Reader Food Diary: Mary Beth’s Food & Spend

This guest post from Mary Beth is the final installation in our Reader Diaries series.


Hi! My name is Mary Beth Wallace, and I live with my husband in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I work for a magazine, CityScope, that also has a health component (called HealthScope), so I feel like I’m constantly learning about eating right and the benefits of whole foods! I’ve been committed to eating mostly whole foods (we’re about 80%) for several years now, and I honestly wouldn’t turn back if I could. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes, which keeps the journey fun and tasty!Mary Beth Reader Diary

My Reader Diary submission was selected to be featured so here is a list of everything I ate and spent on food for an entire week!

Day 1

Breakfast: Oatmeal with peanut butter, sliced banana, honey and cinnamon (milk to drink).Oatmeal with peanut butter, sliced banana, honey, and cinnamon
Lunch: Quinoa with sautéed Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, and a 100 Days of Real Food’s deviled egg.Quinoa with sautéed Brussel sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, and a 100 Days of Real Food's deviled egg
Snack: Two Cuties (mandarin oranges).
Dinner: Well Plated’s Lentil Mushroom Stroganoff over whole grain egg noodles.Well Plated's Lentil Mushroom Stroganoff over whole grain egg noodles

Day 2

Breakfast: Oatmeal with apples, walnuts, cinnamon and honey (milk to drink).Oatmeal with apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and honey
Lunch: Leftover quinoa, sautéed Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, and a 100 Days of Real Food’s deviled egg.
Snack: Two Cuties.
Dinner: Leftover Well Plated’s Mushroom Lentil Stroganoff over whole grain noodles.

Day 3

Breakfast: Overnight Oats with raisins and peanut butter, a banana.Overnight Oats with raisins and peanut butter, a banana
Lunch: Leftover quinoa with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, string cheese.
Dinner: 100 Days of Real Food’s pork with a cracker crust, marinated tomato, lima beans.100 Days of Real Food's pork with a cracker crust, marinated tomato, lima beans
Snack: A couple pieces of Green & Black’s dark chocolate.

Day 4

Breakfast: Oatmeal with apples, sliced almonds, cinnamon and honey (milk to drink).
Lunch: Leftover pork, baby carrots, a banana.
Dinner: Pinch of Yum’s red curry with brown rice, broccoli, chickpeas, and onion.Pinch of Yum's red curry with brown rice, broccoli, chickpeas, and onion
Snack: Popcorn.

Spend: We had to pick up a few things from the store this day, including frozen blueberries and a pre-made curry paste for the Thai dish – $16.39

Day 5

Breakfast: Cheerios (with frozen blueberries mixed in and milk), scrambled eggs.Cheerios (with frozen blueberries mixed in and milk), scrambled eggs
Lunch: Leftover curry over brown rice.
Dinner: Sliced banana and peanut butter over 100 Days of Real Food’s whole-wheat waffle (I had another half a waffle after the picture was taken), baby carrots.Sliced banana and peanut butter over 100 Days of Real Food's whole wheat waffle, baby carrots

Day 6

Breakfast: Oatmeal with apples, walnuts, cinnamon and honey (milk to drink).
Lunch: Snacked on a pre-made salad, popcorn, green bell pepper, hummus, string cheese (not pictured), and a Cutie (not pictured).salad, popcorn, green bell pepper, hummus
Dinner: Well Plated’s Slow Cooker Yogurt Chicken Shawarma topped with cucumber, tomato, and red onion, roasted sweet potatoes (not pictured).Chicken Shawarma
Spend: We made our weekly grocery store run for our family of 2 at Aldi and Walmart – $43.57

Day 7

Breakfast: Cheerios (with frozen blueberries and milk), scrambled eggs, Cutie.
Lunch: Pesto whole-wheat penne pasta with sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, roasted zucchini.Pesto whole wheat penne pasta with sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, roasted zucchini
Dinner: Leftover chicken shawarma with cucumber, tomato, and red onion, carrots.
Snack: Popcorn.

Reader Diary Final Thoughts

For the week, I spent $59.96 for my family of 2.

I’d say this was a fairly typical week for us, except we usually eat a meal or two out at a restaurant every week. I think knowing I had to take pictures of everything had me cooking/eating in more! We had also made a large grocery run the week prior to this, so our grocery bill is normally a little higher.

Overall, this was a fun experiment! Thanks for the opportunity!

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5 thoughts on “Reader Food Diary: Mary Beth’s Food & Spend”

  1. love these food diaries. I would like to see pictures of every meal and a cost breakdown of each meal too. Thanks

  2. I love these reader food diaries! Not only is it interesting to see what other people eat and spend, I get ideas about new dishes to try and ways to change up my own food routines. I am vegan, so would love to see a vegan food diary next time (and maybe I will submit my own!).

  3. I would love to know how Mary Beth makes her oatmeal… I know that seems like such a simple thing but I have the hardest time getting my oatmeal to the right consistency! And hers looks perfect!
    Loving these!

  4. I too would like you to do it again. My 10 year old was on the end of a special diet during that time due to having just been diagnosed a few months prior to having an autoimmune disease. We have been on a no process food diet/ gluten free diet for almost 6 years due to special needs son and now daughter. It would be interesting to see what others spend on things for a family with special needs children. Hope to see more. Thanks.

  5. Please do another round of reader posts. I was sick the week I planned to cook and post, so I would like another chance to submit. Also, I love reading about what other people are cooking around the country, how much they spend, varrying regional food prices, etc. I get so frustrated when people brag about how little they spend to feed their family with kids. Produce is expensive and we eat a lot of it, so it was refreshing to see some of your posts with produce heavy menus and larger grocery budgets to match.

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