Fitness Minutes: (1,140)
351 10/8/12 9:50 A
I get free ad pages on Wednesdays and they are always full of coupons and store ads. I will look over these for deals on meat. We have a grocery store here with great meat sales, their other stuff not so much, but I will go there just for their meat, then WalMart for the rest. Our nearest Aldi's is 2 hours away but if I know I'm headed that way, I will make a special trip.
Aldi's is great for canned goods and frozen fruits and veggies. At WalMart, I buy 5 lb bag of chicken breasts, then just thaw out whatever I need, or divide the bag up into Ziploc freezer bags. I also buy those big bags of frozen fish, tilapia, they come in single serving vacuum packs and are easy to thaw in a small sink of cold water, for a single serving. We love the big bags of vegetables Normandy from WalMart, the bag is huge and resealable so I can just pour into a saucepan what I need.
I don't eat red meat, so I buy rolls of turkey burger and whole fryer chickens besides the breasts bag, occasionally for variety I might buy a family value pack of pork chops or a pork roast to cook with veggies. Sometimes I buy frozen mixed veggies and a can of beef broth and fix up a veggie soup that will last me all week. I just store it in a big tupperware container in my fridge. I also get a head of lettuce, or a big container of the greener lettuces and my own carrots, celery, green onions, frozen peas, etc and make a big bowl of salad, then divide it up into sandwich bags, then all I have to do is pull a bag out for a bowl.
I go grocery shopping every week, but buy different things every other week based on my budget. I like to plan meals ahead of time and I get recipes for new things online. Cooks.com is one of my favorite websites, because all their recipes are reader submitted and they have a nice selection of low calorie meals.
Hope all this helps! It is possible to eat healthy on a budget!
You could also try farmers markets. The veggies are in season, are a bit cheaper because of that and last a bit longer than the ones in the supermarket because you don't have to have them shipped. For meat, because it is more expensive, i agree that the bulk sizes or chicken work wonderfully. Maybe there is a family member or friends that you can share the cost with. There are usually about 12 breasts in a bag. Maybe you take 6 and they take the other 6. then you are only paying for 1/2.
If you buy fruit in season right now, freeze it. i freeze fruit all the time and put it in my smoothies.
Fitness Minutes: (4,660)
85 10/8/12 8:15 A
I am assuming that you are in the States (please correct me if I'm wrong!).
If at all possible, save up and get a 4-6 quart slow cooker. It doesn't need to be one of the fancy ones, a basic one works just as well in my opinion.
Slow cookers can turn some of the toughest cuts of meat into morsels that will fall apart, you can cook dry beans in them (very cheap and great protein source), and you can make soups and stews. I'm rediscovering soups myself at the moment. Very filling with minimal calories and I can put what I want into them instead of what some manufacturer wants in them!
For our breakfasts, some days we have eggs, toast, yoghurt (or milk and fruit), and either a sausage or a bit of bacon. Other days we just have a bowl of cereal or oatmeal.
For example, this week: We had a small beef roast (1 kg size brisket) with some carrots, potatoes and an onion yesterday for dinner.
Today my husband is having a roast beef and cheese sandwich and a yoghurt for lunch. I had rice and a portion of homemade veggie soup.
For dinner tonight I have beef stew cooking in the slow cooker. I had 3 small potatoes, a handful of fresh mushrooms, carrots, an onion, chicken stock from the roast chicken from last week and the leftover beef from last night.
I trimmed all of the fat off of the beef to make beef stock with. I'll make the stock with meat and veggie scraps, refrigerate it overnight, then scrape the fat off of the top.
Tomorrow we will both have beef stew for lunch and probably for dinner as well.
Wednesday we will probably have chicken noodle soup (homemade) with vegetables and I'll make chicken "shepherds" pie from leftover chicken (from the wings since no one eats them here!) and veggies for dinner. I'll also put some dried beans on to soak Wednesday.
Thursday for lunch we will each have a serving of shepherds pie for lunch and I'll make rice and beans for dinner.
Friday for lunch, again leftovers: rice and beans. Dinner on Fridays here is always special, since we have homemade pizza. If I'm feeling up to it, I'll make pizza dough shortly after lunch. If not, a slice or two of whole wheat bread works just as well. You could also use a flour or corn tortilla, bought or homemade, I'm just going off what we have on hand. Making the pizza at home means that we can choose what and how much goes onto and into them! I'll probably have a small amount of pasta sauce with mushrooms, a very few pieces of sweet bell pepper and a light dusting of cheese. My husband can put whatever he wants onto his.
Saturday we sleep late (well, usually) so we only have lunch and dinner. Lunch will be a scrambled egg, a bit of bacon off cuts (cooked and drained well), mushrooms, a piece of toast and a cup of either juice or milk to drink.
Dinner Saturday will be vegetable curry (one of my favourite recipes and because it really makes a lot it lasts for a few days worth of lunches for me).
Next Sunday will probably be cereal for lunch (again with the sleeping in) and either a roast chicken or a small roast pork joint with vegetables.
I make out menus based on what I have to start with, then branching out into those recipes I can make with just a few added ingredients. Also, if you have a freezer, use it! If you cook a batch of something that makes 8 servings and don't feel like eating it for days on end, portion some out into baggies or small containers and freeze them. Thaw them overnight in the fridge or just straight up microwave or heat them on the stove.
Even our trash collector has commented on how little food waste we have (we have a separate food waste container for pick up here). Make sure to use every scrap that you can so that less is wasted. I'm not saying that you waste food, but it is unfortunately a very easy thing to do.
If you don't mind me asking, what is your food budget and is it for a week, two weeks, or a month?
Sorry that this post is a bit rambling, but making wonderful and healthy meals on a very tight budget is something I enjoy doing. If you'd like some help and/or recipe/meal ideas, feel free to send me a message or reply here. That goes for anyone, not just the original poster!
This reminds me that I really do need to start blogging again...
Hope this helps,
PS - Just one example of price difference, the beef stew that I'm making tonight makes 8 servings. The ingredients for it have costed me £2.53, or £0.32 per serving, whereas buying the same amount already premade would have costed £14, or £1.75 per serving.
Is there an Aldi anywhere close? Also, we are on a budget. I try to buy my meats one week then my sides the next. When I keep rotating the costs this works. I am buying for 2 weeks at a time. I also buy in value packs and split them into several meals before freezing.
Fitness Minutes: (18,152)
888 10/5/12 5:38 P
$.99 cent only stores!!! I love it! you just have to go often because the fresh stuff doesnt last but canned goods are great!!- a dozen eggs for 99 cents --cant beat it!!-- you could also buy stuff in bulk and get baggies and divide it into servings yourself???? -Crystal
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.