Originally Posted by ImpalaHoarder
This looks like a lot of good advice. I am on a very small food budget, so I think I'm going to have to boil it down to "eat more eggs, tuna, and oatmeal", but I will work on it!
I'm right there with you! I'm a student so buying a lot of protein is a little difficult for me. That's why I like plant-based sources like eggs, oats, chia and hemp seeds. Chia and hemp seeds seem expensive at first but keep an eye out when they go on sale. They don't have a strong taste so you can add them in pretty much anything from smoothies to salads to on top of soups. Here in Canada I can find them discounted at Home Sense. They also often have dried fruits and nuts, just be careful to read the ingredients to check that there is no added sugar or salt.
Costco is another amazing option for discounted anything. I don't have a card myself but I always ask someone to buy quinoa, brown rice and unsalted nuts for me. They last for ages and are good sources of fibre and protein.
Tofu and eggs are my saviours. I eat a vegetarian diet when I'm cooking for myself because I find it much cheaper than buying meat every week. You can substitute tofu with chicken if you don't like it but I like that you can eat it in so many ways and that it's under 5$ (I like it grilled in sandwiches and in cubes in veggie sautés but there are so many ways to work with it).
If it helps, here's what a typical day on my student budget looks like:
- oatmeal with almond milk and honey (extra protein: sprinkled hemp or chia seeds)
- a fruit
- coffee or tea
- half a (multigrain) toast with cheese
- one egg (hard boiled or scrambled)
- coffee or tea
- big salad of whatever is left in the fridge (add hemp seeds, grilled tofu, eggs for protein)
- unsalted nuts (usually almonds but sometimes pistachios or cashews)
- veggie sandwich (multigrain bread, tomato, salad, cucumber, cheese, hummus)
- baby carrots or cucumbers
- nuts or dried fruit
- grilled tofu with lentils, canned tomatoes and whatever veggies I have in the fridge (usually zucchini, carrots, onion, mushrooms and garlic)
- some kind of soup with a half slice of multigrain bread (barley soup, veggie soup, tomato soup...whatever you have)
- a salad if I didn't have one for lunch
Sometimes I'll make myself pesto with multigrain pasta/quinoa pasta/rice pasta (I grab the kind that's on sale) but I don't recommend it if you're trying to avoid having sugar crashes.