Dieting on a budget

24

Replies

  • LahrysaTebo2015
    LahrysaTebo2015 Posts: 197 Member
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    Canned Tuna and canned chicken, fresh or frozen veggies (don't bother with the gimmick of "organic". All veggies are organic), lol. Just a couple of ideas.

    I appreciate it ! Thank you! When I was a kid I used to LOVE dry canned tuna with peas in it!
  • dolthack
    dolthack Posts: 16 Member
    It's been a while since I've been on here - fell off the wagon. As to your original question about how to spend the $50....it's amazing how people can take your original post so FAR off topic isn't it? Where I live my grocery store carries frozen broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, etc. in 12oz bags for $0.99 each, one bag is pretty filling on it's own, but split up and added with a quality inexpensive protein source it goes all day.

    Eggs are the least expensive form of protein you can find at your store, gram for gram. The average 21gram of protein serving of 90/10 ground beef is $0.75. Three large eggs is roughly 21grams of protein, cost roughly $0.25 When you're on that tight of a budget you can't afford to shop for ethical eggs that cost 3-5 times as much so ignore anyone who berates you for buying the cheap factory farm eggs - buy the better ones when/if you can afford them if your conscience gets the better of you.

    Another poster mentioned beans. Great source of protein, nutrients, and slowly metabolized carbs. On the topic of carbs, you should absolutely cut out all refined forms - flour, sugar, white rice. Don't fear the potato. You can drastically lower the speed at which the carbs are metabolized by cooking them the day before you plan to eat them....it converts the starch to a more resistant form that doesn't spike your blood sugar....and potatoes are cheap.

    I think you'll find that $50 can go a long way and still not be boring. And don't buy those flavored waters, that's a HUGE waste of money. Water is free, a bottle of generic lemon juice is enough to flavor at least 100 glasses of water.
  • youdoyou2016
    youdoyou2016 Posts: 393 Member
    $50 for 2 people is doable, I think. I barely spend $25 on myself a week on food, and I eat all organic. I don't eat anything that isn't real food (according to my definition of "real") -- no soda, chips, canned soups, boxes of stuff, etc.

    For the most part, I do not know the prices of things -- I just shop for what I want (more or less), so I appreciate I may not be a lot of help with specifics. The only time my bill goes above $25 is when I run out of olive oil or dog food or something like that.

    I do make a point of buying fruit and veggies when they're in season. Right now, apples and navel oranges seem cheap and red grapes are definitely not, so I go with the former. When you go shopping, this kind of thing can make a huge difference. Asparagus and cabbage are in season now, so I go for those at the moment.

    I do know that where I live (Philadelphia), I can get a dozen eggs (free range, no antibiotics, no soy, etc) for $5. I eat one a day for $0.42 / day. My bacon is $8 / lbs and it takes me about 2 wks to eat 1 lbs. My mom thinks it's crazy to pay $5 for eggs; she gets them for less than $2.

    As for meal prep: I tend to do something like roast a chicken on Sunday. That gives me a few lunches and a dinner during the week, and I freeze some. If I make stuffed peppers the next day, that's another lunch or two and a dinner. My suggestion would be to look at recipes / think of meals to make and then go to the market and cruise around at first to see the prices of things. You'll get ideas as you look around. (And, ham will probably be on sale next week. :smile: )
  • mishapley
    mishapley Posts: 2 Member
    I diet on a budget. I find if i make most things from scratch and eat lots from the produce section it's manageable. I make a slow cooker batch of Steel Cut Oats on Sunday and divide in 7 small containers for breakfast each day. Things like beans take time to cook but are much better and you control the calories by what you put in them. Lunches are half left over dinners and things like egg salad or canned chicken or tuna salad. Lots of vegetables both fresh and frozen. Apples for snacks. Look for large packages that can stretch. Mix leftovers into a one pot casserole or omelets. Read food labels and weigh foods. I'm continuously surprised at how little the portions are that used to assign calorie counts.
  • LahrysaTebo2015
    LahrysaTebo2015 Posts: 197 Member
    dolthack wrote: »
    It's been a while since I've been on here - fell off the wagon. As to your original question about how to spend the $50....it's amazing how people can take your original post so FAR off topic isn't it? Where I live my grocery store carries frozen broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, etc. in 12oz bags for $0.99 each, one bag is pretty filling on it's own, but split up and added with a quality inexpensive protein source it goes all day.

    Eggs are the least expensive form of protein you can find at your store, gram for gram. The average 21gram of protein serving of 90/10 ground beef is $0.75. Three large eggs is roughly 21grams of protein, cost roughly $0.25 When you're on that tight of a budget you can't afford to shop for ethical eggs that cost 3-5 times as much so ignore anyone who berates you for buying the cheap factory farm eggs - buy the better ones when/if you can afford them if your conscience gets the better of you.

    Another poster mentioned beans. Great source of protein, nutrients, and slowly metabolized carbs. On the topic of carbs, you should absolutely cut out all refined forms - flour, sugar, white rice. Don't fear the potato. You can drastically lower the speed at which the carbs are metabolized by cooking them the day before you plan to eat them....it converts the starch to a more resistant form that doesn't spike your blood sugar....and potatoes are cheap.

    I think you'll find that $50 can go a long way and still not be boring. And don't buy those flavored waters, that's a HUGE waste of money. Water is free, a bottle of generic lemon juice is enough to flavor at least 100 glasses of water.

    Best answer yet ! Appriciate it
  • Cave_Creature
    Cave_Creature Posts: 5 Member
    Cheap and healthy foods: legumes, eggs, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, collard greens.

    Some food-prep ideas that have worked for me:

    roasting several sweet potatoes, then eat 1/2 or 1/3 as a serving with a meal, they are great as leftovers.

    If you're able to spend a little on kitchen stuff, I think a Benriner Japanese mandolin slicer (under $25) is an awesome tool, because just about ANY vegetable can be thinly sliced in to a delicious salad ingredient.

    Buy a big bag of dry lentils in bulk (I like the French green ones). On your food-prep day, cook 2 cups until tender, drain, and put in the fridge. This can be the basis for legume salads and meals for the rest of the week.

    E.g., lentil salad: 1 c. cooked lentils, 1 chopped red pepper, 1-2 medium grated carrots, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar, pepper and salt to taste. (I also like to add chopped parsley or cilantro, maybe some sliced almonds, but these ingredients are a little more expensive)

    good luck!
  • maihuni
    maihuni Posts: 8 Member
    Oatmeal (even if you get packets with some flaxseed that are a bit more pricey, yet faster) and sliced bananas is a filling breakfast for me and very affordable!

    Two eggs (hardboiled or quick scrambled) and a piece of Peanut butter whole wheat toast and a glass of milk stick with me for a while too.

    Snacks
    Pink lady apples and portioned nuts from the bulk bin or TBSP of PB is a great snack.
    Portion out a big bag of mini pretzels with a string cheese (crunchy snack with some protein)
    A Greek yogurt and a cutie is another fav of mine.

    Dinners
    I learned how to make rice and beans lots of different ways (chipotle black beans and rice, red beans and rice, bean soup, Mexican beans and rice). Cheap, filling and a great source of a complete protein.

    A bag of plain meatballs, two bags of broccoli steamed and cooked rice portioned into containers for a few days with some teriyaki sauce is delicious!

    Soup portioned into containers. Soup is a huge dollar stretcher.

    Microwaved sweet potatoes (weigh them, can be very different in calories) and rotisserie chicken and a handful of salad from a bag is also quick and cheaper than most dinners because of leftovers.

    I invested in a couple of meal size containers. After each meal, I use a measuring scoop to portion out leftovers for my husband and I. I write nutrition info on a tiny sticker (.60 for 150 stickers at WinCo). Easier to log for him later and meals are ready to grab for lunches or dinners later in the week. He is also less likely to eat out if I already have a meal ready to go in the fridge.

    Portioning out after meals into containers, buying a scale and using it everytime, not overestimating my exercise caloric burb and rotating simple yummy meals helped the stubborn pounds fly off me! I had another child and so now I'm back again with new goals. Good luck and add me as a friend if you'd like.
  • Justmj77
    Justmj77 Posts: 13 Member
    You've gotten great advice so far. The only thing I can add is make a list before you go shopping. Choose your recipes, make your list based off of your menu and then don't give in to temptation at the grocery store. If you look at the grocery store flyer before you make your list you can save even more money ( choosing what's on sale over your preference). If you cook dinner at home, you easily have lunch for the next day or two. Finally, some grocery stores are less expensive than others. Aldi is great if you have one near you. Also, farmer's markets can yield good bargains on veggies/fruits. Good luck!
  • coreyreichle
    coreyreichle Posts: 1,039 Member
    edited April 2017
    I need SERIOUS help with this. I have about $50 a week to spend on groceries for 2 people. We have all of the normal kitchen appliences. What are some meals, or a grocery list or something! I can't figure this out!

    Do you meal prep? If so, how?

    Go vegetarian. Seriously. Vegetables are so much cheaper than meat. And, to boot, you can even do canned veg. Splurge once a week on a meat item for like Sunday dinner, or something.

    Staples are beans (Of any variety, I really like black beans and lentils), and rice. Lentils and rice, or black beans and rice are protein and carb heavy. Toss in spinach, kale, or broccoli, and you've got a new meal, every time.
  • Theo166
    Theo166 Posts: 2,564 Member
    Your segment starts about 18:30 in this video
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2kwif2_10-things-you-need-to-know-about-losing-weight_school

    Here's another bbc show that compares the metabolism of a fat vs skinny friend, where they found both were misrepresenting their food and activity levels but in opposite directions.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1cnahl_how-to-be-slim-bbc-discovery-nutrition-health-documentary_lifestyle

  • janjunie
    janjunie Posts: 1,200 Member
    Mycophilia wrote: »
    Dieting is generally cheaper. Buy what you used to, just less of it.

    I don't eat much as it is though

    You haven't gained weight by 'not eating much'?

    I never said I eat healthy at all but I don't eat much. I eat twice a day. Sometimes 3 if I have time. And metabolism has a lot to do with my weight because I have skinny friends who eat 5x more than I eat and don't gain a pound

    Sorry, but no. Eating 'healthy' doesn't make you lose weight. A calorie deficit does.

    Google the twinkie diet if you like...

    You have skinny friends who you think eat loads but in actual fact they're probably more active than you or eat a lot less when you don't see them...

    Lol. You can think what you'd like. I know what I put in my body, you dont. Get off my discussion if you're going to be rude to me and try to make me feel stupid. I've been fat since 3rd grade. Im not stupid

    I haven't been rude to you, just trying to help actually.

    You're not stupid, but you're obviously misinformed.

    Good luck.

    Just doesn't make sense because I eat less calories a day then I'm "supposed to' and I'm still fat? Doesn't make sense

    OP have you weighed and tracked the calories you've been consuming? Try doing this for at least a few days and it will be a huge eye opener. I can guarantee you are not eating less calories then you are supposed to. I read your current weight in another post you made and you don't get to be that size by eating "very little". Healthy or unhealthy food doesn't matter, they all have calories and calories are what matters when it comes to weight loss. Goodluck.
  • psychedmom
    psychedmom Posts: 39 Member
    Do you have a Wegmans near you? They have cheapest fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts. Just $1.99 per pound for a family pack! I suggest getting that for protein. I throw a whole package (about 3 lbs) in crock pot with seasonings and a little brother on low for 8 hours. Then I have tons of healthy shredded chicken for a variety of recipes all week.
  • LahrysaTebo2015
    LahrysaTebo2015 Posts: 197 Member
    psychedmom wrote: »
    Do you have a Wegmans near you? They have cheapest fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts. Just $1.99 per pound for a family pack! I suggest getting that for protein. I throw a whole package (about 3 lbs) in crock pot with seasonings and a little brother on low for 8 hours. Then I have tons of healthy shredded chicken for a variety of recipes all week.

    I work right next to a wegmans! Never been in there though !
  • diannethegeek
    diannethegeek Posts: 14,776 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Mycophilia wrote: »
    Dieting is generally cheaper. Buy what you used to, just less of it.

    I don't eat much as it is though

    You haven't gained weight by 'not eating much'?

    I never said I eat healthy at all but I don't eat much. I eat twice a day. Sometimes 3 if I have time. And metabolism has a lot to do with my weight because I have skinny friends who eat 5x more than I eat and don't gain a pound

    Sorry, but no. Eating 'healthy' doesn't make you lose weight. A calorie deficit does.

    Google the twinkie diet if you like...

    You have skinny friends who you think eat loads but in actual fact they're probably more active than you or eat a lot less when you don't see them...

    Lol. You can think what you'd like. I know what I put in my body, you dont. Get off my discussion if you're going to be rude to me and try to make me feel stupid. I've been fat since 3rd grade. Im not stupid

    I haven't been rude to you, just trying to help actually.

    You're not stupid, but you're obviously misinformed.

    Good luck.

    Just doesn't make sense because I eat less calories a day then I'm "supposed to' and I'm still fat? Doesn't make sense

    Start logging your food accurately and then you will understand.
    You got fat the same way everyone else did - you ate more calories than your body needed.

    Don't stay fat by making excuses, I did that for 20 years, your skinny friends really aren't eating x5 the amount you are.

    Simply eating less will save you money, you don't need a special diet to lose weight. No idea what you are eating now or what style of food/cooking you enjoy so hard to make suggestions beyond bulk buying and batch cooking.

    Good luck.

    Thank you. This was the first comment that didn't sound offesnive. I'm trying

    Really? Even the dude asking about Trader Joe's up above this comment you found offensive? That makes me nervous about giving my advice.

    I shop once a week and hit two stores: Dillons/Kroger and Aldi. I check sales flyers before I go or at the store. I buy generic and check prices per unit to get the better value. I buy cheaper cuts of meat or meat on sale, fresh veg on sale or in season, and frozen veg the rest of the year. Staples and canned goods I stock up on when they're super cheap. I use the Dillons app for easy couponing.

    But yes, generally speaking just watching what I ate and eating less along with buying fewer convenience foods dropped my grocery spending by almost half.
  • cmtigger
    cmtigger Posts: 1,450 Member
    Don't be afraid of carbs and feel you need to eat low carb. Low carb diets can be more expensive. Everything in moderation.
  • rjan91
    rjan91 Posts: 193 Member
    Definitely plan your meals based on what is on sale. Apps like Flipp are really helpful. Check for stores that price match. Aldi's does have great deals on veggies etc. Meal prepping may help you stick to your weekly plan, rather than coming home starving and eating whatever is easiest. There are apps that also give you money back if you buy certain things. I also take advantage of any incentive program i.e. our grocery gives points for dollars spent so I try to buy those items that I need, plus price matching. I just redeemed $50 in free groceries (mind you I am feeding 5 people - 3 teens included so my weekly bill can be hefty!).
  • dutchandkiwi
    dutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389 Member
    edited April 2017
    As always Jack Monroe and BudgetBytes

    Both great recipe sites for the small wallet and pick the ones with the lower calories of make smaller portions
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    Please don't boil your little brother.