What is your food budget?

Based on my excel sheet, I average approx. CHF 520 of food per month for the current year (food, restaurants and any kind of takeouts).

I don’t consider myself as a frugal person when it comes to my eating habits. I would be very interested in knowing what is the average food expense (food, restaurants and any kind of takeouts) for the people on this forum :smiley:

@Julianek @1000000CHF would you mind to set up a survey in this regard?

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I didn’t mean to offend you. You just wrote that it’s a way of getting to FI faster. So I understood that you plan to live frugally now and spend more later. You trade in some life quality in order to reach FI faster - that’s what I understood. And that’s precisely what dziadowac and ciulac means. I guess it makes sense to make concessions that you intend to keep for the rest of your life, also after reaching FI.

Sure, looking after the son is kind of work, especially if it’s not your kid, then there are actual people getting paid for this. I knew some girls who work here in Switzerland as nannies. They live with the family and cook for them, take the kids to and from school etc. They live and eat for free plus they receive about 1000 CHF per month of pocket money.

But it’s not a full time job, your wife has time to go get groceries and cook the dinner. I don’t have this time, I come back at 18 and usually don’t want to cook. Anyway, I would not like to eat rosol for a week. On the 7th day I would suffer while eating it :stuck_out_tongue: .

Sure, I heard about the Austrian school of economics. But honestly, tell me, if the whole World were only Mr’s @1000000CHF, buying groceries in Lidl and reading books, what would the economy look like? There would be no Ferraris, no World Cups, etc.

IMO you cannot raise savings without somebody else raising their consumption. That’s how the modern economy works: give people cheap loans, lure them in to raise their consumption, then have them work hard to pay off their debts.

Oh, so we can actually agree on this since my diet is quite the same : we eat mainly vegetable salad, chicken, fruits and nuts. Indeed it is not Byzance.
On the other hand it looks like for the same diet, we have a budget difference of 2000 CHF per month. This is no critics, just pointing the fact that in fine, the only lifestyle is that we take the time to cook and you prefer to buy pre-made. Which is alright as long as we are aware of the cost of this decision.
Would I pass on cooking myself for 24k CHF per year? Certainly not, I do not feel like I earn enough money to outsource cooking. But if you do not like cooking and are Ok with the financial consequence because you earn enough money while working, good for you!

On a side note, cooking does not necessarily need to be a chore : one can enjoy learning how to cook tasty meal :slight_smile: Although I will admit it is doubtful that every one cooking session will be fun, it is surely possible to make the overall process enjoyable on average.
Another tip : to save some time, we usually make salads in “batches”, so we only have to cook once for two days. That makes substantial time savings as well.

You mean what if everybody was saving a lot of money, the society was encouraging saving and investing and penalizing consumption, and focused on making everyone knowledgeable and educated? I dunno, let’s just look at the Singapore example :stuck_out_tongue:
When Lee Kuan Yew arrived at the head of Singapore in the sixties, he imposed a de facto 50% saving rate (through the CPF mechanism) for all workers. It has now been lowered to 37% of income by default.
I think the economical result speaks for itself! In 40 years the country went from the third world to being one of the top economies in the world…


That’s a cool trivia about Singapore, didn’t know. But still, they were a frugal nation, and were exporting goods to other, less frugal nations.

In order for somebody to save, someone else needs to spend.

You didn’t offend me at all. No worries. I understand your point, but what I’m trying to tell you is that it’s very subjective whether you consider given cut a costs optimization or a deprivation. There are some cuts that I’m happy to make even if I already been millionaire because they’re just reasonable and not very inconvenient (like cutting sugar snacks from diet), there are others that bring little inconvenience, but are acceptable for me because bigger stash brings me more joy (like cutting restaurants or renting a big and fancy apartment), and there are some that brings more inconvenience and I’m not sure whether I want to make them (like getting rid of my car), and finally there are some that I consider deprivation and would make me miserable (like cutting vacations). I think there’re multiple levels of inconvenience that each type can cause and it’s highly subjective to every individual how he interprets and feels about them.

In my case, it’s other way round. My wife’s works harder and has less free time than me (she spends every free second learning German actually), even though I’m working full time. It’s normally me who does the groceries, and often I do it during lunch break or after work. I wouldn’t cook if I were single to be frank. I only do it during the weekends because it’s fun to do it with my wife.

You don’t have to do it all the time. But it’s an option you might consider from time to time. Soups are cheap and easy to do.


I hate them anyway. :slight_smile:

It works like that but it doesn’t have to work like that. I think Europe and US in 19th century is a reasonable example how economy could work if we had more reasonable societies and governments.

I think you’re wrong. If we consumed less and invested more, we would already colonize Mars and have flying teslas. We would have different kind of consumption - more sophisticated one. Besides investment by definition is delayed consumption, so it’s not that we would eliminate it. We would make it just smarter.

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And there I was thinking how lousy I’m with my savings. @Bojack to the rescue ;-).
Actually, my 2+1 family does fine on around 120 CHF/week for weekend shopping and another 50 CHF throughout the week. This combines to a total of 700-750 CHF/month and we have a lot of barbeques :wink:


Every user can create a poll in every post. Maybe you can create a new thread (or a new post in this thread) with a poll? I’m not sure exactly what you want to ask about…

What do those two words means? The second one might be misunderstood by italian speaking people :slight_smile:

Anyway I envy your eating habits. I eat way too much meat I think. I don’t spend a lot though, it’s just that I believe we should all less meat to be healthier.

I think we should stop talking about food butget. There isn’t much to say and it start to look like a discussion about religions. If someone need a tip (eg. buy meat in germany) it’s ok, but otherwise I am pretty sure no one will change their habits.

These are some verbs with slang/idiomatic meaning.

dziadować - live in poverty, but in a negative way, maybe by choice
ciułać - collect small sums of money over a long period of time

Dziadować means to live in poverty (but in this context @Bojack meant to live in voluntary poverty).

Ciułać means to hoard.

Since I’ve read Gary Taubes’s book I believe exactly the opposite. We should eat fewer carbons and more fat (especially fat meat).

I think we had a pretty constructive debate. I learned a bit about @Bojack’s and @Julianek’s food habits and perspectives and I’m glad I learned it.

Ok thanks for the translations.

I didn’t read as much as you do about health, my plan was/is to read “How not to die”. I think they recommend to eat less meat and especially less processed food.

Maybe we do agree on how much meat we should eat. My point is that I/we eat too much meat. Statistically speaking, each swiss eat ~52kg of meat per year (1kg per week)

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I didn’t read the book, but I watched many videos from Dr. Greger. He indeed recommends a vegan diet and points to some study results, which back his recommendation. Like e.g. if you don’t eat meat, you have lower risk of this and that disease. The buzzword is inflammation. You should always avoid inflammation, because it makes your body get older faster. Also if you have a high metabolism and eat a lot, your body is like an engine running at full capacity, it gets worn out faster.

I think when it comes to meat, it’s not necessarily that meat is bad. It’s just that the meat that we have available is bad. It is full of antibiotics and chemicals. And it’s not sustainable for the whole planet to eat so much meat. Places where animals are kept are a breeding ground for the most deadly viruses in human history.


Well the issue with diets is that nowadays each camp has his own set of rules, which they consider as holy as the 10 commandments.

  • keto guys : “Don’t eat carbs”!
  • Vegan guys : “Don’t eat meat!”
  • Most Governments : “Don’t eat fat”!

On my side, I put together two rules for myself, trying to be pragmatic :

  1. Only eat stuffs your great-great-grand-mother would recognize (i.e no processed foods)
  2. If you wanna breach rule 1 then you have to cook eat yourself (i.e if you want to eat cookies you have to bake them yourself, pre-made cookies don’t count!).

I admit to eating a lot of meat, I can’t even satisfy hunger without a piece of meat during the day. Salad makes for a good starter though :-). I eat little fruit as I’m allergic to nearly all of them excluding citrus and melons.

I also never put much thought about balancing carbs, vegetables, meats. I guess not buying processed foods and sweet drinks is good enough for me to feel good about my dietary habits. Oh, and I only buy BIO eggs and milk as they really taste better. Bio milk is not normalized to a fixed amount of fat, which means it’s usually 3.6-3.9% fat. This probably contributes to a significant difference in taste.

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I already had that discussion with @nugget. Here’re my arguments:

That’s because it’s hard to make a science out of diets - it’s hard to test and falsify the hypothesis and there’re a million other factors influencing results. A major component of Gary Taubes’s books is the critique of the poor quality of scientific backup of modern dietary recommendations (especially the carbon-based government recommendations). BTW. I highly recommend his classic NYT’s article “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?”.

I personally stick to the rule - don’t eat sugar and carbs with high glycemic index (with exception of few fruits for vitamins and minerals) which makes my diet soft-core paleo/low-carb, not necessarily keto.

Totally agree!

Yes. I do the same thing. I buy my milk and eggs from my farmer. Milk is even cheaper than at Lidl, which is awesome.

Speaking of food … en Guete!

It would be interesting to know

It would be nice to have a list of farmers that sells stuff.
Living in Zurich, I only know the little kiosk near Stettbach.

Milk cheaper than Lidl/Migros/Aldi/Coop? Where/how?

I live in Zug and I have lots of farmers selling their stuff in walking distance. Milk costs 1.20 CHF per litre at most places, which is certainly cheaper than bio-milk in Lidl/Aldi and normal milk at Migros/Coop. Normal milk at Lidl/Aldi might cost the same or a bit higher - I don’t remember.

anybody tried buying directly with the farmer, for zurich perople here?

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