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Eating healthy on a VERY tight budget.



 
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LILAFLOWER912
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7/16/14 4:23 P

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I like this thread, because I think it's very near and dear to most of us. I know with the rising cost of groceries, you really have to be careful about what you buy and it really helps to plan your week out in advance when you buy groceries. One of my favorite low cost and healthy meals is whole wheat pasta, steamed frozen veggies, and I add a bag of chicken breast that you can buy pre cooked and pre-cut. I add a cup of organic pasta sauce, and I then have dinner for 4 meals. It only costs about 9 dollars, and I don't think you can go ANYWHERE and get a whole meal for about 2.25 per serving!



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FLORADITA
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7/15/14 3:16 P

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Everyone has given such good ideas and have provided many examples of how to eat healthy within a tight budget. Eating healthy is not expensive if you plan ahead and spend a bit of time prepping and cooking. Eating prepared and packaged foods or eating out is what really adds up. Bringing your own lunch to work and making your own coffee rather than buying a Starbucks or McD's coffee every day can leave you with enough money to fill a bag with fresh produce each week. It takes a bit of planning and tweaking habits but you can eat well and still stay on budget. I always make a soup, a chili with beans and a curry with lentils and veggies each week and take leftovers for lunch. Cheap, tasty and healthy.

"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abe Lincoln


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LOUNMOUN
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7/15/14 2:21 P

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You are going to save money if you plan your meals, use what you have and cook things from scratch.

Dry beans are very budget friendly. Canned beans are not expensive but a 1 pound bag of dry beans generally equals a couple of cans and is a bit cheaper. You can cook your beans and freeze them in recipe size portions. Dry lentils are also cheap and filling.
Rice, pasta, flour and plain oatmeal are all pretty cheap.

Homemade soup is a good dollar stretcher. It freezes and reheats well. You don't need to use expensive ingredients to make a big pot of soup. Soup recipes are generally very easy even if you are not an experienced cook.

Buy things whole and cut/shred them up yourself.
Compare prices of individual serving sizes to a larger container. Often you are paying more for the smaller size item.

Reduce waste. If it is hard to use food before it goes bad buy food that lasts longer or that you can freeze. Some foods just have a longer shelf life. Use your leftovers for other meals.
www.stilltasty.com/
frugalliving.about.com/od/stockpiling/a/Th
e-Shelf-Life-Of-Pantry-Foods.htm


Serve meat in something rather than a large piece individually. You can stretch a smaller amount of meat that way. Try having more meatless meals.






MYUTMOST4HIM
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7/15/14 8:33 A

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healthy food fills me up faster so it isn't that big of a differeance

"Be not afraid of going slowly, only of standing still"


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JUSTEATREALFOOD
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7/15/14 7:59 A

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Bump.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi
<


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RENATA144
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2/23/14 11:05 A

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House brands are often made by name brands.

I Love to collect SPARKPOINTS !!!


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KPA1B2
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2/23/14 10:15 A

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Oh, MommomJan6 that's hard. Check out your local grocery store ads and see what's on sale. My store also has digital coupons that I always check out. I also buy items when they are on sale & I have a coupon. I usually spend $60-70/week on food. That doesn't include the items I buy in bulk at Sam's Club though. I get my cereal, coffee, fruit bars, granola bars and peanuts from there. I also go to the bulk food store to buy my spices & we have an year round fruit/veggie market. It's so much cheaper to buy from there!



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MOMMOMJAN6
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2/23/14 10:01 A

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Hi, we are 3 adults who have recently hit a brick wall with our finances. I have to buy this week meals and I have less than $50.00. I just even read how ground meat has gone up and I knew from buying it the past few week's that the price was nuts. They like tacos, and meat sauce, etc. Can you help me with ideas, but, we don't eat beans and spicy foods. I would appreciate anything or even a site you know of. Thank you, Janice



-SHOREIDO-
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10/7/13 4:24 P

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Thanks for the info VTCricket84 !! Just pickd this up (Oct 2013) your post date 12/2011 proving that old news IS good news emoticon

Lets RUN with the wind!!


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CINDY-K
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6/10/13 10:57 P

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Being single I hate the buy 1 get one free! What that tells me is that the restaurant is not welcoming to singles. So I go elsewhere. Plus the BOGO is usually on unhealthy food anyway.

Cindy - A Co-Leader on Gastric Bypass Sparklers
Proximal Laproscopic RNY 9-10-10
Start Wt: 228 5-21-10
Surgery Wt: 205 9-10-10
Goal Wt: 135


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DIANE7786
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6/10/13 7:03 A

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I have wonderful memories of my first apartment even though I didn’t have any money. Other posters offered great ideas for inexpensive groceries. You can find more by doing a Sparks Search for things like “budget meals,” “inexpensive meals.” My best tip is to sign up for on-line coupons for family restaurants. Many send buy 1 get one free coupons that include an entrée and two sides. Order take out. Most meals are about $8 and each meal is at least two healthy portions. That’s four meals for about $2 each and you can freeze most of them. Also sign up for free customer loyalty cards at drug stores. They have great sales on groceries like canned tuna and milk. .

Have you noticed Sparks Mix and Match Planner? It's great for ideas of what to buy for simple balanced meals. What you enter is automatically transferred to your Nutrition Tracker.

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/mix-and-match
-meal-planner.asp


Now is a good time to budget. Sparks has great ideas. Work the plan even though most of your budget will be blank. Budgets are always a good idea regardless of how much money you have.

sparksavings.com/



SPKRAUSE
SPKRAUSE's Photo Posts: 543
3/29/13 2:12 A

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Agreeing with many of the other comments here and based on our own experience:
- buy in bulk
- dry beans
- less meat
- fresh veggies in season; otherwise frozen. They keep well
- go nutrient dense: eggs & small, cold-water canned fish, if you eat such things
- cook in large batches

We use coupons, too, of course.

By cooking and eating healthily on a tight budget in this manner we do have money then left over for occasionally eating out and treating ourselves.

"Habe nun, ach! Philosophie, Juristerei und Medizin, Und leider auch Theologie Durchaus studiert ..." (Goethe, "Faust")


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PETERSJOHN
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3/28/13 9:31 P

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Other than that, buy in season or frozen fruits and veg (farmers markets in my experience are always fresher and cheaper, I must recommed you all to visit www.couponworldz.com/ and save your money while shopping online.

Edited by: PETERSJOHN at: 3/28/2013 (21:31)


MACKENZIE963
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8/3/12 6:19 P

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My tips:

- buy lean meats when they're on sale in bulk; bring them home & wrap smaller servings, the freeze them.

- eat less meat overall; we don't need meat every single day, we can get protien from many other sources.

- make the most out of what you've got; turn leftovers into stew or omelets, make broth out of bones, etc.

- frozen veggies-- canned lose too many nutrients and are usually full of preservatives & salt. Fresh can be expensive, and they can end up going to waste if you don't use them up fast enough. Frozen you can open a bag of mixed veggies, take out a cup and put the rest of the bag back. But don't get the ones with butter & sauces; just plain family size bags of cut veggies are cheapest and best, and very versatile.

- Cook fresh... pre-packaged food, even with coupons, is always more expensive

- plan meals, and write a detailed grocery list. Try to make stuff for the week along the same line with ingredients so you don't have to buy tons of different things

- keep staples on hand like brown rice, seasonings, broth & eggs so you can always build a meal with what you've got.

Going down...


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PENNYPACKER3
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8/3/12 5:58 P

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look for sales. I also check out the rack where old produce is. I got a good eggplant today for 52 cents!



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EVILPASSION
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8/3/12 12:16 A

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I can tell a diff with the chicken -- but not with the turkey. I did learn to go with the turkey in the flat containers, rather than the rolls -- a huge difference in fat.

I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel....yet.


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UMBILICAL
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8/2/12 11:36 P

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Walmart Superstores



CINDY-K
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8/2/12 11:33 P

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Fall will be here soon and with it my favorite morphing meal. I make a large batch of chicken and veggie soup. Nothing fancy Onions, parsley, carrots, celery, potatoes (I used pre-cooked potatoes so I can add to just one portion). I divide the soup into 4 containers. I add the cooked potatoes to the first portion and have that for dinner with some crusty bread. Day 2 - take the 2nd portion in saute pan make a cream sauce and thin with some of the broth from the soup. Add jack cheese (low-fat) to make a cheese sauce. Add the veggies from the soup and some more of the pre-cooked potatoes. Serve on toast/or biscuit with a smear of herbed cream cheese. Day 3 take the next portion of the soup. Add pasta for another soup or drain the broth away and add cooked pasta and some cheese then add a can or cream of mushroom soup top with buttered bread crumbs and bake at 350 until warm and cheese has melted. For the final day I again drain off the broth and add croutons and a different cheese and some cooked sausage and bake until warm (you can add some lowfat cheese or whatever you want and make it a chicken stuffing casserole).

cindy



Edited by: CINDY-K at: 8/2/2012 (23:34)
Cindy - A Co-Leader on Gastric Bypass Sparklers
Proximal Laproscopic RNY 9-10-10
Start Wt: 228 5-21-10
Surgery Wt: 205 9-10-10
Goal Wt: 135


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PENNYPACKER3
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8/2/12 4:32 P

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eat at home



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JOSHWATS
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8/2/12 4:24 P

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I like ground chicken and turkey. I use both in place of beef for chilli, tacos, burritos, and in spaghetti sauce. I don't notice a difference between chicken/turkey and beef in these types of applications. Hope that helps!



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EVILPASSION
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7/11/12 6:43 P

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JLJOYNT, i can honestly say i am apalled at how much further our money goes without the ex and with watching our portions. It literally scares me how much we were eating.

Made a huge pot of beans last night. Tonight, they become burritos. Tomorrow, they be chili emoticon

I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel....yet.


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JLJOYNT
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7/11/12 6:31 P

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This is an issue for me as well. I am on a very tight budget and have found buying fruits and veggies difficult. I recently discovered that our local Meijer store marks down fruits and veggies and puts them out in the morning. I was able to pick up apples, oranges, peppers, squash and much more for next to nothing. I watch for sales and buy what I can afford. I have found with cutting back on portions my food is going further these days.



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LATTELEE
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7/10/12 8:49 A

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Thanks



GUDDIGO
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7/10/12 8:47 A

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Hard...but love the vegetables with beans....dried and cook in the slow cooker...



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UMBILICAL
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7/9/12 9:57 P

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EVILPASSION
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7/9/12 9:38 P

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Beans. My fav is to get a pound of very low fat ground turkey (about 4.50 here), brown it with onions and jalepenos (might have to add some water), then mix in an equal amount of homemade beans. Mash a bit. Stir in Chili powder or mexican spice. You can use this on chili dogs, in tortillas for wraps or soft tacos, or wrapped up as a burrito. If you are making vegetable soup, stir in a cup or two. This mix goes an incredibly long way, and the fat savings in the turkey is more than worth it.

I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel....yet.


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CINDY-K
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12/30/11 4:21 P

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I like cooking them in a little apple juice and dicing up a little apple to go with it. I use swiss chard but spinach would also work. I like apple with my baby salad greens in a dinner salad as well.

cindy

Cindy - A Co-Leader on Gastric Bypass Sparklers
Proximal Laproscopic RNY 9-10-10
Start Wt: 228 5-21-10
Surgery Wt: 205 9-10-10
Goal Wt: 135


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VTCRICKET84
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12/30/11 1:05 P

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As silly as this sounds, I've recently found how delicious and inexpensive fresh greens (collards, kale, mustard) are! I cook mine in a little chicken broth but mostly water. I chop up and onion and some garlic and through in there too. Splash of vinegar and let them boil down. Yum!



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DUSTYPRAIRIE
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11/1/11 9:54 A

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find out when they are rotating the meat and fish at your market. they'll be marking down the packages they were selling just minutes ago !

Bri from Colorado, MDT


UMBILICAL
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10/31/11 10:24 P

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TWOBEETHINAGAIN
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10/31/11 6:29 P

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marry a farmer!!!!...lol...we have chicken, pigs and rabbits...we grow all our own veggies and farmer friends love to share and trade goods...i think my grocery bill is about 100 dollars a month...lol...the feed is cheap too...we just have to grind it...maybe i should get my husband to rig something up so i grind the feed with a bike instead of electric ,motor...ummmm



CHRISTINCOTA86
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10/31/11 3:09 P

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Just looked up angelfoodministries.com, whom I posted about back in July, and found that they are out of business.

Hard work. Dedication.


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CHRISTINCOTA86
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10/31/11 9:42 A

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Thanks for all the great tips.... I'm posting so I can find this link later and take notes. Thanks!

Hard work. Dedication.


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COOKIELADY051
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10/26/11 7:57 P

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It is very hard to get the amounts of fruits and vegetables in my diet living on a tight budget. I am so lucky that I found a place where I pay $15. for church people to deliver fruits and vegetables to my home and I get about $25-$30 worth of fruits and veggies because I'm not close to where these places are. That amount of fruits and veggies will last me for more than a month. I can always freeze some and put them in salads, and cook with them. It has been a long time since I have had that much fruit and veggies in my home. I don't think I ever had that much fruits and veggies at one time. I am so grateful that I found this organization through the church.



MEOWMEEEOW
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10/1/11 11:45 A

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Grow things: seeds are way less expensive than produce. My sister's family is in financial crisis and they tried their first garden this year. Their tiny little plot produced vastly more than the cost of the seeds they planted.

I live in a climate where it's very difficult to garden, but I still have a few things in pots. The weather started to be blustery about a week ago, so I brought the tomatoes into the house. I have manually pollinated their blossoms, by touching them with a rolled up piece of toilet paper. I had a tomato plant last for about a year and a half and produce tomatoes all winter long. It's pretty fun to harvest in your living room.



MARIBETHKC
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10/1/11 11:28 A

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I always shop the markdown areas of the stores, and go to several stores to do this. I live in a small town, so this is easy, and doesn't make gasoline much of a consideration. I always check the store ads and plan my dinners around whatever is on sale this week. Works great for me, just requires a lot of menu flexability!



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MAYBER
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10/1/11 2:25 A

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Great tips and ideas here
If you can shop early in the morning our supermarket reduces the meats to almost half price
they are the meats left from day before but if you watch the sell by date they are great deals
Vegetable and fruits like the farmers markets
Shopping the ads and making meals around the specials has worked well for us
One day at a time



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WORKITOUT1967
Posts: 100
7/25/11 3:55 P

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We buy flour, beans and the burlap 50 lb of Jazmine rice. The Jazmine rice is found at Walmart. I bought it in April, and it is still 3/4 full. This works for us. You can find lentil in bulk as well and they have a very long shelf life. I would be leary about flour though flour can get bacteria really quickly. Unless you separate it and put it in ziplocks and store in a dark place in your pantry. Flour is tricky so I hear so I just buy the 5lb bag. I treat flour pretty much like bread generally. This is an awesome question, and I wondered what people did myself. This is what I do. When putting myself through college, I watched around the restaurants I worked in and I saw how and what they stored in bulk and I am pretty much in keeping with what I discovered. They did not keep opened flour very long. We had closed bags in the back that we stocked but not an open bag that was prestored. It was always stored in a dark dry place away from heat and sunlight. Hope this helps.

Oh yes, you mentioned fruit as well. I buy fruit weekly to ensure freshness. I do a lot of smoothies in my workout regime and diet routines so fruit is a must. You can preserve peaches, apples and pears in the mason jars and sprinkle hints of cinnamon in them. (The jar is sealed with the wax seal) I have frozen fruit before but only the fruit I use in smoothies. It seems to get mushy and watery after freezing and can only be used in pies, and smooties, or something like that. It gets a bit unsightly:)



WORKITOUT1967
Posts: 100
7/25/11 3:45 P

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Have you tried the ground chicken. I've tried ground turkey and I was hoping to confer with someone that has tried the ground chicken to see how it cooks up and how it taste? Just asking.:) This ques is for anyone please advise on what your experience was with the ground chicken.



WORKITOUT1967
Posts: 100
7/25/11 3:44 P

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I grow a lot as well. We have a peach tree and many green vegatables in our yard that I planted.

I rarely do beef , but when I do I go to walmart and get the huge beef side and section it into 2 or 3 roasts, and the rest i cut into thin steaks and then I cube the rest into stew meat and freeze it in ziplock bags. Those beef sides run 21-30 dollars for the entire side portion. If you buy a single roast, a good one they are usually like 15-30 dollars for one roast. So you save mega money buying a large side of beef and investing in a meat slicer. I found a top of the line slicer at a yard sale for 10 bucks and it had all the attachments. Brand new that thing would have been 200 dollars easily.

So this is how I save on beef and feed my family. The above last us an entire month for our beef alloance. The side I recently bought cost 27.88 plus tax and I got: 3 nice sized roasts, 25 steaks, and enough cubed beef to do 5 beef stews at different times during the month. I even had some scraps left to season lentils and gravys etc... I love this mass per volume shopping it works for our family and has been a blessing to us.



WORKITOUT1967
Posts: 100
7/25/11 3:37 P

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Our budget is right around the same place 270-300 a month for groceries. I am finally there with it due to the fact that I have an organic garden now. I do not buy green veggies, at all anymore whatsoever. I used to spend lots of money there. Now I just go to my garden.

We eat fresh mustard, collards, and watercrest without having to go buy it. I only buy tomatoes from the veggies section. I buy large quantities of fruits though. We purchace chicken, turkey, and fish for the most part.



LOKO4LUCAS
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7/22/11 4:56 A

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I am so happy I found this!! I panicked a tiny bit when I looked at the meal plans in my nutrition tracker. These are some fabulous ideas and I can't wait to try out some new recipes. Next step is getting hubby to eat healthy with me. Thanks everyone!



SHAWON
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7/21/11 9:46 P

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as a single person its hard to buy in bulk because fresh food goes bad. I could do frozen but the preservatives?



MARYLAND9
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7/18/11 8:09 P

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I love shopping at Sams where I can ger big bags of veggies,fruits.larger cartons of eggs.I get my beans and ricefrom regular supermarkets. I eat a lot of fish so I get packs of frozen fish fron walmarts or sam if I want a larger pack.Good luck.



SPARKLYNEW
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7/18/11 10:22 A

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cheap, but quality proteins are good staples on a tight budget - eggs and dried beans are my favorite budget buys



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LETOVERN
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7/18/11 9:50 A

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I plan my weekly menu around my grocery's sale flyer. I buy chicken or lean ground beef on sale and freeze extra portions, individually wrapped. I use more frozen than fresh veggies--no spoilage and quick to cook, and much cheaper. I buy fruit in season. Beans and rice are healthy and VERY cheap, so I have that every other week for a couple of meals a week. I always brown-bag to work.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.
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It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. - Confucius


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KENDRASTIC
KENDRASTIC's Photo SparkPoints: (16,469)
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7/18/11 9:44 A

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Lynn, the FDA has a chart about how long you can keep food in the freezer...hope this helps: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/Seniors/ucm182679.htm#storchart

“I am only one, but still, I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. And, because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do what I can.” -Edward Everett Hale


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CLDYMENT
CLDYMENT's Photo SparkPoints: (1,121)
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7/14/11 7:43 P

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Thank you for this string, so many good ideas! As a single mother I am always trying to stretch my grocery dollars. Even tho we think that eating healthy costs alot my experience has been that having a 17 yr old bottomless pit of a son that wants to survive on hungryman dinners & frozen pizza etc these junk foods cost far more than real food and only temporarily fill you (them). Once I get their "treats" (I try to get them to eat healthy and the girls arent too bad now) I only have so much let to get myself the things I want. The things I try to have on hand are eggs $2 & whole grain bread $3 (b'fast), a box of clementines or watermelon $5(or what ever fruit is on sale), lettuce $2, brown rice $2, some canned tuna and ham slices $8, and then go to M&M meatshop and buy a box of frzen chicken breasts $11 (on sale for 15pcs). I also get a bit of bulk popcorn, pudding cups/frt cups as treats and some cheese (my downfall). As long as you have some lemon juice, things to make sauces, herbs & spices that you collect over time in bulk I've found that I can eat healthy & be full for abut $50 a week. If I were to order a pizza or takeout 1 meal could easily cost $20 in comparision. Its hard but just watch the sales, get your staples & create from there! Good luck :)



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MISSYGEEN
MISSYGEEN's Photo SparkPoints: (23,059)
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7/14/11 12:38 P

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II wish I had seen this board sooner. I had a rough time this month and felt blessed just to be able to eat. I ate frozen and canned vegetables. Unfortunately It had gotten to the point where I had no vegetables some days and a few meatless sandwiches, which lowered my protein count.

As for the ground turkey. If you don't think ground turkey will go over you can try half ground turkey, half ground beef. The beef takes over the flavor and no one will know. this at least cuts down on calories and your ground beef will last longer.



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HOTMAMA291
HOTMAMA291's Photo Posts: 34
7/14/11 11:15 A

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I save on food by growing ALOT of our own fruit and veggies. And eating whats in season. By the time you are sick of them the next fruit is ready And there are so many easy to grow veggies to chose from, pick a few favorites and start growing. We had a quick stir fry last night with chiken, zucchini, crock neck squash, and green beans seasoned with a little fresh ginger and garlic- all from the garden (except the chicken). We have blueberries, blackberries, grapes, plums, cherries, apricots, necterines, orange, fig, and avacado, along with a huge veggie plot. My advice start slow, we did, its taken years to aquire all the trees, vines, bushes, seeds, etc. I get some exercise while taking care of everything and heathly eating! Good luck



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GYPSYSPARKLE
Posts: 1
7/14/11 10:50 A

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Sometimes I just keep things simple and eat a lot of the same stuff. Not that Im in any place to give much advice but if you get a big family sized box of Lean Pockets at Walmart and a bag of lettuce, you can eat that for lunch for a week or two. It will be about $12 for the Lean Pockets and another $3 for a bag of lettuce. For dinner grill some chicken (Walmart sells a good deal of like 10 breasts for less than $10) and that lasts all week for dinner, make it with some bags of Green Giant microwavable veggies (also sold at Walmart)... for bfast, eat cereal or egg whites and toast with OJ... grab a box of granola bars, a bag of apples and some V8 for snacks. This whole weeks menu will probably be about $65 and coupons will lessen that amount.

Edited by: GYPSYSPARKLE at: 7/14/2011 (10:58)

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ALIENANGEL
ALIENANGEL's Photo Posts: 31
7/14/11 10:20 A

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I find meal planning helps. I actually eat the same stuff all the time but i cook for my husband and daughter. by planning my meals i only buy what we need. It really has helped with food waste and money.

also I buy from the bulk section for my nuts, spices and oatmeal.

walking the tightrope of reality


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LYNNANN56
LYNNANN56's Photo Posts: 80
7/14/11 10:16 A

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This thread is really nice, but can someone post a time table on staples like flour, beans, stuff you buy in bulk, that some save in the freezer, etc...and if freezing fruit, do you put anything on it first? and should you use it up in a certain amount of time? I avoid the bogo buys at the grocery many times over because with only 2 people eating it (and sometime just myself because hubby isn't watching his weight and isn't very adventurous with his eating) I don't want to throw it away.
emoticon



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MARYALICE411
MARYALICE411's Photo Posts: 22,373
7/14/11 9:38 A

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Dr. Oz had a show on how to eat healthy on a $1 a meal. I'm Vegan, so don't remember everything frozen veggies and caned salmon. You could bring up his web page and get more ideas

Objects in the mirror will get thinner than they now appear

MaryAlice from Alvin TX



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IRISHSAVER
IRISHSAVER's Photo SparkPoints: (13,617)
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7/14/11 9:01 A

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I usually coupon shop my regular groceries and do quite well but it is the fresh fruit and vegetables that always cost me the most, Same story I usually end up throwing out product especially lettuce for some reason bought at Aldi for $1 not so bad... I do save quite a lot at Aldi for Vegetables ie $6.99 at Shoprite VS Aldi $3.49 10lb bag... My family love potatoes as do I ... We dug to make a garden this year but all the plants dies before they got in the ground. Perhaps better luck next year as we have a lot of turkerys and deer running around at the end of my garden.

For those of you that need assistance or help getting by there are a lot of sites out there to help you get by when you are down on your luck.. I recently signed up to help out at this one my kids made lunch boxes for Camden at another one near my house and love it.

philabundance.org see if there is one in your area

save money and frugal tips try here mod remove links if not allowed

hotcouponworld.com great tips to shop for less and how to live on less
afullcup.com same
slickdeals.net same

good luck

Edited by: IRISHSAVER at: 7/14/2011 (09:06)

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ELLIMINTY
ELLIMINTY's Photo Posts: 47
7/14/11 8:56 A

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One thing I like to do is go to the Asian markets and try new things. I LOVE the rice noodle (vermicelli) versions of ramen that are available (as opposed to Mr. Noodles) because they come in so many flavours! And at $14 for a case of 24-30 packages, that averages about 58 cents for the biggest part of your meal! Then I pick up bags of bok choy and packages of snow peas (which are -- for some reason -- always cheaper at these supermarkets) and throw them into the bottom of my soup bowl for a healthy and satisfying lunch that's about 350 calories! Also, I only ever use about 1/2 the soupbase they give you, which reduces that overabundance of salt!

If you buy the sauces and "specialty" noodles at the regular grocery store, it comes out to almost twice the price! I also generally pick up rice there, because it's about the same price as Walmart, but you have many, many more varieties! Some of these markets also sell fresh (read: live!) fish too, for a good price, but they also have frozen if that's easier :D



HAPPY_TOGOBLIND
HAPPY_TOGOBLIND's Photo Posts: 183
7/14/11 8:27 A

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So much of our food goes to waste because we don't use it in time. Buy what you need, store what you can't in a long-term way (freeze) and don't stock up on unnecessary items just because they are on sale (who needs 4 bottles of ketchup in their pantry?). Other than that, buy in season or frozen fruits and veg (farmers markets in my experience are always fresher and cheaper), grow what you can at home, and most importantly remember that your health is an investment. I am by no means a wealthy person. My husband and I barely get by because of student loans. But, we make the decisions on how we use our money. In order to eat a variety of nutritious and mostly organic food we cut back on our cable tv, gym membership (I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but I run outside and work out at home with actually better results than I had at the gym), and nights out. It's all about setting priorities and sticking with them, but there are definitely ways to be smart about how you grocery shop.



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MOMGETSSPARK
MOMGETSSPARK's Photo Posts: 1,132
7/13/11 9:20 P

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Now is the time to buy berries either fresh or frozen and store them. I use Saran wrap and put a portion in that or a friend freezes it in ice cube trays and just takes two or three out that way. Aldis and Meijers usually has a week where I can get it for a buck. Also since fresh is cheap now usually frozen goes cheaper now too. When buying chicken, buy the larger packs and then divide in baggies when u get home. I agree on checking the circulars. I find Walgreens has some great buys almost weekly.

Cyndi


3/2011 First ever race walked 8.1 miles in Pittsburgh


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GENIE118
GENIE118's Photo Posts: 725
7/13/11 8:19 P

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Reduce your portion sizes; go through your pantry & freezer and use up everything you can before buying more.

Inch by inch, anything's a cinch!


 current weight: 133.5 
 
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NIECY777
SparkPoints: (1,425)
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7/13/11 8:14 P

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I'm gonna need to try frozen fruits. Never thought of that. And almost everytime I buy fresh fruit, even with the best intentions, at least half of it goes bad.



GFGIRLINNY
Posts: 18
7/13/11 8:03 P

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I have gluten intolerance and shopping cheap rarely happens! I try to find sales and stick to "serving sizes". I am not picky so some of my "creations" may seem strange to some but as long as I feel satisfied after a meal, that's what counts!

I have done well although I have no scale to verify my actual loss. I know I have no more muffin top!!!



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DAWN788
DAWN788's Photo Posts: 114
7/13/11 5:47 P

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I've got a bunch of ways to save - but scouring the circulars to EVERY store in my city is the #1 way, and becomes really fun - I'm actually addicted now.

Other tips:
1. Cereal - Drug stores have 3/$5 or some similar sale pretty much every week. Along with the easy to get GM or Kelloggs coupons, it's possible to get 3 boxes for $4 or less. THEN if you work in an office, most offices have milk for coffee. Leave the box of cereal at your desk and use the office milk - you get breakfast for at least a month - all for under $4.

2. Tuna - Walgreens and other discount stores will occasionally have super sales on tuna. Not your typical 4/$5 ($1.25 each), but for $0.60 or $0.70 cents a can - that's 4/$2.50. Use it in salads w/ balsamic dressing or make tuna salad - all great lunches.

Hope this helps!



 current weight: 140.0 
 
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FIRECOM
FIRECOM's Photo SparkPoints: (107,673)
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7/13/11 4:58 P

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Lots of really good ideas. Thanksemoticon

"It is easier to raise good children than to fix bad men" by Fredrick Douglas.

Co team leader for Living With Diabetes team.

Co Leader for Healthy Hearts team.

Leader of Gilbert Speaks team.


 current weight: 171.9 
 
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IMEATINGWELL
IMEATINGWELL's Photo SparkPoints: (0)
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7/13/11 4:51 P

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Dried beans of various types are very healthy and are cheap. You can add them to soups to add protein and carbs. Eggs are also both healthy and cheap. Make hard boiled eggs for protein powerhouse snacks.



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LOVE4KITTIES
LOVE4KITTIES's Photo Posts: 1,813
7/13/11 4:35 P

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One way to save money is to keep the food you've purchased from going bad before you use it. I keep my flour, rice, dried beans, dried pasta, coffee and nuts in the freezer. It prevents bugs, my nuts don't get rancid and my coffee seems fresher. My peanut butter also keeps longer in the refrigerator than on the shelf.



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