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Motivated But Poor

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2

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  • hopelesswritr
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    If no one has mentioned it please see if you qualify for food stamps.

    Right now, I'm still in NYS, and I'm not a resident, so I don't qualify here. I plan on going back to Michigan to go back to school, so when I'm there, I will definitely apply.
  • M______
    M______ Posts: 288 Member
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    Brown rice, chicken, stir fry mix veg and a sauce. Its very cheap for a decent, filling meal.
  • Cynner2007
    Cynner2007 Posts: 46 Member
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    Hi, honey, I don't have anything of importance to add, you have received excellent advice already. I just want to let you know there are many of us who understand where you are coming from. I really do want to recommend A Girl Called Jack's blog. She is Britsh, but her food wisdom is sound and translates across the pond :)
  • Mia_RagazzaTosta
    Mia_RagazzaTosta Posts: 4,885 Member
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    I apologize for some of the bad advice you've received in this thread.

    Eat what you want, or more importantly, what you can. There are no "bad" foods. You don't get fat by eating "wrong" foods, but by eating too much. Eat at a calorie deficit and you will lose weight. Period.
  • Shell_1384
    Shell_1384 Posts: 80 Member
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    I just read about a guy who lost a lot of weight in 6 months of eating *only* McDonald's food. He ate the healthier choices.

    Free food at work is a big plus if you're on a tight budget. It doesn't have to be a Big Mac and X-Large fries. Read the calorie counts and count 'em up. Eat the smaller items from the Dollar Menu, even though you don't have to keep your cost down.

    At home, dry beans are cheap. So is rice. Apples don't cost a whole lot. Tomatoes are often less expensive per pound than apples, and have more nutrients in them. Potatoes are cheap. So are carrots and cabbage.

    Yes, a science teacher in the USA got some students to create a meal plan using the McD's nutritional guide. By making the right choices and incorporating exercise he did lose weight! It's all about the nutritional value of what you are putting in your body, also quantity.
  • Bernadette60614
    Bernadette60614 Posts: 707 Member
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    I'd suggest: Take a look at the McDonald's nutritional information and look at where you can get the most protein for your calorie "dollars". As I recall, the Chicken McNuggets are not horrible...lots of protein, and that would balance out your fruits/veggies. Add some low fat milk and you have two shots of protein right there.

    Also, McDonald's has salads, too!
  • 50sforme
    50sforme Posts: 18 Member
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    First of all give yourself a pat on the back for committing to improve your health!

    I struggle to buy healthy foods for my family, which includes active, growing teenagers, without breaking the bank. I try to shop carefully for everything, to maximize my grocery budget. So I'll shoot out some some ideas from that perspective, and maybe something will resonate.

    Look at your overall budget and see where you can cut. Shop thrift stores for clothes, go down to name brands for shampoo/soap,use coupons/reward cards, look at cell phone/cable

    Shop the "loss leaders" at the super market. Stock up on sale items & try to combine sale & coupon. Since I started shopping this way, my grocery cart looks a lot different! Where it used to contain a balanced weeks worth of food, now it may contain a month's worth of cheerio's and 2 month's worth of chicken breasts, but no bread or frozen veg because I've socked up on those during the previous weeks. If you can dedicate a few shelves in your pantry for a stockpile that will help, as does having freezer space

    Think critically about the prepared foods you buy. The more your food is prepared and packaged for you, the more it costs. For example, I don't buy 100 calorie snack bags because I can easily pack my own snacks in .50 cent store-brand snack bags. But I'll pay for black bean burgers because it takes longer to make my own, they pack easily, and I can eat them hot or room temp. And I don't buy oatmeal in the packets, because it is cheaper per serving to do the steel cut in the crockpot.

    Think about investing (or asking for as gifts) in stuff that will make healthy eating--at home and on the go--easier. Try to get a crockpot, Tupperware in different sizes (love the kind that's divided into 3 sections, sandwich size & 2 smaller ones), a blender for smoothies

    Use what you buy & eliminate waste! Dice left over meat to salads, left over fruit to smoothies, etc. Spending 20 minutes to plan your meals cfor the week is very helpful in this regard. I know for me, if I don't plan, I end up with veggies that go bad.

    Those are just some ideas for you. I know you didn't ask about your cell phone bill... But I know for me, I've had the most success when I look at the whole budgeting/shopping picture so that's where I was coming from. Hope something here helps

    Take care and good luck on your journey!
  • GBrady43068
    GBrady43068 Posts: 1,256 Member
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    1) Eggs with black beans are high-protein, high-fiber, low dollar.
    2) Tuna melts are cheap. Do them on a multi-grain bread and you’re getting protein from the fish and cheese, fiber from the bread for not a whole lot of calories.
    3) Lunch meat is salty so if you have sodium issues this may not work but you can eat turkey/lean ham sandwiches and wraps. Spend a little on the “add-ins” to get your veggies and mix up the options so you don’t get bored. Made a really tasty turkey wrap on whole wheat flatout with fresh spinach, hummus, roasted pepper and pepper jack the other day that was the bomb. The huge pack of lunchmeat at Aldi is only around $3 and would probably last 3 weeks. Another $2 for the cheese.
    4) Forego convenience to get cheapness. Yeah it’s easy to buy pre-made carrot sticks but it’s a lot cheaper to buy the carrots whole and peel/cut them yourself and parcel them into containers.
    5) Crockpots will enable you to buy cheaper cuts of meat without them being tough. The long slow cooking will make them fall apart tender. Buy them with bone-in to save dough…
    6) Frozen fish on a George Foreman type grill (tilapia is a frequent choice for me) with a little lemon juice and lemon pepper = delicious and cheap.
    7) Spices are also your friend. They can make tons of difference without adding calories.
    8) Pasta- Check out Dreamfield’s. It is much lower in carbs because they add tons of fiber to it. Just know that you can’t eat as much of it as of “regular” pasta…because, well, it has TONS of fiber in it…
  • rockmama72
    rockmama72 Posts: 815 Member
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    If I had a super-tight budget (and I have had MANY times in my life!) I'd load up on the free McDonalds meal and work around it. Because... It's free. Pick the healthiest options they have, meaning good source of protein, reasonable carbs and fats, maybe keep an eye on sodium. I'd even get an ice cream cone.

    Then the other meals can be light and veggie filled and still cheap. Go to Walmart or Aldi and spend the bulk of your money on produce (fresh or frozen) and cheap protein. Eggs, dry or canned beans, Greek yogurt (higher protein), large packages of frozen chicken or tilapia, and a hunk of cheese to make life worth living. Round it out with milk and a hearty cold cereal or oatmeal (store brand raisin bran is cheap!) Some budget meal ideas:

    Omelet (eggs, veggies, cheese)
    Vegetarian chili (beans, tomatoes, spices, topping of cheese)
    Chicken and vegetable stir fry
    Baked potato with vegetables and a little cheese
    Greek yogurt and fruit
    Tilapia with vegetables

    Watch carefully what goes to waste, too. To this day, I save all of the stems and stubs from my fresh vegetables and make a pot of soup with them at the end of the week.

    And, oh yes, I agree with the poster who said having a crock pot is like having a wife. You can make a big batch of soup or chili or bean stew and freeze in freezer bags--it's VERY nice to have stuff like that on hand for those super-broke weeks.
  • hopelesswritr
    Options
    First of all give yourself a pat on the back for committing to improve your health!

    I struggle to buy healthy foods for my family, which includes active, growing teenagers, without breaking the bank. I try to shop carefully for everything, to maximize my grocery budget. So I'll shoot out some some ideas from that perspective, and maybe something will resonate.

    Look at your overall budget and see where you can cut. Shop thrift stores for clothes, go down to name brands for shampoo/soap,use coupons/reward cards, look at cell phone/cable

    Shop the "loss leaders" at the super market. Stock up on sale items & try to combine sale & coupon. Since I started shopping this way, my grocery cart looks a lot different! Where it used to contain a balanced weeks worth of food, now it may contain a month's worth of cheerio's and 2 month's worth of chicken breasts, but no bread or frozen veg because I've socked up on those during the previous weeks. If you can dedicate a few shelves in your pantry for a stockpile that will help, as does having freezer space

    Think critically about the prepared foods you buy. The more your food is prepared and packaged for you, the more it costs. For example, I don't buy 100 calorie snack bags because I can easily pack my own snacks in .50 cent store-brand snack bags. But I'll pay for black bean burgers because it takes longer to make my own, they pack easily, and I can eat them hot or room temp. And I don't buy oatmeal in the packets, because it is cheaper per serving to do the steel cut in the crockpot.

    Think about investing (or asking for as gifts) in stuff that will make healthy eating--at home and on the go--easier. Try to get a crockpot, Tupperware in different sizes (love the kind that's divided into 3 sections, sandwich size & 2 smaller ones), a blender for smoothies

    Use what you buy & eliminate waste! Dice left over meat to salads, left over fruit to smoothies, etc. Spending 20 minutes to plan your meals cfor the week is very helpful in this regard. I know for me, if I don't plan, I end up with veggies that go bad.

    Those are just some ideas for you. I know you didn't ask about your cell phone bill... But I know for me, I've had the most success when I look at the whole budgeting/shopping picture so that's where I was coming from. Hope something here helps

    Take care and good luck on your journey!

    Thank you for your kind words!

    I'm actually the budgeter in my current relationship, so I'm pretty good with money. My current phone has another year and a half left in its contract, so the deal is that I pay half the phone bill until the contract runs out, and then I'm gonna do something a lot cheaper, since Verizon is way too expensive.

    It just sucks because I grew up on macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, we never had any vegetables, so eating well is incredibly difficult for me. I wish my parents had forced veggies on me when I was a kid!
  • rockmama72
    rockmama72 Posts: 815 Member
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    It just sucks because I grew up on macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, we never had any vegetables, so eating well is incredibly difficult for me. I wish my parents had forced veggies on me when I was a kid!


    Here's a good list to keep in rotation: Potatoes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (raw, unpeeled=usually cheaper), celery, a bag of whatever fruit is on sale that week, a few onions, a bulb of garlic.

    As I said above, Walmart and Aldi are good for this stuff, but these basics tend to go on sale a lot in other stores too. Like potatoes or onions for 99 cents--cheaper than Walmart.
  • bradXdale
    bradXdale Posts: 399
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    If she's eating at a deficit, making sure she hits her macros, and doesn't have a metabolic condition she will have no problems with the carbohydrates in potatoes, rice, beans, or pasta. If carbs from rice caused obesity the third world should be full of 300 pounders right?

    Canned salmon runs like $0.75 an ounce, so it wouldn't top my recommendation of foods to shop for when someone is on a tight budget. Agree on healthy fats and the items off the McD's menu, but as long as she's eating at a deficit she can lose weight. I'm down 100 pounds eating anything that fits my macros.

    I'm doing my best to meet a 1580 net calorie limit but sometimes I go a wee bit over (and sometimes I go over in sodium but everything else is usually fine). I also plan on replacing my starchy pasta with whole grain pasta (even though it doesn't taste all that great).

    As long as you're drinking enough water (I assume that is free at McDonalds for you) then you should be fine if you go over your sodium intake every now and again.

    Also the internet is your friend

    http://www.helpguide.org/life/cooking_for_one_fast_easy_healthy.htm

    http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2009/03/weekly-menu-planning-for-singles.html

    http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/budget_cooking/7_day_budget_friendly_menu_plan_shopping_list

    Also not to try & diminish your work ethic or ability to make money but have you considered if you break off said relationship that you could apply for financial assistance (food stamps, temporary assistance?)...just wondering, sorry if I seem too nosy.
  • pghfitgirl
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    If you have an Aldi near you, it's a great place to get the basics for a lot less $$ while still eating healthily. Unfortunately, eating better also takes lots of time - you will have to dedicate a good portion of your day cooking dinner and preparing meals for the next day too, if you want to make things from scratch.

    If you don't have the time, there may be healthier options where you work? I don't eat at McDonald's much but I think they have salads and such? (Though you'd have to skip the dressing perhaps). And even something like a chicken or fish sandwich without the mayo can be decent in a pinch.

    Also - green giant frozen bagged veggies (or other brands) - quick, low cal, and some can be very yummy!
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
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    Look at the local supermarkets' reduced sections.

    Then...

    The freezer is your new best friend.
  • hopelesswritr
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    Also not to try & diminish your work ethic or ability to make money but have you considered if you break off said relationship that you could apply for financial assistance (food stamps, temporary assistance?)...just wondering, sorry if I seem too nosy.

    When this relationship is over, I plan on going back to school part time. I know I could get food stamps, but I don't know about cash assistance? Is that something that's allowed if you're going to school? I don't know.
  • DOVE437
    DOVE437 Posts: 15
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    I'm not great with recipes since my husband does all the cooking, but I always make a rule of thumb to eat only half of what is on my plate. And something a friend did was she would pre make all of her meals and store them in tupperware, then take them with her. So when she was at work or school, she already had her meals, pre measured, and couldn't excuse herself to go buy junk. Good luck.
  • DOVE437
    DOVE437 Posts: 15
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    I'm also curious, if you feell the relationship is over, why don't you just end it now and move on with your health and life? Take control of yourself and your body either way. YOU are the only one who controls what goes into your body. :)
  • yo_andi
    yo_andi Posts: 2,178 Member
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    sure rice, beans and pasta are cheap.. heck all the restaurants use them as cheap fillers along with chips and bread. BUT, this doesn't make them healthy. Cheap carbs are what are keep us fat.

    This is pretty much crap, but the rest of it is good.
  • mnwalkingqueen
    mnwalkingqueen Posts: 1,299 Member
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    Michelinas Lean Gourmet frozen dinners are $1 at Walmart....calorie and portion controlled. Im poor too...I use them at work.

    these are cheap but packed full of sodium so be careful with how often you eat. I have very little left for groceries also. I shop Aldi's if you have one they have cheaper produce, bread and dairy products.
  • hopelesswritr
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    I'm also curious, if you feell the relationship is over, why don't you just end it now and move on with your health and life? Take control of yourself and your body either way. YOU are the only one who controls what goes into your body. :)

    Because as I have said, I currently work at McDonald's, and I make less than 500 a month. I also have two dogs (they're not expensive to take care of but I don't want to put them in any dire situations). If I ended the relationship right now, I would lose my home and my job. I would end up back in Michigan, and could get a job at McDonald's again easily, but I have no idea how I would begin to afford rent for an apartment with the meager amount of money I make.

    I would absolutely love to take initiative but I just do not have the financial ability to do so.