Food Talk And Fabulous Finds Recipes, Healthy Cooking, and General Food Topics

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Old 08-30-2008, 01:07 PM   #1  
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Question eating cheap on a diet?

i absolutely know this has been discussed....but i am finding bits and pieces on so many different boards. (ie south beach, calorie counters, 100+ pounds). i am confuzzled. (thanks, melanie)

all i can remember is kaplods tvp hint.

i am wanting to be more frugal.!

as in more bang for my buck.

so what is your best hint or hints for eating healthy and well but saving money.

i am counting calories but input from all food plans welcome.

hey, i am adaptable!

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Old 08-30-2008, 01:36 PM   #2  
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Oh my gosh do I feel your pain!!! My boyfriend and I normally go grocery shopping together (he has his cart, I have mine). I'm trying to eat healthfully, he doesn't really give a rip. He ends up getting TWICE as much food for the money as I do....SO NOT FAIR!

It's really expensive to eat healthy =(. Especially when you're going for the "convenient" healthy food (ie, south beach bars/meals, etc).

There's a fresh veggie stand near my house, which seems to be a *bit* cheaper than Safeway. I'm also a big fan of coupon cutting, which can be a pain in the rear but usually ends up being worth it.

So no ground-breaking advice here, but I am definitely in the same boat!!
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:38 PM   #3  
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Can you grow any of your own veggies? That's one way to save some dough.
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:55 PM   #4  
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Tailgate farmers markets are very cheap (actual farmers, not middlemen). Bulk dried beans and grains from the health food store, as well as bulk herbs and spices (spend pennies instead of bucks). You can eat very healthy and cheap without ever setting foot into a regular supermarket
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Old 08-30-2008, 02:00 PM   #5  
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Water-packed tuna is a great source of low-cost protein.

Sometimes stores have sales on lean meats, chicken, etc. And family packs are often a good buy--you can freeze what you can't cook right away. In fact, family packs of many things are often a good savings.

Fresh vegetables are often less expensive than frozen, although frozen microwavable packs are more convenient. It's up to you to decide on which you want to trade off. You do have to cook the fresh vegetables fairly soon to avoid having them go bad.

If your favorite bread is on sale, you can buy two loaves and freeze one of them.

Are you a diet soda drinker? I started diluting my diet cola 1/2 with sparkling water because I wanted to drink less of the cola--and now that I'm used to it, I prefer it. Sparkling water is often less expensive than flavored soda.

Just a few ideas...

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Old 08-30-2008, 02:51 PM   #6  
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I use recipes from Ashy MacBean's website. They're vegetarian but some are very delicious, and very cheap. I make lots of rice and pulse dishes, then bag them in half or third sized portions in the freezer, and for meals have a mixture of them, thali style, he calls it.

I'm a meat eater, so I add meat meals in too but the Ashy ones really make the money spin out.
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #7  
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We just came back from our farmer's market here in town & found that their prices went up! (reason being the price of gas to come into town). We bought a bunch of 5 carrots for $1.50 (nice and sweet not woody at all), a green pepper ($2), spanish onion ($1.50), 6 corn on the cob ($2.75). Yes, more expensive than Food Basics - but is it the fresher & better for you? With the latest outbreak of listeria - we've decided to not eat processed foods - only local meats, eggs, milk (as much as we reasonably can). Thankfully we live in a small town where we have a dairy factory, butchers and a mennonite community. In theory, if we ate less of the processed & junk foods then we would save money & weight too!! I'll let you know how it all works out.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:44 PM   #8  
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Sometimes, certain farmers will do home deliveries of fruits and veggies - for example, my mum used to get packages of veggies delivered for the soups she made. I don't remember how much they cost, but i remember they costed less than buying them at a supermarket would have been.

Are there any farmer's markets in your local area you could go to? or fish markets? Maybe you should do a bit of research on places available near you where you can buy direct and save.

Wow that last bit sounded like a tv ad.. haha.

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Old 09-02-2008, 07:58 PM   #9  
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If you are looking for cheap, don't overlook frozen veggies (and fruit)! Much less of it is wasted so that helps control the costs.

Also, frozen veggies often retain more nutrients than fresh produce in the store, and they cut down on prep time.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:19 PM   #10  
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This thread has quite a few ideas.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:24 PM   #11  
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Canned beans are cheap and tasty. Skim milk is cheaper than higher fat versions. I scour all the ads when they come out and find out which stores are having sales on fruit, veggies. I don't have far to travel between stores so that works well for me. Oatmeal is really cheap for breakfast.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:25 PM   #12  
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Read the labels!

Some of the brand name diet foods have equal nutritional value alternatives. Just look around in the same section and compare nutritional info.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:15 PM   #13  
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I'm a poor (but not starving, obviously!) college student myself so I am used to eating cheap. One of my favorite meats is chicken thighs. They come in packs of like twelve for only like $5. If you remove the skin, and trim off the excess fat they're not that awful, and generally eating one is a good sized portion.

I also get tilapia which is relatively cheap, if you like fish. I splurge a bit and get a pack of pork tenderloin and cut them into 3 oz size hunks for dinner, one pack of two loins will last me for many weeks, even if it costs like $9.

If you know how to cook, buying ingredients and cooking them is always cheaper than paying someone else to prepare it for you in any fashion, such as eating out, or pre-made frozen dinners. I can't tell you how much money I've saved by cooking for myself.

Usually the most expensive thing is buying the fresh fruit and veggies, but they're worth it! Try to buy fruit in season so it's afforable- apples in the fall, citrus in like january, strawberries in the early summer, etc.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:37 PM   #14  
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It doesn't have to cost more to eat better. You buy better cuts of meat. Yes, they cost more but do they really? You are now eating less ( 4 oz of meat is one of the daily requirements for meat out of two ). You end up paying the same amount for meat ( hamburger for example ) because you are eating less. Frozen wild salmon, talipia and cod can be gotten for a cheap price when it is on sale. These are good for you, come already in 4 oz pieces and are individual packaged so there is no waste. You only have to make one at a time. Frozen veggies are 100% better for you than canned. They tend to cost much less than fresh and are frozen at their peak of ripeness much better for you in some cases than what you buy at the store or even open air markets. Those veggies can sit around for awhile. Two things were bought for my niece when she went to college that she said she couldn't live without. A small refrigerator and a small freezer. She said they were life savers when it came to eating right. Keep in mind you don't have to eat expensive foods to get the required amounts of the four basic food groups each day. Check the labels on meat. Chicken for example is not all created equally. Some has much higher fat and sodium counts than others. Places like save a lot sell frozen chicken breasts and stores like Giant Eagle have great sales on sometimes for fresh chicken breasts. It really is important, if you can, to check for sales. Don't go into a store and buy a bunch of stuff because you are there if you don't normally shop there. Hit the sales and get out.
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