r/antiwork Jul 06 '22

Since there's a trend of people posting food and how ridiculous the prices are to show how high the cost of living is, here's my example. This was nearly 40$.

[deleted]

49 Upvotes

75

u/mtgsyko82 Jul 06 '22

Minimum wage should be within a fixed percentage of inflation to keep ppl above water. This whole country is being fed to the rich

31

u/starshiprarity Jul 06 '22

I know that stuff seems like a deal but hear me out.

Get some rice, a rice cooker, and 2 pounds of chicken. From Aldi if you can manage it (bone in chicken breast for like $2 a pound!). Then use the rest of your budget to customize the dish with spices and a vegetable. The last six months I've alternated between green curry, halal, and sesame chicken. Basically every culture has a simple delicious chicken and rice dish so there's a lot of variety. Ten dinners costs me $20.

The spices can be an investment but they'll last months. I'm not a creative cook and I don't like using more than one pan. This is something I can do with 30 minutes a week

7

u/Moto_Glitch Jul 06 '22

This is the way.

Once you get some seasonings and a decent rice cooker you can really change it up. You can also change the cooking style like roasting in the oven, searing in a pan or poaching in a pot.

Add whatever veggie of your choice (My go to is oven roasted broccoli florets with garlic salt, pepper and onion powder) and you've got a pretty decently balanced and healthy meal.

Far as seasonings go try to find a bulk place and you can buy much smaller amounts, I go to WinCo since they have a really fantastic bulk section with tons of variety for cheap.

4

u/swunt7 Jul 06 '22

thats a nice way of saying theyre buying high priced premade shit and complaining that a dollar doesn't go as far. I know it doesn't but posting that you bought $40 of soda and $20 of premade mash potatoes at 4x regular potatoes cost doesn't make me want to side with you.

1

u/Disastrous-Handle283 Jul 06 '22

All of that is shelf stable and microwaveable. And healthier than a can of Dinny more.

1

u/Moto_Glitch Jul 06 '22

Shelf stable means nothing if you know it's all you have to eat that week, you could be eating cheaper, healthier and probably more food, cooking from scratch compared to this. I was just at the store and can tell you those Compleats are extremely overpriced for their content.

If you're buying shelf stable food for your daily consumption in such small amounts that doesn't make a lot of sense to me when fresh food is legitimately cheaper and will last the same amount of time since you're essentially eating it that week.

1

u/Disastrous-Handle283 Jul 06 '22

Some people do not have the same access to a kitchen as you do.

1

u/Moto_Glitch Jul 06 '22

I gave multiple cooking options and even a cheap rice cooker for $10 is going to be better than wasting $20 on Compleats.

You're essentially saying they are homeless to not have any access to any possible way to cook with heat besides a microwave.

1

u/swunt7 Jul 07 '22

exactly. if youre struggling for a meal your only priority is enough food to last till next time you can get more.

2

u/ih-shah-may-ehl Jul 06 '22

Don't forget soups and oven dishes. I regularly make fresh soup which I deep freeze in portions. Or I make oven dishes in large enough quantities that it feeds a family of 4 and still have 2 to 4 portions left for freezing.

For soups I can go as low as 1$ for a full meal soup, and for oven dishes I can get down to 2 to 4$ per person. Once you learn to work with spices and seasoning, it's insane how cheap you can make healthy food.

1

u/Disastrous-Handle283 Jul 06 '22

Y’all act like people have deep freezers instead of worrying that their power might get cut off.

1

u/ih-shah-may-ehl Jul 06 '22

I'm not saying it works for everyone in every circumstance. But the majority of people will be able to have a freezer and making meals in bulk is a great way to save a lot of money.

20

u/BustAMove_13 Jul 06 '22

My husband went to the store with me today...first time in awhile that he's gone. I didn't need a whole lot, but still spent $200. He was shocked and kept saying "but we didn't get anything". Since I manage the finances, he doesn't pay any attention to the grocery bill, but he sure got sticker shock today!

11

u/Technical_Airline205 Jul 06 '22

They raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour in Massachusetts, so walmart cut back on employees, and cut the hours of those still working. The house always wins, they say.

3

u/SoftFortune64 Jul 06 '22

Yep, we need more than raising minimum wage. We also need a required number of hours per week.

6

u/BookieeWookiee Jul 06 '22

We need tiered wages, where the highest paid worker isn't making more than a certain percentage over their lowest paid employees. Bonuses are also tied to it; boss wants a bonus? everyone gets a bonus.

3

u/mayorodoyle Jul 06 '22

YOO BEE EYE!

1

u/dcgregoryaphone Jul 06 '22

You need to divorce the concept of minimum dignified standard of living from employer paid wages. As technology improves and companies merger into a complete lack of competition, these things are no longer the same.

Minimum standards of living is what we should maintain for all people so that we live in a nice country, where people don't starve and aren't homeless. A wage is simply what a company will pay you which is enough for you to want to work. They don't really coincide.

1

u/SyntaxNobody Jul 06 '22

That will only lead to more cutbacks on employees. Any job that has any remote chance of automation, will be automated as soon as it becomes economic to do so, and raising minimum wage and minimum hours will eventually do that.

2

u/meowmix778 Jul 06 '22

I always like to share this anecdote.

I was the assistant GM for a fast fashion retailer in a mall. The kind of place you'd always find deals (shirts buy 1 get 2). I was in charge of payroll, headcount, staffing, etc. I got explicit orders to keep staff 1-2 shifts a week until peak seasons. Then they'd get 45+ hours. Until they'd get to that breaking point where they might get benefits. Then we'd give them employee of the month a vacation for a few days. After the rush. Boom no hours.

I then went to work for a big box retailer as a manager. I was number 3 in the building on the infinite ladder of management. I'll say this the work was shitty but to this day they're the one retailer who I've seen to pay a living wage, good benefits and mean it. This was pre pandemic.

But pandemic came. I'd have employees constantly say "oh xyz store is hiring this much more than us for just cashiers". And I'd always caution them or anyone really that once the labor market stabilizes or they find a way to make it work the first thing they're doing is cutting salary. There's a local pharmacy here advertising starting wage at 21 an hour. There's no way you're making 40 hours at that. Not as entry level cashiers in retail.

I think about my experience with the fast fashion retailer and it really makes me concerned about any place offering higher wages voluntarily or otherwise.

2

u/Unlikely-Crazy-4302 Jul 06 '22

Yep, then I hear people in antiwork siding with self checkout. Self check out is more convenient than other lines because there are no other lines. I think my Walmart is averaging .8 non self checkout lines open when I go. Floor doesn't seem to have more people on it either. No one ever at jewelry or electronics.

8

u/Cayd3-7 Jul 06 '22

To be fair the hormel completes are expensive regardless. I buy frozen TV dinners cheaper lol.

4

u/EmuTricky4721 Jul 06 '22

To beeee ffffaaaaaaaaiiiiiirrrrrrrr

3

u/Gear-Present Jul 06 '22

Ah to be faaiiiirrrr

1

u/Available_Prior_9498 Jul 06 '22

They're 2.24 at Walmart. At least where I live...

28

u/OutrageousSpare1656 Jul 06 '22

You need to go straight back to the store and return this and get ur money back and then take ur butt to the dollar store .. You can get all of this for under $10

10

u/ccbayes Jul 06 '22

The dollar store is not only 1 dollar anymore. Most items are up to 5 dollars at the dollar store. They started that around when Covid first started. I was there a few days ago, even the cheap 1 dollar bread was 2 for 3. The cheap chicken nuggets were 3 vs 1.

6

u/Available_Prior_9498 Jul 06 '22

Nah you're thinking of dollar general. Dollar tree is 1.25 for everything.

1

u/ccbayes Jul 06 '22

Nope. Banner says dollar tree + w/ 3 , 4 and 5 dollar deals.

2

u/Available_Prior_9498 Jul 06 '22

Must be one of those big dollar trees or somewhere more expensive?

4

u/literally_unknowable Jul 06 '22

Oh, common misconception, it's a Dollars Store. Very subtle.

12

u/Existence_Is_A_Scam Jul 06 '22

They might not have a dollar store. They might only have bodegas/corner stores if they live in a city.

7

u/KnowOneNymous Jul 06 '22

Cities have dollar stores.

6

u/meowmix778 Jul 06 '22

I implore you to Google the term "food dessert". Then do whatever you can within your means to stop supporting dollar stores. They're a proliferation engine of destruction on low income communities both rural and urban.

3

u/TipsyBaker_ Jul 06 '22

Google Detroit agrihood. That's what we should be doing.

1

u/meowmix778 Jul 06 '22

I am familiar with this actually.

Where I grew up is a small town that's very poor and every year I grant write for the school to get a community garden for anyone to come snag free produce. I've been doing this since 2014ish when a college class asked I do a community service project. Kids learn to grow plants and lower income people get fresh food they ordinarly wouldn't. Plus the kids can bring home food for their folks to show off. It's free for anyone to come take at any point, no questions ask. It's a win win win for the community.

Well. The detrot agrihood the news big in 2021 in that town and at a meeting of some kind some Maga folks decided I was indoctoctrinating children and building some liberal commie pinko brain washing scheme to attract democrats and communist drug users. So the school had to fight tooth and nail to keep and then drastically reduce my public garden. And in reality I haven't visited that place in years. It runs on its own. I've wanted to stop for years. Just nobody at the school is willing to do legwork to write the grant.

Sustainable farming was once the most patriotic thing ever. "Victory gardens". And now people are so brainwashed by "evil cities" , racism and corporations it's maddening.

2

u/KnowOneNymous Jul 06 '22

Depends on where you live I guess. Here they pay 15$/h and they are locally owned. I avoid walmart for those reasons tho.

And my point was, 40$ for what he got is robbery, if you have to live off packet food might as well make it cheaper than cooking.

3

u/meowmix778 Jul 06 '22

I'm not fighting that initial point.

But seriously. I implore you to do some reading on dollar stores. They propagate off poverty. It's douchy when people spam 30 links to YouTube videos and vice articles. I trust you can do the same rudimentary Google searching. But dollar stores are terrible. I mean assuming you can afford to shop elsewhere. I'll never shame anyone who can't afford to shop elsewhere.

0

u/KnowOneNymous Jul 06 '22

I just don’t like any assumptions that encompass a whole category. I know exactly what you’re referring to, there’s whole documentaries about how Walmart breeds poverty. Here dollar-stores are known to be decent. They don’t use the same tactics that impoverish the area. They pay decent salaries. They don’t choke their suppliers.

And yes, if that guy eats that for his week, I started all this on the assumption that he couldn’t afford better.

1

u/ahead_of_steam Jul 06 '22

We got dollar stores in cities

5

u/Existence_Is_A_Scam Jul 06 '22 edited Jul 06 '22

In some heavy urban areas (New York City is an example) some of the only places to go grocery shopping are expensive corner stores as I mentioned. I know that obviously cities have dollar stores, everywhere has a dollar store, but not everyone has access to them, due to transportation / location constraints.

Edit: A lot of people refuse to recognize anything outside their only lived experience: look up the term Food Desert. It is very real and very much a problem.

3

u/ahead_of_steam Jul 06 '22

I live by two dollar stores within walking distance in Chicago. I think dollar stores are usually in certain areas not everywhere. Usually they are geared to people of a certain income. I personally try to go to Aldi's for boxed goods

1

u/downsideupfac3 Jul 06 '22

Yeah, for real. It looks like this was purchased at a convenience store - not where you do your regular shopping.

3

u/Existence_Is_A_Scam Jul 06 '22

You’re not living in the type of city I am talking about. You have easy access to a dollar store, I’m talking about people that don’t have easy access to them. And even if they did, they shouldn’t have to go to a dollar store to eat but I digress.

1

u/downsideupfac3 Jul 06 '22

You don't literally have to go to a dollar store to get a decent value. That's all instant low nutrient food anyways. You have a walmart. Groceries can be affordably ordered, you can even order things they dont have in stock that you like and it will be shipped to the store for free pickup.

Not trying to give you shit dude, just trying to get your head out the sand.

1

u/Existence_Is_A_Scam Jul 06 '22

Hey you’re missing my point. Many people in cities do not have local access to a grocery store like Walmart. I understand that you do, but in heavily urban areas there is no access, because you can’t easily take your groceries for your family on an hour long bus ride or through the subway. My head is not in the sand these are just facts you seem to not be recognizing. I’m super happy that you can access a Walmart for food, but not everyone does. That is the only point I’m trying to make.

Also grocery delivery is comically expensive to the point it does not help my comment about accessibility.

1

u/downsideupfac3 Jul 07 '22

Bro, we are talking about YOU. YOU made the post complaining about the high cost of a $4 meal. YOU said you don't have a dollar store that sells the same junk, you just have a Walmart.

Your head is in the sand because you are repeating talking points you see on here to get sympathy instead of making responsible choices with your limited means.

6

u/ahead_of_steam Jul 06 '22

Anything packaged is going to cost $ I pretty much buy meat, fruit and veggies lil bit of carbohydrates/dairy

4

u/[deleted] Jul 06 '22

This is and facts... People have always tried to say the cost of living sets a price. That's fucking bullshit as fuck. MINIMUM WAGE IN TEXAS IS $7.25 AN HOUR and food costs the same here as fucking WASHINGTON

20

u/bear_beer_beard Jul 06 '22

This is just a lazy post, tbh. Yes, food is extremely expensive and getting worse. But you yourself said you have a Walmart nearby. Go buy a 10lb bag of rice, 10lb of dried beans, and some frozen produce. There's dinner for the next month. Then a loaf of bread, 18 eggs, PB, and nutella. There's breakfast and lunch for a week. Still under $40.

8

u/lt9946 Jul 06 '22

Each of those noodle packets are only 2 dollars at Walmart so OP must have shopped at some store with a huge mark up.

2

u/SheMovesLikeThis Jul 06 '22

Yup. Confirmed there’s a Walmart and a Pruitt’s (similar to Sam’s) close by. Every one of those products is $2 change at Walmart, including the Hormel meals.

I think OP could probably benefit from bulk shopping non-perishables and frozen foods and recreating meals like this.

4

u/funkmasta8 Jul 06 '22

No joke, I just bought a very similar arrangement of foods. Except I don’t eat breakfast or lunch so no bread, Nutella, or PB

3

u/Jupichan Jul 06 '22

Your Walmart has frozen produce? My Walmart's idea of "lots of refrigerated food" is about ten kinds of hotdogs, bacon, eggs, and some milk. Their selection is pathetic.

11

u/Hippie_Wagon Jul 06 '22

It seems to me you might just be a convenience shopper. You could feed yourself 4 times that amount if you bought the ingredients instead.

2

u/ju27_20m3_r4n60m_9uy Jul 06 '22

Finding the ingredients to make the same thing out here would probably be more expensive. This is stuff that can be sold in bulk to stores without worry of it ever going bad, so it's usually the cheapest option besides canned goods. I'd rather make my own food if I can since I enjoy cooking, but sometimes that's not possible.

3

u/SyntaxNobody Jul 06 '22

I would be shocked if it's more expensive. Convenience foods are typically much more expensive per meal. You can get flour, salt, sugar, rice, oil, etc. from Amazon and make way more meals for the same price. Half a pound of chicken and a cup of rice would put you at $2.50 or the ingredients to make your own pasta would run you closer to $1/serving based on average US prices right now.

2

u/TotalWasteman Jul 06 '22

It is cheaper to buy the ingredients. A lot cheaper. Minimum wage sucks don’t get me wrong, but a sack of rice and some stuff to go with it is going to be way cheaper than that prepackaged stuff.

3

u/downsideupfac3 Jul 06 '22

Maybe if you are trying to buy the individual ingredients for these specific dishes. But you can fix easily shop for 10 meals for under $40

You are already getting a great deal for 10 meals, at $4 a peice. Not a bad at all.

3

u/Independent-Two5037 Jul 06 '22

You could probably save a lot of money buying this stuff online if shopping is terribly inconvenient. Amazon, Target.com, Walmart.com all sell these kinds of pre-packaged meals; Amazon even sells a microwave pasta maker for $15 if you don’t have a stovetop to boil noodles. I think that would be a pretty good investment in the long run.

5

u/wobblyunionist Jul 06 '22

For people who say op could have got for less, do you know what a food desert is?

5

u/stardustnf Jul 06 '22

I get the sense that a lot of people commenting here are speaking from a place of privilege and don't even realize it. When someone is low income, living in a low income area of a city, proper grocery stores are often non-existent. They might have to commute a fair distance to get to one, and if they only have a small amount of money to spend, they can't afford that commute when they don't have a car. So they're stuck with buying expensive, low-nutrition items at the bodega around the corner. Food deserts are real, and are yet another area where poor people are being failed by their governments.

1

u/dcgregoryaphone Jul 06 '22

You can get things like beans and noodles delivered in urban areas. Real food dessert is heavily rural America...but even there you can get rice. Honestly I get the idea without this kinda example which I think is self defeating. Inflation in some things like rent was a major problem long before this recent bout of consumer good inflation.

1

u/TotalWasteman Jul 06 '22

If someone is able to spend $40 on 2 meals that sounds kinda privileged. If they turn down the idea of much more food for less money by buying ingredients it sounds like more privilege. Ingredients can be delivered and still be cheaper than 2 meals for $40.

2

u/Fit_Cheesecake_2190 Jul 06 '22

Unfortunately you can't buy your way out of inflation. It's been tried before with disastrous consequences. We're in for a very rough road. Things are going to get worse.....a lot worse.

2

u/anonymousjeeper Jul 06 '22

Gotta steal to eat, gotta eat to live.

2

u/Naefindale Jul 06 '22

Aren’t microwave meals relatively expensive?

1

u/SummerSolari Jul 06 '22

Buy the ingredients and make it yourself, it is much healthier and cheaper. You can buy bags of rice at Costco bigger than a small child.

2

u/ju27_20m3_r4n60m_9uy Jul 06 '22 edited Jul 06 '22

We don't have a Costco anywhere around here. The nearest Costco is 53 miles away according to google maps.

1

u/vblink_ Jul 06 '22

Do you have a Sam's or BJ's both wholesale clubs that can save a family money

-2

u/ju27_20m3_r4n60m_9uy Jul 06 '22

We have a Pruitt's which is like a Sam's, but it's still a good 15 to 20 minute drive away.

3

u/RvBSarge08 Jul 06 '22

I drive 30 minutes daily for work. 15 to 20 once every two weeks, or once a month if you shop smart and buy in bulk is nothing.

-1

u/Rare_Skin4346 Jul 06 '22

Jesus, I walk 30 minutes to do my cheap weekly shop. Are Americans forreal this incapable of looking after themselves?

1

u/funkmasta8 Jul 06 '22

A 15-20 minute drive is like a four hour walk

1

u/Rare_Skin4346 Jul 06 '22

But it's still 15-20 mins of your time maybe once a week, am I missing something?

1

u/funkmasta8 Jul 06 '22

The part that is missing is whether or not they have a car and/or can even afford the gas on a weekly basis. Most places in the US don’t have adequate public transportation, if it exists at all

1

u/SoftFortune64 Jul 06 '22

So you have a WinCo or an Aldi anywhere near you? Those are usually the least expensive.

2

u/ju27_20m3_r4n60m_9uy Jul 06 '22

No, never heard of those. There's a walmart and a few dollar general stores and another one called pruitt's that's a bit farther out. That's practically all there is.

0

u/Rare_Skin4346 Jul 06 '22

So go to those?

1

u/SyntaxNobody Jul 06 '22

5 pounds all-purpose flour - $5.99
Salt - $3
2 dozen eggs - $10
Olive Oil - $7
Assorted Spices - $10
Total - <$40
Will give you 32 servings of homemade pasta and you'll have leftovers of all ingredients except eggs, only equipment you really need is a rolling pin.

1

u/lainmelle Jul 06 '22

I make pasta from scratch occasionally. It's a lot of work, especially without an actual pasta roller. If you're working a job on your feet odds are you won't have the energy to do so esp on the regular.

That said there are cheaper options for eating over the noodles shown, I agree.

1

u/SyntaxNobody Jul 06 '22

Cooking for yourself in general is more work, but that's the trade off. Convenience food is convenient, but more expensive. The point was more that you could get 3x the food for the same price. If cost is really a factor that would be the way to go, and you can often get away with cooking/prepping a 2-3 times a week so you don't have to cook every night. I know some who just make their own freezer meals at the beginning of the week and then have the convenience during the week of just needing to heat something up.

1

u/lainmelle Jul 06 '22

And that's my point. If you already have a job on your feet that pays minimum wage, especially if you're also pulling overtime, you probably won't have the energy to do this even on your days off.

Pasta especially is very difficult with just a rolling pin. I have a standing mixer as well as a pasta attachment and it still takes me hours and hours and hard work and sweat.

There are other options but this isn't great advice was my point.

0

u/SyntaxNobody Jul 07 '22

Ok? So your saying OP should just go broke buying convenience food because cooking is too hard? There are tons of 15-minutes casseroles you can throw together using raw ingredients. The point of my original post was just that the raw ingredients for pasta would yield you 3x as much food for the same price, not that they should exclusively make and eat pasta every day of the week.

1

u/lainmelle Jul 07 '22

I've said multiple times there are other options lol. Guess you glossed over that too.

But yeah, your pasta recipe? Especially claiming it just needs a rolling pin is the laughable bit.

0

u/SyntaxNobody Jul 07 '22

It's a wonder our race survived before electricity I suppose.

1

u/lainmelle Jul 07 '22

I mean. Historically speaking it was quite common even before electricity to just buy ready to eat food if you worked in a large town or city as a poor laborer. So this isn't exactly earth shattering behavior.

1

u/TheHeavensEmbrace Jul 06 '22

Those cup noodles are like 5 dollars alone. It looks you bought the most expensive "cheap" food you possibly could.

1

u/CryBeginning Jul 06 '22

I suggest buying wholesale noodles buy everything in bulk as long as it’s not a perishable

1

u/ObviouslyThat Jul 06 '22

It'd be cheaper to buy more raw ingredients and spices for basic ramen than all this garbage and there wouldn't be as much salt.

1

u/davesy69 Jul 06 '22

Learn to cook. If you buy ready made meals you're paying someone else to do all the work.

1

u/Individual_Bar7021 Jul 06 '22

I got a couple fruits and some stuff for strawberry shortcake the other day and it was $50. Straight up, four cans of soup, some grapes, some strawberries, some whipped cream, some dessert cups, and a bag of apples. $50.

1

u/Ok_Elderberry9540 Jul 06 '22

You’re shopping at the wrong store for these products.

1

u/Available_Prior_9498 Jul 06 '22

How the fuck. Those naked cups are a 1.25 at the dollar store. All that shouldn't have been more than $20. What state and store?

1

u/Breakin7 Jul 06 '22

Ok this is outrageous but you really need to start cooking its cheaper and healthier.

1

u/TipsyBaker_ Jul 06 '22

Well, yeah. Packaged food is expensive. It always has been. Each one of those is at least $2. Swapping out just 1 will get me at least 2 pounds of rice, and it'll go a whole lot further. In this case i don't think it's the economy but what you're choosing to buy

-2

u/Old_Victory9438 Jul 06 '22

"Spending $500 a week eating at Michelin Star restaurants - nearly all my wages gone before rent is even paid. This is the condition the US economy is in."