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NOEXCUSES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (7,736)
Posts: 154
7/5/13 11:30 A

One way to save money while making healthy meals is to go veggie! Lean ground beef/turkey is incredibly expensive. Beans are incredibly cheap and better for you! Next to no saturated fat, no cholesterol and LOTS of fiber. If your SO can eat beans I would suggest substituting kidney beans for ground beef in recipes or adding extra veggies and beans to "stretch" a small amount of cheaper cuts of meat.

Cheap meals from a box are loaded with sodium and preservatives and are usually much more expensive than cooking from scratch. If you don't consider yourself a cook now that you have a lot of flexible time on your hands might be a good time to try new things in the kitchen. There are tons of simple recipes all over the web.

KPERCYMAN1 SparkPoints: (653)
Fitness Minutes: (93)
Posts: 18
7/5/13 11:09 A

Do you have a 99 cent store near you?

I have heard that they have a great produce section. Also frozen veggies are a great place to get deals. Also, clip those coupons. It does work. I save my family around 14-20 dollars a week. That isn't much to some but it can take a 100 dollar bill to 80. You can even find some online. Make sure to chose lean ground beef instead of 80/20. Choose bulk chicken breast without the skin or bone. Weigh everything you eat to make sure you are getting the proper serving size.

Also, The fitness dude on People mag just did a blog about losing on a budget. I believe his name is Harley Pasternick (spelling).

SLIM4LIFE09 Posts: 424
7/5/13 10:00 A

I'd say to start tracking and working with the tools here on SP or other trackers. You need to make sure you are eating your minimum calories for the day. One meal a day isn't a good idea- it can slow down your metabolism. Look at some budget friendly recipes and ideas.
ie: Breakfast- skim milk with cereal and a banana; morning snack; vegetables with homemade hummus (super cheap to make); lunch; tuna sandwich with salad; afternoon snack- piece of fruit with string cheese; dinner- 1 cup of hamburger helper meal with steamed frozen brocolli; night snack; air popped popcorn

Shop the sales- sometimes string cheese and other low-fat protein snacks can be bought for super-cheap.

I find that once I started tracking I got motivated to improve my choices. And check online for coupons too. With the internet it's soooo easy to google "cheap meal ideas." And since you aren't working right now, take advantage of the time at home to cook. The less processed/prepackaged stuff you buy, the cheaper it is.

For working out- why not work out earlier in the day? Why wait until he leaves for work to enjoy some workout videos or get outside for walks? Most people find if they work out before bed it winds them up and ultimately interferes with their sleep cycles.

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (44,612)
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
Posts: 1,243
7/5/13 9:50 A

One piece of advice I have for you comes from the statement "we only really eat one meal a day." Why is that? Are you unpacking from moving? Working out and eating once/day is going to stall your weight loss by slowing your metabolism because you aren't getting fueled properly all day. It's like filling up your gas tank and using it, then running on fumes for the rest of your trip.

Get some veggies that you and the bf both enjoy, and cut them up so they're already easily accessible. I love carrots and celery with natural PB or hummus. Or any number of fresh fruit options!

RANDOMLADY SparkPoints: (19)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 6
7/4/13 6:42 P

It is a challenge, definitely. Also, my boyfriend has a lap band, so there are certain things that are hard for him to eat, thus we just don't eat them that often/ever. It's a win-lose situation, because we naturally don't even buy bread or soda, but there are also a lot of veg he can't eat, and chicken is especially hard for him to eat, too. I still cook myself up some when he's gone though. But thank you for pointing that out about the ground beef, I didn't even think of it, since I drain the meat. And I'll definitely do that, too. I'd like to start making meals from scratch/mostly from scratch more often, rather than from a box!

I'll look into that, thanks.

I haven't had a physical in a while, but every time I have, my blood sugar has been fine. I even had a test for LOW blood sugar, but that turned out fine, too. I could probably stand to get some bloodwork done soon, though, since I am excessively tired. Could be due to the depression, though. Who knows.

Thanks for the reply. Gave me a bit to think about.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,382)
Fitness Minutes: (301,328)
Posts: 27,437
7/4/13 3:50 P


It's a challenge, but not impossible to eat healthy on a budget. While you might not be able to eat organic, you can still make good choices. I do enjoy sausage as much as the next person, but you do have to watch the saturated fat. If at all possible, try to buy chicken sausage over pork. that will save you calories. Be careful with the ground burger too. I know it's cheap, but it's cheap because it's high in fat. Lean chicken is reasonably price. Even lean pork would be a better health choice than some ground beef. You'll have to watch your portions.

Also, you might want to check the spark recipes section for ground beef meals. Hundreds of members have posted healthier versions of hamburger helper type meals. They're simple ways to make the dish more healthy.

Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. That's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even year. Change takes time. thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body. No one ever became a healthy eater overnight. it's impossible. I've been tweaking my nutrition for years.

If were to give you one piece of advice that would help you become a healthier eater, it would be to do your best to eat 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies each and every day. I know that's hard on budget, but frozen veggies work ! Buy fruit that's on sale as well as in season. check your area for farmer's markets. If you go towards the end of the day, sellers mark down their veggies.

Just adding a few more veggies each day really will help towards helping you lose weight and be healthier. Take baby steps literally and figuratively. there's a lot to learn.

Here are some examples of healthy meals you could make with ground beef.

Also, when is the last time you had a physical ? I know you've recently moved, but you should try to get a physical as soon as possible. the journey to good health should always start with a trip to the doctor. Do you know your blood sugar ? If not, you should. You could be diabetic. If you have diabetes, that's going to change the way you eat. Too many Americans have diabetes and don't know it. Ditto, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Both of these contribute to heart disease.

The good news ? If you start eating better and lose weight, you reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

But, you have to start some where. thus the need to start slowly.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 7/4/2013 (15:54)
RANDOMLADY SparkPoints: (19)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 6
7/4/13 3:09 P

I need to lose 50lb.

My food situation isn't that great. It's not horrible, but not great. I just moved with my SO and haven't found a job yet, so we're living on his salary alone. We mostly buy hamburger helper meals, ground beef, sausage, milk, frozen veggies, and pasta. I try to make decent choices, but also choices of things that are relatively fast and easy. I do drink water like a fish though.

What I normally do is take 1 cup of whatever I made for dinner (we only really eat 1 meal a day), and then 1 cup of frozen veg. I eat air popped popcorn later in the evening if I want a snack.

I exercise 4 times a week while he's at work. I mostly cycle through tae bo videos, but I've recently added in the Butt Bible or whatever it's called. It does light weight training. I start exercise around 8-8:30PM when he leaves, and finish around 9:40-10:00PM.

Can I get some critique? Tips?

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