A sensible discussion on cost?


#1

I’m in the UK, and a backer of the original kickstarter. I’ve seen many comments that consuming only soylent can be a cheaper alternative, and its confusing me.

Now I get that soylent is going to be a healthier alternative to the garbage that I usually eat, and undoubtedly it’ll save time. Those things have a great value. But in a given week, my food bill may be between 20 and 40 GBP (male adult, single), so 30-60USD, so switching to Soylent will be an increase in what it costs to keep me alive!

That additional cost may be worth it for health reasons, but it got me to wondering, is food much more expensive in the US, so that 75USD/week is actually less expensive?

What’s your average grocery bill?


#2

There have been several posts about this on the forum, for whatever reason they tend to get pretty aggressive pretty fast. I think the general consensus has been that, while for many Americans Soylent is more than their current food budget, for the average American its anywhere from a little less to significantly less expensive.


#3

Soylent isn’t as cheap as they hope to make it someday. If you make your own meals, then yes your grocery bills are probably cheaper than Soylent, but it’ll take more time. Official Soylent will save you time. DIY soylent will save you time and money.


#4

There was a study that showed that the average working age male and female grocery bill is $300 and $250 per month respectively. (In the USA)

It depends on so many factors but it can be cheaper for some and more expensive for others.

Soylent may be reduced to about $180 in the future but if you need more than 2k calories a day then you will always need to pay more to accommodate your BMR.


#5

My DIY is about $28-$35 a week. A fairly typical meal out can be between $7 and $10 and as high as $20-25 by itself. A weeks worth of TV dinners is around $20-$25 a week. Breakfast cereal is fairly cheap. So a days worth of muggle food can be roughly $12. So roughly $360 per month. That’s quite a far cry from the $140 a month on my DIY and still more expensive than the $255 for Soylent.


#6

The dirty little secret is that many Americans spend far too much on “fast food”, which is not only surprisingly expensive, it kills you. Soylent potentially gets rid of both ills at once.


#7

Before powdered food my average monthly grocery bill was around $150. With some fast food included, my overall spending on food each month was between $175 and $200.


#8

some good points made, thanks.
For a moment I was thinking that food over there must be crazy expensive! But yeah, it sounds like if you were already careful with your food expenses then Soylent costs more, but if you’re a restaurant and fastfood guy, then there’s a reduction.

Kinda makes me with I’d been spending more :slight_smile:
I may look into DIY but I like the idea that Rosa labs are taking care of the details for me!


#9

I just saw a post in another thread here in which someone said he spent $1200 a month total food expenses before he switched to Soylent!


#10

In the same manner: I have also been doing the numbers on how much I would “save” by use Soylent and found that it would actually cost more. At first I thought I was missing some part of my food budget (restraints maybe), but I’m actually below the average monthly food bill because I cook my own meals which turns out to be very cost effective.

Obviously, as other people have mentioned, the average monthly cost for food is based on the greater American population which mostly does not make their own meals. That being said, I am little hesitant to commit to Soylent given the current cost efficiency of fresh produce and home cooked meals. I believe in Soylent and would love to try it for a month, but $300 is a tough sell for me.
I might explore some of the DIY options people have been sharing on reddit and other places in order to get a feel for it.
You’re definitely not alone in wanting to have a discussion on cost.


#11

According to the USDA, the “thrifty” food plan costs 170 USD for four weeks. I would consider buying soylent once the price approaches that level.


#12

The money you spend directly for the food is one thing and the money you spend indirectly and the cost of your time is another. With conventional food you have to go to the store, burning gasoline, and get the food each week and bring it home and cook it each day, using your oven or whatever, then cleaning up afterwards, etc. Some people don’t mind all that, which is fine, but some do. The benefit of Soylent isn’t only the cost but also the fact that they bring it to your door and it takes little prep time and little cleanup time.

There is a smaller grocery store that I make quick trips to now and then but as far as the big grocery store I used to make a trip once, sometimes twice, per week. After I started Soylent things changed. I just got back from the big grocery store and it was the first time in five weeks that I’d been there. A giant busy grocery store with a million items, 95% of which I’ll never buy, fighting traffic in the parking lot and dodging people in every aisle. I just don’t need to do that every single week. It’s a waste of my time and I don’t find it particularly pleasant.


#13

My latest DIY is $100 for 1 month. I can take it much lower with plain flavors, but I’m using fancy stuff for enjoyment since it’s still so cheap!


#14

@xoviat, if it reached that price, with decent shipping costs, then I’d be all over it.
Problem is, that the team at Soylent are doing a great job driving this, and given the number of copies that are springing up there’s clearly something to it. I want them to make a lot of money for their work; but I also want it to be about half the current price!

Not an easy combo! It’s tough trying to say, “hey this is great, give it to me for less money” but that’s what it amounts to. I guess I simply underestimate how inexpensive regular food actually is.

As for driving to the store, waiting in lines etc, I actually do my grocery shopping online and it gets delivered, so that’s not an issue. The huge amount of waste generated certainly is. From food remaining on the plate, going off before being eaten, and the crazy amount of packaging on most things, Soylent would sure help in that degree.

I guess we just wait until they can scale up to such a degree that production costs dwindle, and the price drops, but… as a company that’s got to be a hard decision!


#15

I do not cook. I used to eat out twice a day at probably $20-$25 every day of the week.
Replacing half of my calories with Soylent or Schmoylent (at roughly $9/2000kcal each) means a savings of $6-$7 every day not to mention the net improvement in health and the net savings in time.


#16

As a Canadian, Soylent is a fair bit more expensive for me. I can’t wait for shipping, duties, & the initial/sub purchase cost to come down in the future.


#17

You also have to look at future medical costs. Think about all the people who have illnesses that can be linked to a lifetime of a crappy unbalanced diet. Soylent isn’t magic and may have its own long term problems but then again it might not.


#18

Before switching to Soylent, I was trying to eat healthy for as cheaply as possible, always keeping an eye out for healthy food on sale. It was costing me ~100 USD/week in groceries (from unpretentious chain stores, Safeway / Von’s / Ralph’s / whatever), plus all the time and effort to make sure I was getting a decent amount of all the micronutrients, which was a lot of internet research and math. (The store is walking distance, so no savings for me there.) Soylent saves me around 150 USD/month, and even reduces my waste. If I could find a mini-fridge that fits the pitcher, I could even bring my electricity costs down… It looks so lonely in this big empty fridge.


#19

Go with a different pitcher, and you could easily put it in a mini-fridge.

Meanwhile, if 1.4 and future Soylent is really noncariogenic, people could save a fortune in dentistry alone.


#20

My dear people,

When it comes to food…dont look for the cheapest you can find, look for the healthiest you can afford!