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WW on a budget

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Old 03-03-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
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Hi!

I was wondering if you thought it could be possible to do WW on a buget. I want to spend less than $40 /w in food for one person. Any tips? Any recipes?

Thanks a lot!

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Old 03-03-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
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I think it is very doable.

Do you have a store that sells bulk food near you? Whole Foods tends to sell bulk food and their bulk food is very reasonably priced.

You can buy all sorts of whole grains (rice, quinoa, oatmeal, etc) and legumes (beans, lentils) in bulk which helps save a lot of money.

do you have a good farmers market near you? Often you can find produce cheaper there.

Do you have any asian markets near you? Asian markets are great for finding all sorts of stuff cheap.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:13 PM   #3
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Sales, sales, sales! Look for the sales... You know, though, I find, jsut the shear fact that I am physically eating less, food costs less... Instead of eating two serving for dinner, I am only eating one - so that is like 1/2 price. And junk food is expensive, so if you are minimizing that, that will help.

Farmers markets are great for fresh veggies and fruits.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:30 PM   #4
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The great thing about WW is you can eat anything you want, in moderation. So if there's a sale on one kind of food one week, there's no reason you can't eat it all week if it's what you can afford. WW doesn't make you buy pre-packaged anything, or any kind of specific food. So that being said, the question becomes whether you can eat on $40/week generally, which I'd say is totally doable.

Buying in bulk and shopping sales are good suggestions. You might also look into cooking in bulk and freezing things, as it's often cheaper to, say, buy a whole roaster chicken and eat it over three days than to buy three days worth of chicken breasts. Then you can make soup out of the leftovers too!

There are plenty of resources out there for eating cheaply, though you have to be alert and only pick out the healthy tips. Some of the frugal sites will have you eating kraft mac n cheese if it's cheap, and you should just weed out those kinds of suggestions. One place I know of with lots of good eating-on-a-budget tips is hillbillyhousewife.com (don't get turned off by the name, she's got some good stuff though a lot of it is oriented towards feeding the whole family on a tight budget). She has a grocery list for feeding a family of four for $45/week so I'm pretty sure it's doable for one person

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:07 PM   #5
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I am currently doing WW on about £20 a week, which is roughly the equivalent of about $40, give or take price differences and everything. I eat quite well, too, and much better than I used to when I was spending up to £30-£40 a week for food. I find, like SCraver, that I am spending less because I am eating less, so that will be good for your budget too
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:00 AM   #6
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I am so not good at budgeting the grocery bill at our house however, I know that sf jello is a pretty cheep 0pt item for the sweet tooth and I get light pop corn at wally world (wal mart) in the generic brand for like $2-$3 and its is a huge box..(pop corn is one of my favorite snacks) I also get my light bread and lunch meat there...its way cheaper than the grocery store. Also oatmeal in bulk is pretty cheep and lasts a long time...put some cinnamon and sugar sub in it or 1/2 of a yogurt and its pretty good.....as for protein....I would jsut check out what is on sale each week and stock up on it then...chicken is usually always on sale and can be fixed a lot of different ways....Hope this helps....I know how expensive it can be to eat right...but I think with a little bit of work it is doable
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
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Ahhhh a woman after my own heart. I'm am known as the frugal queen in my world. I do clip coupons which some people do not like to do. What coupons enable me to do is to stock up on certain items when they are on sale and be able to eat a better quality of food at a lower price. It won't help you with many of the produce items but every once in a while there are even produce coupons out there.

I just replenished my house for a family of 4 for $93.00 That will last me 2 weeks so that being said. Yes, you can do WW on a budget. Here is what I do. I'll go thru the shopping aisles. I spend the money on FF whole wheat tortillas w/o coupons. I buy whatever margarine is on sale, because it's all pretty much the same and a point is a point. Yogurt. I buy fat free plain yogurt in the 32 oz tub. It's about $2 and it's 4 servings of filling healthy calcium and add your own fruit and splenda and you'll be surprised how filling and tasty it is. And it's core if you are following core. Milk is always on sale somewhere. Thankfully at 4.99 a gallon here, it's a spendy item. Eggs - the price has jumped recently but clip the Better Eggs coupons at .50 each and it brings a dozen eggs down to $1.49 a dozen rather than $2.49 and cheaper than store brand. Cream cheese - nonfat, watch the sales. It has a pretty good shelf life. Parmasan and other shredded cheeses go on sale frequently. I take the points for 2% if I'm on core or if the ff is on sale, I buy that. The trick here is not to be brand loyal. Canned fruits and veggies, not the best nutrition choice but a choice if you are on a budget and fruits and veggies are not in season. There are coupons out there. Same with tuna. I like albacore now since starting WW so when it's on sale, I stock up. I like the pouches for work but I do buy the cans too. Sometimes coupons on the pouches. The canned chicken goes on sale for $1 a can frequently too. Not bad to put in soups or a quick lunch choice. Instead of spaghetti sauce, I frequently will buy diced tomatoes in the can with basil and onion or garlic and use that over my whole wheat pasta. I have found whole wheat pastas at bulk food stores and more and more on sale locally - stock up when you see it on sale. I too buy bulk oatmeal and farina for breakfast. Add some raisins and splenda and it's a great breakfast. Filling, cooks in the microwave and easily toteable if you need a quick meal any time of the day.

I stay out of the cookie - cracker aisle. I can't control myself even with those 100 cal packs, so I just don't buy them. They are pricey too. I do buy a brand of bread Aunt Millie's High Fiber Wheat bread which is 1 pt for 2 slices but it's on sale frequently for $2 a loaf. It freezes well. I also stock up on wheat low fat english muffins. They went on sale for $1 here last month and I bought 2. Throw them in the freezer. They toast up great.

Produce. The trick here is to buy what is in season. I only buy Yukon Gold Potatoes now but these days I only have to buy a bag every 5-6 weeks because we don't have potatoes as often with WW. Brown rice is a staple and I buy that bulk and use my rice cooker or I buy Uncle Ben's instant and use the coupons that are out there frequently. A trick that I have found with lettuce. Buy either the romaine hearts (yep, they are usually 3 for 3 heads but they last a long time in the bag) or organic lettuce in the plastic tubs. You may shudder at the cost of both of those items but they last much longer than any of the bagged lettuce that is out there. I find that I can use lettuce from one of those tubs up to 2 weeks. When was the last time that you did that wtih bagged lettuce? Tomatoes. Use Romas. Beef steakier and usually much cheaper. Green peppers were $1.99 lb here yesterday, so I didn't buy them. I have some frozen in my freezer from last summer for cooking and I just don't need them fresh right now. I'll wait. Grapes were .99 a lb so I bought those instead of bananas for a change.

Onions, celery, peppers can be bought when the prices are low and chopped and stored in containers in the freezer for cooking.

Deli meats - watch the deli section or the prepackaged section. You can usually find something at a decent price in one or the other section, including sliced deli cheeses. Makes a nice change from other lunches. I also buy flat breads from the deli - 2.99 but there are 6 in a pkg and I freeze them and pull as needed.

Condiments - usually coupons on all of these but many in the recipes don't have coupons. So I will buy one item each shopping trip for a new recipe. I bought white wine rice vinegar for some of my take out chinese recipes - that will last me at least a year.

Get a couple WW cookbooks or better yet, take advantage of all the online resources for bulk low fat/point recipes. I usually try to cook up one or two big serving items on the weekend and put them in the freezer with the name of the food and pts written on a piece of scotch tape on the lid of the freezer item.

A couple thoughts - it takes a bit to stock up your cupboards with healthy choices. Once you have done so, it will get much easier but you don't need to go hog wild and do it all at once. Also you will not be eating nearly as much as you used to, so a little will go a long way.

I'm sure there's more. I hope this post all fits!
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:59 AM   #8
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Oh yeah a couple more things I just thought of.

I don't buy too many premade frozen meals. Nothing against them. They are quick and easy but I find them to be more spendy than the leftover frozen meals I can cook for myself and my own cooking has more bulk and healthy items in there. You can buy them on sale and throw a salad or extra veggies in there which I do do occasionally but mostly I just have my own frozen meals from the bulk meals that I make.

Also, keep your eyes open for packages of healthy meat cuts that are marked down. They can be 20-40% off in my area if they are close dated. They freeze well and are not bad for you. The store can only sell them to the sell date and then they have to move the product out. I also watch for single servings of items in this situation and buy 3-4 pkgs of them. A great way to get a petite steak or other items for you or your family if you have one.

Watch the fresh fish aisle too - smaller servings are pretty affordable if you watch the weekly specials. I currently have salmon and catfish filets in the freezer from weekly specials. My local stores also do a lot of Buy one get one free specials on fish this time of year. Take advantage of that. Tilapia for 2.99 lb and bogo (buy one get one free) makes it 1.50 lb - cheap, cheap, cheap. And Tilapia is also good breaded with breadcrumbs and frozen for later if necessary. Lots of good recipes for low points here on the board.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:02 AM   #9
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As 2thinme stated, sf jello that you make yourself is really reasonable. .60 for store brand for 4 servings. Add a couple tablespoons of lite Cool whip (store brand is cheaper) and it's a cheap dessert treat. Same thing with sf puddings

Microwave popcorn is always on sale. Clip those coupons. I won't buy popcorn unless i can get it for .40 or cheaper a box. My family relies on me to keep them stocked up with micro popcorn.

In the summer months here in Michigan, I freeze or can everything that I can get my hands on. Much healthier and better for my family. I can my own flavored tomatoes with basil and onions but I never seem to have enough of these to last through the winter months.

Can you tell that I find shopping, budgeting and couponing a fun hobby?
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:05 AM   #10
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One more post - I could go on forever but I won't :-)

Get yourself lots of freezer containers that are reusable. Buy on sale, with coupons or even use the leftover cottage cheese, margarine, and sour cream containers. If you are a yard saler, watch for tupperware or other stuff at sales. They are usually quite reasonable there. I have all my bulk items in either Tupperware storage containers or in canning jars with lids on them
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:04 PM   #11
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Wow! They are some good savers on shopping for food. I have done this most of our married lofe simply because of the large #'s in our family. However, we do tend to forget and our family has grown and gone and I slipped on the coupon refunds. Now I will start cutting again. We do have a freezer in basement and buy meat on sale. I too make my own freezer dinners. Hubby loves them! This sure is a good board.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:14 AM   #12
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My fiance and I feed both ourselves and his parents on WW. We stay with them to help take care of them, but at the same time we're trying to save for our wedding so I've pretty much mastered this! This is going to be long so please bare with me.

Until his mom helped me, I was clueless about how sales could help me since there never seemed to be ones good enough. People always told me the same thing, sales, sales, sales but I was always lost... so here's what I've learned.

1. First of all, find a GOOD fruit and vegetable stand. This is going to take TIME. We went to oh... probably 6 of them until we found one we liked. The one we go to sells grapes for .99 a pound while the grocery store sells them for 2.99 a pound. Now, I'm not sure where you live so obviously you may have a different experience. Mine is in Largo,FL far away from any farms lol.

2. Next, make sure you get ads from all the grocery stores in the area. If you don't, they always have ads on their website for their weekly deals and specials. Figure out when they start their sales... it will say on the ad. The reason for this is, because you want to go the first day otherwise really good sales will be gone.

3. The day before (if you get the ads in the mail), or the day of (if you view them online) go through each one of the ads to find the good deals of the stuff you enjoy. For example, we eat a lot of chicken. I do not, however, buy chicken breasts unless they are under $2.00 a pound. So if those are on sale, I buy them in bulk. If they're not, I move onto other stuff.

4. Make a list for each store. You won't actually be buying everything off this list, just making a comparison list. List the items that you would enjoy, or think you might.

5. Start planning meals. You decide... ok, turkey sausage is on sale buy 1 get 1 free and eggs are on sale. So I'm going to have breakfast for dinner tonight and make turkey sausage omelet. You also see that ground turkey is on sale, as well as taco bell dinner kits buy 1 get 1 free. So you decide to make turkey taco's.

6. Stock up! Anytime you see a deal on something you enjoy that's a really great bargain, stock up on it! I don't mean 20 cents off either. I love the Campbells Select microwave bowls. A whole bowl on average is about 4-5 points. But at 2.50 a bowl, I don't think so! So I wait until they are buy 1 get 1 free, or 4 for 5. I can handle 1.25 a bowl, and they are PERFECT for at work when you're in a hurry. Only 2 minutes to heat up.

7. Pick the stores that have the best sales this week and go to them. Don't go to all of them. It's time consuming, gas wasting, and frustrating. Just do your best at 1 or 2 of them.

Now, I don't like frozen dinners, but if they are on sale I will buy them. Like when healthy choice are 5 for 10.... I know that's 5 meals (usually at work) that week for only 10 dollars. So I get them anyway.

Last but not least, when I cook dinner, I always make more than I need. That way the leftover serving I can pack away in a container and take it to work. Obviously if it doesn't reheat well I reach for a frozen dinner, or campbell's soup. But usually they will reheat well.

Certain things are so expensive that I won't buy them unless they are buy 1 get 1 free. Tuna for example. Campbell's chunky soups. Bertolli olive oil, Bertolli Sauce.

Some things you will never find on sale, especially diet things. Like light chips, or Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta... So you have to save money elsewhere if you are going to get them. You could just get regular pasta, and not get chips (I rarely do but my fiance likes them from time to time).

For dieting, and for budget I stretch everything out with vegetables. Again... only if you have a good fruit and vegetable market near you. Almost everybody does! Either at the fleat market, a harvest market type thing, or a produce stand.

Here's two examples:

2 meals for 4 people

My shopping list:

1 pound - 20 ounces of ground turkey 2.79 on sale
4 green peppers - $1 at produce stand
1 onion $.25 at produce stand
Zucchini (my personal splurge) $1 at produce stand
Then Ronzoni pasta (8 servings) about $2
Bertolli buy 1 get 1 free
Light hotdog buns
1-2 carrots
2 medium potatoes

In a food processor I process half the onion, a green pepper or 2, 1-2 carrots then throw in meat, breadcrumbs, eggwhites, etc... turn into meatballs and you get a lot of them. Enough for pasta with meatballs 1 day (leftover pasta by itself another day) and meatball 'subs' the next day.

I sautee the green peppers, onion and zuchhini in a TINY bit of olive oil, mix that with the pasta sauce and it doubles it's size, as well as the size of the pasta servings.

Then I take the leftover pasta to work with me maybe with whatever other leftovers I find and have meatball subs with potatoes made into 'french fries'.

I told you this would be long, but hopefully it helped. I still have some kinks to work out, I'm not as great as his mother at it... but then again her idea of dinner is frozen salsbury seaks, instant potatoes, and stove top stuffing. Not diet friendly at all!

Good luck! Hope this doesn't hurt your eyes. I really does hope it helped, I really needed it ages ago.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:16 AM   #13
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Oh, and one last thing... clip coupons if you can.. I TRY. If you have 50 cents off 2 Campbell's Chunky soups... combine that with buy 1 get 1 free... you get them for one dollar per can. This works for everything, combine the coupons with the sales for your best deals.

Truthfully... I always forget my coupons! But if you can remember, do.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:18 PM   #14
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Tormentated - good job - I think you reiterated basically what my posts said but in a different scenario!!! clapping and applauding!!!!
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:29 PM   #15
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Rosegarden, I felt awful after posting cause I actually read the thread AFTER I posted. LOL

I just got so excited about the question, because it's something that I REALLY struggled with until only about a year ago. The original poster reminded me so much of questions I've asked for years but nobody seemed to be able to have answers for me that worked. So I was so excited to share my tips with someone else in hopes they could skip the trouble of trying to figure things out the hard way, like I did!

On another note, there are a LOT of great tips in here for anyone trying to save money. "DIET" food is NOT cheap, but eating QUALITY healthy food does NOT have to be expensive, by any stretch of the imagination. And I think that's an important thing for anyone to note, as EVERYONE is on a budget these days. Our family spends over $400 in GAS over a month. But skimping on healthy food isn't an option. So instead spending just an hour or two a week planning meals in advance can not only help anyone reach their weight loss goals by avoiding common pitfalls such as "Whats for dinner? Oh, there's McDonalds!" but also makes it possible for healthy LIVING to be in anyone's budget!

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