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.
In today’s Receipt, a 26-year-old mushroom farmer brews a daily blend of her own herbal tea and works long, intense days on the farm. She lives in Lebanon, Oregon. Keep reading for her receipts.
The financesThe dietThe expensesThe diary
What are your pronouns? She/her
What is your occupation? I run a very small commercial mushroom farm; a local grass seed farm wanted to expand and hired me to start it. The farm features a variety of oyster mushroom species, lion’s mane, and pioppino. I’m also in charge of our small market gardens and other miscellaneous farm tasks.
How old are you? 26
What city and state do you live in? Lebanon, Oregon
What is your annual salary, if you have one? $57,000
How much is one paycheck, after taxes? $1,700
How often are you paid? Biweekly
How much money do you have in savings? $4,000
What are your approximate fixed monthly expenses beyond food? (i.e., rent, subscriptions, bills)
Rent: $1,160Utilities: $200Health insurance: $460Spotify: $15Patreon: $5Streaming services: $10Online herbalist community space: $20Gas: $150Therapy: $80Cat food and litter: $50Debt payment (personal loan from a few years ago from debt consolidation): $165Phone: $60Total: $2,375
Do you follow a certain diet or have dietary restrictions? I was a vegetarian for 10 years, but my body started having some health issues so I decided to see what would happen if I incorporated meat back into my diet. I mostly stick to chicken, turkey, bison, and lamb, and since adding them in, I have felt an improvement to my health. I don’t think this is true for everyone. It’s just what my body needs to feel okay enough to meet the physical demands of my job and lifestyle.
What are the grocery staples you always buy, if any? I always have chicken breast in my freezer. It’s a versatile ingredient that I can add to any dish so that it’s more filling and higher in protein. I also always have some sort of hot sauce on hand, whether it’s one I made or bought from the store.