What I Eat as a 29-Year-Old Public Radio Reporter Making $56K in Asheville, NC

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 29-year-old public radio reporter makes quick Trader Joe’s lunches between story interviews and snacks on dried mango and almonds at long city council meetings. Keep reading for her receipts.

Jump ahead:

  1. The finances
  2. The diet
  3. The expenses
  4. The diary

The finances

What are your pronouns? She/her

What is your occupation? Reporter for a public radio station

How old are you? 29

What city and state do you live in? Asheville, North Carolina

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

How much is one paycheck, after taxes? $1,433.69

How often are you paid? Biweekly

How much money do you have in savings? $4,300

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

  • Rent: $875
  • Student loans: $50
  • Subscriptions: $77.57
  • Max: $17.11
  • Netflix: $16.57
  • Strava: $11.99
  • Fitbod: $13.90
  • Substack newsletters (Hung Up and The Food Section): $10
  • New York magazine: $8
  • Internet: $55
  • Total: $1057.57

The diet

Do you follow a certain diet or have dietary restrictions? Nope, I basically eat everything besides raw jalapeños and steak tartare (or really any mushy raw meat). I do prefer to eat home-cooked meals using fresh produce.

What are the grocery staples you always buy, if any? Sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, salmon, sourdough bread, salad greens, cheese, rice, chili crisp, baked tofu, marinated tempeh, chicken thighs, olive oil, eggs, flaky salt.

How often in a week do you dine out versus cook at home? I usually dine out a few days a week, ideally for a cheaper meal like lunch. I try to cook dinner at home as often as possible, even if that means having leftovers for several nights in a row.


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

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