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ROSA2K11 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (21,710)
Posts: 318
6/4/12 7:15 P

Beans are a great and incredibly filling source of protein. Some varieties - especially black beans - also have a lot of iron. I like serving spiced beans as a side dish, or they bake well into Mexican and Tex-Mex casseroles.

MAGGIEMURPHY4 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (10,813)
Posts: 936
6/4/12 7:02 P

I don't look at it as diet food I look at it as healthy eating! So I basically buy the same things i was already buying and now I just prepare them differently. The other thing I do differently is measure my portions to stay in line with my calories. My family does miss the fattening meals I used to make but they were just that fattening and unhealthy. I no longer fry foods or bread them they way I use to. Now most things are grilled and include lots of grilled veggies. I no longer buy junk food so the money I save on chips, soda, and cookies is put toward fresh fruit and veggies. Healthy eating should be a family event and shouldn't cost you any more than you were already spending. When the cook is eating healthy everyone is eating healthy! They can just have more portions than you can.

Edited by: MAGGIEMURPHY4 at: 6/4/2012 (19:09)
SMERRIMAN7 Posts: 296
6/4/12 6:39 P

Many things can be adjusted by portion size. Smaller portion of the entree & larger portion of veggies/salad/etc. if you're cutting back on your calories. For a spouse who is eating in a 'normal' range - regular portions of all of the above.

Personally I follow this method for shopping in general:

Most things go on sale every 6-8 weeks. So I stock up on items when its on sale, use coupons if possible to match up to the sale prices. By stock up I mean I buy enough to last us 6-8 weeks, until its on sale again.

For example we've started using Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta. About 170 calories per 2 oz (dry) serving, and higher in fiber than typical pasta. When it goes on sale I can get it for $1 a box, or less if I have coupons for it. I buy 6-8 boxes (a couple each of spaghetti, penne, etc.) as we tend to have a pasta meal once a week. For sauce - if nothing is on sale for less, then I buy the store value brand at $.80. Actually, that store brand can is one I prefer because its lower in sugar (and therefore lower in calories) than the name brands. But if sale + coupons means I can get the major brand for less than $.80, I do.

For meat, I mostly use chicken, ground beef, tilapia & occasionally pork chops. I got a large amount of frozen tilapia from Zaycon Foods for $2.39 a pound. Or it may have been $2.59? Usually buy 8-10 pounds of chicken breast when its on sale for $1.99/pound or less. When ground beef is on sale, I stock up as well.

I tend to pay very little for condiments (ketchup, mayo, mustard, dressings, etc.). Just stocked up on peanut butter at Publix by buying 4 jars at $1.15 per 15.3 oz jar. I shop drug stores for many personal care items, getting their weekly deals. Example - yesterday I paid $1.10 after tax for a 1L bottle of mouthwash.

RADIOTIKSPARK1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,813)
Posts: 638
6/4/12 3:19 P

You could try upping the dry goods: Beans, lentils, etc are all very very inexpensive, versatile, and can add some protein. Skip the cans and go straight to the dry and in bulk. A pressure cooker speeds up the dry beans cooking process (20 minutes, no soaking).

CLRWILLIAMS25 SparkPoints: (34,625)
Fitness Minutes: (35,554)
Posts: 1,091
6/4/12 2:14 P

I stock up on non-fat or low-fat dairy items when they are on sale. block cheese and shredded cheese both keep for awhile in the fridge. We now buy a lot of non-fat cottage cheese and add it to pasta (even with sauce!), stir-fry veggies and mashed cauliflower to help increase our protein intake. Yogurt is also a good protein-rich item that you can use as a snack (store brand 2lb containers are more economical). Instead of buying specific fruits and veggies all the time, I am flexible and buy things that are on sale and refrain from buying things outside of my budget.

As for having a non-dieter in the house, I would suggest downplaying how healthy your meals are. I find that if I just make the substitutions/changes to recipes and don't tell my husband, he rarely notices. If he does, I tell him what I did different. I also do not buy junk food. If my husband wants it, he goes and gets it himself and keeps his candy in his car or at work so I won't be tempted by it- then he doesn't have to share :)

Good luck! The longer you work on your healthier lifestyle, the easier it becomes :)

AJALDER20T SparkPoints: (7,526)
Fitness Minutes: (6,911)
Posts: 263
6/4/12 1:57 P

I am finding it difficult to find things that will work for non-dieter and dieter alike for grocery supplies while maintaining a fairly strict budget for food money. Eggs are cheap for us seeing as we have chickens, but other than that I can't go buy the foods suggested for my meal plan on spark most of the time. I am doing substitutions, but I am ending up over calorie, high in sodium, and way under in protein almost everyday. I would love any suggestions that could be made on budget stretching ideas for food that will work better, AND/OR food to make myself that can stretch my budget and keep us both fed.

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