What I Eat as a 26-Year-Old Food Scientist Making $100K in Philadelphia, PA

Bon Appétit

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 food scientist making $100K a year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, tastes food samples at work, makes gluten-free pasta, and visits her parents’ home for chicken thighs and veal stew. Keep reading for her receipts.


The finances

What are your pronouns? She/her

What is your occupation? Food scientist in the research and development department at an international food and beverage producer. I’m responsible for creating and managing formulas for a wide range of products sold in grocery stores.

How old are you? 26

What city and state do you live in? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What is your annual salary, if you have one? $100,000

How much is one paycheck, after taxes? $2,662

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

How much money do you have in savings? $44,707, including 401K.

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

  • Rent: $1,400
  • Utilities: $250 or so, depending on season (I have central AC and high ceilings)
  • Car payment: $447
  • Car insurance: $80
  • Wi-Fi: $50
  • Phone bill: $118
  • Pet insurance: $35
  • Pet medicine: $80
  • Subscriptions (Prime Video, Hulu, Max, DoorDash DashPass, Spotify): $30
  • Total: $2,490

The diet

Do you follow a certain diet or have dietary restrictions? I eat gluten-free and try to be dairy-free but I love cheese. You’ll see throughout this week how miserably I fail at staying away from dairy.

What are the grocery staples you always buy, if any? Chicken thighs, jasmine rice, Bigelow decaf green tea, Trader Joe’s raw honey, Jif creamy peanut butter, gluten-free oats, cucumbers, celery, canned tuna, Enjoy Life chocolate chips.


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Author:Bon Appétit Contributor | Website:www.bonappetit.com

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