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quick breakfast and lunch ideas on a TIGHT budget.



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HEIDIJUNEBUG
SparkPoints: (10,462)
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Posts: 184
1/10/13 4:38 P

One of my family's favorites is a slice of banana bread with a piece of frittata. You can bake them in a loaf or cake pan each, cut into the number of servings indicated in the recipe and keep them in the fridge. In the morning, everybody grabs a slice of each, puts it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and there you have breakfast including grains, fruit, protein, and veggies. Depending on the size of your family, this could easily last for 3-4 days or more. :-)

Banana Bread:
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-de
tail.asp?recipe=260244
I make mine with whole wheat flour, half the sugar than asked in the recipe, and I add 1/4 cup of walnuts to mine (and sometimes a few semi-sweet chips).

Frittata:
You can look up any recipe in Spark Recipes. I make mine with broccoli, bell peppers, onion, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. You can combine any veggie, cheese, meat you like. You can use fresh or frozen veggies.

Edited by: HEIDIJUNEBUG at: 1/10/2013 (18:03)


MAYBER
SparkPoints: (73,110)
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Posts: 8,922
1/10/13 4:00 P

Many great ideas posted here many of which have used or will use
Oatmeal has always been a favorite
Also like many cold cereals and if we figure serving/cost it is not expernsive but quick
Bananas are a staple of ours daily
One day at a time
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon




MARIANNE9855
SparkPoints: (10,896)
Fitness Minutes: (3,879)
Posts: 159
1/10/13 2:53 P

Quiche is great idea- my sons would eat that!



MARIANNE9855
SparkPoints: (10,896)
Fitness Minutes: (3,879)
Posts: 159
1/10/13 2:52 P

Quiche is great idea- my sons would eat that!



POPSECRET
SparkPoints: (39,882)
Fitness Minutes: (43,014)
Posts: 1,479
1/10/13 2:46 P

Sometimes for weekday breakfasts I'll make little quiches in muffin tins. You can add whatever veggies/meats/cheeses/seasonings/etc you like! Then in the morning just heat up 2 or 3, pair with a piece of fruit and a piece of toast, and you have a great start in all your food groups. :)




ZENANDNOW
SparkPoints: (28,498)
Fitness Minutes: (2,138)
Posts: 2,080
1/10/13 2:28 P

Try SmartOnes breakfast sandwiches. The local Wal-Mart has a sale on SmartOnes products...at $1.88/each. Print off the SmartOnes coupon ($3 off any ten SmartOnes items) which can be found on the SparkPeople login page (it's an ad...look for it).

Eat a cup of cereal (such as Raisn Bran) and use your favorite type of milk (I use up to a cup of 2% with my cereal). That way you get your fiber and dairy in one combined meal.

Eggs are always a winner. Hard-boiled, scrambled, or fried. You don't have to use any oil for your eggs unless you want to (I usually use a cooking spray). Add to this, a piece of 100% whole wheat toast or English muffin.

Most days I will drink a cup or two cups of 100% orange juice, along with a couple of slices of toast or two eggs.

Try a half-cup of lowfat cottage cheese for breakfast. Sometimes I will eat strange stuff for breakfast like cottage cheese and 30-grams of honey roasted almonds and orange juice.



EAHARVEY1988
SparkPoints: (1,601)
Fitness Minutes: (350)
Posts: 4
1/10/13 1:08 P

I love toast with peanutbutter and banana slices. Yummy!



CARI2012
Posts: 296
1/10/13 1:05 P

I had an AWESOME breakfast this morning. I might even eat it all next week! I had a wrap with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 a banana sliced up. It was so good and so CHEAP! I loved that I could eat it while driving to work or sitting at my desk!



MARIANNE9855
SparkPoints: (10,896)
Fitness Minutes: (3,879)
Posts: 159
1/10/13 12:56 P

great ideas, I am unemployed looking for a job and don't have a lot of money for food but still want to lose weight and eat healthy.



DOUGWW
SparkPoints: (414)
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Posts: 1
1/10/13 12:53 P

Try a half cup of dry oatmeal and 2 tsp. of brown sugar. That does the trick for me (actually am eating it as I type). I've been known to add roughly a 1/4 cup of blueberries to this as well.



TWINSMOM0429
SparkPoints: (26,671)
Fitness Minutes: (18,070)
Posts: 1,653
1/10/13 12:52 P

English muffin with peanut butter.



GRIZ1GIRL
SparkPoints: (119,938)
Fitness Minutes: (144,073)
Posts: 2,199
1/10/13 12:25 P

I buy a big canister of "quick oats" & make peanut butter & honey oatmeal with skim milk.

For lunch, what's better & cheaper than veggie soups? :)


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TRIATHLETEGIRL
SparkPoints: (20,755)
Fitness Minutes: (25,751)
Posts: 230
1/10/13 12:14 P

Yes yes yes! Oatmeal for breakfast! I soak steel cut oats overnight and eat them raw for breakfast but I know that if you cook them, it just takes a few minutes. I throw in some raisins or chopped prunes and add some almond, coconut, or cow milk.

My lunches are often leftovers from last night's dinner. I try to cook enough so I can set aside a serving for lunch because I am on-the-go and my lunch will be skipped if I don't plan ahead. I pack it up in a container so I can grab it on the way out of the house. It's not a big deal to cook an extra half cup of rice and add a few more veggies in the stir fry. Or as many people have suggested, cook a large pot of something tasty (and cheap) specifically for lunches for the week.



JESSICADATKO
SparkPoints: (7,209)
Fitness Minutes: (10,049)
Posts: 10
1/10/13 11:53 A

Gonna add my voice to the masses and say oatmeal! Its the ultimate filling, nutritious, and cheap breakfast food. I buy mine in bulk at Whole Foods for $1.99/lb and fix it up many different ways. My current favorites are with some PB and cocoa powder, or with a fried egg, mushrooms, spinach, feta, and pepper for some wonderful savory oatmeal.

And for lunch ideas, one thing I've started doing is cooking up a big stew or soup in the crock pot once a week, and will take it for lunch at work until it runs out! One of my favorite budget cooking blogs is Budget Bytes, there's no nutritional breakdown but a lot of them are very healthy regardless.

Edited by: JESSICADATKO at: 1/10/2013 (11:57)


PAMULDROW2007
Posts: 587
1/10/13 11:18 A

Oatmeal is always good for quick and budget friendly. Toast and a boiled egg. Bananas are budget friendly and healthy breakfast with oatmeal or toast. Lunch if you don't want to do sandwiches a lot I buy these frozen meals from Walmat the brand is Michelina's lean gourmet they are $1.00 and have a lot of variety and pretty good and keep on track with calories



TINK513PD
SparkPoints: (54)
Fitness Minutes: (15)
Posts: 2
1/10/13 10:31 A

I'm going to try this - sounds like a great dessert ! What flavor do you usually use ?



TINK513PD
SparkPoints: (54)
Fitness Minutes: (15)
Posts: 2
1/10/13 10:29 A

I'm definately going to try this as dessert - thanks for the idea !



CHRISBEM
SparkPoints: (19,849)
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Posts: 1,267
1/10/13 9:56 A

I'm trying a whole wheat english muffin with a smidge of peanut butter, an egg, homemade applesauce, and a glass of milk.


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LOSER05
SparkPoints: (196,667)
Fitness Minutes: (94,604)
Posts: 9,070
1/10/13 9:35 A

tortilla with egg, little cheese, hot sauce. warm in micro

lunch or breakfast



LILMISS1908
SparkPoints: (1,901)
Fitness Minutes: (2,415)
Posts: 7
1/10/13 9:23 A

Good morning everyone. These are some really good ideas. I have found that boiling a half a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week helps with on the go breakfast. What I do is grab an egg, a piece of fruit, and make toast with natural peanut butter.

I also take the egg and match it with 1cup of milk that has soy protein powder mixed in. I find this mix keeps me full until around 11:00am.

Hope this helps someone!



CHICKYWANNA
SparkPoints: (16,718)
Fitness Minutes: (7,805)
Posts: 310
1/9/13 11:49 P

Hungry girls growing oatmeal bowl..You can have it everyday w/o getting tired of it...Just add some different fruit and seasonings everyday(Apple and cinnamon, peaches and ginger, peanut butter and chocolate etc.) You can also make pancakes, scones and cobblers from oat meal..
Also eggs (hb) if you fix them different --Egg salad on toast ( with bacon ),or curried egg salad 1/4-1/2 teaspoon curry po, Or hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, dash paprika..add pesto or pickle, dill etc.

Edited by: CHICKYWANNA at: 1/9/2013 (23:51)


NMWELSH
SparkPoints: (14,114)
Fitness Minutes: (48,041)
Posts: 38
1/9/13 11:47 P

I have become addicted to one of my favorite cereals or oatmeals with almond milk.

Also, if I am really pressed for time the breakfast burritos from Sam's Club are good, and one doesn't completely blow your day calorie-wise.

Lunch I love Brownberry's 8 Grain Pocket Thins with either Turkey or Chicken, or even tuna, one slice of swiss cheese and a Tbsp of chipotle mayo. AMAZING!



LOSIN-IT1
Posts: 8
1/9/13 11:25 P

For breakfast, oatmeal, hands down. It's budget friendly and you can change it up with different toppings. For lunch, I like to have soup. The Healthy Request ones are inexpensive and are very low in calories. It's nice to have them around when you haven't had time to cook. But you could save even more money by making one or two homemade soups a week. I've had this black bean soup a couple of times this week and I'm still not tired of it:

http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes
/southwest-black-bean-soup/3ad4c66d-da
cd-4fac-8325-d777bb2fe343?src=SH



SWANATOPIA
Posts: 1,043
1/9/13 8:32 P

Breakfast:

Oatmeal and peanut butter
cottage cheese and fruit
yogurt and fruit

Lunch:

Salad
sandwich wrap
Peanut butter sandwich



SHELBISUE1990
SparkPoints: (345)
Fitness Minutes: (804)
Posts: 17
1/9/13 8:12 P

EGGS!

and imo...vegetables arent expensive. I go grocery shopping every night after work for the following day this way I do not end up throwing away vegetables that rotter before I had a chance to eat them.



ES1018
SparkPoints: (3,611)
Fitness Minutes: (1,948)
Posts: 17
1/9/13 7:56 P

If you have any ethnic markets or farmers markets near you they can be a good place to find cheap produce.



KITTY_SOZE
Posts: 79
1/9/13 7:03 P

If you've got a good blender, and you're okay with drinking your breakfast, homemade shakes are always a safe bet. I like to buy frozen fruit in bulk at Costco and throw it in the shake in place of ice. Mine contains greens, chia seeds, half a banana, about 1/3 cup of frozen fruit, and protein powder. But the beauty is, you can put whatever you want in a shake, so changing up the flavor is pretty easy.

Just be sure to look for ingredients when they're on sale, or you can purchase them in bulk. My local health store sells both chia and protein powder in bulk, so that's a good way to save. Best of luck!



KRISTEN_SAYS
SparkPoints: (72,986)
Fitness Minutes: (33,677)
Posts: 5,088
1/9/13 6:45 P

For breakfast, oatmeal (big cardboard containers of old-fashioned oats, not instant packets), toast (generic 100% whole wheat bread at my local stores is about $1 a loaf) with a tablespoon of peanut butter and banana slices, scrambled eggs or an omelet with frozen veggies (I buy big cartons of liquid egg whites and scramble one large egg with 1/2 cup egg whites, which is about 3 large egg whites).



PINK_NEVAEH22
Posts: 2,276
1/9/13 5:54 P

Do you have an Aldi's near you?? They have so much and they are very reasonably priced.For breakfast I usually eat eggs with turkey bacon, ( Aldi's has turkey bacon for 1.69 a pack) Oatmeal with honey, peanut butter, and banana's or berries, plain Greek yogurt ( 4.99 for a tub at Aldi's) with honey and cut up fruit and/or nuts, (nuts 5.99 for a big container of mixed natural) or a south beach protein fit bar. The bars I got from WinnDixie on a bogo sale with coupons. Two boxes with coupons only cost me 1.79 so I stocked up. For lunch I have tuna wraps, chicken wraps, different kinds of salads, home made soups made from left overs, left overs from the dinner before remade into something else, salmon burgers made from canned salmon. I also purchased Flat Out flax wraps from WinnDixie BOGO at 3.79 so I have been making all different kinds of wraps. Black beans and rice with veggies is another cheap one that goes a long way. You can add scrambled eggs for added protein, or chicken, pork, beef, anything really and you can also stuff a wrap with it. Possibilities are endless. Really my only problem with expenses and food is trying to buy organic....that gets pricey.

Edited by: PINK_NEVAEH22 at: 1/9/2013 (18:10)


NJCRONK
SparkPoints: (6,067)
Fitness Minutes: (2,755)
Posts: 30
1/9/13 5:49 P

A cup of precooked brown rice sprinkled witn fat free nondairy flavored creamer tastes like rice pudding, and will keep you feeling full for hours.



SCOOBYDOO112
SparkPoints: (510)
Fitness Minutes: (314)
Posts: 6
1/9/13 5:31 P

i usually have a bowl of cereal for breakfast, store brand cereals are just as good as name brand one, or oatmeal, cocoa wheats are great too, and keeps you full longer. as for lunches,pb&j sandwiches and maybe a banana is a good choice. or a turkey or ham or luchmeat wrap in a tacoshell mixed with lettuce tomatoes, ect.



SMLAPINSKI
SparkPoints: (4,135)
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Posts: 83
1/9/13 4:45 P

So many good ideas ya'll have shared. My only issue is I refuse to use my microwave. It takes only a few minutes/seconds longer to heat things up on the stove, and I think it tastes better and is definitely healthier for you.

As for quick breakfast and lunch ideas, I will have a half cup or a full cup of cottage cheese for either meal with just pepper on it, but other people put fruit and such on top of theirs. It's so packed full of protein that after I've eaten that with my glass of water, I'm FULL! I also like having 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast. Salads are good for anytime of the day...just watch the kind of and the amount of your dressing...CALORIES! I also love to have just a plain old can of good tuna in water with a few ritz crackers. I eat it straight out of the can and put it right on top of my cracker...delicious. Blessings to you!



LMOSLEY13
SparkPoints: (1,223)
Fitness Minutes: (285)
Posts: 5
1/9/13 3:18 P

Great ideas... I never thought about the peanut butter mixed in oatmeal....I will trying all of these ideas this week.



KANSASROSE67
SparkPoints: (57,247)
Fitness Minutes: (77,058)
Posts: 1,379
1/9/13 3:17 P

I make Baked Oatmeal and one batch is enough for 4 meals...just heat for 60 seconds in the microwave and it's delicious. You can change out the added ingredients for variety. Here's the recipe:

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-de
tail.asp?recipe=1440045

For lunch, I like to microwave a baked potato and add whatever toppings I have leftover in the fridge. Taco Potato, Sloppy Joe Potato, Ham and Broccoli Potato, Chicken Bacon Ranch Potato etc. Anything I could use to make a sandwich or wrap, I will put on a potato, because I'd rather use those calories for a nutritious vegetable than a bread. Plus, potatoes are cheap...and leftovers are free (sort of!)

A quick scrambled egg works for breakfast or lunch. Add a little ham, turkey or bacon and vegggies of choice, plus a sprinkle of cheese. I like swiss chard or spinach. If you have any dirt at all, or even a sunny window, you can grow your own for pennies.

I'm also a big fan of soup. You can make a huge pot of vegetable, chili, chicken or bean soup and it will last for many meals. Baked bean soup is our family favorite.

Edited by: KANSASROSE67 at: 1/9/2013 (15:20)


NICKYCRANE
SparkPoints: (48,033)
Fitness Minutes: (26,819)
Posts: 739
1/9/13 2:48 P

Chef Meg's better breakfast casserole. Very tasty, full of protein and veggies. Makes 8 servings. If that's too much for one week, you could freeze half. I made it yesterday and shall make it again. Has the advantage of being a meal in itself. Instant breakfast out of the fridge.



MEG-NATALIA07
Posts: 679
1/9/13 2:47 P

Try plantain or bananas with peanut butter. On toast, if you want. Add eggs on the side for extra protein.



PUNKADOO
Posts: 137
1/9/13 2:39 P

I stock up on Dannon Light and Fit greek yogurt when it's on special, since it is the lowest in calories of the greek yogurts. I usually have one for what passes for breakfast around here (I'm not a morning eater) and another at lunch with an apple or some other piece of fruit.

And like someone else said, I'm not averse to nuking a whole bag of frozen veggies and considering that a meal.

As for eating the same thing every day, I don't know if I could manage that, lol.



MARITIMER3
SparkPoints: (93,159)
Fitness Minutes: (54,087)
Posts: 4,913
1/9/13 1:54 P

For breakfast, how about oatmeal with different things mixed in or sprinkled on top? I love it with peanut butter mixed in, raisins, chopped walnuts, dried prunes or apricots, frozen blueberries, bananas.

For lunch, if you have a slow cooker, make a big pot of soup or chili, vegetarian or with meat.
Eat it with a toasted whole wheat english muffin. Sandwich or salad made with tuna packed in water mixed with light mayo and honey mustard is also delicious.

These suggestions are both nutritious and inexpensive.



SPARKLEGIGI
Posts: 8
1/9/13 1:45 P

I made a recipe recently that included a little olive oil, chopped sweet potato and black beans, all in a low carb tortilla. Filling and very cheap, I think the whole potato was 1.00 and so was a whole can of beans. The most costly was the pack of tortillas at 3.00 but there are 12!



CARMELITA238
SparkPoints: (3,702)
Fitness Minutes: (3,622)
Posts: 17
1/9/13 1:43 P

Are you opposed to eating frozen entrees? This would allow you the variety you are wanting. Check grocery store ads online to see who has a brand on sale. Do a quick search online for coupons, both digital and printable. Check for both store coupons and manufacturer's coupons. Many grocery store double manufacturer's coupons up to a certain amount.

My personal preference is Lean Cuisine because they offer more sophisticated dishes and are mostly whole grain now. I will not pay more than $2 for a Lean Cuisine since coupons and sales are widely available for this brand. Often the final price is less than $1 per entree and I have even gotten them for 25 cents before!

I'm not a breakfast eater either. I put a low calorie shake (I like chocolate or strawberry with banana extract added) in a shaker with ice and mix it and drink it on my way to work. Buy a good quality shake at a nutrition store. Their sales are cyclical so only buy on sale for Buy 1 or 2 and Get 1 free. It's fun to experiment with different extract flavors and even seltzer water flavors for variety.



DMJAKES
Posts: 1,546
1/9/13 1:33 P

Bouquet - if you do a search of the boards using "cheap" or "budget", you'll come up with several good (very long) threads with a ton of great ideas.

As Dragon mentioned, it doesn't have to be traditional breakfast food, especially if you're new to trying to eat so early in the day. Start off with something small and work your way up.



KESTRUNK
Posts: 195
1/9/13 1:07 P

For lunch, I love frozen veggies, you can get them on sale at any grocery store. You can jazz it up with sliced turkey, ham, tuna or tofu and any seasoning you want. Add a little pasta sauce for a change. I also like brown rice. If you cook a bunch of it you can freeze in individual bags to microwave with the veggies. Breakfast is typically oatmeal and Greek yogurt when it is on sale.



CUDA440
SparkPoints: (61,243)
Fitness Minutes: (51,785)
Posts: 7,093
1/9/13 1:05 P

I have also found Better than Oats oatmeal. Our stores sometimes have them on sale for $1 for a box of 5 pouches. pour pouch in bowl, measure out the water, mix and microwave for 2 1/2 min.

My son sometimes has a granny smith apple and dips in natural peanut butter. (you can measure out 2 TBSP) when I have this myself I do sprinkle some Chia seeds into the peanut butter to add more fiber, protein, omega 3's, and fill me up. Recently he has also done banana slices with peanut butter and sprinkle raisins on it.

Beckie





MOTOMOM226
Posts: 90
1/9/13 12:57 P

I'm working on getting back on track here but breakfast is the hardest for me. Im just not hungry in the morning. I do like oatmeal with 1/2 Tbsp of cocoa powder, 1 pack of splenda, 1tbsp of PB. kinda like eating a PB cup but keeps me full. I also keep instant packets at work for the morning i just dont have time. I always try to make a little extra of whatever dinner is for lunch for the next day or two. The rest of this week will be soft tacos on whole wheat tortillas with meat, lettuce, toms, a full jalapeno( I like it spicy!) and a dab of sourcream. I rarely use cheese on things like this since i cant taste the differance and its not worth the added calories.



TICTAC2013
SparkPoints: (560)
Fitness Minutes: (954)
Posts: 3
1/9/13 12:54 P

I keep hard boiled eggs on hand for a quick breakfast.



SONICB
Posts: 4,121
1/9/13 12:39 P

Oatmeal! It's super healthy, fast to prepare, and cheap. I buy mine in bulk (usually for around $0.89-$0.99/lb, which is a lot). After nuking it in the microwave with water and a splash of milk, I like to add a Tbsp of peanut butter and banana slices.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (54,986)
Fitness Minutes: (14,173)
Posts: 9,523
1/9/13 12:19 P

Step away from traditional breakfast ideas. There is no rule that states you have to eat "breakfast" foods at breakfast!



LOVE4KITTIES
Posts: 1,716
1/9/13 11:59 A

Oatmeal (the old-fashioned kind in the large cardboard tubs) is inexpensive. It's also not difficult to make. I make mine in the microwave (large bowl), using nonfat milk in place of the water in order to add calcium and protein. Then, I stir in a little splenda and a tablespoon of peanut butter (for heart-healthy fat).

Peanut butter sandwiches are inexpensive. Just measure out/weigh the PB and use whole wheat bread with a reasonable amount of calories. :)




YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
1/9/13 11:54 A

Like you mentioned, I've been making my own breakfast sandwiches with whole grain English Muffins, Chicken breakfast sausage that I made myself and a slice of American Cheese (next round I'm going to pick a different cheese, American gets too melty when I heat it up). I don't like eggs.

Oatmeal is the ultimate cheap breakfast though. You can even do a baked oatmeal so you can make it once a week and portion it out.

For lunches I just pretty much always eat leftovers from dinner the night before.



BOUQUETMOMMA
SparkPoints: (2,183)
Fitness Minutes: (497)
Posts: 16
1/9/13 11:48 A

I am looking for some healthy and cheap b'fast and lunch ideas. Things to keep in mind for me...has to be CHEAP, I'm talking $1-2 a day, something that I can eat 5 days in a row without getting so sick of it...lol! My only idea is a b'fast sammie of english muffin, poached egg, sliced tomato and laughing cow light wedge. For lunch I was thinking maybe a wrap of sliced turkey with mozz, lettuce and avocado and maybe a bowl of veggie soup. Any other ideas?



 
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