Welcome to The Receipt, a series documenting how Bon Appétit readers eat and what they spend doing it. Each food diary follows one anonymous reader’s week of expenses related to groceries, restaurant meals, coffee runs, and every bite in between. In this time of rising food costs, The Receipt reveals how folks—from different cities, with different incomes, on different schedules—are figuring out their food budgets. Think Refinery29’s Money Diaries but only food or The Grub Street Diet but regular people.

In today’s Receipt, a 25-year-old nonprofit worker making $56,000 a year recovers from top surgery in Brooklyn. Keep reading for their receipts.

Jump ahead:

The financesThe dietThe expensesThe diary

The finances

What are your pronouns? They/them

What is your occupation? I work full-time at a nonprofit and also do a lot of side gigs—part-time contract work for other nonprofits, participating in research studies, pet-sitting, helping people move and build furniture, and whatever else comes up.

How old are you? 25

What city and state do you live in? New York, NY

What is your annual salary, if you have one? $56,000

How much is one paycheck, after taxes? $1,500 from my nonprofit job, after taxes, health insurance, union dues, and 401(k) contributions. Last month, I also made $1,500 from a month-long contract project and $300 for participating in a 20-hour online nonprofit training course.

How often are you paid? (e.g., weekly) Biweekly

How much money do you have in savings? $20,000. I graduated without student loans with family help, don’t have dependents, and didn’t have many health needs prior to transitioning. I was also laid off from a day job because of the pandemic and was collecting unemployment.

What are your approximate fixed monthly expenses beyond food? (i.e., rent, subscriptions, bills)

Rent: $1,120Wi-Fi: $27.50Medical prescriptions: $25Utilities: Around $50Spotify: $2.89 (Family plan split six ways)Magazine subscription to The Nib: $5MetroCard: Around $50Phone: $30Total: $1,310.39

The diet

Do you follow a certain diet or have dietary restrictions? No. I did go vegetarian with an ex-girlfriend in college, but I eat meat now.

What are the grocery staples you always buy, if any?

Chobani Flips, bagels, and Honey Bunches of Oats for a fast breakfastBananas, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, grapes, or whatever fruit is in seasonPastaSpinach, romaine, arugula, and any toppings or dressings to make saladsCoke, kombucha, lemonadePreprepared food to stock the freezer, such as frozen pasta, dumplings, fried rice, and breakfast items

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