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Who here is single and cooking on a budget?



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RUSSELL_40
RUSSELL_40's Photo Posts: 16,262
1/16/14 1:50 P

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A garden was a great idea Azul. I live in an apt. right now, so did not think of that. I would love to be able to grow a garden. Hopefully I can move into a house soon. We grew tomatoes, pumpkins, onions, and corn in my childhood backyard, and made jelly from the mint that grew on the side of the house.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein


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AZULVIOLETA6
AZULVIOLETA6's Photo SparkPoints: (45,519)
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1/16/14 1:15 P

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Well, I am single, not exactly young anymore (38) but I spend less than $100/month on food.

I cook everything from scratch. I grow a lot of my own food (community garden) and can/freeze/dry for the winter. I shop at discount grocery stores FIRST and then get whatever I cannot find at the mainstream groceries. I barter for fish--I have friends and family on the coast and I trade them fresh tomatoes (which they can't grow) and canned goods for fish that I can freeze.

Getting organized and being willing to put in the work are the keys if you want to eat well on very little money.

Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.

Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba


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GABEY1026
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1/16/14 1:02 P

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One of the things that helps me is watching the grocery store's flyer for deals to stick to my budget and basing meal plans off that. I tend to do a lot of grilled or baked chicken/fish. I will also make a double batch of soup and freeze half. Breakfast for dinner is also a weekly occurance.
I've found some great recipes on www.skinnytaste.com.
I recently found this site(www.budgetbytes.com) and I'm going to be trying out a few of her recipes soon.

Hope this helps!

Edited by: GABEY1026 at: 1/16/2014 (13:25)


RUSSELL_40
RUSSELL_40's Photo Posts: 16,262
1/16/14 12:15 P

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I am 40, and on a limited budget, and single due to health issues. So my budget is limited, and I eat my own meals, which is what I think you are looking for.

I eat low carb, so I can only help you in general. I eat eggs, canned veggies, butter, oil, and lots of chicken, and 1 ground beef a week. Meat is obviously my biggest expense. To save money, I shop at Aldi's, for everything but my meat. I buy that at an Amish market, which is slightly more expensive, but saving money elsewhere allows that, and you probably don't eat as much meat, so that won't affect you.

There are lost of ways to save money. Look for specials, and keep a little money in savings. $100 maybe. Next time there are 2/$1 canned vegetables, buy 100 cans, they last forever. I KNOW fresh is better, and so is frozen, but they can be expensive, and are seldom 1/2 price. The same can be said about dry goods, especially pasta. Sometimes it is $1.50 a box, at other times $.75. Be prepared to buy 20 boxes of pasta, if you will eat that.

I rarely have fish due to the price, but last week, there was pollock for $3,49 a lb., so I bought it. When it is $6.99 a lb, I skip it.

Next is serving size. I tend to use foods that I can split up. Pasta is 8 servings a box, or $.10-$.15 a serving ( cheap ), and the box is resealable. I buy chicken in large quantities, and separate them into daily servings, so I just thaw one days meat. Same with cheese, when I can afford it. I cut it up, and separate it into serving size. Twice as much is not twice as expensive, as long as you don't eat it twice as fast. It is cheaper per 2 oz serving.

You could eat something like pasta and mix it with soup, or a sauce. I used to eat Chunky soup, which was about $2 a can, but was 2 servings. So I ate it with 2 servings of pasta ( 1 cup ). I would split it in 2 and have 1 for lunch, and have leftovers the next day. This cut the cost, since pasta is cheap, but also the sodium, and another plus was not having to cook lunch the next day. If not enough calories, throw in an extra can of vegetables. You can use spaghetti sauce in place of soup to flavor a dish, just pay attention to serving size, and nutrition.

You can take a relatively expensive can of soup ( $2.49 ), and mix it with pasta( 2 servings $.25 ), and a can of veggies( $. 50 ), and make 2 meals for about $3.24, or $1.62 a meal.

So look for deals, and use cheap filler foods to add bulk, and calories to meals, without breaking your budget. I prefer 2-3 cans of vegetables, and no pasta, but the idea is the same.. diluting an expensive menu item, with several cheaper ones. Better than the alternative.. the cheap boxed macaroni and cheese..lol. Healthy may be slightly more expensive, but with a little planning is possible on $30-40 a week.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 1/16/2014 (12:17)
"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein


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MICHELLEXXXX
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1/16/14 7:51 A

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I've been there. Here are some things that helped me...

frozen fish fillets
canned tuna
cook 1lb chicken at a time and freeze the rest
frozen veggies
fresh veggies cut and put in single serve baggies to go

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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SPARK_COACH_JEN
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1/16/14 6:41 A

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Here are a few articles you might find helpful:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=822

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=511


There are also a few "cooking for one" SparkTeams you might want to check out. You'll likely get some additional tips there.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." Mary Pickford


JACOB_B
Posts: 294
1/16/14 3:39 A

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So I'm a single guy and like most young, single people, living on a pretty strict budget. So I'm looking for someone who has/is losing weight and in the same situation as I am. Curious on the meals you cook and what you eat. Thanks!



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