Share Your Tips For Staying Healthy on a Budget



  • JohnXavier1
    JohnXavier1 Posts: 1 Member
    I'm growing my own raddishes! I eat some and then save the seeds from some. Free food.
  • lcharpentier2
    lcharpentier2 Posts: 292 Member
    I'm having fun with my garden I just made a pot of soup that didn't cost me 50 cents for at least 8 bowls, Dry beef broth mixed with water. 1/2 cup mixed beans and lentils and 4 cups of shredded carrots and zuchinni. A little miss dash for spice. and it's yummy. My supper for a few days.
  • gininthegym
    gininthegym Posts: 41 Member
    Since I (and the rest of the household) changed to a vegan diet we spend so much less money on food. I buy dried lentils/pulses etc in bulk. I will shop for vegetables more than once a week to ensure they are fresh but I try and always go to Lidl for those as they cost much less. I batch cook for myself (on a specific meal plan) and that saves money in both ingredients (no Waste) and electricity to cook. I don't buy any junk foods like chocolate or cakes as they are usually not vegan anyway so it's a win win!
  • GinLee61
    GinLee61 Posts: 871 Member
    A day or two before grocery shopping I plan meals for the week by using the weekly grocery store ads to see what is on sale, after checking my freezer/pantry to see what I already have on hand.

    Once every 3 to 4 weeks I shop at a warehouse club for items that I can buy in bulk then store or freeze to use throughout the month. I use my vacuum sealer whenever possible to keep food fresh.

    With a few exceptions, I usually buy store brands rather than name brands.

    I have a small garden but, outside of growing season and for produce that I do not grow, I try to buy in season/on-sale as much as possible. When I need or want produce that is not in season I buy frozen whenever it is less expensive than fresh.

    Since my household is only 2 people, I scale recipes down to avoid waste or try to make recipes that freeze and reheat well. We have leftover night at least once per week, usually twice.

    When possible I substitute lower cost ingredients for more expensive ones in recipes.
  • goldenxbeauty
    goldenxbeauty Posts: 154 Member
    Growing what I can. I spent weeks ripping out wild BlackBerry stocks, moving large rocks, laying gravel, building raised beds and woodchipping to create a 1500sq ft garden.(exercise, and cheap food!)

    We fish a lot. During certain runs we make sure we all limit out so we can fill our freezer.

    We forage. We live in a place with tons of wild edibles.

    We preserve via canning, dehydrating and freezing for our 7 months of winter because food is SO expensive up here, especially out of season.

    We make use of everything we can. For example, when we harvest a bunch of wild apples, I use the flesh to make sauce but I use the skins and cores to make apple cider. With tomatoes, the skins removed to make and can tomato sauce I put in the dehydrator to make tomato powder which I then use in place of tomato paste, as seasoning in dishes etc.

    We hunt, but the meat I do buy, I buy from the wholesale store. Works out cheaper than shopping sales at other stores, cheaper than costco etc.
  • bodydisrupt
    bodydisrupt Posts: 3 Member
    Recently I found the Cosco fish that is individually packed very helpful (offer of cod, flounder and salmon). These work great to cook straight from freezer to eat the same day. I love the individual packaging with no waste. I've been experimenting with new recipes and meal planning helps to lower both costs and waste.
  • idolgenx1
    idolgenx1 Posts: 1 Member
    I always eat what's in season. I save tons on veggies this way . What ever is on sale is what i am eating and I plan my meals around it .
  • gininthegym
    gininthegym Posts: 41 Member
    IAmTheGlue wrote: »
    Eat less meat. Plant based protein sources tend to be more budget friendly than meat.
    IAmTheGlue wrote: »
    Eat less meat. Plant based protein sources tend to be more budget friendly than meat.

    This !! I try and feed the family Whole Food Plant Based most of the time. I use a lot id dried beans and lentils - which I can buy in bulk at the refill store ( which also reduces unnecessary packaging and plastic waste). I buy frozen veggies for soups and cooking with. However i find that as a standalone veg they aren’t as good as fresh so I keep an eye out on which shops are doing the best deals on my most used such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

    We don’t have milk, cheese or egg - all items which have a limited shelf life.

    Overall as well as saving our health, and the environment we are saving money too
  • JaysFan82
    JaysFan82 Posts: 509 Member
    Always keep tortillas around. Pretty much anything can be made into a wrap. I ALWAYS keep them around.
  • Kiwi2mfp
    Kiwi2mfp Posts: 118 Member
    Yeah, I am running into this road block now. Money is extremely tight. My husband starts a new job on October 4th so that is a huge relief. As it is, we haven't had consistent basics in the house for a little while. We don't have bread. I have been using Nido powered milk because we can't afford milk. We stocked up on powdered milk for lean times. We are eating a lot of rice and beans (I know that sounds cliche but we are!). We do have home canned foods...lots of it and are able to make soups. For instance, we have smoked turkey canned up from the sales turkeys last year....turkey and rice soup. I make a quick unleavened bread recipe every few days. Once my husband's job money comes in, we are going to Sam's club and replenishing. We have 5 gallon buckets that we store foods in in our basement...pasta, oatmeal, sugar, flour, rice, bean soup mixes, those desert muffin packets, coffee bricks. I also get malto meal, grits, jiffy corn bread mix.... and store them in half gallon mason jars. We also have a big garden so we grow a lot and can it. We have salsa, a years supply of green beans, cowboy candy (not really candy lol), jams and jelly we made from fruit around the property. A couple years ago we bought 800 pounds of apples for $120 and we made applesauce, apple butter, apple scrap jelly, apple pie filling, apple chips....we are still eating off of that. When we do buy food we buy sales meats, fresh veggies, sales fruit, pasta, condiments.... when we can't grow salad stuff, we buy that too. But the biggest thing we do is stock up when money is coming in and live off of stocks when money is tight. I doubt we would have made it this far if we didn't have this habit. I do need to get around to making real bread. The process is intimidating to me sometimes. Is used to make it but it has been a while. Oh and, if I have to eat stuff that isn't ideal for weight loss, I eat a small portion. I will literally measure out a one cup meal. 1/3 cup cooked carrots, 1/3 cup mashed potatoes, 1/3 cup chicken....just eat smaller meals.
  • Nicole40413428
    Nicole40413428 Posts: 2 Member
    I have really been struggling with this lately and can sadly say, I've been forced to choose less healthy options to save money. I think one of the best things I've discovered is that at my local grocer I can get a 10lb bag of (non-organic) chicken leg quarters for $6.00-$6.50 and have been cooking that with a mix of whatever random veggies I have that day like carrots, mushrooms, onions, etc. Yes, I am eating it a lot which might not work for everyone, but it's a semi-healthy and easy way to get protein and veggies.

    I've also done the math on this vs lunchmeat and chicken salad sandwiches are definitely less expensive than traditional lunchmeat sandwiches, so on the weekend, I'll make a few extra and then just pull the meat for sandwiches and sometimes tacos. Hope that's helpful!
  • nsk1951
    nsk1951 Posts: 896 Member
    One of the best tips I've found is the one that says "don't buy what you don't need" ... and what I don't need is a lot of prepackaged convenience produce, and snack/dessert type foods. Staying away from more expensive but time saving meal prep items is easy for me as I am retired and spend a lot of time alone in my kitchen. The snack/dessert type foods just get me into the over-eating category when they are in the house. So it's a weight loss tactic to not have those hanging around.

    I make a pot of stew or soup or chili each week that tides me over for most of the week for light suppers or lunches. After a couple of days of it being in the fridge, I generally divide it up and freeze some for another week so that I don't have to eat it too often any given week. And, I reuse cottage cheese and yogurt tubs to freeze those chilled soups/stews/chilis. It's easy to pop them out of the container into a saucepan to reheat ... just bring back to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes!
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,827 Member
    You don't need a gym to work out. Bodyweight exercises, if done correctly can be extremely efficient. Plus running, hiking, cycling if you have a good bike outside. Find a reason to go outside, like geocaching, a 10 minutes from home photo blog, whatever.

    My breakfast and lunch tend to be fairly affordable: house brand oats, skyr (gone up in price by 50% though), raisins and whatever fruit is on offer for breakfast. Other meals during daytime are basically bread with stuff to put on. Not too expensive either.

    As I live alone I usually cook for 2 days, if it's a stew, soup or similar usually for more days and then I freeze the leftovers. As many kitchens in northern/western/central Europe mine isn't big and only has a small freezer. Thus I can freeze a few meal portions but not much. Also requires lots of planning for bigger portions of meat or fish (often a lot cheaper).

    I'm currently looking whether the 5kg veggy box I used to get for 22 Euro can be had cheaper from a supermarket. There are lots of small arab shops around, but they rarely display the price, thus you might be off cheaper or more expensive. Oh, and I do too good to go every now and then, but only one supermarket does a fruit and veggie box, and it's usually been offered at different times. So need a lot of luck.
  • nossmf
    nossmf Posts: 5,210 Member
    Two words: Tupperware leftovers. Yes, seems obvious to many of the posters in this thread, but it was an eye opener for me a few years ago. My job has an onsite cafeteria, entire meals for under $5, seems like a great deal. But here's the math:

    $5 per day
    x 5 days per week
    x 50 weeks per year (taking into account vacation time)

    = $1,250

    By investing $20 one time in a set of Tupperware containers, I usually can save a full meal each night, if not more than one. Eat them two days later (i.e. Monday's dinner leftovers become Wednesday's lunch) so you can feel like you're getting variety in meals. Instant savings of over a THOUSAND DOLLARS per year, eating stuff which otherwise was simply getting thrown away after a meal. And that's compared to a cheap cafeteria. Compared to an average fast-food meal of $10-$12 for one person, you can save several thousand dollars per year eating leftovers.
  • jyoti_0
    jyoti_0 Posts: 50 Member
    edited October 2022
    How to eat in $10 for a week- a month ago, I posted this query on YouTube and got to see very helpful videos. The most helpful tip I learned was, buy only as much as you can eat in a week. I followed that advice and suddenly, my sky-rocketing food & grocery bills fell to earth, and I found myself eating healthy (and felt wealthy and wise :))
    Since then, I'm spending at the most $12 for a week and have never eaten such healthy food before!
    It also inspired me to come back to this website and lose some weight that I had put on while eating outside food.
    I suffer from Celiac disease so my food intake is restricted. Still, I am able to eat tasty, healthy and inexpensive meals 3 times a day, plus snacks in between.

    1. My day starts with 2 cups of black coffee, with brown sugar
    2. I eat cornflakes, with juice and half a banana for breakfast.
    3. An hour after my breakfast, I have one mug (200 ml) of carrot soup. (best for eliminating water retention and losing weight).
    4. In lunch I eat boiled black gram, which is seasoned with herbs, and a small cucumber salad.
    5. Coffee in the evening. An hour after that, pumpkin or yam soup.
    6.] Dinner is made of protein. Since I'm a total vegetarian, I use mung bean sprouts, with soaked almonds, small pieces of dried fig and 1/4 cucumber pieces.

    Sometimes, I eat small pizza for dinner, or tangy "curd chaat" with a salad of cucumber, canned olives, jalapeno pepper, and small gherkins. This is the only luxury I have allowed myself after eating a month within $10 weekly budget.

    With every passing week, I was able to save more money on fresh produce that I needed, and I used that money to buy herbs, dry fruits and dry lentils which last me a month and save me recurring expenses.

    So currently, my fridge has a one-week supply of bananas, fresh carrots, cucumbers, a small box of cut-pumpkins, cut yams, a box of grated coconut, and two one-liter tetra packs of pomegranate juice. And a small coffee bottle.

    I have 500gms of mung beans, black grams, and white peas. All these I use to soak or sprout and make lunch and dinner. There are 200gm packs of almonds and dried fig to use with salads.

    I have 900 gm packet of cornflakes, a small bottle of paprika, a 200-gm jar of mixed herbs, small bottles of canned jalapeno peppers, olives, and gherkins. (For salads).

    All these give me 19 types of different food items, which I eat through the day, through the week.

    All these within a weekly budget of $12 a week, which at times drops to $10 a week, because I don't buy all these things every week.

    I don't eat dairy, no gluten, no meat, no boxed food for me because of a severe food allergy. But thanks to that, I eat a very healthy, inexpensive diet and am healthy overall.