“What $7 is Worth in Food” is something I think about almost daily. I am a relatively cheap person, as you can tell by the name of this site and by the fact that I break down the costs of every single recipe I put on Economical Chef. Oftentimes, when thinking about buying something or reflecting on a recent purchase, I use the expression, “I could have bought X burritos with that…” Of course, referring to $7 Chipotle chicken burritos. A little lost? Here is a quick example of what goes on in my head:
*buys $20 pair of shorts*
*Immediately thinks, “Was that really worth 3 burritos?”*
*most likely returns shorts*
Strange? Practical? Either way, it can be a pretty fun exercise to run through:
- Every wonder how many burritos you could have gotten with your $200 plane ticket? The answer is 28 and a half.
- Did you just get a $1,000/year raise at work and want to spend it all on burritos. Well, you are in for a treat because you can get 2.74 burritos per week with your new found cash.
- Thinking twice about the $100 is custom fit clothes you just bought? You should because that is worth 14 and a quarter burritos. Two weeks straight of burritos!
Before Now that I have gotten carried away, I want to make the practical argument for this way of thinking. Not only is this a fun exercise (for me at least), but it’s saved me from a couple $50 dinners I realized I didn’t actually want because when it came down to it, that’s equivalent to one burrito every night for a week. Is the $50 dinner really 7 times as good as a burrito? No, it’s not even twice as good usually. It might actually be worse…
Burrito math doesn’t seem so strange now does it?
It probably does… and if you’re still reading at this point, good for you, because we’re off to a weird start. Stick with me though, because we’re getting to the good part. Let’s dive into what this article is actually about: What $7 is Worth in Food.
I decided to take a quick look at some of the most expensive, and most affordable food that you can get with just seven bucks (aka a Chipotle Burrito). So let’s take an imaginative trip to the grocery store with a Lincoln and a couple Washingtons in hand and see what a $7 allowance can get us.
- What $7 is Worth in Food:
- Bananas: 46.7 bananas
- Apples: 8.4 apples
- Strawberries: 44.8 oz (about 3 cartons)
- Carrots: 74.6 oz (about 4.5 bags of baby carrots)
- Spinach: 37.33 oz (just over 2 packages)
- Cauliflower: 2 heads of cauliflower
- Chicken: 1 pound
- Grass-Fed Beef: about 3/4 pound
- Granola: 24 oz (2 bags)
- Triscuit Crackers: 17.8 oz (just over 2 boxes)
- Coffee: 24.5 oz (just under 1 container)
- Eggs: 24 eggs
- Yogurt: 35 oz (1 large container)
What $7 is Worth in Food:
Bananas: 46.7 bananas
You can typically get bananas for about $0.60 per lb, which comes down to about $0.15 each (there are about 4 bananas per lb). These are my favorite fruit and one of the most affordable too.
Apples: 8.4 apples
Apples are a little more expensive and usually cost a couple bucks per lb. If we assume 3 apples make a lb, and that they cost $2.50/lb, we’re looking at about 8 and a half apples for $7.
Strawberries: 44.8 oz (about 3 cartons)
This one is hard to measure because strawberry’s price fluctuates a lot as they go in and out of season. Typically, a 16 oz carton will run you about $2.50, which means you can get nearly 3 cartons of strawberries. Sometimes, they can be as expensive as $5/carton or as cheap as $1/carton, so be sure to shop the sales and shop in season.
Carrots: 74.6 oz (about 4.5 bags of baby carrots)
Spinach: 37.33 oz (just over 2 packages)
A 16 oz package of spinach is usually about $3, meaning you can swing just over 2 packages with $7.
Cauliflower: 2 heads of cauliflower
Cauliflower is one of the more expensive vegetables on the market (along with Brussel sprouts and asparagus). A head of cauliflower will usually cost about $3-4, meaning you can get about 2 heads with $7. Remember with vegetables it’s key to shop the sales.
Chicken: 1 pound
I usually buy middle tier chicken which runs about $6.99/lb usually. By middle tier, I mean not organic and not the cheap $2.99/lb steroid-injected chicken breasts. Usually something that calls out “all-natural” or “no added hormones” to make me feel slightly better about the purchase.
Grass-Fed Beef: about 3/4 pound
Grass fed beef is usually about $8.99/lb. I think it’s worth the spend though because of it’s health benefits.
Granola: 24 oz (2 bags)
Triscuit Crackers: 17.8 oz (just over 2 boxes)
Triscuits are a solid snack, especially Triscuit Thins, and you can get about 2 boxes for about $7 if you shop in-store (Amazon prices vary).
Coffee: 24.5 oz (just under 1 container)
A large container (about 28 oz) of brand name coffee costs about $8. Furthermore, this large container can make about 120 12 oz cups of coffee. That’s a lot of coffee.
Read more about the cost savings of home brewing coffee.
You can eggs for much cheaper than $3.50/dozen, but I’m a fan of the Egglands Best brand.
Again, here I usually spend a little more for some Fage yogurt where a large container costs about $7 flat. You could definitely opt cheaper though if you’d like.
That was a pretty comprehensive rundown of what $7 is worth in food. The best spend, in my opinion, is without a doubt bananas. 45+ bananas for $7 is hard to beat. On the other side of the spectrum, the worst offenders are the eggs and yogurt. The reason here is clear though – I spend a little more for premium brands for these items. You could easily go a cheaper route, but I think the value is there on these purchases because you are getting a higher quality product for your dollars.
If nothing else, I hope this was a light read that showed you not all food is created equal in terms of value! Here is some more burrito math to leave you with:
- A cup of coffee at Starbucks per week (which would cost about $15) could buy two burritos per week instead.
- If you make the average household income of $55,000, you can buy 7,857 burritos per year.
- Winning $1,000,000 in the lottery can get you 142,857 burritos.