I want to eat healthy but I have a very low income. Guidence if you can, please. :)

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Replies

  • beachbodyproject
    beachbodyproject Posts: 47 Member
    you need to get a crockpot. I make ragout, lentille soup, chili, etc . I can make easy 10 portions.
  • shell6469
    shell6469 Posts: 54 Member
    bump.
  • Go_Mizzou99
    Go_Mizzou99 Posts: 2,628 Member
    edited October 2014
    potato's and eggs are inexpensive and filling...
  • elbaldwin0525
    elbaldwin0525 Posts: 159 Member
    if youre cool with eating the same thing everyday...veggies are CHEAP...cabbage is about 1 dollar for a head and makes a giant POT. as far as meats go....dark meat chicken is super cheap....if youre cool with eating chicken and veggies everyday then I would suggest that. youll be plenty full for sure
  • yoovie
    yoovie Posts: 17,127 Member
    yo i cant remember if this was the thread that had the FAMOUS sparkpeople fictional poster in it, that said a gallon of skim milk was $2?

    I passed rite aid at 5 am this morning and it said "STATE PRICE MINIMUM FOR 1 GALLON OF MILK! $4.19!!"

    sparkpeople sucks on a special level. i hate that i was thinking about an internet thread when I was walking into the gym this morning.
  • silentKayak
    silentKayak Posts: 658 Member
    I feel for you. Dieting on a budget is hard because you have to skip some of the expensive-but-delicious low-calorie foods (like seafood filets and out of season berries). But there are still lots of great options out there, especially if you like to cook.

    Homemade soup is truly fantastic. It's filling and you can make it literally out of stuff you'd throw away otherwise. For the lentils, put them through the blender to make creamy pureed soup.

    Your grocery budget will go a lot farther without meat. Skip it or use a tiny amount, or continue to use those cheap cuts. You mentioned using the crockpot, which is great. I can buy 3 "mature" stewing hens for $5 and make enough soup for a week (it takes hours of boiling because they're tough). You can also ask your butcher for soup bones.

    Skip the cheese. It's expensive and high-calorie. High-volume foods are a better use of your dollars.

    The beans and lentils provide protein, iron, and fiber, which fills you up.

    For carbs, I'd skip the pasta, rice, and bread. I know they're cheap, but they're not doing you any favors. Better choices are whole-wheat pasta, bulgar wheat, barley, yams/sweet potatoes, and even potatoes if you don't overdo it. All of those have fiber and better nutritive value.

    The idea about bulk spices is a good one. You can add a surprising amount of flavor with spices. Try curry powder if you like it, or dill/tarragon with lemon juice in your soups.

    For snacks, one of my favorites that costs only pennies is air-popped popcorn. You can make it out of bulk kernels in the microwave.

    Finally - avoid food waste by avoiding items that spoil quickly. Yogurt is better than cottage cheese; apples are better than pears; rice cakes are better than bread; etc.

    Good luck!
  • silentKayak
    silentKayak Posts: 658 Member
    Many people pick mushrooms, dandelion greens, and other foods in nature. There are probably pictures and guidance online. It could become a fun hobby to supplement your meals with these fresh items.

    Unless your hobby is "death", please do not eat self-foraged mushrooms unless you really really know what you're doing. A google search doesn't count as knowledge. Lots of edible mushrooms have poisonous twins.

  • mom2mcjc
    mom2mcjc Posts: 89 Member
    two words: dried beans

    one more word: eggs

  • jaimekbee1219
    jaimekbee1219 Posts: 99 Member
    My husband just bought this book (for every book that is bought, one is donated to a family in need), but here's the free .pdf. It's how to eat well on about $4/day!

    https://8b862ca0073972f0472b704e2c0c21d0480f50d3.googledrive.com/host/0Bxd6wdCBD_2tdUdtM0d4WTJmclU/good-and-cheap.pdf

    We both work jobs that pay a decent wage, but we're also both in graduate school so every little bit we can save helps! The recipes look pretty good and the author gives great advice. I started shopping at a less pricy grocery store (trader joe's) and have been making a lot of soups and salads! As others have said - lentils and other dried beans are cheap! I make lentil soup all winter (lentils, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, broth, thyme, salt, and pepper). It lasts two of us a week. Cook on the stove for 90 minutes or in a crock pot for 3! Veggies don't have to be expensive if you forgo the organic ones. I tend to splurge on those, but I get the store brand so they're cheaper.
  • GoneGirl50
    GoneGirl50 Posts: 65 Member
    zarckon,
    You must have missed the link I provided for her that gives the contact info for professional foraging guides in Australia. I found them with a simple Internet search. Foraging is dangerous to do without guidance, I agree, but so is driving a car.
    People lived for 50,000 years or more before grocery stores. When I lived in a rural area, our family, and many others, hunted, fished, cultivated a garden, mushroom hunted for morels, picked wild berries, etc. Hunting is sport to some, and a way of life for many.

    These suggestions are great, but most still don't fit in her budget.
  • uconnwinsnc1
    uconnwinsnc1 Posts: 903 Member
    zarckon,
    You must have missed the link I provided for her that gives the contact info for professional foraging guides in Australia. I found them with a simple Internet search. Foraging is dangerous to do without guidance, I agree, but so is driving a car.
    People lived for 50,000 years or more before grocery stores. When I lived in a rural area, our family, and many others, hunted, fished, cultivated a garden, mushroom hunted for morels, picked wild berries, etc. Hunting is sport to some, and a way of life for many.

    These suggestions are great, but most still don't fit in her budget.

    Just what an overworked, over-stressed person needs. To walk around a forest and find 40 calories worth of berries and green leafy stuff. Then maybe they can hit up the local stream next to the toxic waste dump and catch some yummy catfish.
  • uconnwinsnc1
    uconnwinsnc1 Posts: 903 Member
    zarckon wrote: »
    Many people pick mushrooms, dandelion greens, and other foods in nature. There are probably pictures and guidance online. It could become a fun hobby to supplement your meals with these fresh items.

    Unless your hobby is "death", please do not eat self-foraged mushrooms unless you really really know what you're doing. A google search doesn't count as knowledge. Lots of edible mushrooms have poisonous twins.

    And lots of poisonous mushrooms have fantastically fun twins. :|
  • GoneGirl50
    GoneGirl50 Posts: 65 Member
    She could buy her fish from the supermarket which has been farm-raised in Thailand or China. I'm sure their environment and regulations are top-notch! This is consumerism thinking. We have food recalls for dangerous bacteria from "safe" sources all the time. She asked for suggestions, so if she doesn't like the idea, she doesn't have to try it. simple as that. You are insulting her intelligence by acting as her decision-makers.
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,952 Member
    People lived for 50,000 years or more before grocery stores.
    lulwut?

    No the earth is not flat.
  • MKEgal
    MKEgal Posts: 3,252 Member
    There's a link in this blog post to a U.S. gov't cookbook (which isn't nearly as bad as you think it'll be) made for people on SNAP (food assistance) who have very little to spend for food.
    The suggestions are healthy, tasty, & cheap, and the pictures are as nice as any for-profit cookbook.
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/MKEgal/view/2014-09-19-cheap-eats-cookbook-696460

    In general, eat lower on the food chain, eat fewer processed foods, and you'll save money.

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  • GoneGirl50
    GoneGirl50 Posts: 65 Member
    I think some people may need to have a Snickers; they are not themselves when they are hungry.
  • Lots of great suggestions here! I eat a lot of eggs (hard boiled as snacks, scrambled for dinner) because they're very inexpensive in my part of the world.
  • ahoier
    ahoier Posts: 312 Member
    I will say, since my journey with MFP, I haved saved quite a bit of money! No doctor bills....hah.....no junk foods, no soda (unless It's from a fountain....or mixed with liquor on a "cheat day!" haha) etc......

  • Serebro
    Serebro Posts: 6 Member
    I'm also on a tight budget ($150 US/month has to include cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and personal hygiene as well), and I make a point of trying to pick up as many of the nutrition-packed foods on the 100 World's Healthiest Foods list as possible each shopping trip. There isn't a farm market nearby that I can get to easily by bus (it's on Saturday and the buses only run Monday-Friday in this smallish town), so that's challenging, unless a friend happens to be going. I buy produce when it's in season locally rather than it having to be imported from halfway round the world, and buy pulses, rice, grains, and spices in bulk. (There's also a discount store nearby with scratch and dent and nearing expiry date food that is handy for some of the more exotic and expensive things, and often has spices nearing sell-by for 0.99 USD.)

    The list is located at http://whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

    Right now, my produce list (it's late autumn in the US) includes: winter squash (butternut and pumpkin especially), yams, potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, rutabagas, and cabbage; apples, late-season pears, dried fruits (unsweetened as much as possible!), and frozen no-sugar-added berries. I buy the jars of minced garlic in water, as a $2.98 jar ends up being equivalent to 5-6 heads of garlic (1 teaspoon equals about 1 clove's worth) and it doesn't spoil if kept in the fridge.

    To stretch my meat budget, I budget about $30 per month for meat, and rotate what I pick up each month based on what's in the freezer at the moment. I buy a "family pack" or "BBQ pack" or other larger package of chicken breasts or leg quarters, pork chops or country style ribs, bratwurst or Italian sausage links--the cost is usually anywhere from $0.30 to $2.00 cheaper per pound--and then put it into the freezer in packages of 1-2 pieces. Buying a very large (10-12 lb) sirloin roast every 5-6 months allows me to cut it up into steaks at home, and isn't difficult as long as you can determine the grain (direction) of the muscle fibers and cut the steaks perpendicular to them so as to get the most tender cuts possible. You'll end up with around 2 dozen largish steaks if you do it right, plus a small pile of ends that you can cut into 1-2" cubes for kebabs or stew. I package those cuts in small packages for the freezer too. I visit a local carniceria (Mexican/Latino butcher shop) and purchase their off-cuts, which usually gets me beef flank steak and tongue for about 1/3 of what the supermarket charges. The Latino community seems to understand that if you're asking for off-cuts, it's because you're too poor to ask for a handout, but you need a variety of protein, not just beans and chicken. And while liver and other organ meats may be very fatty (or tough, in the case of gizzards), they're densely packed with vitamins, so an ounce or two can go a long way. A monthly meal of beef liver and onions with mashed potatoes is all it takes to keep me from going anaemic. (My mom's recipe to cook it without it turning into shoe leather: Parboil pieces no larger than 2-3 square inches to sear the outsides, then drain, shake with flour, salt and pepper, and fry in a skillet on medium-high heat with a bit of oil until the flour browns on edges. Fry onions in oil until translucent and softening. It's not an entirely healthy meal--lots of calories from fat--but it's not a daily or weekly thing, either.)

    Hopefully I've added a couple of things that you haven't thought of. It may be that it's a different ethnic community in Australia that is that considerate about pricing off-cuts, though--you'll have to look around.
  • mfp2014mfp
    mfp2014mfp Posts: 689 Member
    Not sure if it's been mentioned but there are alot of small businesses now that will deliver fresh fruit and veg and eggs directly from the markets. The quality of the food is usually much better than at the big stores. I did a comparison between what I buy online vs the supermarket and it works out to be a saving of about $700 a year even after he $3 delivery fee.