So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

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Naked Dude
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:05 am

sunynp wrote:FYI - to the OP -I have found that mint.com is helpful with budgeting. I still spend more on food then i need to because I waste stuff or i get lazy and don't want to cook. Anyone have any good links with tips for just buying and cooking for one person? I'm not good with making chili and eating it every night. I guess i can learn to do that if I that is the best thing. I am trying to save money now.

Also, I thought that loans in the summer meant you get less during the year? At least my undergrad was that way, if you went in the summer they divided up your financial aid into three semesters but the total was the same. I didn't have loans in law school nor did I attend in the summer.


Alton Brown got me into hobby cooking, but if you just want a shitton of straightforward nonfancy recipes for everyday cooking, Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything is your one-stop shop

ohmylord
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby ohmylord » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:37 pm

Just a question, but has anyone here been successful with feeding themselves healthily? I'm not a big fan of pumping so much ramen into my body and I love to cook. Looking through grocery store ads I can see sales for most fruits/veggies/meats that sell for a discount during the week and can't imagine myself spending more than $150 and not eating well. I tend to order out sometimes, but that's occasionally.

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Naked Dude
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:04 pm

ohmylord wrote:Just a question, but has anyone here been successful with feeding themselves healthily? I'm not a big fan of pumping so much ramen into my body and I love to cook. Looking through grocery store ads I can see sales for most fruits/veggies/meats that sell for a discount during the week and can't imagine myself spending more than $150 and not eating well. I tend to order out sometimes, but that's occasionally.


Not in law school yet but I have plenty of experience eating healthily for cheap. I don't know what you're asking exactly but I've managed just fine on well under 150 a week. Scaling also helps-with a roommate or two if applicable.

Be cognizant of comparative prices and always wait for a sale or coupons on nonessentials (12 packs of soda for example can add up)

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Verity
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Verity » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:26 pm

I might have to resort to slutting if my GradPLUS doesn't get approved.

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ahduth
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby ahduth » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:23 pm

Renzo wrote:
thecilent wrote:
Mickey Quicknumbers wrote:smoke when you're hungry, that's like .20 a meal.

This is credited


QF not being in New York. I'm pretty sure cigarettes are like a buck each here.


Yeah, no shit - I don't smoke, but my friend asked me to buy a pack for her. FOURTEEN DOLLARS. And I thought they were expensive in Chicago.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:34 am

AreJay711 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
I normally choke at the thought of agreeing with MTal, but on this point, you are both right.

You have had a real career, and I have plenty of respect for people that want to leave a real career for law school. It tells me you are a big kid and you can make an informed decision.

But, a very large percentage, maybe even a majority, of people headed to law school could probably have done better economically by not going. And the "but I really want to be a lawyer" line doesn't cut it for me from someone who's never been anything (like a K-JD). Lots of people head to law school out of fear of working a menial entry-level job, or out of a sense that they are entitled to more somehow. And I'd bet it's precisely these people that end up either a) on JDunderground, still acting entitled, or b) as angry and overstressed 4th year associates who hate their jobs.


I'm not going to hate on the general sentiment of your post about people that go to law because they don't want to do jobs that they feel are beneath them but the I don't think that wanting to be a lawyer is that bad of a reason for choosing law over something financially better. I chose law school over my family's construction company (where I worked in the field for years) and unless I make partner it will probably be worse financially over the long run but besides all the populist bullshit, most blue collar jobs are just as repetitive, soul sucking, and boring as law except without the occasional something new... and for the most part they pay less.



This is exactly the crucial realization that I'm saying people need to go out in the world and get before law school.

If everyone came into law school realizing that all jobs suck, and the ones that don't suck pay peanuts because everyone wants them, life would be better for all. There's a difference between, "I don't want a crappy job, so I'll go to law school" and, "since all jobs suck, I'd rather be a lawyer than any other suck job I can think of."

It's the "well, I couldn't find a high-paying job in the field I went to college for within 90 days of graduation, so I figured the best thing to do was go to law school" crowd that I am against.

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Corwin
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Corwin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:12 am

Naked Dude wrote:
ohmylord wrote:Just a question, but has anyone here been successful with feeding themselves healthily? I'm not a big fan of pumping so much ramen into my body and I love to cook. Looking through grocery store ads I can see sales for most fruits/veggies/meats that sell for a discount during the week and can't imagine myself spending more than $150 and not eating well. I tend to order out sometimes, but that's occasionally.


Not in law school yet but I have plenty of experience eating healthily for cheap. I don't know what you're asking exactly but I've managed just fine on well under 150 a week. Scaling also helps-with a roommate or two if applicable.

Be cognizant of comparative prices and always wait for a sale or coupons on nonessentials (12 packs of soda for example can add up)

$150 a week is not eating cheap. That's over $7 per meal, which is essentially eating out all the time. Per the original question, if you're willing to spend $150 a week of course you can eat healthy. You can feed a family of four with less then $150 a week. For the family of four, it takes some gymnastics in figuring out where to buy at the cheapest price.

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sunynp
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby sunynp » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:29 am

Thanks for the book reference. I wonder what is a reasonable amount for one person to spend on food a week and still eat healthily. Right now there are a lot of really cheap fresh veggies and fruits/berries. But what is a decent amount to budget? I want to stay strict on this budget to save and still be healthy.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby cinephile » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:54 am

There's been a lot of discussion here about reducing the amount you spend on food--which is great, but not really a concern for me as I've been managing my grocery budget pretty well these past few years. What I'm concerned about is the high cost of rent in Boston. I'll have an apartment this year, but was hoping to be a RA next year (2L). Does this sound crazy or is it too much of a time commitment (I believe 20 hours)?

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DocHawkeye
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby DocHawkeye » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:21 am

Corwin wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:
ohmylord wrote:Just a question, but has anyone here been successful with feeding themselves healthily? I'm not a big fan of pumping so much ramen into my body and I love to cook. Looking through grocery store ads I can see sales for most fruits/veggies/meats that sell for a discount during the week and can't imagine myself spending more than $150 and not eating well. I tend to order out sometimes, but that's occasionally.


Not in law school yet but I have plenty of experience eating healthily for cheap. I don't know what you're asking exactly but I've managed just fine on well under 150 a week. Scaling also helps-with a roommate or two if applicable.

Be cognizant of comparative prices and always wait for a sale or coupons on nonessentials (12 packs of soda for example can add up)

$150 a week is not eating cheap. That's over $7 per meal, which is essentially eating out all the time. Per the original question, if you're willing to spend $150 a week of course you can eat healthy. You can feed a family of four with less then $150 a week. For the family of four, it takes some gymnastics in figuring out where to buy at the cheapest price.


I currently feed my family of three on about $35-40/week. Granted, I live in Iowa of COL is low which makes things easier but there are complications. My wife is pergnant and has gestational diabetes which means carbs are kept to a minimun (i.e.: no pasta or rice). We plan menus a week at a time and buy only what we need mainly buying what is on sale. We also cook at home and limit going out to about once per week.

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Corwin
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Corwin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:09 am

cinephile wrote:There's been a lot of discussion here about reducing the amount you spend on food--which is great, but not really a concern for me as I've been managing my grocery budget pretty well these past few years. What I'm concerned about is the high cost of rent in Boston. I'll have an apartment this year, but was hoping to be a RA next year (2L). Does this sound crazy or is it too much of a time commitment (I believe 20 hours)?

The commute from Davis to BU is godawful, but if you moved there with a buddy or two you'd end up saving 10K+ over the next two years in rent. And it "pays" better than an RA position. Assume 600 hours lost of over two year because of the additional commute gives ~$17 an hour.

EDIT: Clarification.
Last edited by Corwin on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bartlebee06
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Bartlebee06 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:14 am

Marry a gal with a really good job who agrees to support you while in school. That's what I did and it is working beautifully.

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Naked Dude
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:51 am

Corwin wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:
ohmylord wrote:Just a question, but has anyone here been successful with feeding themselves healthily? I'm not a big fan of pumping so much ramen into my body and I love to cook. Looking through grocery store ads I can see sales for most fruits/veggies/meats that sell for a discount during the week and can't imagine myself spending more than $150 and not eating well. I tend to order out sometimes, but that's occasionally.


Not in law school yet but I have plenty of experience eating healthily for cheap. I don't know what you're asking exactly but I've managed just fine on well under 150 a week. Scaling also helps-with a roommate or two if applicable.

Be cognizant of comparative prices and always wait for a sale or coupons on nonessentials (12 packs of soda for example can add up)

$150 a week is not eating cheap. That's over $7 per meal, which is essentially eating out all the time. Per the original question, if you're willing to spend $150 a week of course you can eat healthy. You can feed a family of four with less then $150 a week. For the family of four, it takes some gymnastics in figuring out where to buy at the cheapest price.


I never said it was cheap, and I wasn't the one who came up with the 150 number-it was the poster I was replying to. Apparently there are people here who spend $950 a month on food, so that is relatively cheap I guess. The best way to bring down the cost is not just looking for deals (Costco, ALDI!). If you buy prepackaged or frozen foods for one person you're not saving money (I always have this food available for a pinch, but it's not ideal for every meal). The only way to bring the cost down to ~.25 a meal is by either splitting and cooking with multiple people (might not always be feasible) or being unafraid to buy in bulk, cook in bulk and freeze a lot. Even then it might be unfeasible alone. If you have the money (time is another issue) you might not want/need to freeze a lot. Figure out how much you'll be able to budget to food per month. Then from that figure out how much you have per meal. My breakfast is Cheerios so that leaves more on average for lunch and dinner.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby cinephile » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:53 am

Corwin wrote:
cinephile wrote:There's been a lot of discussion here about reducing the amount you spend on food--which is great, but not really a concern for me as I've been managing my grocery budget pretty well these past few years. What I'm concerned about is the high cost of rent in Boston. I'll have an apartment this year, but was hoping to be a RA next year (2L). Does this sound crazy or is it too much of a time commitment (I believe 20 hours)?

The commute from Davis to BU is godawful, but if you moved there with a buddy or two you'd end up saving 10K+ over the next two years in rent. And it "pays" better than an RA position. Assume 600 hours lost of over two year because of the additional commute gives ~$17 an hour.

EDIT: Clarification.


Thanks, I may consider commuting next year.

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Naked Dude
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:54 am

Renzo wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
I normally choke at the thought of agreeing with MTal, but on this point, you are both right.

You have had a real career, and I have plenty of respect for people that want to leave a real career for law school. It tells me you are a big kid and you can make an informed decision.

But, a very large percentage, maybe even a majority, of people headed to law school could probably have done better economically by not going. And the "but I really want to be a lawyer" line doesn't cut it for me from someone who's never been anything (like a K-JD). Lots of people head to law school out of fear of working a menial entry-level job, or out of a sense that they are entitled to more somehow. And I'd bet it's precisely these people that end up either a) on JDunderground, still acting entitled, or b) as angry and overstressed 4th year associates who hate their jobs.


I'm not going to hate on the general sentiment of your post about people that go to law because they don't want to do jobs that they feel are beneath them but the I don't think that wanting to be a lawyer is that bad of a reason for choosing law over something financially better. I chose law school over my family's construction company (where I worked in the field for years) and unless I make partner it will probably be worse financially over the long run but besides all the populist bullshit, most blue collar jobs are just as repetitive, soul sucking, and boring as law except without the occasional something new... and for the most part they pay less.



This is exactly the crucial realization that I'm saying people need to go out in the world and get before law school.

If everyone came into law school realizing that all jobs suck, and the ones that don't suck pay peanuts because everyone wants them, life would be better for all. There's a difference between, "I don't want a crappy job, so I'll go to law school" and, "since all jobs suck, I'd rather be a lawyer than any other suck job I can think of."

It's the "well, I couldn't find a high-paying job in the field I went to college for within 90 days of graduation, so I figured the best thing to do was go to law school" crowd that I am against.


That's how I feel-have to make a living. I'd love to be a television writer, but I'm not interested in being broke and holding shit jobs for the next decade (or longer!).

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby crossarmant » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:54 pm

ohmylord wrote:Just a question, but has anyone here been successful with feeding themselves healthily? I'm not a big fan of pumping so much ramen into my body and I love to cook. Looking through grocery store ads I can see sales for most fruits/veggies/meats that sell for a discount during the week and can't imagine myself spending more than $150 and not eating well. I tend to order out sometimes, but that's occasionally.


Lentils, dried beans, frozen veggies, tortillas, brown rice, peanut butter. I never eat Ramen. All super cheap and more or less incredibly healthy. There are tons of other choices to eating cheap that don't include ramen, pasta, or rancid meat. I live off of lentils and frozen vegetables and have stayed in great shape spending about $35 on groceries a week (Not including booze and eating out occasionally). Sometimes you may feel like a Buddhist monk but it's definitely far cheaper than any other way and keeps you svelte. Just don't eat out, drink expensive stuff, and cut out Starbucks and shit.

And on the whole "Don't go to law school, work your way up in retail or management"; it's complete shit. There are always tons of people vying for each promotion and suddenly you wake up at 35 thinking "Wow... how am I still stuck here?" If you're vehemently opposed to law school for people, then the correct answer would be to go back and get a Bachelors in Engineering. They're still being hired, super low unemployment, cheaper than law school, and paid very well.

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Verity
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Verity » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:56 pm

GradPLUS approved. I no longer need to resort to slutting.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:11 pm

Verity wrote:Damn. MTal got his dick chopped off with that one.


Fo realz. I'm interested to hear his counter.

And that does jibe with most of the conversations I've had with attorneys. Most associates I know say it kind of sucks and a few like it. Most attorneys I've talked to that are 35+ really enjoy what they do but acknowledge that being an associate kind of sucked.

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Verity
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Verity » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:39 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Verity wrote:Damn. MTal got his dick chopped off with that one.


Fo realz. I'm interested to hear his counter.

And that does jibe with most of the conversations I've had with attorneys. Most associates I know say it kind of sucks and a few like it. Most attorneys I've talked to that are 35+ really enjoy what they do but acknowledge that being an associate kind of sucked.


I used to work in retail when I was 16. Store managers were, at best, angry, miserable assholes. But their jobs were pretty raw.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:52 pm

Every manager I encountered in the restaurant business was pretty unhappy. Retail ones weren't much better. I can understand how people such as mTal failed in law school as they seem to demonstrate a complete inability to comprehend the entirety of another perspective.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:27 pm

Before the economy went south, a few family friends owned some clothing boutiques--fancy men's shoes, a suit/formalwear place. The high-income man's Men's Wearhouse. And yeah the economy. The only retail I would do is Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom for a few years, and if I didn't get promoted open my own boutique. It's tough, but I love the stuff (and no I don't own Ferragamo shoes, or expensive designer stuff but I keep up with the shit). Just have to be willing to learn a little.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby ran12 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:57 pm

Naked Dude wrote:Before the economy went south, a few family friends owned some clothing boutiques--fancy men's shoes, a suit/formalwear place. The high-income man's Men's Wearhouse. And yeah the economy. The only retail I would do is Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom for a few years, and if I didn't get promoted open my own boutique. It's tough, but I love the stuff (and no I don't own Ferragamo shoes, or expensive designer stuff but I keep up with the shit). Just have to be willing to learn a little.


If people can't cut it in law then Nordstrom is actually a legitimate alternative. In b-school they teach the Nordstrom cases in a number of classes and the best salesmen get 6 figures and the bad ones even get a decent 5 figure salary comparable to lawyers.

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Naked Dude
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:05 pm

ran12 wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:Before the economy went south, a few family friends owned some clothing boutiques--fancy men's shoes, a suit/formalwear place. The high-income man's Men's Wearhouse. And yeah the economy. The only retail I would do is Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom for a few years, and if I didn't get promoted open my own boutique. It's tough, but I love the stuff (and no I don't own Ferragamo shoes, or expensive designer stuff but I keep up with the shit). Just have to be willing to learn a little.


If people can't cut it in law then Nordstrom is actually a legitimate alternative. In b-school they teach the Nordstrom cases in a number of classes and the best salesmen get 6 figures and the bad ones even get a decent 5 figure salary comparable to lawyers.


There and Neiman Marcus especially. One of my mother's clients (she's not a lawyer btw) is a salesman at Needless Markup in the men's suits section. In the part of Miami it's in, plenty of wealthy residents, foreign nationals, etcetera. A few caveats-you're on your feet all day (not a problem for me at least), your business really ebbs and flows-retail can be very unpredictable sometimes. You also have to actually be good and sell. If you don't sell you don't make money, but they're also competitive jobs so if you don't sell you're out. You have to build a good book of business. I don't think it's as stressful or difficult as BigLaw but it's no walk in the park.

After you build your book of business and have "regulars" you can try striking out on your own. By now if you're good, people like you--they like that you remember their tastes and that you have a good eye for clothes and get their shit tailored in a timely fashion. You won't be vacationing in the Hamptons, but you can make good money at your own upscale boutique with steady clientele. Not plastic surgeon or BigLaw partner money, but probably comparable to your average midlaw partner or non-surgeon doctor (into the six figures, but not waaaay into the six figures, in other words). I have it on pretty good authority.

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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby BruceDenton » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:55 pm

Going back to food, you can eat healthy for cheap, even shopping at health food stores, if you buy from bulk containers. Dry rice / beans / lentils / quinoa are ridiculously cheap, even organic, and healthy. Lots of place (like Whole Foods) even have a bunch of variety of this stuff so you can mix it up.

For <$10, you can make a huge batch of say lentils and quinoa, throw in a little chicken / beef, diced onions, spinach, etc. and have enough dinner for several nights.

Eggs are also super cheap. If you have the time, pancakes can be quite cheap as well. Bananas should be a staple, as well as sweet potatoes.

I eat a very healthy diet for <$60 / week, going out once or twice, and I buy things I could easily do with out / do cheaper, like OJ, blueberries, etc.

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thisiswater
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Re: So, how can you afford to survive while in law school?

Postby thisiswater » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:18 pm

I would say that the more you can feed your freezer the better you can do on saving money. When I started doing this, I made five things one Sunday and froze them all in 3-4 serving containers. Now I just do 2 dishes every Sunday to replace what I eat in the week, and do a full cycle every 2ish months, and am careful to let nothing last more than 3 months. Once you learn how to freeze things successfully, with no freezer burn issues it works perfectly with lots of variety.
Like right now my freezer has a chicken curry (no potatoes), a thai style green curry, spaghetti sauce, a stir-fry thing, meatloaf , hamburgers, chicken spaghetti, rigatoni, lasagna, grilled chicken, cooked sausage that I froze spread out on a cookie sheet so I can use it in handfuls, ground beef done the same way, chili, chicken pot pie filling, lentils, and brisket.
There is different amounts of different things left, and some of them just need to be defrosted (in the fridge) and then microwaved, and some need to be cooked still, I take my lunch everyday so I get through it all regularly, but if you just wanted dinners you could probably get away with having less.




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