For the past week and a half 31 of my 33 meals have been in the form of smoothies with 1/3 of my day’s macros in a cup. It’s more or less an experiment to rewire my brain to think of food as fuel and separate regular everyday meals from meals out with friends and family. So far it seems to working after an awful first week: 1) I’m less obsessed with the next meal, and 2) those 2 out of 33 non-smoothie meals have been just pure bliss. Anyway, I’ve been tracking the cost of the smoothies and with the latest wrinkle (switching out frozen, store-bought berries for bananas I cut up and freeze) the average smoothie cost (52g protein, 68g carbs, 13g fiber, 21g fat) is down below $2.
(That’s right- I have a whiteboard in my living room. Don’t hate.)
This got me thinking about the overall picture of food and household costs. I’ve read several blogs over the years about how wholesale clubs are a good deal if: 1) you’re shopping for a family, 2) you don’t buy a bunch of unplanned items, and 3) you don’t have to drive a long way to get there. But does the wholesale model work for a single guy? I sought to find out. Now, I must preface– I’ve just started messing around with Amazon’s auto-reorder discounts, but this discussion with have to be shelved until I know what I’m talking about. For this conversation I’m talking wholesale club versus grocery store (although I found Amazon prices without discounts to be closer to supermarket than wholesale club in my price searching).
This is how I did it: I have a BJ’s close by. I went there with a list, paid $50 for a membership, and I only purchased what was on the list. I then went to a Publix supermarket and found the cheapest options to replicate. The only way I wouldn’t take the cheapest option was if it was an inferior product (ripoff Listerine and garbage oil olive shouldn’t be tolerated by any red-blooded American). Then I went home and did the math to make the product sizes the same so cost could be compared. I have a schedule of my work below, and here’s my verdict: Basically, the savings on household goods alone covers the $50 one-year membership. I saved $53 in just one trip on household goods, and I already realize I should have purchased dog food, razors, and soil for my upcoming plant-herbs project. I also saved $34 on food. So there you go, the wholesale rules apply for single, flexible dieters!