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Old 01-16-2008, 09:59 AM   #1
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Unhappy Broke and trying to eat healthy

Ok. So I am completely broke. I usually spend about 250 every 2 weeks on groceries. Well since Christmas I am broke. So I am going to the grocery store every friday and getting the bare necessities. Milk, bread, eggs, yogurt. I dont have the money to buy alot of fruits and veggies. Does anyone have any ideas that would help me make it through until I get my taxes back?

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Old 01-16-2008, 10:08 AM   #2
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Oh man....I can relate. I've been in your shoes too many times to count. Eating healthy can be expensive. How about frozen veggies? They are relatively inexpensive. How about some peas/beans/lentils? These are great sources of protein. You could pick up a bag of these and make a big pot that can be eaten for several meals.

Hope the financial worries ease for you soon.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:10 AM   #3
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Maybe a jar of all natural applesauce for some fruit. Usually you can get a store brand for not too much money.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #4
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Totally relate myself....I'm trying to feed enough for 6 people everyday, and it ain't easy with our limited budget. Basically, I try to fix meals that ensures leftovers, like a big pot of chili, or chicken chili to be healthier, casseroles, etc. I make sure to put some veggies in these, so it does get stretched out over the next few days. As for fruits, same deal there. I tend to buy frozen because sometimes there's a deal on these. Hang in there!
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:19 AM   #5
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Do you eat beans? Do you eat rice? Those are fairly cheap if you buy them in bulk.

Is there anything in your pantry that you can use?

Depending on your family size, $250 for 2 weeks seems like a lot of money for groceries but I know depending on your family size (and metabolisms), it may not go far.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:23 AM   #6
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I feel ya on the budget. We have found a cheap store like Save a lot and we have to buy the frozen stuff right now. The veggies are pretty good. We have been trying to make everything in the crock pot, it makes it taste so much better like a veggie soup. We put in a couple bags of mixed veggie and 1 can of tomato sauce and it is pretty good and last a couple of days.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:27 AM   #7
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I don't know your plan, but there are lots of inexpensive low-cal foods. I love brown rice, and frequently use it as the main part of my meal. I know that potatoes tend to be vilified, but I love them with some spices, and they're low-cal and tend to be inexpensive. My sister recommended that I try a high-protein shake. At first, I rejected the idea because a large container of it costs about $14. But when I looked at it and realized that there are about 25 servings per container, I conceded that spending about 55 cents per meal - about the same price as a small container of yogurt - was doable for me, and I have actually found that half a recommended serving really fills me up because of the high protein amount, pushing the net price down even further. (I have always been opposed to drinking my calories, but I was very surprised by how full I am, and if I make it fairly thick, it feels like I'm having a small meal.) Tuna is a major part of my meal plan, and that's fairly cheap. I also like bran flakes (though they do have too much sugar generally, and they're too highly processed) and oatmeal, and each of these are pretty cheap.

Of course, vegetables are very important, and I really like to use fruit as a source of fiber and nutrients. I know that kiwi (which I LOVE) and pears are cheaper now than they were in the summer, so I rely pretty heavily on those. Carrots and celery are usually very reasonable if you're willing to wash, peel,and cut your own. There are always canned and frozen options, too (though I'd personally have to be starving before I'd eat most canned foods). It really is a matter of just investing some time to find some inexpensive options.

I don't know what you need for your kids, but I frequently skip the milk, since it tends to be so expensive and I'm not a big fan of hormones and antibodies for either me or my children. And bread tends to be nutritionally deficient, even if you get whole-grain, and the cheaper stuff is rarely whole grain. Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein, though, and I love my yogurt.

It's a challenge to do this at all, let alone to do it with a restricted budget. I know you'll find ways to make it work, though!
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:27 AM   #8
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I am feeding a family of 5 on $250 every 2 weeks. Also that $250 includes a trip to BJ's also. So it seems like alot but it really isnt. I wish I was able to spend less. LOL.... But that isnt going to happen. I buy frozen veggies but I never thought about buying frozen fruit. Thanks alot.

Chelavon: that veggie soup is an awesome idea. Thanks.....
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dek6 View Post
I am feeding a family of 5 on $250 every 2 weeks.
Yes, $250.00 every two weeks for a family of 5 is not extravagant. Families are expensive.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:59 AM   #10
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Oh I have a Costco membership and I buy most of my food there.

Frozen veggies, frozen fruit, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, rice, etc.

Also, do you happen to have an asian market near you? You can often get a lot of stuff there cheap, especially fruits and veggies.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:10 AM   #11
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Farmer's markets can also be cheaper than grocery stores for fresh produce, since it's mostly in season. My sister bought about 10 lbs of zucchini for $2 and we ate it for weeks, it seems like. That and a giant bag of beans with rice lasted for quite a while. The trick with buying bulk food is finding a cool dry place to put it so it won't go bad while you're using it up...
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:17 AM   #12
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If you do want to buy some fresh veggies, then try a Farmer's Market. They are usually much less expensive than a grocery store. I bought the fixings for a very healthy vegetable soup almost two weeks ago, and I still have soup left. I've been having it for lunch everyday, and I've also had it for dinner twice in the last two weeks. I'll bake up one of those frozen dinner rolls to go with it. Counting a couple purchases at the grocery store (veggie broth, kidney beans), it probably cost me about $20 to make a pot of it that fed me lunch for 8 days and dinner for 2. I doubled up on both dinner portions, so it could feed you lunch for 12 days or dinner for 6. It's filling and tastes wonderful. Plus, you get your daily veggies in for 130 calories a bowl.

If you're interested, here's the link to the recipe. It will probably cost you more if you buy the veggies at the grocery store, not the Farmer's Market.

I also buy things in bulk at Costco so I don't have to buy them every time I go to the store. My boyfriend and I both eat healthy on about $60 a week - which is $30 a person. Some weeks it is a little more, some weeks a little less.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:20 AM   #13
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Oatmeal for breakfast is very inexpensive. I buy the store brand and cook it in the microwave. It's less than $2.00 for a huge container that will last a couple of weeks, even with several folks eating it several times a week. Also dried beans are nutritious, much lower in sodium than canned, and very inexpensive. Good fiber and protein. I personally would concentrate on spending my money on vegetables, and proteins (eggs and whatever meat you can find on sale), and a cheap whole grain like a big bag of brown rice. I know fruit is great, but my opinion is that I could do without it easier for a couple of weeks than the other stuff.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:29 AM   #14
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It's not farmer's market season around here, but if it is where you live, here's a good tip from someone whose family sells at market: try to show up at the farmer's market about a half hour before closing, not earlier in the day. A lot of farmers will be willing to give you great deals on the produce that's left at the end of the day so that they don't have to haul it back to their farms and/or find a buyer. Yeah, you don't get as much choice, but the price is often way beyond right.

During the peak of zucchini season, many growers will gladly *give* away their zucchinis rather than have them go to waste. Don't be afraid to ask (politely)!

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Old 01-16-2008, 01:05 PM   #15
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It's cheapest right now in winter to base our diets on cheap stuff. Dry beans (there are so many kinds... I get dry chickpeas and make hummus), lentils, split peas, brown rice, wild rice. I find the winter squashes are relatively cheap as well so we eat them every week (butternut, acorn, etc).

If you check the sales and buy just the produce that's on sale, in bulk, it helps. I buy only the meats that are on sale for the week. Stock up on canned goods when they go one sale: tuna, low sodium soups, fruits canned in juice, and lots of canned tomatoes. When ground beef goes on sale for $1/pound I buy a ton and freeze in in 2 lb packages. Just rinse the beef in hot water after cooking and it takes a lot of the fat out.

Oatmeal is cheap so I have that for breakfast a lot.
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