DIY: How much does it cost you?


#1

Hello DIYers! I’m just curious about how much you guys are paying a day or per month for your Soylent. What are you doing to keep costs down etc etc?
I started my Soylent journey by ordering the Beginners DIY Recipe and have been doing research online every since. That recipe costs $201.63 a month, or $6.59 a day. This is pretty expensive. Starting there, I just recently got my formula and products down to $104.02, or $3.71 a day and I’m quite proud of myself!

Here is the link to my formula: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ah3tgLfZR1v-dGxQbmZCNWtIWHg4RVdnd2hnUkZDUnc&usp=sharing


#2

My formula hovers between the $6 to $6.50 mark, including probiotics and nootropics. Of course I also live in Canada, and shipping here can cost a damn fortune for some products. I’ve seen a lot of Americans that can go down to $3 to $4 without trouble.

Even still—depending on cost of living in your area of course— six bucks a day isn’t too unreasonable. I think of it this way: every day on the way to work I would get an Egg McMuffin ($3.20) and a large coffee ($1.50). I spent about 5 to 10 minutes in the drive thru line. So $4.70 for 305 calories of high GI carbs, saturated fat, some protein that’s probably 30% filler, half your daily sodium intake, and a jolt of caffeine.

You can spend that same 5 to 10 minutes and 50% more cash to make a full day’s worth of Soylent every morning—not just a sixth of what you need. It’s got everything your body needs, a good balance of high and low GI carbs, saturated and Omega 3/6/9 fats, and complete proteins that will keep you more energized and productive than caffeine ever could.

What’s your formula, @cbrah? I’m sure I and some others would be interested in picking it apart for you.


#3

@cbrah: What are you doing for protein, potassium, and fiber? I have found these to be major money suckers.


#4

Could we see the $3.71 sheet? That’s pretty good, it’s less than most single meals in Canada.


#5

My recipe is USD$7.84 a day, but I have import 95% of my ingredients from the US into Hong Kong, so the shipping adds quite a bit to the overall cost.


#6

$7.30 (AUD) :frowning:
This is largely due to my recipe being high carb/protein and more importantly because I live in Australia.
The initial cost was around $400-500.
$3.71 is amazing though!


#7

I will definitely post my formula later today after work. I got it pretty low by buying most of my products in bulk. I use the 50lb bags of oat flour and maltodextrin which help a lot. The most expensive product after those was the whey protein. I decided to switch from optimum nutrition to Body Fortress whey (walmarts brand, mostly because I’m a student and there’s a Walmart right near me). I haven’t gone full swing into soylent yet but I plan to when I move back to school, I’ll save a ton not having to buy a meal plan.


#8

Although now I’m a little nervous, I hope my math is right to save some embarrassment!


#9

There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. My formula went through five revisions before it was even remotely usable, and I’m on my third revision since.


#10

Here is the Google Doc for my formula: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ah3tgLfZR1v-dGxQbmZCNWtIWHg4RVdnd2hnUkZDUnc&usp=sharing

I will also edit this into my original post. Let me know if there are any mistakes, I had all this info on two separate Excel files and just finished putting them into one. Thanks!


#11

Thank you!! :slight_smile: post must be 20 characters --so I add Namaste


#12

@cbrah: Thanks for sharing! I like your recipe. I guess the main lessons here are to buy in bulk, and buy protein from Wal-Mart. (That is some seriously cheap protein!)

Some constructive criticisms:

  • I don’t really think you’re getting enough protein. The DRI recommends that at least 15% of one’s calories come from protein. At 2000 calories, that’s 300 calories from protein. Protein has about 4kcal/g; so that works out to a minimum of 75g protein. On the other hand I think the DRI also defines an “adequate intake” or something like that for protein which is more in the neighborhood of 50g. So I think you could probably get away with the amount you have (45g), but it seems a bit stingy to me.
  • My calculations for the cost of the potassium gluconate don’t square with yours. I bought from the same supplier that you linked; it’s $13.93 for 454g. At 20g/day (which is about what you’re doing), that works out to $0.61/day, or $18.40 for 30 days. So I think your $10.80/month isn’t right; unless of course that Amazon link had a heavier discount at the time that you bought it!
  • I wonder if you could further cut the cost of the fiber by finding a cheaper fiber source? (Incidentally, I think you have the amount of fiber in the fiber supplement listed in the row for the protein supplement.) E.g., to get 20g/day of fiber from psyllium husks would take 22g of the husks per day, which would cost about $16/month.
  • I don’t see any source of omega-3 fatty acids in here.

Everything else that I checked looks good to me! I think the cost is a little understated, due to the shortness (in my opinion) of protein, and the (apparent) understatement of the cost of potassium. But I also think that the cost could probably be lowered after those adjustments, by using cheaper fiber, and probably squeezing in some other places. So ultimately it looks viable to me to make soylent a lot cheaper than most people are making it, using a plan much like what you put forth here. Nicely done!


#13

Hi @cbrah,

I noticed that your spreadsheet isn’t using a completion index or a toxicity alert system. I was attracted to the cost but wasn’t sure exactly how complete the formula was.

I input all of your values into my template and found that your completion index is 96%. This is pretty fantastic for the cost you’ve managed to get it down to.

The link to the formula in my spreadsheet is http://goo.gl/zCKnD5

Compared to my formula at http://goo.gl/aZ1Ts2 you seem to definitely have the cost improved.

The only issue that I see in the formula is that your Magnesium levels appear to be very toxic; you may want to look into this.

Great work! Thank you for sharing it with us.


#14

Thanks for the feedback! I removed the amazon links in the spreadsheet temporarily so I can update them and review any cost changes. Some of the products are amazon “multi packs”. I did notice the high levels of magnesium and I have been working on a way to change that. I’ll be updating my spreadsheet later today.

@GodRaine great spreadsheet! I will definitely be using that to keep my toxicity levels in check. Thanks!


#15

Thanks @cbrah :slight_smile: If you’re going to use the template, best to start with a new one - I’ve updated the toxicity values for you (I realized they weren’t all input the last go around). Use http://goo.gl/6NX5Ee

Good luck!


#16

Trader Joe’s soy protein (fortified) costs $18-20/lb. Looking online, there are sources for soy protein isolate in the $5/lb range. Same goes for soy lecithin. (Soybeans are only a few cents per pound, so this is probably still coming at a huge markup.)

Edit: Sorry, I got that wrong. TJ soy protein is $15.99 for 2lb so that should have been $8/lb.


#17

I think what startles me the most about your formula is that even bulk isn’t neccessarily that pricey. $250 as a first-investment price is less than a month’s worth of groceries in many cases, as well as being the monthly price of the formulas of many DIYers here.

Marginally speaking Soylent is becoming a better and better option.


#18

Thats why I am so happy to start Soylent. This september I move into my fraternity house which, as you can probably imagine, has a very unpleasent kitchen that I try to avoid cooking in. I’m not much of a chef either so I’ve been worried about my food situation in the coming years. With Soylent all I need is a blender and tubberware! This is definitely cheaper than buying groceries and a hell of a lot cheaper than a meal plan at school.


#19

@lsparrish Cheap soy protein, especially soy protein isolate is not a good protein source due to the antinurtients and potential estrogen content. http://examine.com/faq/is-soy-good-or-bad-for-me.html

PS: My daily recipe costs just over $6.00 and I use the highest quality protein, carbs, and fats I can find, in addition to numerous supplements and nootropics.


#20

As a heads-up, continued discussion on “the soy question” should probably be performed at http://discourse.soylent.me/t/whey-protein-isolate-vs-soy-protein-isolate so as not to derail this thread.