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 27-year-old art director eats catered lunches while shooting on set and buys both Erewhon bottle shakes and Taco Bell Crunchwraps. She lives in Los Angeles. Keep reading for her receipts.

Jump ahead:The financesThe dietThe expensesThe diary

The finances

What are your pronouns? She/her/hers

What is your occupation? I’m an art director for a lifestyle brand.

How old are you? 27

What city and state do you live in? Los Angeles, California (Venice, CA)

What is your annual salary, if you have one? $85,000

How much is one paycheck, after taxes? $2,296.96

How often are you paid? (e.g., weekly) Every two weeks

How much money do you have in savings? Nothing, besides my 401(k). 

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

Total: $2,584.95Rent: $2,425 (utilities included)Subscriptions (annually): $119.97 (Hatch Sleep ($49.99), Squarespace Website ($20.00), Photo Editing Apps (VSCO – $29.99, Unfold – $19.99)Subscriptions (monthly): $65.97 (Phone Bill ($59.98), Tezza App ($5.99))

The diet

Do you follow a certain diet or have dietary restrictions? Nope! Just try and eat healthy during the week and let myself splurge a bit on the weekends.

What are the grocery staples you always buy, if any? I’m almost always buying Greek yogurt, granola, eggs, dates, tuna, and crackers. Also, Chomps Turkey Jerky Sticks for grab-and-go snacks. 

How often in a week do you dine out versus cook at home? During the week, I usually dine out at least once or twice for lunch or dinner. On the weekends, most of my meals are dining out.

How often in a week did you dine out while growing up? We dined out here and there, but it wasn’t a weekly occurrence. Growing up in a suburb outside of Boston, we didn’t go out to eat much during the winter. In the summer, we dined out a lot more as we spent our time in Cape Cod. So picture lots of lobster and clams. We also loved to go out to a nice dinner for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, and we still do to this day. 

How often in a week did your parents or guardians cook at home? Most nights, my parents cooked at home. And I was lucky enough for them to make some yummy foods and we all had a pretty similar palate. I am part Italian, so we loved having family pasta nights, and my brother and I would each come up with our own creations. We’re always down to try new recipes. I always loved helping in the kitchen, and to this day, I love cooking and baking.

The expenses

Week’s total: $218.98Restaurants and cafés total: $197.46Groceries total: $21.52Most-expensive meal or purchase: Lunch at Endless Color, $72.51Least-expensive meal or purchase: Tomatoes from Whole Foods, $2.16Number of restaurant and café meals: 12Number of grocery trips: 1

The diary


This is a judgment-free zone, right?

10:32 a.m. I have a photoshoot for work. I arrive at the studio and get a vanilla latte from the café near our office, Cafe Ruisseau ($8.75). Do I feel guilty spending $8.75 on a coffee? Sure do. But is it worth it on this cloudy and cold Monday morning? Hell yeah. I am not a huge breakfast person, so I’m fine with just coming into work without grabbing a bite at home.

Courtesy the author

11:16 a.m. I’m talking to some coworkers about Layla Bagels in Ocean Park since I went yesterday morning for the first time. Naturally, they immediately pick up some bagels and I get a text saying they have an extra half of a loaded salmon lox bagel for me. How can I say no to that?

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