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SLITKE's Photo SLITKE Posts: 22
1/30/10 8:17 A

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Sorry to drag up an old post, but I'm new here and just checking things out.

Some ideas - shop at places like DFO and Aldi. Produce is produce is produce and it doesn't matter what store.

When summer is here, go to farmers markets and pick your own, and then freeze your own veggies and fruit. I have fresh frozen strawberries in my freezer I picked myself last summer. Great for smoothies and on top of yogurt. And if you can, grown your own garden. Takes time, but the rewards are worth it.

And sometimes prepared food just seems cheaper. But if you buy the chicken and veggies to make fresh soup, you get a lot more meals then if you buy the canned stuff. And the rewards to your health are worth it.

Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.

 current weight: 150.0 
8/10/09 12:20 P

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I've been there, done that with budget shopping. I remember I had to ask my dad for $5 so I could buy a few jars of baby food. I noticed you said there were a few adults in the house hold, but here is one of my favorite budget friendly meals. We feed 2 dieting adults, 1 growing boy that eats more than the adults, and a picky 3 year old.

Shopping list:

1 whole chicken (Stop & Shop has them around $6-8)
White Rice (One bag 32 oz $1)
BBQ Sauce (Aldi has bottles for $1)
3 Green Beans (Canned is fine on a budget, Aldi is best priced under a $1)
1 Black Beans (Canned, Aldi $1)
Canned Potatoes (about $1, buy them whole or sliced or diced, whichever is cheaper)
Bag of Egg Noodles ($2)

Take the Whole Chicken, and bake it (w/BBQ sauce if you want). Make rice and green beans. Dieters - remove skin & eat white meat About 2-4 oz each. Measure your rice and green beans. Non-dieters especially the kids that need the calories if meals are infrequent - eat the skin, eat as many green beans and as much rice as they want.

Take the left over chicken and start pealing all the meat off. Get as much as you can and put it in a bowl. Add BBQ Sauce to the chicken. For the next day, take the left over chicken, the white rice, and the black beans and mix them all up. Dieters - measure all the food. Another 2-4 oz of chicken, 1/2 cup of black beans 1 cup of rice.

Don't throw away the chicken carcus. Boil the chicken bones for a few hours. 3 or 4. Strain the bones out and add the egg noodles and canned pototoes (chopp them if you bought whole) to the broth. Dieters - measure the broth and noodles, about 2 cups. Non-dieters, eat as much as you want, go heavy on the noodles if possible.

So for about $15, you have 3 dinners to feed 4 people. If you have more people than that, make adjustments. Buy a few extra cans. You can make the chicken broth go further too by boiling more water. Add another bag of noodles and/or potatoes. The BBQ sauce is really an option, but we like it. You can experiment with this a lot. When I make chicken broth, I have those large disposable containers, I fill 4 of them and freeze them. And I keep the potatoes and noodles in the house, so if we have nothing, I can throw that on the stove. Rice is our saving grace. If you have enough to buy bulk, it's worth getting a huge bag. We stock up on canned veggies from Aldi (there's one in Newington, Willimantic & East Hartford not sure if that's near you). We have a garden so we get some fresh veggies too. We only drink water, we keep eggs and milk handy. Aldi also has great cereal prices. Lunches are Peanut Butter & Jelly a lot of the time.

I hope that helps. If you want more ideas, feel free to message me.


 current weight: 205.0 
8/9/09 3:51 P

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Don't feel bad about buying frozen fruits and veggies. While fresh is almost always better, frozen is just as good. There are no harmful chemicals or preservatives used in the flash freezing process which makes them a lot better than the canned varieties.

`•.¸ (¨ `•.•´¨)
(¨`•.•´¨) ¸Vanessa

"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done." ~Lucille Ball

"I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book." ~Groucho Marx

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." ~Dorothy Parker

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EMGROFF's Photo EMGROFF SparkPoints: (0)
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8/9/09 1:30 P

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Also, whole chickens (roasters) are much less expensive than chicken parts and they're very easy to cook. You can use the leftovers for other dishes and make stock from the bones.

Beans, especially dried beans, are one of the cheapest, most nutritious foods out there. They are a bit less convenient than canned beans because you have to soak and cook them, but you can just cook up a whole bunch and put them in your freezer.

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SUBWAYSARA's Photo SUBWAYSARA SparkPoints: (0)
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8/6/09 8:03 P

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I agree with one of the posts that talks about buying fresh produce when it is in season. I think that summer is one of the times where a lot of produce is pretty reasonable (corn, blueberries, strawberries, melon, squash, etc) because it is all grown locally. If you are able to buy a lot, you can also freeze it yourself for later on in the year when produce is more pricey.

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7/21/09 1:48 P

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I have much the same problem, but what I do is I only buy meat that is on sale, and unfortunatly I buy frozen veggies over fresh because it is sadly so much cheaper. But I do bulk up my food with the veggies to get more for the money, such as addign corn kernels and such to taco meat. When I cook chicken, I will cook extra, then make another chicken dish the next day, re-using the food. (part of my problem is that my fam. hates leftovers, so I buy food that can go to waste. KILLS me!)

I hope something works for you!

"Look at a man in the midst of doubt and danger and you will learn in his hour of adversity what he really is." ~Roman philosopher Lucretius

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ANGELA3131 Posts: 20
7/20/09 10:53 P

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I agree you can definitely do it on a tight budget. I was in graduate school for 7 years and made next to nothing (just above poverty level). So I learned to shop on a budget and still eat healthy. Here are a few ideas:

1. Clip coupons for dairy/yogurts, healthy snacks. Don't clip coupons for the junk or you will buy the junk.
2. Shop the sales and stock up. In the winter when produce is expensive, I buy no sugar added apple sauce, fruit in fruit juice (no sugar added) in the can, rasins, and frozen vegetables when they are on sale. Especially shop the meat sales: Chicken breast family packages and full pork tenderloins are great examples. You can trim the fat off the meat, repackage it to a family meal portion and freeze it.
3. In the summer I eat what is in season. That's what is usually on sale. Right now it's blueberries, cucumbers, etc.
4. When you shop have a list and try to stay in the outside isles: produce, meat, and dairy. It keeps away the temptations.
5. Have a list when you go into the store and stick with it. You will kind of know your budget ahead of time.
6. Breakdown all the prepared items you buy into individual parts and make a healthy version: instead of buying oatmeal for your kids that is prepackaged, try buying the rolled oats. Add raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon and you have a great breakfast. Very cheap and will last longer than one box of oatmeal.
Good luck on your quest for healthy and cheap food.

ANDREAOKREN SparkPoints: (0)
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7/18/09 10:30 P

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Thanks for the great advice! I will definitely try it!

 current weight: 200.0 
ANJOLENA43's Photo ANJOLENA43 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/18/09 9:48 P

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Having been a single mom for a while I have learned a few tricks along the way. Every weekend I shop at a local market that sells produce many stores will reject because it is small, ripe, etc. I can walk out with a cart load of veggies and fruit for less than $40. I put meals together using whole foods, which actually costs less than processed foods. A local discount store "expect discounts" has canned salmon and tuna, brown rice, quinoa, fat free dairy and some organic products at discount prices. When I feel like treating myself to something special, I love Trader Joe's, and their prices are pretty comparable. Good luck!!

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ANDREAOKREN SparkPoints: (0)
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7/18/09 8:51 P

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Everyone sounds like their doing so well on these weight challenges. I have increased my water intake but I am having a really hard time with the healthy food. My problem is that I am on a tight (and I mean tight) budget and with two kids and three adults to feed I find it very difficult to afford healthy foods versus quick foods and canned/packaged foods. Does anyone have any suggestions?

 current weight: 200.0 
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