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ALIAKAI SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (365)
Posts: 319
9/14/11 3:22 A

I used to have a blog completely dedicated to that, and plan on restarting it (meaning posting in it again) soon with new recipes and research lately. My best tip: cut out a chunk of the meat in your diet and add in cheaper, lower cal sources of protein like cheese and beans, quinoa, etc. Check it out below when you have time, there are quite a few posts about dieting on a budget that you might like, and all of them have recipes. Good luck!

FITSUNE SparkPoints: (8,802)
Fitness Minutes: (7,445)
Posts: 148
9/12/11 1:29 A

I just started making a cookbook dedicated to frugal recipes. I like to cook for a crowd (things are cheaper in bulk) and then freeze the portions I will need for future meals.

I hope you will try a few recipes and rate them.
The good life doesn't have to be expensive.

Fry Polish or Portuguese Sausage and add lots of cubed potatoes. Add water to almost cover and simmer until water is gone. Stir to coat with sausage drippings and serve.
It only takes a little sausage to flavor a huge pan of potatoes!
Another great secret is to pick dandylion greens from a place that you know didn't have pesticides and add them chopped to your salad or serve them steamed with a dash of vinegar.
Some kinds of dandylions are bitter and prickly but when you search for them, pick the kind you like by nibbling it a bit to see if it is good.

Edited by: FITSUNE at: 9/12/2011 (01:42)
FITGIRL2K14 Posts: 80
9/11/11 10:41 P

I recently began cooking food myself at home, as opposed to eating whatever I found on campus, and have realized just how healthy and cheap this alternative is! One way for lower income individual's to lose weight is to avoid eating fast food outside which lends itself to lighter pockets and heavier pounds... GOOD LUUUCK! =D

BARSAL14 Posts: 197
9/11/11 9:26 P

I notice you have 1 post and 26 points so you must be really new. First of all welcome to Spark. Do not get over whelmed by the site. One of the nice things about the site is that it is never boring their is always something new to click on. I suggest that under the healthy lifestyle "orange tab" you click on There you can navigate the thousands of recipes entered by people just like you and I. However I find that tuna, beans, eggs, onions, some frozen veggies, baked chicken all work well. I even entered a recipe for left over chicken. Good Luck to you. emoticon

Edited by: BARSAL14 at: 9/11/2011 (21:28)
BLUEKITTYGP SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,255)
Posts: 1,055
9/9/11 8:53 P

Try the day old bread store. Oroweat or Arnold's has a product called sandwich thins that's very good and high fiber too.
Wish I had an Aldis in my area. I use to go when I lived in St. Louis, MO. Never heard of Town Talk. We have Grocery Outlet. It helps and Dollar Tree has some great buys too. Read the labels of everything you get. Good Luck.
The US put out an article "Only the rich can eat healthy". I'm trying to prove them wrong.

BLUEKITTYGP SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,255)
Posts: 1,055
9/9/11 8:46 P

Check your local food bank. Go as early as they open for produce. It goes fast. Tell them you are trying to eat healthy and they'll aim for those type of foods. If your on food stamps you qualify. I feed 6 people and take all the help I can get. emoticon

KELEKONA Posts: 605
9/9/11 12:59 P

Angel food is good. The only reason we stopped using them is because we got picky and started ignoring the frozen chicken nuggets and were using the frozen french fries as a way to keep our meatloafs out of their own grease.

The way I shop is to mostly stay in the outer ring of the store. I've also got the flexibility to plan meals on the fly. (Carry a notebook if things are really tight.) Get whatever vegetables are cheap that week, grab the meat that is on sale, make sure you have milk-eggs-cheese, round out your diet with whole-wheat pasta and frozen veggies. If you have any time, or have a teenager that can learn, bake your own bread.

Fitness Minutes: (2,511)
Posts: 12
9/7/11 10:30 P

Check around in your area for stores like Town Talk or Aldi.
Town Talk is an excess/near end date retailer where restaurants and large chain stores sell their excess product when they know it won't be used/sold by it's expiration date. The stores are usually not the prettiest to look at but you can get big bags of chicken breast (like 10 lbs) for 5-7 dollars, great lean steak for 2-3 dollars a pound, frozen veggies, cheese, oatmeal, rice... All for pennies on the dollar.
Aldi is a German retailer here in the states that sells only their own brand foods, no national brands. Because they don't have to deal with intermediaries that raise prices, they are able to sell very high quality products at lower prices.
Local farmers markets can be a great place to find deals too. They will only have on season produce, and when farmers have large crops of things like cucumber, squash, zucchini, etc. they sell them cheap! Also, if you go later in the market day they are more willing to haggle so you might be able to negotiate a price down a bit to take some produce they don't want to get stuck with off their hands.

Canned tuna, dried or canned beans, rice, oatmeal, apples, bananas, and frozen veggies can all be found pretty cheap. The biggest thing is that you find creative ways to use what you have. When I was younger, my mom & dad were struggling a lot and so we grew up with a lot of rice, which my mom would buy in bulk, and non meat proteins like beans & eggs with things like tuna and chicken maybe twice a week.
Some things that are really inexpensive like tuna noodle casserole or chicken pot pie can be made healthy by cutting out butter and subbing light sour cream for regular or mayo. Use frozen veggies mixed with reduced fat cream of chicken or mushroom soup and a can of biscuits and you have a warm filling pot pie. Boiled egg noodles, a can or two to tuna, and a bag of frozen peas. Make canned tuna into patties with some fine diced veggies and spices and an egg, cook in patties in a pan and you have a tuna burger.

There are ways to be healthy and cheap, it just requires some planning and prioritizing.

TAMMYC1970 Posts: 31
9/7/11 5:02 P

This is very cheap, and extremely quick and easy.

Tuna Patties
3 small eggs (I use egg substitute)
1 tbs olive oil (I use cooking spray)
1/4 cup cilantro
1 clove garlic minced (could use garlic powder)
1/2 cup fine chopped onion
1/2 cup fine chopped red bell pepper
2 small cans tuna drained (I use tuna in water)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients (except oil) well
Heat oil in skillet (or cooking spray) cook tuna patties until browned on both sides and heated thru.

I use 1/4 cup serving size with that it makes 6 servings
Buy using egg substitute, cooking spray, and tuna in water it really cuts back the calories and takes nothing away from the taste

You could also use chicken or turkey, but would be higher in calories

Hope this helped, good luck

ADGIRL618 SparkPoints: (16,375)
Fitness Minutes: (2,617)
Posts: 602
9/7/11 11:27 A

Look up Angel Food Ministries in your area. They have a lot more fresh options than they used to and I think they accept Link Cards or Food Stamps or whatever your state has. However, you don't have to be poor to use their services which is great for anyone on a budget.

Store brands are often just as good as name brand foods - especially on a budget. I love to cook and try new things but I absolutely hate to waste food because that feels like a waste of money. Here are a few of my tips:

Some foods you can buy can really be extended: Onions go well with anything, when not in season, green peppers can be bought in frozen packages for a very affordable price, celery is typically around $1.50 and so is a big bag of carrots. Unless they are on sale, buy the large carrots instead of the baby carrots - they take a tiny bit more work but if you are putting them in things they will save you money. Another staple that can be extended is chicken. All in all, a 2 or 3 lb bag of onions, a package of celery, a large bag of carrots and a couple of pounds of whatever chicken is on sale should cost around $9 or 10. Now here is the key - do not waste any of it! Keep all chicken bones and all vegetable ends after they have been cleaned to make your own chicken stock. You can use your own stock to give lots of flavor to rices, beans, sauces, etc. I use my stock to cut down on using oil to saute my vegetables - instead I 'steam/saute' them in stock. Chop up all the veggies and make soup using your stock, chicken and whatever else you want. Possibilities for soup are endless and inexpensive...and many soups freeze wonderfully for a quick weeknight meal or individual lunch.
Another thing - buy beans from dry if possible and cook them yourself. It will save money and they can be used for a variety of them plain, make a black bean salsa (using canned tomatoes if necessary), spice up the black beans with some fresh cilantro (usually less than $1 and you get a lot for the money because a little goes a long way) and some fresh jalapeno. Make a dip with white beans, make your own refried (although not fried!) beans using pinto beans.
Last thing for this post - fresh cilantro, fresh flat leaf parsley and lemon juice are staples in my house. Both cilantro and parsley are less than $1 and can be used to brighten up just about any dish. They both come in a bunch so you can get lots of healthy flavor for just a tiny bit of money.
Sorry - I realize i just wrote a book but cooking (on a budget) is such a passion for me and I love being able to pass on some of that.

HEALTHYJ29 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1,307
9/6/11 7:20 A

What is your diet like now?
The weekly ads are a good place to start on a budget. Also places such as super walmart
Frozen veggies you can often find for 1 dollar,fruit such as bananas or apples are also inexpensive
Buying in bulk protein items such as chicken breasts,tuna,eggs can save money as well
Brown rice,beans,oatmeal,potato
A few seasoning,healthy olive oil,dressing can add flavor to meals and also healthy fats
Unless someone is paying for the less healthy food you eat now even if you are eating fast food now for price this can be more affordable

DS41980 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (782)
Posts: 86
9/5/11 11:38 P


I know in my area there are at least two christian charity groups that have a food bank and give good nutritious food (including meat) to low income families for free or for a donation of 5 dollars. It may take some searching on google but they are out there and my sister and I have both used these food banks in tough times. My sister even found one that gave her household supplies like toilet paper and shampoo. They also stocked her up on baby food and formula. The only downside is that sometimes you get alot of sweets and bread products and you don't have a choice so maybe you could make plans to share? Anyways just thought I'd share.

SNOOPY1960 Posts: 1,687
9/5/11 8:56 P

I only buy what is on sale at my local supermarket, they always have a sale on chicken weather it is boneless skinless or drumsticks..

Try to buy fruit and veggies that are cheap like watermelon and banana's and veggies that are in season are cheap.

Do not buy processed foods, they are not good.

Store brands are cheap and just as good as national brands.

Buy eggs, oatmeal , peanut butter and brown rice .
Store brand whole wheat bread is fine too.

KIRANICHOLE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1
9/5/11 8:43 P

Hey guys, I'm new here. I want to lose some weight and eat healthy, but I'm incredibly poor so it's hard to find healthy food that is in my price range. Does anyone have any good recipes that are good for people who are on food stamps and don't have a lot of money? Thanks!

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