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1200 calorie plan help

cnb124cnb124 Member, Premium Posts: 40 Member Member, Premium Posts: 40 Member
I just found out I spent 445$ on groceries last month and I'm just 1 person! I didnt cook I bought all frozen meals. Time to knock that crap off and cook because I cant afford that. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good 1200 calorie meal plan that has no seafood or tofu?
edited December 2020
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Replies

  • psychod787psychod787 Member, Premium Posts: 4,059 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,059 Member
    cnb124 wrote: »
    I just found out I spent 445$ on groceries last month and I'm just 1 person! I didnt cook I bought all frozen meals. Time to knock that crap off and cook because I cant afford that. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good 1200 calorie meal plan that has no seafood or tofu?

    why 1200 calories. What is height, weight, age, job, activity level and I might be able to help you. Hell, I eat close to 3500 and $450 US is far more than my food bill a month. Oh yes, Location. Where are you located? Food cost more or less depending on where you live. Not to mention, "free time". How much of that do you have? Meal frequency preference?
    edited December 2020
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 1,588 Member Member Posts: 1,588 Member
    OP doesn’t give their height, activity levels or goals, so we have no way of knowing if 1200 calories is appropriate for them or not.

    I have a dehydrator (although most things can be dehydrated in an oven I think), so you could buy fruit on sale and dehydrate it and save it for later. I got a 5 lb bag of apples for 3.99 and sliced the apples and tossed them in cinnamon and then dehydrated them. They keep for about 6 months.

    I stock up on chicken breast when it’s on sale. Store brand is a must for many of the items in my house including frozen veggies. I buy whatever jarred sauce is on sale.

    I like to eat spaghetti squash instead of pasta. It’s usually 1.49 lb or less by me. I roast it in the oven and then I can heat it up when I want it. I toss some mozzarella cheese in it and some sauce. Yum.

    I’m super cheap and usually spend under $100 a week for 2 people at the grocery store.
  • psychod787psychod787 Member, Premium Posts: 4,059 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,059 Member
    I prefer simplicity. Staples I keep...
    1. Potatoes... all types... easy to batch cook or throw in the microwave for a few
    2. Whole, unsalted nuts/ avocados
    3. Brown rice and oats. Easy and fills in recipes.
    4. Bullion cubes. Makes rice taste better.
    5. Fruits. Fresh and frozen. Fresh apples, bananas, oranges.. aka the cheap ones. Frozen berries are cheap at Costco
    6. Frozen Veggies. Fresh just go bad to easy. Also very cheap in bulk.
    7. Eggs and egg whites. Cheap in bulk and really cheap protein. Very versatile as well.
    8. Dried beans! Cheap AF!
    9. Meats. They can be more expensive, but I buy at Costco and freeze them. Beef is expensive, but chicken, Swai, Tilapia, pork loin is not. Usually $1.99-2.25lb US. I have a grinder, so I actually mince my own meat. :# opps Chicken Quarters I can get so cheap that its nearly free. $0.60lbs US. Also canned tuna.
    edited December 2020
  • MsCzarMsCzar Member Posts: 503 Member Member Posts: 503 Member
    If it's about saving money with minimal effort, I make a quickie breakfast sandwich with a toasted Aldi English muffin and an egg topped with .5 oz of cheddar cheese in of those microwave egg poachers. It takes minimal effort to bake a whole package of bacon on a cooling rack over a shallow pan; so it's in the fridge ready to nuke warm in <1 minute. The egg is done cooking by the time the English muffin pops out of the toaster. About 30¢ per sandwich. Oatmeal is even cheaper.

    I hope you won't let your ex stand in the way of you taking good care of yourself now. Cooking healthy meals and working towards a better you is something you deserve!
    edited December 2020
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 1,588 Member Member Posts: 1,588 Member
    I love crafting! BUT I only let myself do it if I need a day off from the gym. OR after I’ve gone to the gym or on a dog walk; otherwise I’ll just sit and craft all night after work.
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 1,588 Member Member Posts: 1,588 Member
    You could swap out that jimmy dean bowl for oatmeal. I don’t have time to cook in the morning, but my oatmeal takes 90 seconds in the microwave (less time than that jimmy dean takes).

    If you aren’t a fan of savory oatmeal, you could toss some fresh fruit into the bowl.

    And as above, yes, please eat the 1700 calories mfp gives you and don’t attempt a crash diet.
  • xtineartxtineart Member Posts: 285 Member Member Posts: 285 Member
    I eat 1200 daily with minimal cost as I keep it really simple.

    Breakfast usually boiled or poached eggs normally with grilled tomato or mushrooms and spinach or asparagus. Sometimes ill have porridge and a low cold yoghurt.

    Lunch is almost always soup of some kind or a simple salad and grilled chicken or baked potato.

    Dinners I keep light again grilled chicken or fish and steamed veg or a stir fry (no noodles) or similar. Occasionally an open tuna sandwich if I'm missing bread. I only eat pasta or rice on weekends when I do more exercise, partly as I can eat more cal those days but mostly as I'm not a huge fan of pasta or rice dishes.

    Snacking is simple an apple or banana and low cal yoghurt or packet of crisps and diet soda but I almost always leave space for a treat, an alpen low cal cereal bar, hot chocolate or a chocolate mousse then I never feel I'm denying myself anything.

    I'm on 1200 though as I'm already slim and mfp has calculated that for me so I'm not hungry on that amount. If mfp has calculated you higher then please take the advice of others and eat a little more as you'll need it longer term. Have that side of rice or bread.
  • cnb124cnb124 Member, Premium Posts: 40 Member Member, Premium Posts: 40 Member
    Thank you all for your input. I will try to eat more during the work week if I have time. The weekends I have no problem hitting over 1500 usually
  • xtineartxtineart Member Posts: 285 Member Member Posts: 285 Member
    Also adding that I dont have much time or inclination to cook meals as I'm on my own all day during the week with 2 jobs working often 12 to 14 hours a day so my absolute must have is my George foreman grill as it literally takes 10 mins to thrown on a piece of chicken and some veg from the freezer and dust them with herbs. Bagged salad and a microwave for baked potato with tuna again no more than 10 mins. I never buy ready meals but never want to spend time chopping prepping ir cooking. The other thing I love in winter us my slow cooker, throw in some chopped veg a stock cube some chopped leftovers, chicken etc and maybe a handful of rice or lentils and leave it to bubble up a wholesome soup for dinner
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,277 Member Member Posts: 24,277 Member
    psychod787 wrote: »
    I did some looking. Based on the NIH BWP, your maintenance calories are about 2900-3100. 1200 calories is a steep cut. Unless you have a medical condition that would make you lose weight quick, I suggest a less severe deficit. I would set protein at 1gram per pound of target body weight. Keep fats at a minimum of 20% of diet and let calories fall between fats and carbs. Make sure to hit fiber targets as close as you can. As far as saving $. Cooking will help this. Actually, the more simple a diet, the easier and cheaper it can be. Batch cook proteins and carbs. Say cook chicken breast and rice in batch on sunday. Freeze half and keep the other in the fridge. Get a microwave steamer, if finances allow, and steam frozen veggies. A crock pot or insta-pot helps greatly. I joke that when I use my crock pot, my wife has dinner waiting for me when I get home! LOL Best wishes op
    P.S. While crafting can be fun, I guess, getting some activity helps with losing and especially maintenance. I suggest walking. Its easier than more intense cardio, nearly free, and can be done almost at anytime.

    Great advice!

    Bone-in chicken breast is on sale at my supermarket this week. There are two of us. I cooked 6 pounds the other day, which we had with potatoes and broccoli. The next night my OH made chicken nachos. Last night we had it w potatoes and broc again. I think tonight we will have sandwiches, or maybe some sort of pasta dish. I've had sandwiches for lunch twice.

    I save bones in the freezer, and when I have a gallon zip lock bag full, I make stock, which is far superior to anything that can be purchased at the supermarket, and essentially free.

    I use the stock for soups/stews. We eat this a few times, and I freeze the leftovers in portion sizes. (I save plastic food containers of various sizes for this.) If I don't feel like cooking one night I can pull out some pasta e fagioli or whatever from the freezer. I'm about to freeze some leftover Thai chicken and coconut soup, and probably tomorrow I will make Spanish Chorizo, Ham and White Bean Stew, and I'm sure that will have leftovers to freeze as well.
  • biengardo1biengardo1 Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member
    To keep it really easy, go to Sam's or Walmart and grab a whole rotisserie chicken, take it all off the bone and put in bags or container in fridge. Toss over bagged salad, in chicken broth with a few inexpensive veggies (celery, carrots, beans), or I even mix up with a little Frank's hot sauce and serve over a bed of spinach with a little bit of feta sprinkled on it. So very easy. Also, I do a lot of breakfast for dinner - eggs are dirt cheap and I boil a few, slice over a piece of toast and melt a piece of cheese over top in toaster oven with some fruit on side or a yogurt. I buy ground turkey/beef when on sale and then season with taco seasoning, store in freezer bags and when I want something taco-like, will put over a Southwestern bag salad. Just heat in micro or on stove. I do a lot of yogurt parfaits with fruit, some sliced almonds, and drizzle of honey and always have frozen berries in the freezer (buy the big bag of mixed berries frozen at Walmart). It's pretty inexpensive, fast and cures the sweet cravings too. MFP tells me 1200 calories too - I'm 5' and 142 lbs. I raised it myself to 1350 as I went on several online calculators and they all averaged around 1350. I've been at 1200 for years and not gotten anyplace. Maybe going up a little will help!
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