December 2020: Summary and Observations

Pandemic isolation continues, and has significantly changed our shopping pattens. Foodie Greg used to shop Ralph’s a couple of days a week, Trader Joe’s once a week or more, and an occasional trip to Whole Foods. Our primary weekly shop is now at Aldi, where we have (mostly) had great value proteins, particularly their special buys and “Specially Selected” brand. That primary shopping trip is supplemented with a trip to either Trader Joes or Whole Foods. Trips to Ralphs are rare, in part because there is not good adherence to mask or distancing rules in that store. Aldi is in Simi Valley with a lower incidence of Covid19 infection.

The other change in our purchase habits, is that we likely dropping our Keller Crafted mostly meat box and supplementing with Whole Foods and Aldi special buys. We will miss the Heritage Pork.

This month we did two take-out evening meals. Early in the month we had a Chapli Kebab meal from Skewers Halaal and in the middle of the month our ‘hack’ of The Country Deli’s Steak Dinner.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.95 ($3.06 in November)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.48 ($9.49)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.81 ($5.40)
  • Dinner prepared in a restaurant $15.44 ($19.67)

The variations month by month are quite small.

We ate six lunches and two dinners, of 62 meals in the month, that were prepared outside the home. 

Our most expensive meal of the month was the Steak Dinner for $16.65 per serve, sharing a meal for one augmented with some Eggs.

This month, lunches at home cost 31% of the cost of eating lunches prepared outside the home. Our evening meals prepared in the home are 38% of the cost take-out meals.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $293.88 per person in December. We actually spent $73.69 for lunches at home plus $56.86 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $208.17 in total.

If every evening meal cost us the same as our one this month, it would be $478.64 We actually spent $162.76 for dinners at home and $30.87 for dinners out, or $193.63 in total.

We saved about $371 by mostly eating at home, and we have a lot more control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 19 different recipes for evening meals.

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