Protein, Calories, and Vitamins, Oh My

It’s day . . . 11 of $50 food month. I think that the fact that I’m losing track of the days is a sign that it’s going well.

Thus far I’ve used $8.91 out of the $15.64 that I have for this week. A couple of days ago I bought a container of cottage cheese and sausages in a can to try to keep enough protein in my diet. I got 47.5g of protein yesterday, so that’s going well.

I don't love sausages in a can, but with the veggie rice and soy sauce they didn't taste too bad.
I don’t LOVE sausages in a can, but they went reasonably well with the veggies, rice, and soy sauce.

The next item on the agenda is caloric intake. According to this handy tool, I need between 1900-2100 calories a day. Yesterday I got about 1700, even with half of a snickers bar (I participated in a research study and won the snickers bar for extra participation). My plan for the next few days is to land in my suggested daily range and see how that affects my food stores.

While I was counting calories, I also calculated the cost of calories for different foods. If I have $50 to spend for 30 days of food, I should be spending an average of $1.66 on food each day, which would be 1200 calories per dollar spent . . .

. . . enter this very exciting chart. (Note: This is not every item that I have, only the ones I used yesterday.) (Double note: all info is based off of what I bought, so it would vary if I switched to a different type of cereal, different veggies, et cetera.) Items are listed in order from most calories per dollar (canola oil) to least calories per dollar (frozen veggies). This chart shows that most of the foods I consume on a random day are below the calories per dollar threshold, but the ones I eat in the largest quantities (like rice, bread, milk, cereal) tend to be a little higher on the list.


I was a little surprised that cereal and milk are both so much more economical than eggs. In terms of informing my purchases, I think I will kick up the cereal and milk game a notch. Milk has a lot of calcium and protein in addition to calories, and cereal can have various vitamins and some protein. It seems worth it to get a slightly more expensive cereal with lots of vitamins.

Considering fruits and veggies, I want to calculate this info for bananas and see how it compares to the apples. If they’re similar, I may focus on those two fruits for the rest of the month. The veggies in the above chart are a mix of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. I know that green beans have a higher calorie per dollar count because they cost less, had similar amounts of calories per serving, and had more servings per bag. I don’t like them quite as much, but since it will help to have them I’ll get them again when my other veggies run out.






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