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Project Move & Mix: Food

by Meghann on March 31, 2011

Food is the fun part, right? πŸ™‚

Grocery Shopping

Before moving in together Derek and I each had our own individualized approach to grocery shopping.

I did weekly trips where I stocked up on fresh produce, yogurt, and various other items for the week. My weekly trips would cost anywhere between $35 and $100 and would sometimes involve runs to multiple stores/ farmer’s markets (exhibit A).

Derek did monthly grocery trips where he would stock up on BOGO deals at Publix that would last him an entire month. He focused on pre-packaged food and would literally eat his cupboards bare before his next trip. Those trips would cost anywhere between $100 and $150, which, considering he was eating for a month, isn’t a bad deal at all.


Since moving in together we’ve adapted weekly grocery trip runs. The two of us head to Publix together and form a plan while we’re there of what meals we would like for the week and buy accordingly. So far our trips have been pretty high (about $100 per week), but I’m working on getting that down. (Here’s the post that explains how we are divving up grocery costs.)

It’s a new challenge for me because I’m trying to balance in a couple of meat dishes a week and meat really makes the grocery bill go up. I’ve also been slacking on couponing. As soon as my printer is up and running I plan to re-explore that avenue.

The Not-So Bottomless Pit

Going in I was expecting food to go fast. People had warned me that guys eat A LOT and I should expect to be eaten out of house and home. Oddly, that hasn’t been the case at all! Sure, Ice Cream seems to go a lot faster now, but that’s really it.

I’ve made cookies and a crumb cake since moving in – both of which I devoured 75% on my own. I also bought Girl Scout cookies thinking he would help me finish the box, but that was a no go. The boy seems to be partial to Ice Cream.

Derek does purchase weekly snacks that he munches on when he comes home, but those snacks are usually nothing I would crave anyways. Am I the only person out there who doesn’t like Cheez its?

Cooking for Two

Cooking for two has been fun too. Derek is an adventurous eater and will eat everything I make (though I’ve been trying to tone down my crazy combinations come dinner time πŸ˜‰ ). Basically I just double what I would be cooking for myself and sometimes I end up with extra. It’s great because Derek almost always takes all the left overs to work with him.

Remember that Black Eyed Peas and Cornmeal Biscuit Casserole I made earlier in the week?


That’s a great example of a dish I wouldn’t have made when I lived on my own, solely for the fact it made so much for just one person.

However, the two of us each had a serving for dinner that night, I had a serving for lunch the next day, and Derek had the rest for dinner the following night. That comes to a total of 4 servings, which was perfect for the two of us . If it had just been me I would have either had to figure out how to freeze a couple of those servings (keep in mind Derek’s ‘servings’ were a lot larger than mine) or had been eating casserole until I was sick of it.

That’s one of the best parts about having another person to feed, I don’t feel limited on how much food will be made. With Derek around, I know it will get eaten and my freezer has never looked better! πŸ™‚

Portion Control

Derek’s portions have always been slightly larger than mine, but I’m pretty sure that is the case in most relationships.
Now the we’re dining together every evening, a twitter follower had the following question to ask.
Screen shot 2011-03-31 at 10.56.36 AM.png
It should be noted that Derek and I eat off of two different size/ styles of plates.
IMG_0918.JPG I actually prefer eating off of small ceramic plates and Derek likes the large plastic plates. This helps with portion control. We both fill our plates full, even though they are two different sizes. Derek is also a fast eater and I’m working on slowing down on eating, so we finish around the same time.


I’m not sure how much my actual eating habits have changed since moving in together, but when I go to bed, when I wake up, spending time on the couch versus outside sure has, but I’ll save that post for another day. πŸ™‚
Let me know if you have any more questions down below and I’ll try to do a follow-up post with answers!

1 Callie March 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I don’t like Cheeze-Its either, but Nate loves them!! Those boys…
Callie recently posted..Prince and Princess Party

2 Freya March 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm

That’s really interesting – I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to live with a guy. I think I’d struggle to feed them enough! My mum struggles to feed my step dad enough sometimes (and he ends up eating toast after dinner) cos he eats SO much. Men are odd.
Freya recently posted..Don’t Come Here

3 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday March 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm

It’s much more fun to have someone to cook with and eat with, I think. Even if your palettes differ you often come to compromises AND you have company at the dinner table πŸ˜€

4 michelle March 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

This is a great post. My husband and I spent the first year and a half of our marriage living overseas in Korea so we ate out a LOT (we could get a full meal for two for less than 7 dollars American and the serving sizes were way too big to finish). Coming back to the states and having to figure out how to eat ‘normally’ again was a huge adjustment. After spending a total of 3 years in S. Korea, going to an American grocery store for the first time after arriving in the States was crazy. I remember thinking how odd it was that I could read and understand everything on the labels.
michelle recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

5 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Such an interesting post!!! For a family of 2, I have a $300/month grocery budget. My husband is a definite meat eater, and I love buying organic (when possible) of anything. I’m also gluten free, so that racks up the cost too. I like buying in bulk at Costco at the beginning of the month and then making weekly trips for things like produce. I’ve gotten the Husband to cut back on meat eating (unknowingly) and I’d say I prepare meat about 2-3 times a week for him now. It’s taken a lot of adjusting, that’s for sure!!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..the crazy thing i she did

6 Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! March 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

It’s amazing how much you learn about a person–and about yourself!–when you cohabitate! It sounds like you and Derek are working to strike a balance in your eating, cooking, and grocery shopping. It took me and my boyfriend a while to get used to each other’s styles when we first moved in together, but now everything feels totally natural. It’s definitely a learning process!

7 Cassie @ Tofu Meets Her Match March 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I LOVE Cheez-Its! One of those things I can’t ever buy because I will devour them. The hardest thing for me about living with my fiance is having willpower around all the snacks/ice cream he buys. It was much easier to eat healthy when I lived alone- but much more boring!
Cassie @ Tofu Meets Her Match recently posted..Nigeria- Part 1

8 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) March 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

When my husband and I first started living together, it was a huge change in the kitchen. And not because he ate a lot, but because he didn’t! I’m used to people with big appetites, cooking a lot, etc., but my husband has a small appetite and would eat every other day if I didn’t nag him, LOL. So my problem is getting him to eat more! Odd problem, right? haha
J3nn (Jenn’s Menu and Lifestyle Blog) recently posted..Christmas Trees on Tuesday

9 JunieB March 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm

CheezIts are the devil!
I especially like the spicy ones!

I might allow myself to buy one box a year. But I couldnt tell you the last time. I have eaten one of those tiny bags from the vending machine though :O( Although thats been a while as well…
NOW I want CheezIts!
JunieB recently posted..Angies Half Crazy Half Marathon Race Photos

10 Holly @ The Runny Egg March 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I love cheese-its!

Before we got married, Jason would basically go out to eat for all his meals, or he’d make sandwiches at home. His kitchen was BARE when I moved in. Now we eat almost every single meal at home — it is much cheaper that way!
Holly @ The Runny Egg recently posted..Welcome to The Runny Egg!

11 Angela March 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I have adopted the practice of drinking an 8 ounce glass of water before meals. I also like using the smaller plate so i don’t overstuff myself.
Angela recently posted..Coupons Galore

12 Jess March 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I’ve lived with my fiance for 2 years (we haven’t been engaged the entire time), and he definitely eats more than I do. When meal time comes around I plate our servings, he generally eats 2-ish times more than I do, and immediately put the extras in tupperware-which he then takes for lunch. This approach has worked out great for us.

Also, forget about a bag of chips lasting longer than 24hrs in our house!
Jess recently posted..Student Life

13 Kara March 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm

My husband and I have the same portion matching issues, except it’s that he wants to eat as much as I do! It started when I was pregnant (he almost gained as much as me!) and I still eat more than him usually. I have a high metabolism and I run, and he is stuck at a desk most of the time.

I found that grew to like most his snack items like Sun Chips and whatnot, so you might find yourself liking Cheez-its eventually!
Kara recently posted..A bad case of the I dont wannas

14 Dori March 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I can’t stand Cheez-Its! I like sweets like you. Also, I think your weekly costs aren’t high at all for two people. I’m different than both of you, I buy things as I need them, even if it means I do small shoppings twice in a week and then not at all for two weeks.
Dori recently posted..At Which Everyone Pays Attention to Dori

15 April March 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I don’t like Cheez-Its! I thought I was the only one!

16 Emily (Comfortable Home Life) March 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I very much dislike Cheez-its! I feel like they’re little squares of cardboard-esque imitation cheese.

Love this post! So fun to see how you and Derek are making it work.
Emily (Comfortable Home Life) recently posted..Six Months

17 kati March 31, 2011 at 1:18 pm

My boyfriend and I spend $100, maybe a little more each week and I need to figure out how to cut this down [hint for a post, maybe? :)] My boyfriend admist that most of our food goes straight to his belly….often before our next shopping trip!) We rarely eat out (maybe every other week), so I realize we buy more food than people who out more, but it’s getting to be too expensive! And I definitely have to monitor my portion sizes when we sit down to dinner and often use a smaller plate!

18 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm

My husband loooooves Cheez-its too! My eating hasn’t changed that much since we got married, but it IS nice to know the leftovers will go to someone who wants and will eat them! I agree, food hasn’t gone as fast as I’d thought- except for PB and bread and eggs. My man loves those foods!

19 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Great post Meghann! I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment but am also trying to find a balance between bulk shopping and weekly purchases. I tend to make several trips to the grocery store throughout the week because I go through produce like craaaazy. Grocery budgeting is always a struggle for me, so until I get it under control, it’s probably best that there’s only me to look after food-wise! I really like the way that you and Derek manage to find a happy medium though – great tips!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..Spotlight on Spring Produce- Fennel

20 Brittany March 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Interesting! My hubby and I eat about the same amount. I work out 7-10 hours/week and he probably works out 3-4, so we both maintain our weight eating equal portions. One thing about living with my husband that has been AWESOME for me is that he doesn’t like to eat sweets or junk food. At all! I grew up eating a huge bowl of ice cream EVERY DAY + whatever other treats we had in our house. I naturally cut sweets/junk food out almost entirely upon getting married because it’s no fun to eat them on my own πŸ™‚

21 Hannah @ Healthy Whip March 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

My husband and I have really different eating patterns and styles- it has been a challenge to get them balanced! I actually prefer to eat one large dinner, while he would snack all night if he could. I think we’ve both learned to be a bit more flexible- and that it’s ok to have different things for dinner if you want.
Hannah @ Healthy Whip recently posted..Fast and Tasty Tomato

22 Emily @ Savory and Savage March 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Wow, that is pretty impressive that he could grocery shop for a whole month in one shot and keep it under $200!

I don’t know if I could stand eating the same things over and over though…
Emily @ Savory and Savage recently posted..Time for shopping

23 Stephanie @ My Thorns Have Roses March 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I LOVE your plate. πŸ™‚
Stephanie @ My Thorns Have Roses recently posted..WIAW- A Search For the Best Local Pizza Begins

24 Anne Weber-Falk March 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I don’t like those Cheez-Its either! My husband will eat them like they are going out of style but I don’t do cheese flavored crackers or popcorn. YUCK!

25 Stacey March 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Cheez-its YES cheese nips NO. The boys in my house are human garbaage disposals, not only do i not need to worry about leftovers, i dont need to worry about my plate be finished. If i dont finish it they fight over who will.
Stacey recently posted..Twenty-Eight

26 Erin March 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I don’t know if our grocery prices are just more expensive near Chicago or what, but I’m only shopping for my husband and myself and I can barely get out of the store with a bill less than $100. It’s usually closer to $125 or $130 a week! Of course, I have the same “meat issue” in that my husband claims he needs meat in order to feel full. I try to only buy what’s on sale and stock up but I don’t know if it’s really saving me money in the long run. And I think it’s sad that you don’t really find coupons for meat or produce.
Erin recently posted..With Purpose

27 Ashley March 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I used to only love cheez its after spending all day at the pool. I don’t eat them as much anymore.

28 Ashley March 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I used to only love cheez its after spending all day at the pool. I don’t eat them as much anymore.
This is a great post!

29 Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me March 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I do all the grocery shopping at my house and luckily my boy eats anything I make. He is definitely majorly hungry though. It keeps my portions down because I know he likes to eat more and because we both want lunches for the next day. So it’s like built-in portion control, lol.
Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me recently posted..I Think I’m Low-Maintenance

30 Kristen March 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

My husband and I didn’t live together before we got married, so it was definitely a change when we did get married. The grocery bills are about the same as when I lived on my own, but it’s funny because I think I eat more than he does (guaranteed, he’s only about 10 lbs more than me). He eats a lot more junk than I do, but I do the grocery shopping, so I have cut down on that a bit. But, I usually spend between $50 and $100 a week on groceries, so I think you’re in the right area there with food!
Kristen recently posted..breaking up with treadmill boredom

31 Hillary March 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I love these posts. I have been living with my boyfriend for 2 years and we are still adjusting. I wanna know how Derek ascts when you go grocery shopping?
Because my boyfriend use to actually kinda help when we first moved in but now he follows me around the store like a lost puppy dog. I literally have to tell him “Jon this is the snack aisle. I don’t eat any of this stuff. What do you want?” But I find it kinda funny

32 Hope March 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

What is it with boys and Cheez-It’s?! My fiancee eats them like they are going out of style! He also loves snacking on Oreo’s. We pretty much eat the same things when I cook. He obviously eats a larger portion than I do. He snacks much more often than I do. We definitely differ on snack options. I agree with you though that guys don’t eat all that much. I thought it was going to be really bad and our grocery bills would be through the roof. We are doing well so far and we’ve been living together for almost two years πŸ™‚
Hope recently posted..White Chicken Chili &amp Cornbread…

33 Natalie March 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I am a CheezIt addict and it’s embaressing. The Hot n Spicy are delish. I agree though, it is a total guy food!
Natalie recently posted..White Chili

34 Katie G. March 31, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Great post! I can totally relate! I’ve lived with my bf for two years now and grocery shopping, meals made, and portions have definitely changed! I try to do the same thing by using a smaller plate. In terms of snacks and desserts, I have a sweet tooth and the bf does not…so our snacks are different, and baked good HAVE to be frozen or given away or else I will eat them all by myself!
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35 Kacy March 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I do like Cheez-its. Me with a full box and a TV means I will eat them all in one sitting.
Sounds like you guys have a great system going!
Kacy recently posted..BIG talk

36 Doc (The Healthy PhD) March 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm

You’re lucky that Derek doesn’t eat so much. The fiance eats me out of house and home sometimes. Also, he can be argumentative about some meals that he thinks he won’t like. Mealtime and grocery shopping could be a battlefield, but I’m pretty low key about it.
Doc (The Healthy PhD) recently posted..Winner Winner Ecoli and Coffee for Dinner

37 abby March 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I despise cheeze its. and potato chips!! I’ll eat sunchips or Ruffles, but that’s about it!! When my bf and I used to live together, doughnuts would ALWAYS find their way into our cart…. I couldn’t say no! :p

38 Brittany March 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I HATE CHEEZEITS… {however you spell it, doesn’t matter} they are sick sick sick–and my friends think I am crazy!! But I have stuck to my guns, I don’t like them at all!

39 Michelle (The Runner's Plate) March 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

When my husband and I first got married, I hated it when he would dish up my plate because he always put WAY too much food on the plate. And then he would get upset when I took some off. We almost always just dish up what we want now!
Michelle (The Runner’s Plate) recently posted..I Knew It

40 Lisa (bakebikeblog) March 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Wow – food must be more expensive in Australia becuase we go through $150 a week in groceries!!! Our fruit and veg bills are normally $80 alone?!
Lisa (bakebikeblog) recently posted..Party Food- Coleslaw with a β€˜difference’

41 Monica C. March 31, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Disclaimer: Extremely picky eater here.

I’m always amazed that Derek eats the imaginative meals you make for dinner. I know they fit your palate perfectly, but the fact that he enjoys them too shows that you two are meant to be together!!

Oh, and Team Cheez-Its here. LOVE them – especially when I’m starving! They taste GREAT!

42 Karolina March 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I’m not a big fan of CheezIts at all. Give me honey mustard pretzels over them any day! Cooking for one is definitely a challenge. Although you don’t have to consider what another person would like, portions are often plentiful and you have to eat it until you’re sick of it. blah… glad things are going pretty smoothly!
Karolina recently posted..Oven Roasted Broccoli

43 Itecblogger March 31, 2011 at 6:44 pm

We eat off the same size plates (our gorgeous wedding china) and it looks like we are eating the same volume of food. But if you take a second look, you’ll see my plate contains 3/4 veggies or fruit and the rest is the main entree. My hubby eats more like 1/3 veg, 2/3 main entree. Our monthly grocery bill is high, but we don’t care. Life is too short to eat poorly!

44 LauraJayne March 31, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I couldn’t believe how expensive meat was – when my sister and I moved in together, we tried to share grocery costs, but meat is so expensive! It’s crazy!

I always have a hard time when I’m eating with someone who does (and should) eat more than I do! Even if I’m full, I’ll keep eating – it’ll be a hard thing for me to learn someday! For now I mostly make single-serving meals!
LauraJayne recently posted..To Carbo-Load or not to Carbo-Load

45 Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan) March 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm

My boyfriend gets massive amounts at dinner time! He also crams it down within a few seconds πŸ™‚ I have to remind him to slow down! We don’t keep a lot of snacky foods in the house, but he likes it that way. We also do not keep a lot of meat in the house, and I probably only cook a meaty meal once a week! But I do include him in the menu planning, so I can make things he likes πŸ˜‰
Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan) recently posted..IKEA es para mi!

46 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) March 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Cheez-its are so gross! Ew, one of my friends was eating them on the plane next to me and I was gagging. So disgusting!
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..Modesto Half Marathon Recap

47 Hilary March 31, 2011 at 9:36 pm

It is nice to have someone else to cook for after being on your own for a while…I moved home after 3 years from my own and the food part certainly has its ups and downs….my mom and I are currently in a bit of a silent war over condiments and fridge space….lol.
Hilary recently posted..Amazing Apricot Scones

48 Lee March 31, 2011 at 9:45 pm

My husband will often have an after dinner snack like hummus or chips or something and I find myself picking at his food even though I’m not hungry. Does that happen to you?
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49 Christine March 31, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Food shopping and money issues are definitely something that change when you move in! I remember when my husband and I started living together I always felt bad getting things that were just for my lunches, or things that he didn’t like. He, on the other hand, was oblivious to it all. In the end I guess it all balances out (and who cares if it doesn’t I do all the cooking for him)!
Christine recently posted..Earth Hour-Yay For Me!

50 alex March 31, 2011 at 9:58 pm

so funny. the way you described yours and derek’s former grocery trips is exactly how my boyfriend and i are. we live together now and still shop like that because it is too difficult otherwise!!

51 Charise April 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I love cooking for two – whenever my husband is on business trips, I find it hard to motivate myself to cook a good meal for just one, even though I love cooking. Plus, I always make 4 servings so we have built-in lunches for the next day, which works out well since so many recipes are written for 4 servings.
If you want a budget comparison, we also spend $100ish/week, and that includes enough for all breakfasts, 6-7 lunches, and 5 dinners for two light meat eaters. We eat out 2 dinner and sometimes a weekend lunch.
Charise recently posted..Creamy Cilantro Sauce

52 Krista @ Journey to a Healthy Berg April 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm

This was really interesting. I’m always jealous of my guy friends who can get away with eating such larger portions and it’s hard to remind myself sometimes that I can’t do the same thing! Nice to see how other people approach it.
Krista @ Journey to a Healthy Berg recently posted..Those Crazy Endorphins

53 Fancy April 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

I’m curious to read the future post you mentioned about going to bed/waking up at different times, etc….Thanks for doing these posts Meghann πŸ™‚

54 Danica July 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Hi Meghann, You both seem to have fun doing those things. You two seem to be a great combination when it comes to food. It’s really nice to prepare a meal for two especially if you are cooking for someone very special to you. Like Krista, i’m a bit jealous in you both. More good things to come to both of you.
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