Making grad life work in CA

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:46 pm

So, since most of my acceptances were in California, I'm interested in people's opinions who've lived there on the type of life grad school stipends afford you.

I did some research, and it looks like the UC system standard is a $17k 50% teaching assistantship for the first year, which turns into a 50% RA sometime between the beginning of the second year of grad school and the summer after your first year. The pay is as detailed on this PDF:
http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/facstaff/SalaryScale.pdf
This one's for Davis, but the same scale applies to San Diego, Irvine, and Berkeley (it's a negotiated contract with the United Auto Workers).

So, I did some calculations, and 12 months at the first-year TA/RA salary scales runs about $23,000 a year. That's normally supplemented by a fellowship in physics (the standard seems to be ~5,000), taking us to $28,000 for the first year.

Assuming $1000 for rent and 180/week in food/gas (sounds like a lot, but it works out to ~$25 a day) , that runs to ~$21500 in basic expenses, or about $125 a week in discretionary monies, insurance, random expenditures, and savings.

All that's fine, but my question is, can one expect the $5000 supplement to hold up for the duration of your PhD? The second year rates come out to $24000 otherwise. This isn't really livable, because any minor expense (a doctor's visit, student fees, or whatever) wipes you out. Also, can one expect to live off of $180/week in, say, LA or San Fran? The $5000 isn't made up until you move to candidacy and move to step 4 on the payscale.

vttd
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby vttd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Yes, it's doable at least I know it is for the Bay Area. Your lifestyle will probably drop, but you can find a decent bedroom for under $1000 a month. For myself I think I spent less than $50 on food a week. I think $180 is a high estimate for a week, you'll probably be in the $125 region (of course that's not counting your SO). I lived in a suburb of LA and that was expensive, but really you can control a lot of costs.

I also think you are not counting the fact that you'll be getting paid full time during summer. So you'd be making more than $23k a year, it's more like $23k-$28k depending on their summer rate. That's the way all the universities I applied to broke down their summer RAships at least.

It really just depends on how much you are willing to cut back, if you live closer to campus you save a lot on gas, but apartments are more expensive. And if you eat out less, food cost a lot less. You really won't have to worry about outrageous electric and gas bills either.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby vesperlynd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:50 pm

I'm trying to figure out how people spend so much on food per week. When I lived in LA a couple of years ago, I spent $40/week on food. That included eating out, and included the healthier, more expensive groceries. People must spend a helluva lot on drinks, and they must not bring food home after going to restaurants.

You are also completely forgetting about paying income/ss/medicare taxes.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby grae313 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:58 pm

Oh my god what do you people EAT spending $50/week or less on food?!! :P Seriously, I'm amazed.

badphysicist
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby badphysicist » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:00 pm

Have you considered finding a roommate (or 2)? Rent is damn expensive in So. Cal and a lot of my friends at CSULB have 2 or 3 roommates to help aliviate the cost, infact they're able to live in long beach on a MS student payroll (~20k/year).

You mentioned a doctor's visit too. That should be covered under the health insurance you get from whichever school you goto, and the student health center is generally free (I haven't heard of any school charging fees from the SHC).


grae313 wrote:Oh my god what do you people EAT spending $50/week or less on food?!! :P Seriously, I'm amazed.


3 bags of ramen = $1.50 (50 cents/ramen)
dozen eggs = $6.00 (expensive eggs!) (50 cents/egg)

$1.00 / meal => 21 meals / week => $21 / week!

I wouldn't really recommend doing that, but if you buy stuff from the dollar store except your meats and canned goods you can definitely go for <$50 a week on food.

edit:

http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2010/01 ... or-50.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_4665510_spend-o ... ocery.html
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/ ... 15-a-week/

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby grae313 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:11 pm

Congratulations! You now have scurvy and hemorrhoids.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby twistor » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:14 pm

50 cents/ramen


You're getting ripped off.

badphysicist
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby badphysicist » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:18 pm

twistor wrote:
50 cents/ramen


You're getting ripped off.


Yeah, I usually get them ~10 for $1, and you can usually get half a dozen eggs for a $1 from the dollar store too.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby vesperlynd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:20 pm

grae313 wrote:Oh my god what do you people EAT spending $50/week or less on food?!! :P Seriously, I'm amazed.
I don't drink soda/beer (can't stand the taste/smell) so I pretty much only drink water and sometimes milk. That eliminates liquids expenses - no one pays for water when dining out. Also, I'm not very big so I don't eat as much as some people. I can get two-three meals out of dinner at a restaurant.

Breakfast is usually cereal (value sizes), lunch and dinner are usually cooked (again, bulk and value-sized).

The key is to find free food at colloquia, meetings, etc. :D :wink:

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby negru » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:27 pm

The cheapest (and least time consuming) way is to buy food at places like sam's club, stop&shop, cook together with 1 or 2 other people enough food to last about a week (I personally go for 2 weeks since i'm lazy and a good cook). You can make things like bolognese sauce (cut onions, fry, add meat, add tomato sauce, done in 1-2 hours) that's good for a week or two, just boil your pasta when you eat and reheat the sauce, add some parmesan and I guarantee that you'll be eating tastier food than at any restaurant.

here is the exact breakdown from the shopping i did a week ago:
ground beef - 15.23$
onions - 3.69$
tomato sauce - 7.68$
mushrooms 2.99$
spaghetti - 9.22$
parmesan - 6.59$
----------------------
grand total - 45.4$

This was enough food to last 3 people 1 week (eating hefty portions). Do the sweet math which got into grad school you get 2$ per delicious meal. If everybody does his share of cooking, shopping, and cleaning, it shouldn't take more than 1-2 hours per person per week. Add in milk, cereal, eggs, coffee, juice, sodas, some sweets and insta cook food like pizza etc and you should be good to go for no more than 7$ a day. (not including gas)

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:31 pm

vttd wrote:I also think you are not counting the fact that you'll be getting paid full time during summer. So you'd be making more than $23k a year, it's more like $23k-$28k depending on their summer rate. That's the way all the universities I applied to broke down their summer RAships at least.


Wait. Really? 100% RA over 3 months takes you to $31,000/yr , which seems much too high. I'd love it if it were true, but I just doubt it. anyone have knowledge of this?

17k/9 months + 5k + 2900/month*3= $31000. That's higher than the NSF GRFP.

In terms of food, I know I can eat for $50 a week; I'm just not going to. $180 a week is eating in most days, but varying your food, eating healthy (with quality produce), and not having to cut out my night cap.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:44 pm

badphysicist wrote:Have you considered finding a roommate (or 2)? Rent is damn expensive in So. Cal and a lot of my friends at CSULB have 2 or 3 roommates to help aliviate the cost, infact they're able to live in long beach on a MS student payroll (~20k/year).


Yeah, I have a roommate in mind...

I actually know I could make it work, so the topic heading was a little misleading. I'm just going to be close to mid-life when I get out, and I don't want to be starting from scratch. The hope is to pull a Grae and get a house and build some equity, plus some savings. Not impossible with two earning $30,000/yr, just hard.

michael
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:21 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby michael » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:50 pm

Is rent really gonna cost $1000/month per person? That sounds ridiculous. Anyone know what rent is like in Pasadena?

Also, when you talk about room-mates, are you talking about people who share the same kitchen and bathroom but have their own bedroom, or people who actually sleep in the same room? I can not imagine being too happy doing my phd if I didn't have the freedom to wake up at 3 in the morning and work on something interesting, or have people over to hang out in my room at whatever time I want.

My stipend seems to be $27,500 for the full 12 months. Any ideas how much net tax will have to be paid on that? At first I thought that would be fine, but now I am getting a bit concerned that I wont be able to buy a car in my first year or afford flights home to Ireland.

vttd
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby vttd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:58 pm

I think you're going to have a hard time buying a house in California. The houses are really expensive unless you're looking at the middle of California. And California taxes everything, both income and property.

I don't think you'll make $32k, but it might be a better rate than TAing 50%. At least one of my offers paid 1.5x the RAing rate during the school year. Guess it depends on the program. What you calculated should at least be the minimum.

In Pasadena, I rented a room in a family's house, I was paying $700-800 a month. But I wouldn't recommend that because it was a bit awkward. You can find cheaper places with a roommate (with your own room), but probably not as nice of a neighborhood. You'll probably pay 15% in federal taxes and 6-8% for state tax (just googling the rates). If you're an international student I don't think you have to pay anything like FICA.

badphysicist
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby badphysicist » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:01 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
badphysicist wrote:Have you considered finding a roommate (or 2)? Rent is damn expensive in So. Cal and a lot of my friends at CSULB have 2 or 3 roommates to help aliviate the cost, infact they're able to live in long beach on a MS student payroll (~20k/year).


Yeah, I have a roommate in mind...

I actually know I could make it work, so the topic heading was a little misleading. I'm just going to be close to mid-life when I get out, and I don't want to be starting from scratch. The hope is to pull a Grae and get a house and build some equity, plus some savings. Not impossible with two earning $30,000/yr, just hard.


If you're set on getting a house you could try a 5 bed/4.5+bath and rent out 2 of the rooms. Depending on how good of a deal you get you could end up paying a bit less than you would renting something out.


Is rent really gonna cost $1000/month per person? That sounds ridiculous. Anyone know what rent is like in Pasadena?

Also, when you talk about room-mates, are you talking about people who share the same kitchen and bathroom but have their own bedroom, or people who actually sleep in the same room? I can not imagine being too happy doing my phd if I didn't have the freedom to wake up at 3 in the morning and work on something interesting, or have people over to hang out in my room at whatever time I want.

My stipend seems to be $27,500 for the full 12 months. Any ideas how much net tax will have to be paid on that? At first I thought that would be fine, but now I am getting a bit concerned that I wont be able to buy a car in my first year or afford flights home to Ireland.


- About 1k/mo if you find a cheap place to live alone. You can find nicer places w/ roommates for less, but then you have to put up w/ living with other people.
- Room-mates here means people living in the same house in their own bedrooms (and sometimes their own bathrooms).
- I think I ended up paying about $800 in taxes on $22k last year; I needed finish my taxes to know for sure.

edit: misleading: I thought up of my entire budget for the year (22k) and how much taxes I reported for the fafsa estimate ($800). I had some (most of the 22k) as student loans, that's why the taxes are low (4% is way too low).
Last edited by badphysicist on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:05 pm

michael wrote:Is rent really gonna cost $1000/month per person? That sounds ridiculous. Anyone know what rent is like in Pasadena?

Well, you can probably do less. But I'm not interested in living with 4 people in a dump when I'm 30.

michael wrote:My stipend seems to be $27,500 for the full 12 months. Any ideas how much net tax will have to be paid on that? At first I thought that would be fine, but now I am getting a bit concerned that I wont be able to buy a car in my first year or afford flights home to Ireland.



You'll keep on average 75-77% of your gross after taxes, if you make between $25,000 and $35,000. Rent (or mortgage) is tax-deductible on CA state income, at least last time I checked. As far as flights, there's a couple of helpful things. First, get an air-miles credit card, as well as an air-miles account with United/Continental (they fly everywhere in the US, and also to Dublin). Then when you have to make trips to conferences, or to the experiment location (this applies to nuclear, HET, and astro people) you charge your card and use your air-miles account. Every 3 trips for business (which you're paid back with) will equal about 1 trip home. A decent car is about $350-400/month when you factor in gas and insurance, over the useful life of the vehicle.


vttd wrote:The houses are really expensive unless you're looking at the middle of California. And California taxes everything, both income and property.

I can handle the property taxes, that's an investment. And CA taxes really aren't that unreasonable, they're (almost) offset by the federal tax savings on interest payment deductions. If $30,000/year can be expected, I should be fine. Normal people buy houses on that salary (it's x2 because there are 2 of us), it's the average salary for SoCal (sacramento/davis is even lower)
Last edited by bfollinprm on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby vesperlynd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:05 pm

badphysicist wrote:- About 1k/mo if you find a cheap place to live alone. You can find nicer places w/ roommates for less, but then you have to put up w/ living with other people.
- Room-mates here means people living in the same house in their own bedrooms (and sometimes their own bathrooms).
- I think I ended up paying about $800 in taxes on $22k last year; I needed finish my taxes to know for sure.

$800 in taxes? Does that include the amount withheld by the university from salary?

A decent car is about $350-400/month when you factor in gas and insurance, over the useful life of the vehicle.
Are you including car payments with this?
Last edited by vesperlynd on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 pm

badphysicist wrote:I think I ended up paying about $800 in taxes on $22k last year; I needed finish my taxes to know for sure.



Hope you don't get audited.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby twistor » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:34 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
badphysicist wrote:I think I ended up paying about $800 in taxes on $22k last year; I needed finish my taxes to know for sure.



Hope you don't get audited.


edit: misleading: I thought up of my entire budget for the year (22k) and how much taxes I reported for the fafsa estimate ($800). I had some (most of the 22k) as student loans, that's why the taxes are low (4% is way too low).

badphysicist
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby badphysicist » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:52 pm

twistor wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:
badphysicist wrote:I think I ended up paying about $800 in taxes on $22k last year; I needed finish my taxes to know for sure.



Hope you don't get audited.


edit: misleading: I thought up of my entire budget for the year (22k) and how much taxes I reported for the fafsa estimate ($800). I had some (most of the 22k) as student loans, that's why the taxes are low (4% is way too low).


Yeah, I saw bfollinprm's post and that prompted me to edit mine.

axiomofchoice
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:45 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby axiomofchoice » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:10 pm

grae313 wrote:Oh my god what do you people EAT spending $50/week or less on food?!! :P Seriously, I'm amazed.

Just looking over my accounts, I spent on around $60/week on food while I was in France/Switzerland. Of that $60/week, $8-9 are on coffee :lol: As expensive as California is, I don't think it's more expensive than France/Switzerland considering the exchange rate and the cost of living there. I eat well and healthy most of the times, but I do cook for myself almost all of the time during the weekdays, though, and at most a beer or two per month. Take into consideration that I will have less to to cook during grad school, I think $70/week is a decent estimate unless you plan to eat out in fancy restaurants all the time.

Also it looks like taxes is going to take out a big portion out of your pay. $28000 -> ~$23000 after taxes, SS, Medicare, etc., according to http://www.paycheckcity.com/NetPayCalc/ ... ulator.asp

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:17 pm

axiomofchoice wrote:Also it looks like taxes is going to take out a big portion out of your pay. $28000 -> ~$23000 after taxes, SS, Medicare, etc., according to http://www.paycheckcity.com/NetPayCalc/ ... ulator.asp



Well, if you do it right it's more like 24,500 after taxes.

Regarding food: I like to overestimate...$180/week lets me eat how I want, as long as how I want doesn't include lots of sit-down restaurants on a daily basis. I also have a car, and may need to commute (like I said, I want equity in a home), so gas isn't negligible. I also spent around $60/week in Scotland, so I know it CAN be done cheaper. But as I've posted elsewhere, living a life of non-luxury and living a life where I have to budget my groceries are two different things. One I'll give up for physics, the other....

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby grae313 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:51 pm

badphysicist wrote:If you're set on getting a house you could try a 5 bed/4.5+bath and rent out 2 of the rooms. Depending on how good of a deal you get you could end up paying a bit less than you would renting something out.


Unfortunately it's not that simple. Theoretically you could make enough money renting out rooms in a house to cover the entire mortgage, but lenders won't care. Whoever is applying for the loan must be able to qualify for the mortgage completely on the basis of their income and assets. Lenders calculate an income to debt ratio for the loan applications, and that has to be high enough based on the income you show with your tax statements and pay check stubs in order to qualify for the loan. They absolutely will never use theoretical income like rental income. This is why for most students it's necessary to use a parent co-borrower, because just your graduate school stipend income is not going to be 2-3x your monthly mortgage payment. If you're looking to buy in the bay area or southern CA, expect a half million asking price for even the shittiest houses that are in town, and you need to be able to show enough savings to make the down payment and enough income to easily make the monthly payments.

t2kburl
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby t2kburl » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:21 pm

There is no way you'll get a mortgage on a house in or near Pasadena on a grad stipend income. Also, in CA, EVERYTHING is more expensive. That $50/week you spend on food now will be $75 in CA. It will require a very frugal lifestyle to get by.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:22 pm

grae313 wrote:
badphysicist wrote:If you're set on getting a house you could try a 5 bed/4.5+bath and rent out 2 of the rooms. Depending on how good of a deal you get you could end up paying a bit less than you would renting something out.


Unfortunately it's not that simple. Theoretically you could make enough money renting out rooms in a house to cover the entire mortgage, but lenders won't care. Whoever is applying for the loan must be able to qualify for the mortgage completely on the basis of their income and assets. Lenders calculate an income to debt ratio for the loan applications, and that has to be high enough based on the income you show with your tax statements and pay check stubs in order to qualify for the loan. They absolutely will never use theoretical income like rental income. This is why for most students it's necessary to use a parent co-borrower, because just your graduate school stipend income is not going to be 2-3x your monthly mortgage payment. If you're looking to buy in the bay area or southern CA, expect a half million asking price for even the shittiest houses that are in town, and you need to be able to show enough savings to make the down payment and enough income to easily make the monthly payments.


I don't mean to imply it's possible for just one person; but it IS possible with two grad incomes around 30k, as long as you've been working a while and have saved some capital. I wasn't bullshitting the 1000/month rent (mortgage on a 2 bedroom house, plus utilities, in the sacramento area is about 1.8k/month). But yeah, a 5 BR house is not an option.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby grae313 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:18 am

bfollinprm wrote: I wasn't bullshitting the 1000/month rent (mortgage on a 2 bedroom house, plus utilities, in the sacramento area is about 1.8k/month). But yeah, a 5 BR house is not an option.


Born 'n raised in the bay area -- you're preaching to the choir bro :)

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:59 am

vesperlynd wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:A decent car is about $350-400/month when you factor in gas and insurance, over the useful life of the vehicle.
Are you including car payments with this?


Either car payments or fixing the car + cost of buying a clunker runs about 250/month. The rest is gas and insurance.

16k/60months @ 5% interest is about $250<--new, entry level car

$8k+$400 tires + $100 brakes + ~$2k repairs over 3.5 years = $250/month <--decent car with 100k miles

The main difference between used and new is insurance (you dont need comprehensive on a clunker). If you're going to get it anyway, go new.

The only other reason to buy an old car is if you have the time and skill to fix it yourself.

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby CarlBrannen » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:14 pm

On the subject of cars and grad school; when I was at UCI in the 1980s you could tell whether or not a grad student was in a money hurt based on what he was driving. I had lots of cash cause I didn't drive. And I should add that we considered going out for pizza to be a splurge. And I still get by on considerably less than $50 per week for food.

___
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:57 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby ___ » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:09 pm

$25 a day on food? That's insane! If I go out for every meal then I'd just barely hit that mark. I mean really, $4 for a bagel with all the fixins for breakfast, a giant $6 burrito for lunch at a food cart, and an over-priced $10 burger plus tax and tip for dinner. If you learn to cook and save your leftovers you can easily get by on half that while still going out two or three nights a week.

User avatar
sphy
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby sphy » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:25 pm

vesperlynd wrote:The key is to find free food at colloquia, meetings, etc. :D :wink:

Amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,zing!

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:11 pm

___ wrote:$25 a day on food? That's insane!


My car eats more than I do.

tady
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby tady » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:17 pm

$25/day on food is not "insane". If you decide to eat all organic it's not totally unreasonable.

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:24 pm

tady wrote:$25/day on food is not "insane". If you decide to eat all organic it's not totally unreasonable.


Since organic foods are in no way more nutritious or safer than conventionally farmed crops, they are more expensive and they are the result of farming techniques which are significantly less efficient, thereby decreasing net food supplies to a planet which is already not able to feed roughly 14% of it's total population, you can go ahead and just by regular ass groceries, save some cash and help the starving children.

You care about starving children, right?

tady
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby tady » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:26 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
tady wrote:$25/day on food is not "insane". If you decide to eat all organic it's not totally unreasonable.


Since organic foods are in no way more nutritious or safer than conventionally farmed crops, they are more expensive and they are the result of farming techniques which are significantly less efficient, thereby decreasing net food supplies to a planet which is already not able to feed roughly 14% of it's total population, you can go ahead and just by regular ass groceries, save some cash and help the starving children.

You care about starving children, right?


I LOVE ME SOME RUMP ROAST! (in reference to "ass groceries")

User avatar
Dorian_Mode
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:17 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:48 pm

Another cheap food option for those who are too lazy to do grocery shopping and make their own: $5 footlongs from Subway. Eat one half for lunch, then have the other half for dinner with maybe a yogurt or something. I don't eat breakfast, so I did this for a while and spent maybe $40 a week on food. Probably less, actually, since I ate ramen occasionally for variety. And I'm fairly sure food is more expensive here than in California, so I'm confident you can make something work.

tady
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby tady » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:16 pm

Food is more expensive in California (both groceries and dining out), however, one can survive on less than $25/day. I don't really recommend eating Subway or Ramen all the time since they really aren't that healthy. The problem is that fast food is oftentimes cheaper than buying groceries. I never had much luck with places like Costco or Sams either. Buying groceries in Cali, generally speaking, is a more expensive venture than in the midwest or down south.

User avatar
Dorian_Mode
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:17 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:38 pm

Buying groceries will always be healthier if you shop right, but if you're going the fast food route Subway is a much better option than Taco Bell.

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:24 pm

vesperlynd wrote:Breakfast is usually cereal (value sizes), lunch and dinner are usually cooked (again, bulk and value-sized).


Two cheap and nutritious breakfast ideas: (1) Oatmeal, cooks in 1 minute type (the instant are a rip-off). (2) Grits. (not instant of course) similar are polenta or corn meal, but note that polenta and cornmeal do not have available niacin so grits are more healthy this way. Uh, grits are made from corn soaked in lye, which is a traditional cooking technique for about 1000 years.

By the way, I've more or less quit eating sugar in the form of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup. Well, not quite, but I've reduced my intake by 3 candy bars per day and a half gallon of ice cream per week. Instead I'm filling the sweet tooth with glucose. The reason is that glucose is more filling and doesn't get turned into fat by the liver. So I sweeten my oatmeal with a big glob of glucose instead of heaping tablespoons of sugar. See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

By the way, glucose is available cheap as "corn syrup", but only the type with no "high fructose corn syrup" blended in.

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:13 am

CarlBrannen wrote:I've more or less quit eating sugar in the form of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup. Well, not quite, but I've reduced my intake by 3 candy bars per day and a half gallon of ice cream per week.


Nice!

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: Making grad life work in CA

Postby pqortic » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:21 am

Dorian_Mode wrote:Another cheap food option for those who are too lazy to do grocery shopping and make their own: $5 footlongs from Subway.


Just to update, they are not $5 anymore. they are $6 or $7 now and after sales tax price goes up to $6.50 which is a big difference compared to $5.




Return to “School Selection”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest