Author Topic: Food budgeting help  (Read 395 times)

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Offline cholloway99

Food budgeting help
« on: September 01, 2014, 02:53:03 pm »
I am looking at making my first self-supported bike tour next fall on the Pacific Northwest.  I plan on it taking 4 weeks and inviting two or three others to ride with me for parts or all of the tour, and was wondering if anybody could give me any advice on budgeting for food.  I would like to be able to prepare most of our food, but maybe allow for eating in a restaurant once or twice a week, maybe no more than $15 on eating out?  Any advice would be helpful!

Offline indyfabz

Re: Food budgeting help
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 08:22:42 am »
Buy inexpensive food basics, like rice, beans, pasta and oatmeal, and add to that. $15 for one meal out should be doable depending on your tastes and where you happen to find yourself. You are not going to get a good steak for $15, but that should buy you a decent burger, fries and a good beer.

I am leaving for a tour on Friday. I always promise myself that my next tour will be the one where I write down all my expenses, including food expenses. If the past is any guide, I will grow tired of doing that by the second day at the latest.

Offline milestonerides

Re: Food budgeting help
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 11:05:53 am »
Buy inexpensive food basics, like rice, beans, pasta and oatmeal, and add to that. $15 for one meal out should be doable depending on your tastes and where you happen to find yourself. You are not going to get a good steak for $15, but that should buy you a decent burger, fries and a good beer.

I just got back from my tour from Vancouver to San Francisco in July.  We always have some form of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, and oatmeal always ready in our panniers.  I always kept an emergency freeze dried meal just in case I needed it.  They're light and don't take up too much space.  We also ate out everyday only for lunch and cooked breakfast and dinner in camp.  We spent $1269 per person but that includes EVERYTHING like camping fees and airline fee to get us from LA to Vancouver with our bikes. We ended up spending about $40 a day.  I suppose we could have done it cheaper but we splurged a bit.  In case you're interested, I here's a blog post outlining my tour by the numbers - A Pacific Coast Bike Tour By the Numbers.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Food budgeting help
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 11:33:09 am »
The amount you spend on food has a very wide range, depending on what and where and how much you eat. A guy I met who was cooking all his own food and out for years had a budget of $10 per day, and that included everything, not just food.

Eating every meal at McDonalds may be even cheaper than cooking your own food. But is is probably the most unhealthy option.

Here's my guess. Eating mostly pasta and rice you cook yourself can probably be done for $5 a day. Eating ready-to-eat food out of grocery stores can be done for $10 to $20 a day. Eating every meal at McDonalds can probably be done for $10 to $15 a day. Eating every meal in a restaurant can be anywhere from $30 to $100 a day.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Food budgeting help
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 01:24:04 pm »
I ended up not keeing track of anything, but dinner estimate goes like this:

$0.90 for pasta (half a 12 oz. bag of Whacky Mac)
$3.00 or so for the protein, such as pre-cooked chicken sausage, raw chicken or canned shrimp
$3.00 for a bunch of asparagus
$0.75 for a red onion

I broght my own garlic and olive oil from home. One day I made due with two cans of Beef-A-Roni for dinner. I had ridden in a cold rain for over 60 miles and was too tired to cook something more elaborate. Another day I had to carry food from nearly the beginning so I simply got two cans of canellini beans to go with the pasta. Actually quite tasty when you saute several cloves of garlic and then add the beans, some of the water from the cans and some olive oil, let it stew for a while and then season with salt and pepper.

Breakast was often a bagel with maybe some cheese or canned fish, like sardines. I would stop en route for lunch if posible or buy a pre-made sandwich for maybe $3.50-$5.50 to take with me at the start of the day. There were also assorted snacks, like pretzels.

I ate one dinner and one breakfast out.