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I don't have the money to loose the weight that I want

So my husband and I are going through tough financial times right now. We aren't poor but we don't have a lot of extra money to go out to eat or do things for entertainment. One of the things that I'm noticiing is that I'm just not loosing the kind weight that I want to. And I think this can be attributed to my diet.

We shop every two weeks. So for the first week I can stock up on fruits,veggies, etc. But we just don't have the money to eat like that every week. The simple fact is that its cheaper to make a lasagna feed the two of us for one week. I know that I should be eating healthier but I can' afford it. has anyone else dealt with this problem ? Do you have any tips for stretching the veggies/ fruits for two weeks ?

Our food budget is $300 a month. We normally only eat one meal out a week (i.e. we both pack lunch every day).

Thu. Jan 31, 10:46am

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Frozen fruits/veggies can be very cheap, and last for as long as they're in the freezer, and are just as healthy as the fresh ones. So stock up on those!

Meats that are in a more natural state are cheaper - i.e. a whole chicken, rather than boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can easily roast a whole chicken and make a bunch of frozen veggies on the side, and that's dinner for a few nights. Take the skin off of yours before you eat it.

Crock pots are awesome as well. I make a great beef stew that is one package of stew veggies, some barley, and a pack of stew meat (which is the cheap meat, or just buy whatever's cheapest - it cooks for long enough for even the toughest stuff to get tender.) Throw it in the crockpot with some beef bouillion and water and cook it all day while you're gone. That's food for a few nights. And also very easy to put in a tupperware and take to work. You can add bulk by adding an extra package of veggies too.

Really, though, what you need to do is calculate the calories in the dishes that you are making. It'll take a little work, but you know how much of each item you're using, and you can calculate the number of calories in the whole lasagna casserole. Then divide it by the number of servings. If you're eating too many calories that way, then eat a smaller portion. If you're still hungry, snack on something like veggies or broth-based soup.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 10:57 AM

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You might want to get a book to teach you about portion size. That would be a good first step. You can eat most anything as long as you eat it in moderation.

And, frozen or canned fruits and veggies last a long time and are better than nothing!

You can do this, just find a way!!! Good luck!

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 10:59 AM

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Whole chickens are a great idea. For 2 people you can make that stretch into 3 maybe even 4 meals. Even the premade cooked chickens at the store are good. You can pick them up for around $5, even cheaper sometimes then buying them and making them yourself. Frozen veggies are great but you do lose the good stuff from them. Buy fruits that are only on sale, most apples you can get for great deals. If you have access to costco or a sam's club you can buy your veggies and fruit in bulk, save some money and have enough to last for quite a while. Just make sure you use them quickly. Fruits and veggies don't keep for long.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 11:07 AM

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It's really hard to shop well on a budget, and those fresh foods are expensive right now, but it can be done. I found I spend a lot more money if I don't really sit down and plan things out. I end up buying ingredients for one recipe and then they go bad in my fridge. Now I have to be a little more strategic and look for mulitiple recipes using similar ingredients, especially if they're fresh.

I recently bought a whole chicken and some vegetables to make a soup. I cooked the chicken for one meal - had that with a side of fresh vegetables. I then chopped up the vegetables and the chicken and made a soup that lasted for many meals and I could freeze. Then I chopped up more of the vegetables, added water to the chicken bones and now I've got chicken stock for future recipes. So, that's the kind of planning I do now, to make it stretch. It takes time at first, but then, like anything, it gets easier.

And, hey, lasagne is okay! Make your lasagne with lean meat, reduced fat cheeses, extra tomatoes and other vegetables that you like, etc., and have a frozen vegetable side. Slice up and freeze individual portions and that should last you 6 meals between the two of you.

Like anything worth doing, it may take a little more effort and thought, but it's worth it in the end. Good luck, OP.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 11:08 AM

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Op here- thanks! great ideas. Maybe I just need to be more creative in my cooking.... any other ideas would be appreciated.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 11:11 AM

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Just a tip.

When I was little I was poor and Mom used to make beef stew. A big pot of it lasted the three of us a week. Potatos, carrots, celery, tomatos and some beef. It was really good and it lasted in the fridge. I know when I go grocery shopping I make a plan of action and figure how much I'm gonna spend. I only buy on sale. So if canned veggies are on sale, I stock up. I usually get canned at Aldi's. Also, some meats can store ok in a freezer for a month. Like beef. Try to stock up while stuff is on sale that can last some time. That way if by the end of the pay period money is tight, you got beef in the freezer and canned veggies in the cabinet to get you till pay day again. As for fresh veggies, get a can or jar to set to the side. At pay day, set like 20 or 30 dollars back for more fresh fruits and veggies for the next week. Make a sign for it that says next weeks fresh veggies. That way if something is tempting you to spend that money that is held back you have a little reminder as to what that money is for and decide if you really want the temptation or the fresh fruits and veggies next week.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 11:26 AM

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My cheapest "diet" meal:
2 cups uncooked rice, bag of dried black turtle beans, half a chopped onion. Makes 12 x 1-cup servings @ 200 calories for a total of $2.50. Top with 1/4c salsa (8 servings per $3 jar) for a serving of veggies, 25 cals, and maybe a little leftover chicken or cheddar cheese for a protein boost. Unless you're putting half a pound of cheese on it, it works out to be about $1-$1.30 per serving. Oh, and the rice and bean mixture freezes well, and all of the other stuff has a reasonable shelf life.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 11:56 AM

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I second the rice and beans....way cheaper than meat as a source of protein, so healthy, and they have a really long shelf life.

Other thoughts along the same lines:
split pea soup - add a little smoked ham, you don't need too much

lentils and rice - red, green, brown, french - lots of options. And they're perfect for trying out new spices. You can fold in veggies like leafy greens that are about to go bad.

12 bean soup

chickpea (garbanzo bean) salad. Use canned beans, or dried are even cheaper, but you'll have to soak them first. Another good "playground" for trying out new flavors.

dried mung beans and rice - I cook them just like lentils for when I want the texture of separate beans rather than the almost-mush that lentils become.


Thursday, January 31, 2008, 12:20 PM

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I don't understand this statement: "I don't have the money to lose the weight I want."

How does it cost more to eat less? I've been doing this for several months now and my grocery bill is less than it use to be, as is my weight on the scale.

I pay less because I don't buy cookies, crackers, ice cream, chips, dips, sodas, frozen entrees, etc. I buy fruits, vegies & cheese sticks to snack on. Much healthier and much less expensive. Then for meals I buy basic stuff and cook instead of go to a drive thru or pop something in the microwave. The crockpot is great. You can use the cheapest toughest most tasteless cuts of meat in there and come out with a delicious dinner for 5 that didn't cost much at all.

I was 210 and now I'm 186. My food bill was $240 a week and now it's $90 a week (that is for 2 adults & 3 kids).

That's about all I did different. Just don't buy pre-made food. If you want potato chips just buy potatoes and slice them real thin, then bake on an oiled cookie sheet & sprinkle with a little salt. Or you can make your own cakes with better flour, less sugar and fat, etc.

As for exercise, why pay to belong to a gym? I just go out for walks with the kids or dogs. And I live in a 2nd floor apt so I go up and down the stairs a lot. WHy pay someone to use a stair master when I can use the actual stairs?!

Just think a little and be creative. You'll see you don't need more money at all and you might end up spending less like me.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 12:48 PM

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Op here- Eating less is not the problem. I can eat "less" of crappy foods but it still crappy food. I don't buy chips, sodas etc. The question is how to afford good healhy food... and eat less of that.

PP the idea that you can feed your whole family for $90 a week is amazing! You must get really creative in your cooking.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 1:11 PM

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