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Eating Healthy For Cheap

How how how can I do this, all the organic good stuff is so so expensive. Salmon is great, but good salmon is well over $12 a pound. Even veggies are expensive.

Sun. Jan 7, 9:19pm

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Beans! Even organic beans are reasonable, esp. at Trader Joes if you have one, or purchased dry bulk from a health store. In a list of the top ten superfoods for antioxident value as deteremined in a USDA study listed in today's paper, small red beans was #1 (over the publicly touted blueberries). Red kidney beans and pinto beans were # 3 and 4, and black beans came in at #18. Organics are still pricey but they are coming down, especially if you buy in season.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 12:04 AM

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Be careful about tuna...

it's loaded with mercury. In fact, if you ate what the FDA says it's "safe" to eat, you would almost certainly be over a safe level! and particularly if you get pregnant, STAY AWAY from tuna.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 2:27 AM

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I'm not interested in starting a debate or anything, but I don't buy organic because I haven't read anything that definitively proves that organic food is better for you.

I did read something by a pretty noted expert that said the organic food craze was the greatest fraud perpetuated against the American public.

I agree with the philosophy, but at the grocery store I've come to believe that you're paying more for the same thing.

Stick with whole foods that aren't preprocessed and wash your produce. You'll be fine.

You should read up on organic vs. non-organic and decide for yourself.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 8:21 AM

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No, "organic" isn't the greatest fraud

perpetrated on the American people. You're getting confused with your corporate stooges. That was Inoehof's comment (or however you spell his name) about global warming.

Organic isn't just about you and your little body (tho there is plenty of evidence to suggest that pesticide residues are damaging and can cause various problems, including cancer). THere is also this small issue of the environment.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 9:45 AM

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Re eating organic, while I believe that it would be desirable to eat all organic foods - both for the health of your body (there are recent studies that organic foods do, in fact, contain more vitamins and minerals than non-organic) and the health of our world - the simple fact is that I cannot afford them right now. If you want to eat cheaply, organic foods are probably not going to be an option. If you really want to eat organic, you could see if there are any organic food co-ops in your neighborhood - there is one in my neighborhood that allows you to get a discount on the cost of the produce by doing more work for the coop. And in the summer you can grow your own, which will be more delicious by far than even the organic produce at your local supermarket - you can plant in pots if you don't have room to plant a garden.

Conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables offer excellent nutrition - just wash them thoroughly. And frozen veggies contain as much nutrition as their fresh counterparts, and often cost less.

As for the original question of eating healthy for cheap, I'd say that you first need to take a look at your current eating habits. Do you eat out or order delivery often? Cooking for yourself will save you a lot of money and be much more heatlhy. Do you use a lot of processed foods? Cooking from scratch will often save you money and you'll avoid all of the additives and chemicals in the processed foods.

As for eating fish, I don't know how to afford that on a budget. Look to inexpensive cuts of other lean meats - when I was on a tight budget, I never paid more than $1.99 a pound for meats, and tried to stay at $0.99 a pound. Watch for sales, stock up and freeze it in the portion sizes that you will use. I often see boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.99 a pound. Whole chickens often go on sale for $0.49 a pound. Roast one or two on the weekend and freeze the leftovers for sandwiches and other meals. Turkey can be economical, too, given how much meat you'll reap from one cooking session - again, freeze the extras.

Lean cuts of beef often go on sale. Some inexpensive cuts do best in a slow cooker, where they can become tenderized by the long cooking time. 80% fat ground beef is the least expensive, but not the healthiest. To remove a lot of the fat, after you brown it, put it in a colander and rinse it thoroughly in hot water.

I hope some of these ideas help!

Monday, January 08, 2007, 10:24 AM

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If salmon is too expensive, try meats like ground turkey (instead of ground beef in recipes/soups/etc.) and whole turkey breasts, chicken, etc. Also, watch for when salmon goes on sale; you can buy a good deal of it, and freeze it raw, and make it on a later date. Also, sometimes you can find good buys in the frozen section - frozen shrimp, scallops, etc. Tilapia's a good, very mild fish, that you can flavor with almost anything, and always buy frozen, fairly cheaply. Maybe you can even find flash-frozen salmon.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 12:35 PM

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I beg to differ, but I am not confusing organic food with global warming, or any statements about the like.

We'll have to agree to disagree, but please don't try and say you know absolute truth about food. I said to do the research and let the OP make up his or her mind about the subject.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 12:56 PM

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organics do tend to be higher in mineral content. Plants get minerals from the soil they are grown in-commercial growers deplete soil by their growing methods, then only add in through chemicals what they need to produce a saleable crop. Organic growers amend their soils, rotate crops and overall support soil health, which results in higher mineral content in products. (vitamins are unaffected)

Monday, January 08, 2007, 2:00 PM

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well you can say whatever you want about organic food and whether or not it is better for you, but no one can dispute how wrong it is to have pesticides (chemicals!) in our food! there is no evidence that says we should have pesticides in our bodies.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 3:31 PM

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I ate organic all the way through graduate school, on the cheap -- by growing it myself! (some on the roof of my building, some in my yard)

Monday, January 08, 2007, 3:41 PM

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"well you can say whatever you want about organic food and whether or not it is better for you, but no one can dispute how wrong it is to have pesticides (chemicals!) in our food! there is no evidence that says we should have pesticides in our bodies."

OK, so wash your food.

Also, read John Stossel's "Give Me A Break" for more insight.


Monday, January 08, 2007, 3:50 PM

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Trader Joe's is my way to stay below budget and still eat great

I get flash frozen salmon all the time at TJ's - it's usually around $4-5 a pound and they have it in vacume-sealed bags with 2 fillets (ex: 1 bag is usually $3.50-$4.50). They also carry Halibut, Ono Wahoo, Tuna and Taliapa (sp?). Their produce is also excellently priced and you cannot beat their deals on peppers. Their frozen produce is second to none and all their beef is free-range. If you can handle frozen veggies - it is really cheap to have a bunch of veggies, beans (soak dried beans overnight), and some meat all chopped up, seasoned and cooked together then served over rice, a bit of pasta or in a high-fiber wrap or tortilla. I make several 'varieties' of this - a couple italian versions (one tomatoe based and one sorta pesto-based), a mexican version, an asian version and working on a 2nd mexican version and an indian version.

However I don't only shop at TJ's - I keep a sharp eye on the circular each week and buy certain items in bulk when there's a good deal on them. Keep your eye out for farmer's markets this spring - near the end of the day you can get some great deals and the vendors are willing to haggle. I can usually keep the grocery spending for 2 people around $60 a week (~20 meals) and for the west coast that's pretty decent. I do not buy pre-pepared, processed anything - we buy only fresh veggies, whole grain products, lean meat, fish, fruit and seasonings. If I make a sauce or dressing - I make it from scratch. The trick is to buy what you'll eat and use it all. I have always tracked spending and we don't spend any more nowadays eating 'clean', than we did when we used to live on frozen pizza, pre-papared or processed foods. Waste is the big killer when you buy large amounts of fresh ingredients, so figure out ahead of time at least some of what you want to make.

With some research and exploration you can find a wealth of cheap, healthy things to make. Best wishes!

Monday, January 08, 2007, 3:53 PM

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My family lives on a yearly income of under $50,000 because I stay home to raise our daughter. We eat 99.9% organic. We shop at natural foods stores and sometimes Trader Joes. Eating healthy is and has been top priority for us for 15 years. We make sacrifices in other areas to eat this way. We don't have cable and we don't wear designer clothes. We rarely eat out mainly because the quality of food is so bad, but also what you spend eating out could be a couple of days of food. We don't shop the middle isles or the frozen food section. Eat fresh vegtables and buy grains and beans. You will be surprized what you can do with a little money if want to eat healthy. If money is the obstacle then I think you are using it as an excuse to not be as healty as you can be. Good luck!

Monday, January 08, 2007, 8:45 PM

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Give Me A Fake

If you're going to use John Stossel as a reference...Then i am compelled to post the following headline from a website that totally debunked him, showing that he had faked results!

ABC News Fabricated Laboratory Tests In Story Criticizing Organic Food

Despite Dozens of Warnings, 20/20 Program Repeatedly Broadcast Nonexistent Pesticide Findings


Monday, January 08, 2007, 10:13 PM

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More propaganda from the organic food industry to get your $$$.

Note, the article you mentioned was from 2000, his book came out in 2004.

Go ahead, piss away your money.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 11:09 PM

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portraying the legitimate concern of people for the growing concentration of poisons in their bodies and the environment (where we see losses of amphibian populations...losses of pollinators... damage to avian populations) as "propoganda" pretty much speaks for itself. Classy.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 11:32 PM

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to the OP

I agree, $12 salmon is pretty crazy - especially since it's pretty tough to raise "organic" fish! farmed fish has a lot of problems... wild caught stocks are declining... I say, skip the salmon (or save it for a treat now and then) and find some other things you like to buy. Eating carefully and consciously can lead to *buying* carefully and consciously.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 11:34 PM

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Oh pa-leeze! What's going on here is simple. It's a fad. Organic food is a fad craze just like every other diet out there.

The only food I trust as being truly organic is the one from my garden. But many companies (don't deny it, because you know it's true) get away with putting an organic label on their food and selling it at a higher profit margin. Meanwhile, the consumer thinks he/she is getting something that's soooo much better for them.

Or is it? What about the bacteria in manure? You're just as likely to get sick eating "organic" food that wasn't cleaned well enough as you would eating the typical food that has pesticides used on it.

I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying don't be a sheep and believe everything your dear grocer tells you. Bottom line: they're trying to make a profit and the organic label is one of the best scams to get your money that's out there.

Monday, January 08, 2007, 11:51 PM

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Look. I am not a sheep. I have read a lot about pesticides and their effects on human health and the environment, including many articles in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

You, on the other hand, have recycled the same tired argument about “manure being dangerous” (and by the way… do you think the E. coli –infected spinach and onions that made people sick recently were organic? No, they were not. So those pathogens can turn up anywhere). Anyway, the manure argument is a old red herring to divert the conversation from the real issue – which is the impact of pesticides on humans and the environment.

Additionally, there are organic guidelines that restrict what can be labeled “organic”. Every once in a while some facet of the food industry tries to weaken these, but on the whole they are meaningful, and generally well-enforced.

And if you look at the data on the agricultural economy (as I have) you would know that organic is a tiny, tiny fraction of agriculture in this county. Which might help explain why prices are higher – it’s partially a supply problem.

Finally…someone who takes John Stossel (who has been outed as a fraud) as gospel should really not lecture others about being “sheep”. Have a good night.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 12:04 AM

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well I am on a tight budget and I have no problems shopping at ALDI. You can buy Tilipia like 10 pieces of fish for$3.99 you cant go wrong! 2 pieces of tilipia has 21 g protein.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 9:03 AM

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Costco has good deals on food as well, though sometimes their "fresh" produce isn't the freshest.

"They" say that buying food in season not only tastes better and is better for the environment (much less petroleum burned in transit), but is cheaper than buying, you know, Chilean apples or in June or whatever. Also, some vegetables are really pretty cheap. And "ethnic" (hate that word - isn't everybody "ethnic"?) markets often have better deals than the chain groceries catering to gringos. New immigrants won't put up with crappy, overpriced American food!

Thursday, January 18, 2007, 9:30 PM

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Have you tried shopping at your local farmer's markets? Often the produce is produced locally and is fresher and cheaper--sometimes you can freeze it... (some farmers markets also carry meat and poultry.

Also, I have heard that frozen food is sometimes better than fresh because they allow the fruit and veggies to ripen more fully before freezing so that the taste is often better than fresh fruit or veggies

Thursday, January 18, 2007, 11:20 PM

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grocery shopping for real people

Who has the time and money to hit the organic stores all the time? I don't! Fruits and veggies are not expensive if you are buying what is currently in season. Did you know that at this time of year, buying frozen may be healthier than fresh? Many fruits and veggies are shipped from so far away that they have lost their nutrition by the time they get to your grocer. So, hit the frozen food aisle and get something that appeals to you. I like Bird's Eye mixed vegetables. There are all kinds of mixes. Protein: tuna is cheap. Look for sales on chicken breast and pork, and get the lean ground sirloin for burgers and stuff. You'll also find that there is not a big price difference for whole grain pastas and rice or Paul Newman's organic sauces.

Friday, January 19, 2007, 12:32 PM

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tuna? depends on what you mean by "cheap"

Environmentally, tuna is one of the most expensive things you can eat, though. It's a top carnivore -- you might as well be eating tigers. And because tuna eat other fish they sometimes concentrate pollutants and heavy metals, which is why one periodically sees some discussion of its mercury content.

...and now a word to answer the OP's question

Anyway, how to eat well and affordably. The real trade-off is time vs. money. Pre-prepared and processed foods are the expensive ones! Making bread is much cheaper than buying it, baking up granola is much cheaper than buying it in a box. Even baking a pumpkin to put into a pie is cheaper than buying a can of pie mix -- and don't get me started on homemade vs. pre-prepared crusts! What you avoid by doing this is not pesticides, but preservatives. Preservatives are much more insidious than pesticides in most people's diets -- you can't wash them off, and they're in everything so the amount can really add up.

Friday, January 19, 2007, 12:50 PM

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To the last poster,

You are definitely right regarding preservatives....

I've found that when eating fresh fruits and veggies for a month and then eating something processed, I can notice a difference in how I feel.

I have a friend who is highly sensitve and allergic to MSG (to the point that the doctors thought she had some kind of cancer). She now makes her cakes, cookies, breads and crackers from scratch... She rarely eats at restaurants because the list of foods containing MSG or derivatives of MSG are so prohibitive....

She told me that not only is she feeling better, the food tastes better and it's actually less expensive to eat that way! (The biggest factor is the extra steps and time taken in preparing the foods-- but if she plans ahead, she can make meals for a week at a time and then freeze or refrigerate them for the whole family to eat.

Friday, January 19, 2007, 7:45 PM

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If you're going to sub ground turkey for ground beef, know what you're getting. Ground turkey can contain a TON of skin. Read the nutrition info, check the fat content.

Friday, January 19, 2007, 8:37 PM

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The differences in cost-of-living (or eating) are as interesting to me as the actual topic here.

We live on about $50K a year, because I stay home to raise my daughter--AND my three sons! The six of us eat three meals a day (I pack lunches for school and my husband's work) on about $550-600/month...

Friday, January 19, 2007, 8:42 PM

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Other things to look for--
Getting Chicken thighs vs. Breast-- make sure to trim off the excess fats. If you own a George Foreman grill (or something similar--you can get knock-offs for not much $) you can grill up several pieces ahead of time to put into salads and soups and sandwiches...

What state do you live in are you in a small or larger city? It's freezing cold in the Detroit Area, but there is still a "farmer's market" in town--that caters to the restaurant industry--I needed some veggies for New Year's Eve and thought i"d drive by the farmer's Market (Eastern Market is a huge one in Detroit) to see if they had anything. I was surprised to learn that they did! That part of the city also had a bulk meat & poultry market-- like the old fashioned butchers-- with giant slabs of meat and very fresh poultry. Prices are far better there than at the local grocery, since they essentially cut out the middle man...

It may take a bit of planning-- but maybe you and a friend can find such a place near to you and split the cost of bulk meat and produce?

Another thing-- Some friends of mine told me about some kind of "co-op" where a group of people get together to buy fruits and veggies in bulk, therefore saving lots of money that way as well. I've never tried it, but it's a thought....

Saturday, January 20, 2007, 2:26 PM

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The real cost.

If you really think organic food is expensive, you should really look into how much a stay in the hospital can cost. Real Organic food and fresh food are much better for you and can cut down on illnesses.

Saturday, January 20, 2007, 4:04 PM

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Oh, SD is pretty cold! and, I guress if you are not in a city that has a wintertime farmer's market, that can be kind of tough....

Not that this is helpful in the wintertime, but do you have a freezer that can hold large amounts of produce? Also, do you know how to can your own foods? Maybe in the summertime, if you have the knowledge (or if you can find someone to show you), you may consider canning or freezing some of the fresh produce you get in the farmer's market for the wintertime... For example, I got a big basket of fresh peaches from the farmer's market this summer--it was the end of the day and the peaches were overripe, so the farmer sold a whole basketful to me for $1!!! He suggested eating them immediately or canning them for jam... Well, that afternoon, my parents, hubby & I ate about 2 fresh peaches each (they were phenomenally sweet--better than anything you could get in the local grocery store!) and I canned some of it in my freezer for the wintertime. It was definitely a treat to get out some of my freezer jam at New Year's --it tasted like I had just brought it home from the market!

Definitely have someone who is familiar with canning show you how to do it properly--one of my friends usually makes huge jars of salsa and tomato sauce from her summer garden (when she lived on a farm) and she would get friends together for a "pasty-making" party (cornish meat pies in a pastry crust)--they would make many dozenss of them to freeze and share...

The biggest thing about freezing or canning is 1) to have enough space to store the foods) and 2) to be able to have enough patience and time to do so...

I also bought one of those vacuum pack machines--that helps to cut down on freezer burn when freezing meat & fish-- I tend to buy in bulk (i.e. the "family packs" of meat or fish) and then freeze them in batches of "single serve" (for 2 people)... It's so much easier than having to thaw out a big hunk of meat or fish.

Sunday, January 21, 2007, 3:44 AM

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I think this is one of the problems of Americans, we want to eat CHEAP which usually means we compromise the quality of food we put into our bodies.

I workout very hard, at least 5-6 times a week, intense 2 hour workouts, I breastfed my son, and the last thing I'm going to do is try to eat cheaply or feed my family cheap food.

What is wrong with buying quality food? Why are some people so obsessed with stretching a dollar? Eat well and sorry but you'll have to pay to do so!

Sunday, January 21, 2007, 12:09 PM

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Some of us are obsessed with stretching a dollar because it is the only dollar we have!

However I really believe that food is one of the most important things we can spend our money on. My family has little money since I decided to stay home with our kids. What I do have plenty of now is time. I have the time to plan our meals carefully, bake my own whole grain bread, make beans from scratch, can foods, and shop thoughfully. I think we live very well on a limited budget.

In my experience it seems you either need to put plenty of money or plenty of time into eating well. The problem is when I want to eat cheap AND fast. That's when I end up in the Taco Bell drive though.

Sunday, January 21, 2007, 12:45 PM

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Well, SOME people are obsessed with stretching a dollar because they have to be. Having lived below the poverty level for 6 years, I can attest that keeping the grocery budget below a certain threshold was key.

Sunday, January 21, 2007, 12:45 PM

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Organic contamination

My brother works in the produce section of a large chain store where they sell both organic and traditionally farmed produce. When they first started carrying the organic produce the produce manager told all employees that the organic had to be kept separate from the regular produce via plastic bins and dividers. If the organic items get touched by "regular" produce, it is considered contaminated and would have to be disposed of. Finally the store realized that they were getting rid of loads of food because of this. Even if a person walks up to the produce and touches a regular item then touches an organic item it would be considered contaminated. So while the concept of organic is good, I don't think there is really any control over what happens to the food once it gets to the market, how it gets there and who has touched it. Something to think about.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 10:13 AM

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To the person with 6 people to feed on 500 bucks, Dang! You ought to be on one of those extend your dollar programs. I eat out a lot more now, (with kids) than I did when I was growing up. I think it's impressive that you got your budget balenced so well!

To the OP, I'm guessing you're a student, so that eliminates making a lot of stuff on your own. Who wants to come home from class and bake bread before having a sandwich. Also, depending on which school, having your own garden may be difficult too. My suggestion? Try a farmer's market - my school had a farmer's market on Thursdays, great place to get veggies, fruit, pies, bread and jelly, all without preservatives. A crock pot is a good idea, it cooks slow, and you can do a lot of stuff with it. A george foreman grill is nice too - very versatile.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 3:28 PM

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after reading all of the above, one question still remains unanswered in my head. one poster commented that he/she can bring in a protein-rich meal with tuna which does not require, really? how can that be? is this meal preservative-laden? really curious about this...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 3:37 PM

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you could start an "eat healthy" club, much like a dinner club. you and the other members can then but fresh foods in bulk and save money, then divide up the bounty for each to take his/her share home to prepare.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 3:39 PM

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Cheap vegtables

If there is a Soup and Salad near you go at lunch and get it to go. dont get letuce that cheap enough at the store, just stuff you box with all the different veg. that you like. Allows for a good variety for a small price.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 6:28 PM

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If you are eating tuna, you are not a vegetarian.
No unless you are referring to the "tuna" fruit of the prickly pear cactus, anyway!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 6:37 PM

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Right on to the person who wrote the tread called "the real cost" That is sooooooooooo TRUE! I say that to people all the time.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 1:35 PM

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I do alot of crock pot meals. Especially in the winter. You can buy a tougher and cheaper cut of meat and then it is tenderised when you slow cook it. I do one meal every week in my crock pot. Good ones are, soups, caseroles, beans, stews, italian chicken, veggies, etc. P.S. Add lots of veggies and skip the potatoes in most recipees. And all of these are usually great as leftovers, or freeze some for later.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 7:18 PM

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A huge vat of chicken and vegetables ends up costing the same as a huge vat of pasta, parmesan cheese and the sauce. I think it's more of a matter of retraining your body to like different foods.

Thursday, January 25, 2007, 9:25 AM

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eating cheap

If you look for good sales and are willing to cook you can eat cheaply. It is expensive to buy healthy food that is quick (like take out, or frozen) not to mentionthat quick food usually has hidden sodium, preservatives, etc... even if its lower in fat or calories. I search all of the circulars each week for the cheapest fish. Then I buy a few pounds of that fish. ALso, if you look for veggies in season, they are usually cheap. I also eat alot of beans and brown rice. They are both cheap and healthy. YOu can also save money by spicing up your food with fresh herbs like cilantro, rather than buying bottled marinades.

Sunday, January 28, 2007, 9:44 PM

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Low cost healthy foods

My new favorite place for low cost healthy foods is whole foods- I bought a 2 pound bag of brown rice for $2 in NYC. Doesn't get better than that. A can of organic beans is .85 and I'm sure its cheaper in bulk. A huge bin of fresh spinach at $6- it was massive. Rice beans and spinach you have a ton of nutrients right there.

Saturday, April 21, 2007, 5:38 PM

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To the OP

If you can't afford to buy organic than don't, you will still lose the weight as long as you are sticking to your plan. I have a large family and I eat everything that everyone else eats. Its all about portion control. If you think you will not lose weight because you can't afford organic food than you are sooo wrong. Start measuring everything you eat and the weight will come off, regardless if it is organic or not. Good Luck

Wow it does not take much to get a debate going on here

Saturday, April 21, 2007, 11:08 PM

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11:08 is right...

A calorie is a calorie is a calorie...doesn't matter where it comes from. If you count calories you will lose weight. If its HEALTH you want, then you do need to eat well. But to lost weight, regardless of what you eat, portion control and calorie counting will be effective.

Sunday, April 22, 2007, 12:36 AM

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low cost healthy grocery shopping

12:36- not true at all. There are calories that are empty and calories that are high in nutrients. A calorie of white bread is basically devoid of anything you need, a calorie of spinach is probably packed with more good stuff than anything else.

Friday, October 05, 2007, 1:42 PM

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1:42 - it IS true. Read 12:36 again. You can still lose weight on empty calories if you take in fewer calories than you need, not that anyone recommends that, but you can. You can also lose weight if you eat nutrient dense foods, as long as you take in fewer calories than you need (i.e., you can still get FAT on nutritious food if you eat too much!)

Friday, October 05, 2007, 3:22 PM

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a calorie may be a calorie, however, the very system that burn that calorie has to be working properly, and if your body is so contaminated with shit, or if your hormonal systems are all out of whack then no matter how many or how few calories you eat, you may not lose wieght. I have a wheat intolerance: even if I eat fewer calories than I need for 6 months, I will NOT lose any weight, because wheat interferes with how my system runs.

Sure, calorie in calorie out works, but you're incredibly naive if you think that everyone can take numbers off a website to determine if they're actually burning the calories they think they are.

As for eating cheap, I'm Cdn, and we have a bulk barn, which is SUCH a fantastic place. Bulk organic PB, honey,flours, pastas, beans, rice; they also have packaged dried good products (crackers, chips, cookies) at incredible prices. I'd look into any stores that specialise in bulk.

Friday, October 05, 2007, 3:44 PM

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great ideas here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008, 2:51 PM

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Eating what is currently in season and locally produced will reduce grocery costs significantly ... Not only for you but the whole planet!

My mom raised 4 kids on a very tight budget and we always ate organics and whole foods - we ate a lot of whole wheat pasta, brown rice and other whole grains. We are all in our 20's and 30's so NO sorry but whole/organic foods are NOT a fad/trend/gimick LOL - eating healthy has been around for a long time it's just that not everyone has been paying attention :)

Mainstream North American culture seems to be slowly looking for solutions to the multitude of health problems - including obesity - that have been brought on by the last few decades of eating crap food. As more and more people start demanding quality vs. quantity in their food buying power, quality AND quantity will become more and more available.

Sunday, July 13, 2008, 3:21 PM

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I think it can be unrealistic to expect people to buy organic when it comes at such a high price. The argument that that's where it's worth putting your money is weak. Why do you think obesity is so prevalent in lower income homes? Organic produce (regular produce for that matter) isn't on sale for buy one get one free, but the bags of Doritos placed so helpfully at the front door sure are!!! I know families that have to eat prepackaged food because it's cheap and it stretches for maybe even two meals. I find Hamburger Helper personally vomitous, but when a box of that and a lb of ground beef can feed your entire family, many will do it. The last thing on some people's minds is the environment, pesticides or preservatives. It's keeping their electricity and phone from being shut off. Gas in the car that gets them to work vs. organic broccoli............not much of a choice.

Then there's the "you can make it yourself for cheap" argument. God bless anyone who has the time to do that. We both work full time and have kids who are neck deep in activities. For many, there is just absolutely no time to do those things.

Don't mistake my critique. I avoid processed food as often as I can, I make healthy meals on a daily basis. I don't buy organic because even I can't afford it with two incomes, but my fridge is stocked with fresh fruit and veggies at all times. There are no chips or cookies in my house. My point is only that eating healthy can be a difficult task when the supermarkets (which are on buslines, farmer's markets usually aren't) promote unhealthy choices as bargains.

Sunday, July 13, 2008, 8:33 PM

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As far as buying organic, if it is important to you, you will make it work. Right now it is more costly, but if more people requested organics then it would become more mainstream and the cost would eventually come down. Eat less. I love going to the farmer's market but ours only runs from May to Sept so I buy extra and freeze or can it.
Since Americans have gotten so into ready made food, preservatives, food additives, colorings, bleached flours, and so on, we have had a rise in diseases and disorders. 10 years ago cancer struck only about 1 in 25 people, while now they predict it to strike 1 in 4. There is an increase in ADHD
and other behavior disorders and many studies have shown that diet plays a lot into that. I also have a reaction to MSG and make that a determination of where we go when we decide to eat out. While it may be easy to wash our veggies and fruit, have you thought about what those pesticides are doing to our wildlife? Has anyone done any checking on our household water and found that it contains pesticides? People toss all kinds of stuff down the drain including old medicines and not all of that is cleaned out in our water treatment plants before it is sent back into our water pipes and into our homes.

We all need to do our own research to decide what is healthy and what is right for ourselves and not let government keep making all of our choices for us. So many big companies get kickbacks. There is too much greed in government. When you read something, also find out who the author is and if he has any credentials. Don't just take everything you read as gosple. If it doesnt matter to you, then so be it.

Monday, July 14, 2008, 10:15 AM

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One of the best discussions I've found with so many great ideas!! Thanks!! Keep them coming!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010, 10:49 AM

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Organic Vs. Conventional

Unfortunately you cannot just "wash off" the chemicals that are put on produce a lot of the time, as the pesticides "seep into" the flesh of the fruit/veg. I pretty much go buy the "dirty dozen" which is a list of produce that contains the highest concentrations of pesticides and are difficult/impossible to wash off (strawberries, apples, peaches, spinach are the ones that come to mind immedietly). You can google it to get the complete list.
Another good rule of thumb---if the fruit/veg has a thicker skin, then buy it conventional and chances are after peeling it you will have gotten rid of the contaminated part (pineapple, avocado).
Hope that helps!

Saturday, December 18, 2010, 4:54 PM

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