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How much do you spend per week on food and for how many people? mini rant included

I eat at least 10 pieces of fruit a day. I do a fruit "fast" for 2 days per week. I eat nuts/seeds/produce mostly for the rest of the week. I occasionally prepare desserts or raw entrees.

I spend between $60-90 a week at Trader Joe's. My parents have a huge problem with this because they are omnivores and according to them, I'm not eating real food. "And we have to buy food for the family!!!!!" We don't have enough money for all of this stuff! No parent lets their kid spend all this money on food a week!"

A little bit of ranting in this post. My parents have been complaining about me buying food since 8th grade and they use not buying me food as a threat if I don't conform to their household rules. They have told me that if I'm only going to eat fruit and nuts then I could just starve instead. (Funny thing to say considering I'm a recovered anorexic.)

I NEVER waste food. I eat everything that I buy. It's there for a purpose. I don't buy exotic fruit - just the basics - apples, pears, melons, berries sometimes, grapes, bananas, etc. My family treats food like it's a material thing, but they only do this in my case. They like my brother more than me too because he's just like them. They act like he's so deprived but he just bought new sneakers and clothes the same day we went food shopping, yet the majority of my clothes and shoes are from 8th and 9th grade (2-3 years old), but I don't care. It fits. My brother just doesn't "have clothes" because he wants cooler clothes to fit in with the trends. Also, I had to put back my 4 lb. box of apples so my brother could get a calzone. cool cool.



  • Excuse my french, but that's fucked.

    Not soley, but especially because you're a recovering anorexic, they should be supporting your food choices.

    It's hard to eat as cheaply raw as sad because you cant bulk out your meals with pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, the cheap crap stuff.

    I have no advice, I'm sorry, only commiserations.

  • i don't really have any advice either. i was only a "semi-veg" when i was teen, and so i basically lived off pasta for a few years. they certainly should be more supportive of your food choices, but, also, i can understand their concern - not that it actually makes sense, but, if you are a recovering anorexic (yeah you!!!) then basically all they're going to see is their kid who is severely limiting their choices. do you enter your daily cal intake, etc, into a site like fitday or spark people? maybe if you did that and could show them that you do eat enough that might help.

    just try to hang in their until college!

  • Thank you.

    appifanie, they would be mad if I did that because I used to obsessively count calories and my nutritionist tells me she doesn't care how many calories I eat, just to eat when hungry and stop when full. However, they all act like I'm malnourished when I clearly don't look it, I'm at a healthy weight, my skin is perfect, my eyes are bright, etc. So dumb. My doctors don't support raw veganism in general, not only because I'm recovering from anorexia, but that fact doesn't help. I

    I think it should be obvious to them that after 2 and a half months of raw veganism that I'm absolutely fine and in the best mental state of my life. (Oh, and when I say that, I'm lying -- according to them.)

    Jaimie, that's not French, that's Spanish. :p (I'm a francophile.) Thank you for your empathy though. It helps to know that other people understand.

    have-misery, those are good ideas. My parents are very irrational and can't wrap their heads around anything I say that actually makes sense. Maybe if they weren't on a meat-induced adrenaline rush they'd be less angry all the time. I'll have to keep track exactly of what they buy for any chance of them understanding. Yeah, they can spend all this money on fast food, clothes, and gifts, but I can't buy simple fruit. :( I totally agree with the meat thing. Grapes

  • Start sprouting, and eating bananas more. It will cut the cost a litte and maybe they won't complain as much... also, perhaps you should bring to their attention the money that goes on the frivolous things your brother enjoys (not exact amounts, don't keep track, just the fact itself), and that to you, food and recovery of anorexia, is most important (and enjoyable).. And meat is expensive! I never understood or understand how someone can act like grapes are expensive and then buy a chunk of watered-down hormone-infused "meat" for twice the cost. :-/ Anyway, good luck, best wishes, I hope everything works out, and be comforted that soon you will (hopefully) be on your own, and apples will rain from cupboards. :) I do feel your pain right now. Rooming with other people and eating raw is hard. Especially on a low budget.

    Oh yes, to answer your question, I spend roughly 30$ on food per week for me. I try to sprout, eat bananas, what fruits and veggies are on sale (thank god for Autumn, apples are cheap), and spirulina (because althought 2ish dollars per ounce, it is packed with nutrition, helps me feel more satisfied, and prevents my depression). It really depends on where you live for season and sale items, and what your needs are for the moment, how much is average to spend. I eat quality over quantity, and feel better, myself.

    Do you brew Kombucha? I have HEARD that it can help with Anorexia recovery, though I wouldn't know from personal experience. I do know that I digest better, feel like I absorb more of the vitamins I eat when I drink it, and home-brewing is inexpensive.

  • I don't think $60 bucks a week is that much money for food... that's less than $10 per day. That might be a little above average, but not crazy. Personally, growing up I was a guy who ate a loot of food, all the time, like a lot of other kids in America typically do. I was athletic and everything, just ate a lot. I imagine that I ate a lot more than $60 per week, or around that. Perhaps your brother or your parents do the same, its just not as obvious because they are counting how much you spend at Trader Joes, and not counting how much they spend at regular grocery stores plus snacks (i.e. calzones)?

  • My parents claim that they spend $100 on "the family" (the term never includes me), but I am 100% sure that's not true.

    I go grocery shopping with my dad at ShopRite sometimes, and even just Thursday, they spent $65 on food, but my mom says, "ALL WE BOUGHT WAS STUFF FOR SANDWICHES!" ... okay. So the quantity of the money you're spending clearly isn't related to the quality. Out of that $65, they bought 1 bag of salad... conventional romaine that they're just going to douse with some fatty dressing and cheese.

    Another problem is that I buy "unnecessary" hygienic items at Trader Joe's, like sea salt scrub, and they look at all these things I buy as a luxury. HAHAHAHAHA. The sea salt scrub is a tad expensive, I will not lie, but they can buy all their brand name shampoos, conditioners, AXE but I want a $5 organic shampoo and it's a huge problem. Their motto is like, "If it's healthy, it's unnecessary."

    This forum was more for me to vent than ask for information it seems. haha.

    They spend about $150 on groceries from a supermarket and then lots of fast food and my brother buys lunch. so wtf. It's at least $200 a week for 3 people then. So let's average we all spend $70/week on food each... but my food is totally more nutritionally valuable. My dad has heart problems and the rest of my family is so stressed, and it's no wonder why! No one wants to listen to me.

  • I just wanted to let you know how proud I am of you for going vegan, especially without the support of your family. I am on the other end of the spectrum, with two teenagers and a husband who ridicule and question my food choices. They are on the cheap, subsidized standard American diet, which is loaded with fat, salt, and chemicals. Their food choices make me sick and I would be thrilled to spend the additional dollars to support healthier eating choices for them.

    Your food is so much more nutritional for you, as attested by your healthy appearance, etc. This country will never be able to really have true health reform until we, as a nation, turn away from processed foods and animal products.

    Hang in there and stick with the forums, because they will reinforce your choices!

  • VEGANKID!! wow your amazing.

    Don't give up on what you believe in! man... I would LOVE to have a little chat with your parents. "If it's healthy, it's unnecessary"??? WHAT? I bet when they have medical bills out the wazoo they will be wishing they'd made healthier choices and SAVED MONEY rather than having hospital bills and meds to take.

    I don't know if you can grow your own veggies or what kind of living situation you have but you might want to try that this spring or search online for local farmers where you can buy cheaper organic produce in bulk... I am currently trying to find one, I live in west texas with lots of farmers. Does your town have a farmers market? You could try going to that to see what they have organic and you would be supporting your local economy annnnddd it'd be cheaper, so maybe your parents would back off.

    Geez keep it up girl! your strong! I have a blog


    & I am about to make a post of being true to yourself and dealing with social situations where people make YOU feel like the weirdo for being healthy. I am 21 in college, and deal with that stuff alllllll the time waaaaay to often. Maybe it will help or be inspiring for you. just keep it up your doing great and I am proud of you!

  • Don't know where you live, but many local grocery stores stock organic produce where you can select the amount you want or need. My local Trader Joe's packages so much produce. I prefer to select the amount rather than the store deciding.

    The suggestion to take up sprouting is a great solution!

  • vegankid, my parents used to complain a lot about how much they spend on me for food, so i got a job and now buy most of my groceries. i don't really have other expenses besides food and gas so it usually is enough. i assumed my mother would be happier buying me food instead of the 5 prescription meds i used to be on before raw, but apparently it doesn't even out. everyone in my family is on multiple prescriptions for some sort of ailment yet that doesn't matter either.

    do you have a job?? that would definitely help. also, i try to get the basics when i go to the store. i don't buy nuts or seeds- just fruit and veggies. i get the 99 cent bags of bananas when i see them- i usually get 4 bags because giant eagle is so scarce about giving them out. grapes are a big thing for me too... so is spinach!! spinach is my most expensive at 5.99 a lb, but its my favorite green so i splurge on it.

  • hey wal-mart carries organic produce.. celery for 2.69? maybe.. and organic spinach 10 oz packed and washed for 4.99. This is the cheapest I can find other than a local farmers market or local farmer. :D

  • LilEarthMuffinLilEarthMuffin Raw Newbie

    hey! reading this makes me so mad because it makes no sense. first of all as a recovering anorexic myself i know how truly important it is to have food available to eat that adheres to your dietary wishes. My mom fortunatly is really great about my eating habits, and she even offers to cut back on her healthy things for me (which i hate!). I eat alot of bananas because they are calorie dense and cheap.

    I also have a superwalmart that just opened up near by so I get all of my things there for a way better price then when I used to shop at giant eagle. I usually buy in season too and never really buy expensive fruits (my mom does for me sometimes though which is nice!). I wish I could help you! Hang in there till college, do you have any idea where you want to go yet? One of my requirements for college is that they have to have a whole foods/trader joes near by and a nice array of vegan options. plus access to fresh fruit and salds all the time.

    Good luck girl :)

  • wow where are you guys living?! 10 oz spinach for $4.99?? I live in Chicago and even in the city prices are less than half... ($1.99 for 10 oz!)

    As for family not being understanding, I think the most important thing is tolerance/ cooperation... Even though my family doesn't eat at all like me (omnivores, junk food, etc) I make a concerted effort to NEVER comment on their food choices (in a negative way.) If you're understanding, then you're most likely to get the same treatment in return, in my experience. Using this method I've gotten my brother and sister eating more vegetables, and my sister regularly makes smoothies (though she's not yet ready to go *green*! hehe) Hopefully they'll come around!

  • Thank you VeganGal and BrunetteKet.

    Joannabanana, I need a job. haha. I have applied to 4 or 5 places so far. The economy sucks. I obviously refuse to work at fast food places which limits my options, but I'm sure they wouldn't want me there anyway. haha. I want to work at Trader Joe's so badly, but they now hire at 17. :( I'm going to start babysitting, but I'm waiting for the person to call me. She said it's going to be random though. Also, I'm not even sure if I could handle a job right now. My schedule for school is ridiculous, and I have several hours of homework a night. I'm in my junior year so that doesn't help. I really would like to start a vegan/raw vegan website soon and make money through that hopefully.

    I spend about the same on spinach. $2.69 for 6 oz of organic baby spinach.

  • you should go to school at the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS IN AUSTIN!! austin is sooo layed back and chll full of raw vegan hippes. www.dailyjuice.org is my Favorite place to eat there!! You should check out that school though it's full of diversity and culture.

    Maybe you could do babysitting. I am a nanny and make over 10$ an hour and they work around my school sch. and other activities. It's pretty laid back and I don't have to dress up :D just some yoga pants and a t shirt and I am ready to go!

  • Yes you could get a job etc, but it's just so ridiculous that you would have to do that! You're 16 and you live at home, your parents should be buying your food!

    If you really only spend $60 a week on food then I guarantee that is not as much as your family spends if they eat out/buy lunch. Yes your grocery bill is higher, but its all you eat! Prove it to them, keep track for a week of what your brother spends on food - take his share of grocery bills, fast food, lunches, it'll be well over $100.

    In recovery you need access to the food you need all the time, eating raw/vegan for me has helped me so much (recov. an/mia) because you feel like you CAN eat when you're hungry because of the food you're eating, but that doesnt work if you dont have access to it!

    BrunetteKet I am SO jealous that you live near dailyjuice - their menu looks AMAZING.

  • Does your family have a Costco's membership? I buy organic greens and carrots there and their prices are great. If I remember correctly, 2 lbs of mixed greens (organic) are $4.49 or somewhere around there- excellent price! I can't remember how much the carrots are.

    Costco's almonds are also an excellent price, and so is their extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil.

  • i just cant believe this! STAY STRONG! i live in california and next spring im going to living light culinary school, its a RAW VEGAN chef program. the school is in Fort Brag which is super hippie friendly and the school has a cafe thats run by student so its never hard to find food. and of course one of the great things about living in california is that there is tons of produce you can find locally for pretty cheap.

    i really admire you! and like everyone else all i can say is try getting a small job and hang on till college!! do your best with what you have and try to smile!

  • an idea: what about offering to prepare a (raw food) meal for your family x times a week? or even a sidedish? that way it'll seem less like "your food" and more like the family's. besides, if you convince their stomaches of the deliciousness of raw food, then they might be more likely to support you and your needs. and if you're helping out whoever's in charge of making dinner, then you'll seem like more of a help and less like a hassle.

    stay strong! also, try sittercity.com for babysitting jobs. :-)

  • good idea!

    this salad is something I make for my family, they love it!


    It can be a full meal for you, and a side for them.

  • Spriulina for depression?

    I've never heard that. I'm interested.

  • The way I always look at it is that many people who eat a traditional diet, (a) get coffee at Starbucks in the morning and then (b) get some sort of takeout (lunch or dinner), and that adds up to over $10, probably more like $15. And then you have to add to that whatever cereal, milk, toast, other fixings they have for at home. So, I could, if I scrounged and bought everything in bulk and at Costco, go for less, but I don't feel badly if I drop $70ish dollars at the farmer's market for me to eat for the week, because I think that still ends up being less than most other people.

    I know it would suck to get a job to pay for food, but ... whatever. It might be worth it to get away from the power struggle. Once you get good reviews at one babysitting gig, you are bound to get referrals. I used to babysit when I was in middle school and high school and the best gigs were when the parents would go out until 2 a.m. or whatever, because I could really accumulate some hours that way.

  • You are so amazing for working specifically to buy your own food. That is real dedication. Most youths are too lazy to even work to buy things like video games and unnecessary brand name clothes. They are spoiled and mooch off their parents for everything that they want, and here you are fighting for your needs. Even though it sucks now, I am sure that you will be better off in the long run because of this experience.

    For example, I am in college and my roommates can barely make their own ramen. And they can't grocery shop, their parents drop of boxes off food (frozen/packaged). Ugh! I don't look down on them because of it, but their incompetence is lamentable.

  • eecho .. I completely agree with you! I am in college too and wow. Right there with you! It's so.. geez not even pathetic.. it's just flat out sad! Glad to know there are some raw vegan college students out there too, I am pretty sure I am the ONLY one in my town :) .. gotta love good ol west texas.

  • The University of Michigan is an ultra-liberal college and an amazing education! Ann Arbor is a really neat town old school feel with a very modern edge and they have two Whole Foods, one is almost brand new, and I believe that one is the biggest in the state of MI now. Lol, skip even checking it out if you don't like snow though! I know how hard it can be to budget for this lifestyle; I'm a single mom of 3 kids so I have learned as many cost-cutting and budgeting techniques as possible. Parents can sometimes be more reasonable if you show that you are willing to be mature and compromise as well. Hmmm, one thing I thought of reading your post is make your own body scrub (I have a couple recipes if you're interested)...super easy and super cheap, so if you show your parents that you are making a conscious effort to cut down on your "luxuries" in order to have a little more $$ go towards food, it may be a start in the right direction. Look online for coupons, I have seen Trader Joe's coupons a couple of times (like at logcabin.com and places like that) where you can save a certain % based on how much you spend; that also shows them you are actively trying to budget money and not just spend it (even if it is totally reasonable that you are now WANTING to eat...seriously what is wrong with them!! If my daughter was a recovering anorexic, I would take out a 2nd job and mortgage my house just to buy her the foods that she wanted to eat!). I'm sorry they are not very supportive of you. I wish you well on your road to recovery!

  • Come to the University of Florida!! =D I am a student here right now. I think PETA or some other organization rated us one of the most vegan friendly schools in the nation.

    And I caught the same crap from my dad. All he eats is twinkies and hot sauce with meat that isn't really meat. Your parents won't listen to reason because they don't want to. All I can say is it will make YOU a lot happier to smile (without dismissing them) when they try to yell at you, and not to argue back. Don't let your happiness depend on what they think and tell you about your diet.

  • I spend around $200-230 weekly on food (yikes!). This is for two people.

    This is why I am so focused on growing our food this year! I've been reading permaculture books since last winter~ I'm ready to do this! :p

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie
    edited June 25

    It really is great if you can grow as much food as possible yourself not only for the money saving, but it will be more fresh and more nutritious if grown in mineral rich soil.


  • I just planted my seeds yesterday. It rained today, so that is going to delay getting the garden dug up a little bit. Come on Spring!

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