BANKER-CHUCK 160,400 SparkPoints

 BANKER-CHUCK's Recent Blog Entries

# The Cost of Eating Reality Check :-{ OR ;-]

### Friday, October 05, 2012

I posted a response very similar to a SparkCafe question. A SparkMember was asking how to eat healthy on a small budget. She thinks eating healthy will cost her more and push outside of her budget.

When I go on a diet I find my budget for eating decreases substantially on a monthly basis. I can eat well on simplistic staple foods. When I am not on a diet I tend to shop for items that are not healthy and costly. (Lots of Junk-Food...you know what I mean) Coupled with the fact I am eating a lot of fast foods. I find I can buy a lot of good nutritious food that will last 2 or 3 meals for the cost of one Carl's Jr. \$6.00 burger combo meal (combo meal \$8.00) or a couple of Costco Pizza's @ \$20. eating at a "local" restaurant with my wife the minimum bill with tip is close to \$17-\$20. A higher end restaurant like Stanford's is closer to \$40+ and Claim Jumper is \$75.

My typical week for eating:

Restaurants 2 times/week 2 people \$30
Fast foods 7 Times/week \$56
Starbucks 1Times/week \$2 (Black coffee)
Costco Pizza 2 whole pizzas \$20
Deli Market \$16

It is almost frightening when I calculate this on my calculator. \$537/month!! That is over \$6400/year! And this is a semi-conservative estimate since some weeks are higher. Just think about the cost of gas going to get the food, the cases of Pepsi's, and the cost shoots even higher!

If a person really wants to give themselves a reality-check, just keep track of what you spend on fast foods and other pre-prepared dinners from the frozen food section in the market. If you work for a living, take a hard look at how many times you go out to eat instead of brown-bagging it.

When I go on a diet I estimate I save over \$350+/month with food alone. If I calculate my wife expenses for eating out/Starbucks (designer coffees) the number is more staggering, where our combined total shoots up over \$650. Our food bill, for a family of 3, when eating at home, with nutritious foods, prepared meals and brown-bagging it is around \$250/month. Between fast foods and home food bill our food budget is around \$900/month. I estimate when going on a diet and substantially cutting down on fast-foods and junk-foods I will save \$550/month or a total of \$6600. Saving this amount of money will buy several years membership at a good gym, make payments on a good car or even buy a good used car.

Tracking your expenses is like tracking nutrition and fitness on a daily basis. It gives you a snapshot of how you spend your money, and in this case food.

 XME501 11/5/2012 12:38PM One of the things we have discovered is that we are so much more satisfied when we eat healthy! How often after a meal of hamburgers and fries from Dairy Queen do we want something else?? A healthy meal of fish and rice is so much more satisfying!!Thanks for the reminder. Great blog!barb Report Inappropriate Comment
 FLFFHEAD 10/18/2012 7:57PM I too was amazed when I started really shopping the perimeter of the grocery store for whole foods and stayed away from the processed stuff that my grocery bill did not go up. My regular eating habits used to be eating out for lunch and many times for dinner as well. Now I make more at dinner and have healthy leftovers for lunch most days. I look at the times that I go to restaurants as treats and since I am eating in a healthy manner all the other time if I want a burger and fries I have it and don't feel guilty. I also find now that my eating habits have changed that I am more apt to WANT the foods that are better for me when I go out to eat. Report Inappropriate Comment
 MAMADUCK8 10/6/2012 5:13PM Absolutely right. Plus, when tracking the nutrition a person realizes that eating at home is much, much better. Between the two points (money and nutrition) a person who is able to make the choice would be picking the eating at home. Report Inappropriate Comment
 BANKER-CHUCK 10/6/2012 11:19AM I know many people who eat out much more often than I. For working people this is only 1 meal a day for lunch and a couple of restaurants. and a Pozza night once a week. Report Inappropriate Comment
 CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 10/6/2012 3:33AM That is quite staggering! and for only 3 of you! That's why, with the size of our family,we rarely go out. It costs us \$50-60 just to walk into McD's or Burger King! This surely will be an eye opener for those looking for excuses to NOT eat right! Report Inappropriate Comment
 DEBBIEANNE1124 10/5/2012 11:06PM Wow! That's a lotta junk food you eat.Don't you eat at home anymore? :-) Report Inappropriate Comment
 GAYEMC 10/5/2012 4:23PM Great blog Chuck! I might spend a bit more buying fresh fruits and veggies but I rarely fast food or buy designer coffee or eat out at resturants. I do buy expensive beans (around \$12. a pound) that last me several weeks. I also eat very little meat but when I do it's locally raised w/ no harmones. I feel it's important for me to eat quality, healthfull foods. I should track for a month to see what I really spend. Report Inappropriate Comment
 SASIKHASI1 10/5/2012 2:21PM Absolutely!!! Buying fresh or frozen fruits and veggies will save you money, stock up the fridge with salad makings, the weight comes off and the food bill goes down. Report Inappropriate Comment
 MELLIE1030 10/5/2012 1:51PM I totally agree, your dollar amount should reduce. You are not eating out as much, not going to get those high calorie coffees etc. You can also eat relative inexpensively. Frozen veggies are really cheap. Everything in moderation too. Report Inappropriate Comment

# Back from Motorcycle Trip with Baggage :-\

### Monday, October 01, 2012

Made it back from the Run For The Wall, a truncated trip but enjoyed my stay with friends in Los Angeles area for a few days. Made it back in plenty of time for our 25th wedding anniversary. I was glad to be back home.

BUT!!! I brought back more baggage than I left with in the form of bad habits and pounds heavier. I reintroduced foods that I have either eliminated or watched carefully that have caused me gained about 15 lbs. coupled with being out of physical condition. I do get exercise but it is not quality or strenuous enough.

Three days ago I have jumped back onto the SparkWagon. I am logging in my food and my fitness. Granted the fitness plan needs more work and modification and more strenuous but that will come in time.

 CBAILEYC 10/2/2012 1:50PM It's tough to get back on track sometimes. Great for you for doing it! C~ Report Inappropriate Comment
 HARRINGTON5 10/1/2012 6:16PM I'm proud of you Chuck. I have gained almost my weight back, but I too am starting back on the SparkWagon. this has become my mantra! Report Inappropriate Comment
 GAYEMC 10/1/2012 5:28PM Way to go with getting back on track. Sure has been lovely weather to be outside! Report Inappropriate Comment

# Final Blog...Until I get Back!!

### Friday, May 11, 2012

Until I get back from my motorcycle trip, that is. It is 05:00 in the morning and I need to hit the road pointing the bike South. The temp now is 39 degrees and on the bike traveling at 65 mph the chill factor will be closer to 29 degrees. I may be sorry but I am leaving the electric vest at home to save room in my saddlebags. I will be chasing the sun so hope my bit of suffering the cold will not be in vain. Should be in the 90's once I hit California. I will be meeting 4 or 5 others in Albany, OR. for the trip down to Los Angeles. Once in LA I will be seeing some very good friends, Ray who I graduated high school with many, many years ago. I will stay with them until May 16th when it is time to form-up at the staging area in Rancho Cucamonga where I will join 800+ riders with the Run For The Wall. The group is heading, for the 24th year, to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC. Once their the RFTW group will join the ranks of the Rolling Thunder group for a parade through Wash. DC. There are generally 400000+ motorcyclist who form-up at the Pentagon before the parade starts at noon.

With all that said I will be unable to make it all-the-way this year and have to head home at some point during the ride. I want to be home for our 25th Anniversary instead of calling and wishing my wife "Happy Anniversary" while on the road to DC.

Be back soon.

 ALECIA1969 7/19/2012 3:00PM have a safe and wonderful trip. Report Inappropriate Comment
 GAYEMC 5/16/2012 3:06PM I hope you have been having a great time! You've missed some pretty nice, if not hot, weather here. Safe travels! Report Inappropriate Comment
 NWCOUNTRYDANCER 5/11/2012 5:12PM Ride safe and have a great trip! Report Inappropriate Comment
 DEBBIEANNE1124 5/11/2012 2:42PM 39 degrees at 5 am? where is that at?Have a great safe trip. Report Inappropriate Comment
 MANDIMOM1 5/11/2012 11:56AM Hope you have a great time and a safe trip! Happy anniversary Report Inappropriate Comment
 CBAILEYC 5/11/2012 10:24AM Safe Travels! C~ Report Inappropriate Comment

# Run For The Wall (RFTW)

### Sunday, May 06, 2012

D-Day for my Annual motorcycle trip with the RFTW group is quickly approaching! I have been planning this trip for many months and still do not feel ready. This will be my 4th year and it is the same routine every year. I have a lot of chores around the house that need to be done before I leave. Finishing touches on the bathroom remodel, get the garden put in, mow the yards, clean-up outside remodel debris. Main goal is to finish packing for the 100th time! I keep buying different luggage and making hard choices on what to take with the limited space I have to work with. I generally take more clothes than I need, but I don't want to be caught short when the weather conditions changes.

Looking forward to the trip, seeing old friends and classmates along the way, and burning all those calories and clearing my mind. I can do a lot of thinking and planning while on the motorcycle in the saddle for 5+ hours a day.

The added bonus to taking these long road-trips is that I tend to lose weight. I try to be mindful of what I eat but it does get away from me at times.

### Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Beginning the end of January four friends started a contest. The rules were simple: Lose 10% of our body weight in 90 days (by May 1st). My starting weight was 247 lbs so I need to lose 24.7 lbs Rounded up to 25 lbs (my friend John appreciated rounding) and ending on May 1st at 222 lbs. My weigh-out this morning is 220.6. I surpassed goal by 1.4 lbs.

Now the hard work really begins (each day is a new beginning). My new goal is to lose another 30 lbs within four months. I have been down this road a few times and know it will be tougher, BUT!!! I have a plan.

1. Enter at least three 5K runs before Dec. 30th 2012 (If my knee holds out)
2. Take an extended motorcycle trip of 4500+ miles (burns 2.8 Cal./Min)
3. Continue to log all nutrition and fitness.
4. Calculate BMR and stay within calorie range.
5. Keep workout plans flexible.

This is the plan today and may be messaged from time to time.

 SPORT_LOIN 5/10/2012 11:11AM Great job! Report Inappropriate Comment
 GAYEMC 5/2/2012 2:18PM Great job Chuck! Congrats on making goal! Report Inappropriate Comment
 CBAILEYC 5/1/2012 12:35PM Nicely done, Chuck! Congrats! Excellent plan as well. Here's to the months ahead being successful. C~ Report Inappropriate Comment
 STRIVERONE 5/1/2012 12:17PM Congratulations on setting a realistic goal and reaching it. You have built evidence that your next goal is reachable. Report Inappropriate Comment
 MUNCHIEMAGS 5/1/2012 12:11PM Congratulations!!! Report Inappropriate Comment
 DEBBIEANNE1124 5/1/2012 12:04PM Great job! Report Inappropriate Comment

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