Plus, if you get home and have a meal pre-planned, it's a lot easier to cook.

User avatar
soj
Posts: 7735
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:10 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby soj » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:00 pm

All this is super credited. Man, living with a SO makes cooking so much easier.

Too bad I'm foreveralone ;_;

User avatar
Eugenie Danglars
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:04 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:22 pm

Also, use the grocery store circular to decide what to cook. For example, this week, whole chicken's on sale for $.79/lb, so I roasted a whole chicken today. This week's lunches: chicken salad, chicken caesar sub, etc. Last week, it was pork roast that was cheap, so I did that.

Also, stock up on frozen veggies when they're on sale- I buy a bunch when they're $1 or cheaper. I eat super cheaply, but I average $40/week for food (not including the 1-2 meals I eat out).

bkbkbk
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby bkbkbk » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:18 am

Flips88 wrote:
bkbkbk wrote:I am single, working my first job out of my UG, and never learned to cook. I have solved the meat problem by buying whey protein in bulk and using it to supplement my diet that mostly consists of grains, yogurt, and salads. A 5 pound bucket of some good brands are often on sale for 27-35 dollars shipped on Amazon and lasts about a month if you are doubling up the servings. Be sure to work out and you will also gain lean muscle that I would imagine would not hurt you at OCI.

You could just buy two big things of turkey a week for roughly the same price.


That would be nice but as I mentioned, I really do not know how to cook and am not motivated to learn. I also have a very demanding work schedule so the whey protein fits the bill in between meals out and when I am a guest at dinner parties that include meat.
sunynp wrote:So do you make protein shakes? I've never used something like whey protein.


Yes, you can get Whey and Casein in pre-mixed shake blends that you mix with water, milk, or whatever you like. It is a great source of protein (around 50 grams) but is a pretty low in calories (around 300) so you likely will not survive on it alone. Personally I find it pretty easy to rack up calories throughout the day via grains, vegetables, and dairy foods.

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Living Budget

Postby minnbills » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:20 am

soj wrote:All this is super credited. Man, living with a SO makes cooking so much easier.

Too bad I'm foreveralone ;_;


1. Go to a bar
2. Tell women your lsat score AND percentile
3. ???
4. Profit

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15524
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Living Budget

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:47 am

minnbills wrote:
soj wrote:All this is super credited. Man, living with a SO makes cooking so much easier.

Too bad I'm foreveralone ;_;


1. Go to a bar
2. Tell women your lsat score AND percentile
3. ???
4. Profit


I could see a problem with this plan.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests