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MEREDITHGAYLE SparkPoints: (564)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 3
6/1/13 12:20 A

Thank you all for your advice. I'll read it again later when I'm not so tired.

I'm also trying to go gluten free and non GMO foods as my body can't process all the junk they pump into beef especially. I'm not a veggie lover, though I do like spinach and romaine lettuce. I joined hereto get ideas to get off my 272 lb plateau, I started at 330 lbs, no diet or exercise. I just was eating when I was actually hungry, I used to be an emotional eater. Food has never been my problem, just a misguided method to try and deal with my self worth and self image issues.

The program suggested I lose 50 lbs by this time next year. I think that is doable, though I'm not very active. I hate to exercise, though I love to dance. I'm looking into belly dance as a way to exercise and actually enjoy it. Though, I'm open to any suggestions of any type of exercise. If there are any videos on YouTube let me know about them.

I'm talking too much. Good morning!


ANARIE Posts: 13,185
5/31/13 10:04 P

By the way, I'm self-employed in an industry that's very much up and down. Sometimes I'm out of work for months at a time and sometimes I work 80 hours a week at a very good wage. That means that sometimes I have to get by on less than $50 a month for groceries, and other times I don't have a limit at all. And you know what? It really, truly doesn't make much difference. When I have more, I tend to spend it on fancy coffees, flavored water, and maybe the occasional frozen dinner, but really nothing I need or that would be healthier. The only thing I can afford when I'm flush that I miss when I'm poor is fresh fish (which I wouldn't be able to get where I'm living now), fancy imported cheese, and out-of-season fresh fruit.

Oh, and speaking of fruit: If you live in or near an ethnic/immigrant neighborhood, get brave and go into the markets with the signs in languages you can't read.
Grocery stores that cater to immigrants from Latin America, Asia, or Africa tend to have fabulous prices on produce. I'm talking onions at 7 pounds for a dollar and things like that. You probably won't want to buy packaged foods there, but produce and no-name staples can be a great bargain.

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
5/31/13 9:44 P

Glad you are here Meredith. I would try finding a local food bank in your area and help make your food stretch. They usually give out items like canned goods, pasta, rice, oatmeal, tuna. If you can pick up some eggs then you can make tuna burgers, eat oatmeal with eggs, you can make the canned veggies into veggie soup add some rice or noodles to the soup. If you can get some lettuce you can add some canned beans to that and make a yummy salad. Good luck and hope you find some nutritious things to eat!

ANARIE Posts: 13,185
5/31/13 9:41 P

Even if you're not on WIC, look for the WIC approved foods and grocery lists. That's going to guide you to a lot of foods that are healthier AND cheaper.

Also, you probably don't need 1700-2200 calories unless you're training to run a marathon. If you're very obese, the computer probably gave you too high a calorie allowance. The formula it uses assumes that every pound burns the same number of calories, and that's not true. If you're a woman (and assuming you're trying to lose weight), nothing bad is going to happen to you if you go down to 1500 calories, assuming they're all healthy calories.

(If you're not very overweight, check to make sure you didn't accidentally mark yourself as male when you set up your account.)

Eating 1500 calories a day of healthy food doesn't have to cost much at all, especially if you're willing and able to put in some extra kitchen work. Don't buy food; buy ingredients. Make your own whole-wheat bread; it's about 50 cents a loaf or less. (Get someone with a Sam's or Costco membership to buy you a bag of yeast; you get a pound for just a little more than one of those 3-envelope strips. I calculated it once, and it's something like 1/50th the price per loaf.) Buy plain oatmeal in a carton or out of the bulk bins instead of the envelopes of instant; it's about 1/10th the price. When you buy oats or flour or beans, etc, the store brand is absolutely, 100% as good as name brands. Check the price per ounce, but usually that's another big savings. The last time I bought oatmeal, the store brand was half the price of Quaker.

People have already mentioned rice and beans. That might sound bland and scary, but think about ethnic foods and variations. If you look up recipes and make Indian-style dal one day and Central American gallo pinto the next and Italian or Greek-style beans the next, you're eating gourmet style for under $5 a day. If there's a store like Whole Foods near you, it's worth going there just to buy spices from the bulk jars. You can get a single teaspoon worth to try something, and you don't have to worry about having a jar of something you won't use. For $10, you can buy all the spices you'll need for close to a year. If that's too much to spend at once, set yourself a limit of $5. That will still let you try at least 10 new spices for less than the price of one jar at a regular grocery. It's worth bus fare if you have to go that way.

But the most important thing-- and the thing this site will really help with-- is "waste not, want not." Plan your meals in advance. Get the weekly grocery sales flyers, see what fresh fruits and veggies are on special, and plan a week around those sales. Make a list, eat a good meal before you shop so you're not hungry, and don't buy anything that's not on your list. Never walk out of the store with an item unless you KNOW exactly when and how you're going to use it. Most people waste between a third and half of all the food they buy. Planning your shopping and sticking to it can save you a huge amount of money.

Having a tight budget is actually a blessing in disguise, IMO. If you really, truly cut your budget to the bare bones and buy just the most basic foods, you'll find that you're eating mostly healthy, unprocessed, whole foods. Your shopping basket will look an awful lot like a rich health-obsessed person's basket, except theirs will have brand name labels charging twice the price for the same thing.

LAST20FORME SparkPoints: (4,152)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 158
5/31/13 9:16 P

I know it's not easy at the end of the month considering the little amount they give people. I do know that Costco has been taking food stamps for the last year. You may already know this but I was glad to hear this, why should only expensive places take food stamps. I know the dollar store does not take food stamps but if you have a few dollars to spare, they have large cans of all natural pineapple I buy for a dollar and it's good for 3 servings. They also have canned french green beans I buy and some other foods that are on the healthy side.

I am sure you are not the only person on food stamps here as we are in a recession and there are millions here. You may want to check out some of the spark teams. There are some for buying foods on a budget and team members have suggestions all the time.

Glad you are here.

JGIRL5799 Posts: 561
5/31/13 9:04 P

Not sure of where exactly you live, but there are awesome programs out there, one is called smart food choices.. (I do this for our state),

It is a food program to where you can get $80 worth of groceries for $36.00 you can buy other "bundles" as well really cheap for under 30..
it will feed a family of four for a week or one person for a month..

SP_COACH_DENISE Posts: 42,369
5/31/13 8:51 P

JUDYAMK SparkPoints: (30,793)
Fitness Minutes: (9,741)
Posts: 2,241
5/31/13 6:49 P

Meredith, oh yes you should have started here. We are all here for one another for advice, to encourage one another in bad times & to cheer each other onward. You are right where you need to be.I live in a community of 10,000 a lot of people out of work,We have a food cupboard in our community & churches & a free medical center that gives out food, plus the senior center that gives out food vouchers,we have all sorts of places that help when folks get short of food towards the end of the month.Perhaps you can seek them out to help get you through.
Search out some web sites that may have good nutritional recipes that does not take a lot of ingredients.When folks come in the pharmacy & they mention to me about being low on food, I always direct them to the places I have mentioned.Take care

MLAN613 Posts: 18,605
5/31/13 6:11 P

Perhaps you can also stock on filling, inexpensive foods like dried beans/legumes that have some protein and lots of fiber. Brown rice is more filling than white and frozen fruit and vegetables are usually less expensive than fresh and keep longer.

I_HEART_MY_FAM Posts: 1,809
5/31/13 5:58 P

I watch the show "The Chew" and Mario Batali on the show once did a segment on living on food stamps. I bet if you google Mario Batali's food stamp challenge you would find some great information. It seems like he made the food stamps really last and he did the best he can with them such as buying and fixing healthy meals, maybe you can use some of his ideas and recipes. Good luck :)

MEREDITHGAYLE SparkPoints: (564)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 3
5/31/13 5:44 P


I just started here yesterday, and maybe I shouldn't have. I need some guidance. I am currently living in a family surviving on food stamps. It's the end of the month and we have very little food. My program suggests I eat 1700-2200 some calories a day. My question is, how do I meet that goal on small amounts of food especially at the end of the month when funds are tight? Please be gentle when responding.


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