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Old 09-12-2011, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
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This isn't a weight loss "diet". This is about trying to eat relatively healthy while on a tight budget. For me, the first step was to eliminate sodas completely. For nearly a year I've not had sodas regularly. Occasionally my wife will pick up value meals from fast food places and will get me a Sprite or 7-Up. I switched to decaf coffee to get off the stuff. I work rotating shifts at the hospital so I'm never on the same sleep cycle. Caffeine made things worse with intense withdrawal headaches. When possible, I drink my decaf at work instead of at home to cut cost. Now my drinks are two 6 ounces of decaf coffee, one cup of milk, one cup of cranberry juice, and 6 to 8 glasses of water. For cereal, I have either whole cut oatmeal or Malt-O-Meal brand cereal. They taste better than generic cereal while still costing less per weight than the name brands. When making homemade hamburgers, try adding a can of Rotel chopped tomatoes (your favorite flavor drained) to your ground meat. One pound of ground meat will make much larger four burgers or average size five burgers. You could do your version of an old cajun classic of red beans and rice. For example, we'll take one can of beans, add some water, some chopped onions/bell peppers, and one link of your favorite sausage. Serve over rice. We put oil in the bottom of the pot and brown the onions and bell peppers. Some also brown the sausage at this point while some put the sausage in with the beans and cook then.

Share some of your tips for cooking on a budget without being unhealthy.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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Lots of veggies and brown rice.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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More onions, they are cheap, and really help spread out the food. I love caramelized onions, I used to use them all the time to make one chicken look like a ton of food for three teen boys. I would buy a bag of onions a week, and slice them up for making fajitas, I would add onions, and potatoes to the fajitas, so a pound of chicken would feed five people for dinner, that includes three teen age boys.

The real problem on making food stretch is when you are feeding teen age boys. If anyone has ever had three at the same time, you know that you can easily spend $200 a week on groceries, if not more...I made lots of soup, using cheaper veggies, like carrots, potatoes, onions, and I made chili, another thing I used to buy was a bag of large baking potatoes each week, and I made the boys have a potato bar for snacks.

The real problem, is the cost of bread. Teen age boys can eat two or three sandwiches at a pop, with 3 of them eating, they can eat 2 or 3 loaves a day. Sure, you can bake bread...but who has the time for that? Well, I made "time" I used Saturday night as my baking night, and baked bread, bought large bread pans, and just had them help me. After all, they were eating it?!

That, and milk, juice, they can go thru that stuff like nothing. So, I switched to dry milk, it is just as good, make it at night, so it is ice cold to drink the next day. Buy frozen juice in the big cans.

Feeding teens on a budget can be done...but it can be tough.

Last edited by jasper12; 09-12-2011 at 12:40 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:28 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,862,752 times
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My grandmother grew up really poor. She died a couple of years ago at the age of 97. The last time I took her out and about the town she raised my mother I recall her telling me how in the 1930s she and my grandfather husband specifically sought out and maintained jobs in a grocery store. She said that they did this because no matter how hard times got during the 30's and WWII years that she knew they would be able to feed their family and not worry about the children going hungry. If teens are eating through quite a bit maybe a part time job at a grocery store or deli where they can help pick up some of their food tab or litterally bring some food home?

A trick with powdered milk is to mix it 50/50 with 2% milk and water instead of using only water. It tastes more like "real milk" that way and you still cut your regular milk use by half.

While the fresh veggies are still coming in I am getting my fill of old fashioned 'mater sammiches. I only buy bread on sale or at the wholesale bread outlet. I'll roll up a sandwich in a leaf of lettuce or slice of cheese instead of using bread at leat 50% of the time. Whole wheat tortillias for wraps also cut back on the cost of bread as a subsitute.

Roasted veggies have gone a very long way in cutting the grocery bill. I do most of my shopping around the sales. For the most part if food is not on the weekly discount, I don't buy it. Snacks like crackers and chips have all but been eliminated in the past 2 years.

sailordave, I'm with you on having eliminated soda, it is just too expensive and non-nutritious. Mostly I drink water or iced tea (decaf). As the weather gets cooler I'll switch to hot tea. Instead of dumping out the extra coffee in the coffee maker I turn it off early so it doesn't overcook and refrigerate the leftovers for the next day to nuke. Instead of buying juice I'm eating more fruit. More nutrition, less calories, more filling.

I've all but cut cereal out of my shopping too, unless I find some I like marked down by more than $1. It is just too expensive. Oatmeal goes further but I only eat that in the winter.

I can see alot of homemade soups in the future for the winter with beans and vegetables.

Eggs go a long way for the budget too, hardboiled, egg salad, fried egg sandwiches......

Cabbage is another food that gives quite a bit of bulk and bang for the buck.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Susquehanna River, Union Co, PA
885 posts, read 1,273,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Lots of veggies and brown rice.
*chuckle* - exactly the opposite! I'd go CRON (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition)

CRON-diet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

EDIT: I guess our current diet is CRON in theory - small portions of nutrient-dense food
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:37 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,124,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusqueHappy View Post
*chuckle* - exactly the opposite! I'd go CRON (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition)

CRON-diet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

EDIT: I guess our current diet is CRON in theory - small portions of nutrient-dense food

Well there isn't many calories in most veggies and Asian cultures have been skinny for many centuries eating whole grain rices so I think those will fit the bill for calorie restriction.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Susquehanna River, Union Co, PA
885 posts, read 1,273,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Well there isn't many calories in most veggies and Asian cultures have been skinny for many centuries eating whole grain rices so I think those will fit the bill for calorie restriction.
Not for optimal nutrition tho
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,574,557 times
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Polenta is very cheap, and takes only 2 minutes to cook. I eat it a lot. A 5-pound bag of yellow cornmeal is only about two bucks.

Use two parts salted water, brought to a boil, add one part yellow cornmeal, keep it on high while continuously stirring, until it rolls over in the bottom of the saucepan a a single glob. Don't worry, it won't burn, but use a teflon saucepan and a wooden stirrer, because it sticks like crazy in a metal cooking pot. It will only take a minute or two to cook, and will be stiff and dry.

Top with butter and sour cream or grated cheese. If desired, you can saute onions of fry bacon chips in the saucepan first, and then cook the Polenta so they are stirred right in.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:21 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,124,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusqueHappy View Post
Not for optimal nutrition tho
I beg to differ. There is overwhelming World Wide studies, information and evidence that a diet high in vegetables especially green cruciferous/ yellow and minimally processed grains such as rice and barley are extremely beneficial to a human diet. Mix in some high quality animal protein and raw plant fats for a diet approaching superhuman status. A little wine or small amounts of alcohol daily is also beneficial.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Susquehanna River, Union Co, PA
885 posts, read 1,273,113 times
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^ I beg to differ. Carb-based diets are not optimal. I've done lots and tons and years of research and experience with this. There is a vast realm of knowledge that is not promoted, and that which is has agendas other than nutrition (yes, it's a real societal problem to feed all these people).

So that's my story & I'm stickin' to it

But that is another thread in any case.
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