Cheap tips/tricks?!?

Hey all,
I'm fiiiiinally trying again to lose weight! But as a 19 year old who lives on her own with lots of bills, it's a little hard not to just grab the cheapest things in the store.
What are some tips/tricks you guys have on some recipes and things that are good for ya that don't break the bank??
TIA! :)


  • buffalogal42
    buffalogal42 Posts: 374 Member
    Well ... anything can help you lose weight if you are eating in a deficit. But, having men in your place myself, I can tell you eggs go a long way, as do beans, frozen veggies and whatever meats are on sale!
  • Momepro
    Momepro Posts: 1,509 Member
    Beans, wild rice, soups, whole chickens, all natural peanut butter, all natural applesauce, bananas.
  • Derf_Smeggle
    Derf_Smeggle Posts: 611 Member
    Squash (simply microwave in the rind/skin)
    Whole chickens, or rotisserie under $9.00

    Curried cabbage and beets
    1 head of cabbage
    3 beets
    2-3 tbsp Butter
    Curry powder (add to desired seasoning)
    ((Start slow with the curry powder) )
    Large skillet or wok
    Spatula, ladle, or large spoon

    Chop cabbage and cut up the beets. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the veggies. Stir in with curry powder. Cook at medium heat and stir until beets are tender, but slightly crunchy.

    Hobo Stew
    Large pot
    1/2 to 1 pound stew meat (optional)
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    1 can tomato sauce
    1 small can mushrooms
    1/2 onion
    3 small red potatoes
    3 carrots
    1 bag Winter Blend frozen vegetables
    1 cup frozen corn
    1 cup frozen peas
    1 cup frozen green beans
    1 package frozen asparagus spears
    Garlic powder

    Cut up the potatoes, carrots, and asparagus. Dice the onion. You can first brown the stew meat in the bottom of the pot if you are adding it. Then add 1cup of water. Dump in all of the veggies. Add enough water to cover the veggies. Bring that to a simmer. Once at a simmer, add the cans of tomato and tomato paste. Stir it all in. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until potatoes are done. Add info seasoning when it's done and stir some more. Serve.

    Both of these recipes make a lot of food. Takes care of a lot of cooking and is great filler for when you just don't have time or desire to cook.

  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    Red beans and brown rice. Chicken - one rotisserie chicken can feed a college student for a week if you use the bones to make soup. Egg sandwiches. Baked potatoes.

    This will depend on where you live, but here, basic produce is much cheaper at the Mexican market than at the big chain grocery store. Figure out where to buy inexpensive produce.
  • Derf_Smeggle
    Derf_Smeggle Posts: 611 Member
    1 Cup - Dried Black Beans (3 cups cooked)
    2 Cups - Short Grain Brown Rice (4 cups cooked)
    6 to 9 Tbsp - Frank's Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce

    Pre-soak black beans over night, or follow quick soak instructions.

    Rinse the soaked beans and place them in a quart size cooking pot. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a light boil. Takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once the beans are going you should start cooking the brown rice in 3 cups of water in a standard rice cooker, or in a pot on the stove top.

    When the rice is done and the beans are tender mix the two together into a quart size container. I like to add 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp of the chili sauce to 1 cup of mixed beans and rice, rather than mixing everything together at once. This way I can do something else with the beans and rice if I want.
  • Jruzer
    Jruzer Posts: 3,501 Member
    How about Cheap Tricks? ;)

  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,285 Member
    Hearty soups with rice and split peas or lentils.
    Stir fry seasonal vegetables with protein of your choice
    Cheaper (and often tougher) cuts of meat can be slow-cooked to tenderness in a crock-pot. Some of these cuts are going to be fattier, so you need to consider whether you want trim it first. (Depending on your calories and macros, you might want the fat as-is.)
  • nevadavis1
    nevadavis1 Posts: 331 Member
    The cheapest thing in the store are bags of dried lentils. Make them into soup--high fiber, low cal, etc.
  • Mary_Anastasia
    Mary_Anastasia Posts: 267 Member
    EGGS or EGG WHITES. VEGGIES. GRAIN or BEAN = bulk cook and you have your filling for the week - keep on hand with tortillas to make wraps, lettuce to make salads, add as a side to potatoes meat or veggies, you can even dump some in ramen to bulk it up and stretch it out.

    I'm vegetarian, and varieties of veggie meat substitutes are expensive, so I buy veggie burgers in bulk and I use them for more than burgers - tacos, with eggs, in soup and salad, crumbled into dip -> whatever.

    Honestly, there's not really a Fast Cheap Easy AND Healthy mix. It's really just about preparing cheap and healthy foods, or eating fast and easy foods, or fast and expensive :P If I don't prepare my meals, I end up grabbing whatever's around. I always try to keep a snack available, like baby carrots, or olives with cheese, so that I don't go making a sandwich when all I really need is a snack.
  • notreallychris
    notreallychris Posts: 501 Member
    Buy a food scale. That's my tip. Will help you log intake accurately.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    edited June 2017
    1. Eat whatever you want but stick to a calorie deficit to lose weight.

    2. Buy in bulk and on sale when possible.

    3. Freeze everything you don't plan to use within a couple days, especially meat. Most things will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months, so you'll waste much less food.

    4. Buy small amounts of fresh produce, especially salad greens. They go bad quicker, so make sure to use them quickly.

    5. Buy cheap cuts of meat, you can slow-cook tough cuts to make soups, chili and stew. Buy whole chickens, roast them, then use the meat for a variety of meals and the bones for broth.

    6. Meal-prep: cook large quantities, divide into servings, then freeze most of it. Then you'll have quick meals that won't go bad for a long time.

    7. Stick to cheap, nutrient-dense foods:
  • thewindandthework
    thewindandthework Posts: 531 Member
    I buy rice and dry black beans in bulk. So cheap, so filling, so delicious! I also go through a lot of onions, garlic, cucumbers, and eggs, all cheap as heck.

    Other stuff that's not quite as cheap gets rotated depending on my mood and budget.
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,860 Member
    Hey all,
    I'm fiiiiinally trying again to lose weight! But as a 19 year old who lives on her own with lots of bills, it's a little hard not to just grab the cheapest things in the store.
    What are some tips/tricks you guys have on some recipes and things that are good for ya that don't break the bank??
    TIA! :)

    Rice & Beans and Soup are both extremely cheap. (Both allow you to pretty much throw in whatever you can pick up for cheap (cheapest meat cut, cheapest veggies) and can be made quickly in very large batches to store in fridge/freezer. Eggs go a long way too (you can hard boil a bunch of them and keep in freezer for snacks/very quick on the go. For the price, you can get a lot out of dried beans. Chicken thighs are usually very, very cheap. Chopped turkey hotdogs are usually a decent amount of protein/fat and fairly cheap. Cabbage/turnips/carrots and other soup vegetables are usually cheap. Frozen spinach/collard greens and other common veggies aren't too expensive and work well to bulk out rice & beans.

    As someone else said, if buying produce, freeze before it goes bad if not using right away. I normally chop and freeze the same day to have on hand for the next use.
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,860 Member
    Also ditto on the rotisserie chickens. You can get a lot of servings out of those, and they are often cheaper than a raw whole chicken. ($5 versus $7 at my nearby grocery).
  • mkirklions
    mkirklions Posts: 10 Member
    toxikon wrote: »
    7. Stick to cheap, nutrient-dense foods:

    Thanks for posting this! Extremely useful!
  • VictoriaTuel
    VictoriaTuel Posts: 1,604 Member
    As someone who once only spent $50 a month on food, I can say that bulk rice and beans can go a long way. Soups were also good because water was induced in my rent, and then I just bought whatever fresh veggies were on sale as add-ins.

    Where You're buying things is just as important as what You're buying though. Aldi's exists near me and they have weekly sales, so I always get those sale fruits and veggies there. Produce markets will also have good prices for whatever's in season, so if You vary Your diet with the seasons, it's cheaper - and more delicious!

    If You have time to cook, I'd pick a few spices and seasonings that You really like to splurge on (and then try to find them on sale). Then You can season simple meals into things You'll really enjoy (my favs are cumin for rice and egg dishes, cinnamon in sweeter things, and toasted sesame oil for stir-fries).

    I also save everything - when I eat citrus fruit, I save the peel to candy as a snack; when I use a can of beans, I save the liquid for baking and for soup bases; if fruit's going bad, I cook it down into a compote (because I do not have the bandwith to can things right now).
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member is a great website for cheap recipes. It's not marketed as a "healthy" website, but most of the recipes I have made from the site are nutritious and reasonably low in calories.
  • L1zardQueen
    L1zardQueen Posts: 8,754 Member

    I love Cheap Trick, they're on tour. Will going to see them.