How to eat for $100 per month

John Harrelson

New Member
Hi Folks,

I have received a dozen or so emails from forum members over the past couple of months every since I said my food costs averaged $100.00 a month.. Some were doubting Thomas and some really wanted to know how I can eat that cheap... so here is how I do it..

You can eat this cheap also,, all it takes is will power in the grocery store and imagination in the kitchen..


*** Several years ago I made a “Master List” of everything I eat during the month as well as everything I will use during the month like, toothpaste, washing powder, dish washing liquid, shampoo, etc…

( look in your MS Works for the list and modify it to suit your own eating habits )

Each day I place a check mark on the form each time an item is used up.

Example: I keep on hand at all times …..

6 cans of corn, 6 cans of peas, 6 cans of beans, 6 cans of……. ….Etc:::

When I use a can of corn, I place a check mark next to canned corn on the master list.

When I go shopping, I count the number of check marks beside the canned corn and buy that many replacement cans.

*** Most items are not needed every month.. Like toothpaste, bleach, …and so forth..

*** I don’t drink any type of alcoholic drinks. I’m not against them, but my doctor is..
I do drink Safeway brand soda pop, (caffeine free - diet cola ) at 16.5 cent each
instead of the name brand colas that cost 35 cent each or beer for 75 cent each.

*** I eat out in a restaurant about two… maybe three times per YEAR.. Because I just flat refuse to pay ten dollars for food that cost less than two dollars to make and serve… its a rip-off..

When I do eat out… it is ALWAYS buffet style,, so I can pick and choose what I want to eat … and I can eat as much of it as I want to without having to pay for “seconds”..

*** When shopping, I buy three or four of some items instead on only one..

Example… 4 boxes of dry cereal, 2 boxes of rice or instant potatoes, 6 cans of tomato
paste…… these amounts will last me four months easily.

*** Where I shop make a huge difference in monthly food costs..

The local “Smith’s Grocery Store” pulls the “close date” meats every day and places them at the end of the meat counter where they are marked down less than half of the original price..
A steak that normally cost $ 5.00 might be marked down to $1.50.. Bacon that normally cost $3.00 per pound might be marked down to $.99 cent per pound..

When I find reduced price items like these, I don’t buy just one package, I buy 15 or 20 pkgs of bacon all at once.. 8 or 10 pkgs of the steaks.. and so forth ,, and freeze them.

Another store that I shop faithfully is the local “dented can store” The actual name of the store is “Rainbow Foods” ,,, but everybody calls it the “Carson City Canned Food Store”..

These type stores buy from insurance companies that have paid off on accidents like trucks wrecking and spilling canned food all over the highway.. The cans are only dented, the food inside is perfectly good..

I don’t know about other people, but I only eat whats inside the can, not the can itself, so why do I care if its got a dent in it..

They also buy from companies that made too much food that month and could not sell it to regular grocery stores like Safeway, Winne Dixie or Raley’s ..

For example, Del Monte may have made too many cans of pineapple and are forced to sell it to companies like Rainbow Foods at 10 cent on the dollar..

Or Jeno’s frozen pizzas may have had a wreck and the insurance company paid off the claim and is now trying to re-coop some of it’s loss by selling the still frozen and perfectly good pizzas for 10 cent on the dollar..

The bread companies put out fresh bread every day in the “regular“ grocery stores and take the “day old“ bread to the canned food store , where it is sold for half price..

I get a big laugh out of people who say … “yuck.. I would never eat old bread“ …. So I ask the question… when you buy a fresh loaf of bread do you throw it away that night and go out and buy another “fresh” loaf the next day… or do you continue to eat it until it’s all gone ??

I have gone on for too long and I’ll stop now..

But this is why I can eat for “about” $100.00 / $125.00 per month.. Last week I had lobster tail on rice pilaf ($ 2.50) and tonight I just finished a wonderful 8 oz. steak dinner with all the trimmings ( $ 1.50 )

Bonn appetite folks,,



Senior Member
How to eat for $100 per month

tks for the info. The only thing I would have a problem with is the buying of the meat products for freezing. If I were at home, ok, but not in the RV. I just don't have enough space in the MH freezer for buying so much.
The only thing I would add to your "plan" is catch dinner.....yup, fish. I catch my own bait and then we fish (surf fish) and clean/freeze and eat it at basically "no costs", and it is fun competing with the boss (she usually out fishes me). ;)

Gary B

Senior Member
How to eat for $100 per month

What does, "I,ll bet you save aluimun" mean???? :eek:
:) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: ;) :approve:


New Member
How to eat for $100 per month

The first time you get a good bout of food poisoning from one of the great dented cans youll rethink your philosophy on how good they are

John Harrelson

New Member
How to eat for $100 per month

SIRHUNTALOT, you will never get food poisoning because a can is dented..
If a can was "cracked" or "ripped", so the contents were exposed to the air.. maybe yes.. but not because the can is dented..

I have bought "dented" cans for my home as well as for my restaurant for well over forty years and never had a problem.. saved a lot of money too..

Millions of people buy dented cans of food and drink every day and they can't all be wrong..

enjoy life, :)



New Member
How to eat for $100 per month

Its always a good idea to check out the weekly specials and take advantage of two for one deals and use coupons. If I see coffee or something on sale, I get a couple in case it doesn't come back on sale for a while.


New Member
How to eat for $100 per month

Hello John Harrelson, I just read your post, you must know my hubby! :laugh: He is the shopper at our house. Yep he shops similar to you. We have an Aldi's that he likes to shop at.We have a bread store where bread is half that of in the store, so we get all our bread there. Hey I think it is great that one can shop like that. I myself like to splurge so that is why hubby does the shopping :blush: We do go out to eat more but I do agree with you,"Because I just flat refuse to pay ten dollars for food that cost less than two dollars to make and serve… its a rip-off.." I think this gives us more $$$ spend to spend on other things in life :)

C Nash

Senior Member
You have to remember the orignal post was 2005. Things are a lot more expensive now in 2020