Home Coffee making How a 55-year-old mom and former chef feeds four people on $150,000 a year in Lake Geneva, WI

How a 55-year-old mom and former chef feeds four people on $150,000 a year in Lake Geneva, WI


Welcome to The Receipt, a series documenting how Bon Appétit readers eat and what they spend on it. Each food diary tracks an anonymous reader’s week of expenses related to groceries, restaurant meals, coffee, and every bite in between. In this time of rising food prices, The Receipt reveals how people — from different cities, with different incomes, on different schedules — are calculating their food budget.

In today’s receipt, find out how a 55-year-old woman living in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, manages food for herself, her two children and a husband, whose $150,000 salary covers groceries. . Keep reading for his receipts.


What are your pronouns? She she

What is your occupation? Chef / nanny / Uber driver / personal shopper / toilet washer / gardener / mom / wife. I was a private chef when we had our first child, and it made no sense for me to cook and clean for someone else so I could pay someone to do it less well. than me, so I unofficially retired. I’ve tried working a few times, but cooking is a job that doesn’t allow for family emergencies or vacations, so it never gets stuck.

How old are you? 55

What city and state do you live in? Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

What is your annual salary, if you have one? We are a single income family, with two boys aged 17 and 10. My husband earns $150,000 a year working for a German renewable energy company. I don’t know what he does. I call him Chandler Bing for this reason.

How much does a paycheck cost, after taxes? After health and other insurance and 401(k), it’s $4,200

How often are you paid? Bi-weekly

How much money do you have in savings? $80,000 in 401(k), $13,000 savings

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

  • Mortgage of $2,700
  • $400 utilities (gas, water, garbage, electricity and internet)
  • $180 student loan
  • $320 car and insurance payment
  • We are budgeting $300 for credit cards
  • Other monthly expenses: $130 for Hulu + Live TV, Netflix, HBO Max, Discovery+, AMC+, Amazon Prime Video. $25 for Apple News+ and New York Times. $180 per month for the phone, which includes Apple TV.

The system of government

Do you follow a certain diet or have any dietary restrictions?
No, but my family each have “preferences”, which is why I manage a kitchen without managing a kitchen anymore. My husband likes to pretend he’s keto until I go to bed, then he eats a big bowl of granola and whatever’s left over from dinner. The teenager is never there, but when he arrives, he feeds on sandwiches, frozen pizzas and barbecue fries. The little one sucks at eating and I feel like a failure. He will eat mozzarella sticks with marinara or cheese pizza, but not burrata and garden tomatoes. For him, I throw in carbs, salad, and fruit until dinner, when I load him up on any special version of our dinner that I made. I try to be less resentful. It does not work. For me, it’s candies that I hide all over the house and apples and half the salad before I call dinner and serve them. There is always salad. It’s my thing.