July 2017 Food Expense Report – $511.93

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Welcome to another monthly food expense report at the FAF family!

I am happy to announce that Mr. FAF successfully defended his dissertation in mid July and now has a new title: Dr. FAF (but I will still refer to him as Mr. FAF).

He will start his new job in the DC area in early August.

Mr. FAF came back to DC for good in the last week of July. Our July food expenses were mainly for my MIL, Baby FAF and me.

Mr. FAF came into the picture in the last 10 days of the month but made a HUGE impact on the budget. You will see how below.

If you missed my previous food expense reports, you can check them out below:

Food Expense Report – June 2017 – $467.21

Food Expense Report – May 2017 – $777.26

Food Expense Report – Apr 2017 – $80.39

Food Expense Report – Mar 2017 – $87.52

Food Expenses – July 2017: $511.93

WEEK 1 (July 1-9)

GROCERIES – $56.31

Costco – $56.31

Croissant & dinner rolls: We usually have these for breakfast.

Watermelon (half consumed) & bananas: These are our healthy desserts.

Cheerios: I later found out that the cereal was much sweeter for Baby FAF than the brand at Shoppers. I will probably just try to finish it.

Peanut butter: My MIL bought it to eat with the dinner rolls.

Lettuce: We usually eat the lettuce by itself.

Potatoes: My MIL usually steams it together with the rice in the rice cooker.


From left to right: Braised potatoes (leftover from the previous day), chives stir-fried with eggs, salted tofu stir-fried with Chinese veggies, pork stir-fried with eggplant, tofu and veggie soup


Baby FAF’s packed lunch for daycare (tomato egg, pork & eggplant, seasoned tofu and veggies) & his dinner at home (chicken, pork, mushrooms, and veggies)

Baby FAF started going to an in-home daycare one week after he came back from China. The daycare is close to our house and cheaper than daycare centers. However, they don’t provide food or drinks, so I pack lunch and snacks for Baby FAF every day.


We didn’t eat out this week.


WEEK 2 (July 10-16)


Asian supermarket – $65.6

Vietnam chrysanthemum, apples, avocados, tofu, soy milk, eggs, bok choy, napa cabbage, chives, carrots, bell peppers, chayote, noodles, mushrooms, green peas, bean sprouts, okra, eggplant, cilantro, Chinese asparagus, taro, winter melon


Pork stir-fried with onions, mushroom & tofu soup, pork stir-fried with veggies, chives stir-fried with bean sprouts

We got a huge bag of dumplings from Costco in June. My MIL and I decided to have some one weekend. The dumplings were much more flavorful than we expected. However, it didn’t seem to sit well in my stomach.

Boiled dumplings & homemade sauce (soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and garlic)


Asian food court – $7.2

My MIL bought some pork BBQ from an Asian food court. I count this as eating out because we didn’t make the food ourselves. My MIL said she bought it for me.

Pork BBQ (super delicious!)


WEEK 3 (July 17-23)

GROCERIES – $11.99

Wegmans – $11.99

Milk, bananas, eggs, and bread (the basics)


Salted peanuts, tofu & veggie soup, stir-fried Chinese veggies, steamed potatoes & taro, pork stir-fried with potato and chickpeas, tomato mixed with sugar


We didn’t eat out or buy any take-out this week.


WEEK 4 (July 24-31)

GROCERIES – $235.83

Great Wall – $151.3

Mr. FAF bought a lot of groceries from the Great Wall in his city because the prices there are cheaper than in DC.

Mung beans, a tub of spicy oil king, Zuki beans, soy beans, green onions, garlic, ginger, chives, red beans & green beans

100 lbs of Jasmine rice ($28.99 for a bag of 50 lbs)

We upgraded from Costco rice to Jasmine rice since Mr. FAF’s starting a new job and bringing in more income. I’ve always loved Jasmine rice, but we were on a budget and ate Costco rice instead. We usually buy rice in bulk because it’s cheaper than the small bags.

 Costco – $72.5

Lettuce, grapefruit, apples, croissant, watermelon (half consumed), whole milk, eggs, dinner rolls

Shoppers & other – $12.03


Vietnamese aquatica & bananas

Mr. FAF bought some aquatica from a Vietnamese family in his city for my MIL to grow in our backyard. However, the aquatica doesn’t come with the roots, so we decided to eat it instead. We bought some bananas from Shoppers for Baby FAF to eat as an afternoon snack at daycare.


The dishes below were prepared by my MIL and Mr. FAF. On Friday afternoon, Mr. FAF told me to go home early. I asked him why, and he said he was making my favorite fried pork dish. Needless to say, I tried to get home as quickly as I could.

Pork stir-fried with pork, Vietnamese aquatica stir-fried with Garlic, steamed egg, tofu & veggie soup, chives noodles, edamame stir-fried with pickle, and fried pork (my favorite)


Chinese buffet – $115

After my MIL came to DC, she has gotten close with an older Chinese couple in our community. They’ve helped us a lot, especially when Mr. FAF wasn’t in DC. They took my MIL grocery shopping and kept my MIL company when I was at work and Baby FAF was at daycare.

We took the couple and their son to a Chinese buffet on Sunday to thank them for their help. It was the seven of us: the couple, their son, my MIL, Mr. FAF, Baby FAF and me. The buffet was $15/person. Baby FAF could eat for free. It was one of the best Chinese buffets we’ve had so far.

Baby FAF and I ate all of the food shown below.


Shrimp, crab, fried chicken drumstick, clams, crab cake, wonton soup, mussels, Beijing roasted duck, teriyaki chicken, corn, bun, and apple pie


Sushi & dessert (flan, coconut cheesecake, mango, watermelon, blueberries) 


Although Mr. FAF came back to DC and added almost 50% of the food costs, I’m glad that our family is now finally together under one roof.

After we settle down, we will keep track of our food budget more carefully. For now, we will enjoy being together after all those years of being apart.


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46 thoughts on “July 2017 Food Expense Report – $511.93”

  • Congrats Dr FAF! More importantly, congratulations on being reunited as a family.

    Great food pics. We’re no where near this frugal but definitely making progress!

  • 100lbs of rice, daaaaaaaang! I wish my wife ate more rice, but she’s on a super healthy eating kick and does low carbs. I really should just make some for myself each week to include in my lunches 🙂

    Congrats to Dr. FAF!!

    • haha I knew someone would say something about the 100 lbs of rice. I think it will last us a couple of months. Rice is a cheap staple. Thanks for reading!

    • Thank you, Tina! Yes, we will still be a one-car family. Mr. FAF will drive the car, and I will continue to take the Metro 😉

  • I think most people who have high grocery bills don’t realize there are cheaper places to shop. I shop mainly at Asian and “discount” grocery stores where prices are on average 25-40% cheaper than the major brands. There’s a Whole Foods near me where the only thing I can afford is bread.

    • haha I know what you mean. There’s a farmer’s market near my house that sells avocados for $2.5/each (it’s usually $1/each at the grocery store), and that market is always crowded @_@

  • Yay! The family is all together again! That’s awesome!
    That’s a great budget especially in a big city. Question… Have you shopped at Aldi? I haven’t ever price compared Aldi to Costco, so I’m not sure of the price difference. I assume there are Aldi stores in that area bc they are on the east coast, but I could be wrong. I just wondered how it compares and would affect your budget any.
    Also, do you plan to increase your food budget now that your income has grown?
    Love seeing how though you are in sharing!

    • Thank you, Ember! I have shopped at Aldi before and was really amazed at the prices. We usually shop at Costco and Great Wall (Chinese grocery stores), but I do want to check out Aldi more often! I know Mr. FAF is itching to eat out more, but we will try to keep our food budget at the same level 😉

  • Congrats to Mr. FAF becoming Dr. FAF!! I’m so glad that your little family is reunited after such a long period of being separated. We shop mainly at Asian grocery stores and cheaper chain stores like Aldi’s and Market Basket. It helps us cut down on the cost of groceries, but we only have 2 people.

    • Thank you, Ying! Mr. FAF and I shop at Great Wall and H-mart. Every time we go there, I feel really happy looking at all the delicious snacks!

  • I bought the ready made chicken from Costco last week at $4.99 and made chicken salad for lunch. The next day l made chicken burritos and the day after l removed all the chicken meat and boiled the chicken bones to make the chicken stock and at night l had chicken noodles. Well there are still some chicken meats left over where l put in the freezer. How about chicken fried rice tonight.

    • Wow sounds like you made such great use of the chicken. I can get multiple meals out of one whole chicken too! 😀

  • So much food porn my stomach grumbled. I’m not really surprised we eat similar dishes when our parents / in laws cook for us. Salty pan fried peanuts are so good!!
    My dad constantly buys peanut butter… There’s 3 tubs in the cabinet lol!

    I just published my monthly report but I wish I added details of my food adventures too!! 🙁

    • Haha I was just wondering what your dad cooks for you guys :p Both my parents and Mr. FAF can make delicious salty pan fried peanuts too! 😀

      You can choose whether to call him Dr. FAF or Mr. FAF. I personally prefer Mr. FAF! 😀

  • You’re my spending hero. When I go to Costco, I would be lucky if I get out of there with about a $100 in damage. Even if I create a shopping list, I often end up with more items in my shopping cart. Need more self control. ?

    • Haha thanks, Leo! Sometimes Mr. FAF and are also puzzled as to why we walk out of Costco with so many items while we initially just wanted pork, eggs, and lettuce @_@

  • I love all the detail you put in your food reports. And it’s so awesome to see what you eat and the food you make! Very cool. We started cooking tofu recently for the first time, so it’s great to see how you use it in dishes. I’ve got to get some seasonings to make tofu soup. Do you have any specific recommendations for seasonings? Thanks! 🙂 And I’m so glad you guys are together again! Yay!!!

    • Yay I’m glad you’re trying out tofu. My most favorite sauces for tofu are soy sauce and fish sauce, but you can add almost anything to it 😉

  • I love how detailed your food expenses are. I also love Asian food stores and I find that they are often the cheapest places to buy certain produce, tofu, sesame oil, coconut milk, curry paste and some sauces.

  • Congrats on getting the whole gang back together. I’m sure you won’t mind the increased food bill. BTW…my mother loves shopping at Wegman’s but my wife hates shopping there. My wife is an Aldi girl through and through if you’re looking for cheaper options 🙂

    • Thank you, Mr. MSM! We love going for a walk at Wegman’s since it’s much nicer than other grocery stores. I particularly like the sushi there. I think I’m a Great Wall & Costco girl. ^.^

  • Hello Mrs. FAF!
    This is a great post documenting your food expenses for the month. We live in the western part of United States and are trying to cut back on our food costs. Even though our monthly grocery budget looks exactly like yours, we treat ourselves by eating out which increases our food expenses by almost 200%! I know it’s pretty bad. We are trying to get more disciplined in this regard and hopefully we can reach a level where $500 a month for food is a reality. Appreciate all your posts; your blog is very informative. I just showed the missus all the delicious looking food you have posted (you might consider writing a food blog here too!).
    Anyway I am a newbie in the FI space getting started on my journey to financial freedom and just wanted to say Hi!

    • Hi Raman, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so happy you enjoyed my food expense report. We’re also guilty of eating out too much sometimes, so you’re not the only one. Welcome to the blogger community! 🙂

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