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Old 04-30-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
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Unhappy cant afford healthy foods

hi I'm only 19 years old and i really want to loose 30 pounds I'm 137 now and i would like to get to 110. I'm really short so i guess that's the ideal weight for my height anyways i don't have a lot of money i only work a min.wage job and i find to buy all healthy food is way to expensive i buy frozen veggies does that matter ? and to actually buy lean meat my god i definitely could not afford that does anyone have any advise as to what i can get for decent prices. i also wanted to know if it matters what time of the day you workout i mostly do it around 7 pm but some people say i have to do it when i first wake up but that's not really an option for me. would really appreciate some advise thank you
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:43 AM   #2
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Hi there,

Eating healthy doesn't mean buying the most expensive product, it means taking care to monitor what you put into your body.

A quick word on your exercise question, no it doesn't matter, many people like to work out in the morning before they eat to burn more calories, and then follow up with a high protein / fibre breakfast to get their muscles regenerating at a good rate while filling up the belly to keep away hunger. But the fact you are working out is a good thing. Make sure your program you are using is effective and just keep at it, do not stop!

Now on to your eating healthy. BY IN SEASON, I cannot stress this to you, do not buy strawberries in decemeber, do not buy blackberries in fall, check this website out Fruit and Vegetable Season Chart

It tells you when what is in season and BUY LOCALLY, go to farmers markets and get cheaper veg that is MUCH higher quality than the supermarket brands.

Depending on where you live, plant yourself a garden, it is easy to do, easy to maintain and you really will benefit from it in the long run, use a local free-cycle to get yourself some seeds and plant. Free organic food is cheap food.

As for every day meals, check out your local stores and see what is on sale and what isn't, learn to make your own bread (not only does it taste 10x better than store bought, it has 10000x less sodium) buy cheaper cuts of meat, or my personal favourite (though I'm sure this may not apply to you) ring a local farm and buy a share of meat from them, they will save hundreds and get organic meat that will taste so heavenly.. however until you can do that buy cheap cuts and tenderize them (bash them with a rolling pin through a bag/plastic wrap) soak them in a marinade for at least 24 hours and make sure to stock up on lots of fruit (apples are great hunger killers!)

It would take me a while to list of enough recipes to give you a weekly meal plan (yes I love cooking!) there is a whole library out there on the web that can give you recipe ideas for eating cheaply.

Just remember, diet =/= not eating. Eat small meals every 3 hours a day to keep your body burning calories. Do not exercise EVERY DAY, your body needs rest, 3-4 times a week is more than enough.

use fitday to track what you eat too.

PS:- buying whole wheat pasta is a very cheap and healthy way to eat! 9 grain pasta with a tomato and basil sauce and home made garlic bread. delish.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:44 AM   #3
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forgot to mention about frozen veg - NO it doesnt matter, veg is picked and frozen within a couple of hours, all of the nutrients are stored in the freezing, its perfectly fine to buy frozen veg.

CHECK THE LABELS! If it looks like a science fair is going on in the bag though, do not buy it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:35 AM   #4
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-beans and lentils are really cheap and a great source of protein/fiber
-search the web for coupons. note that lots of coupons are for processed foods, but you can find coupons for tea, oatmeal...stuff like that
-buy meat thats on sale--often at the grocery store they will have the meat that goes bad in a day or two on sale. if it looks alright i always get it. if you don't want to eat it that night just put it right in the freezer.
-buy store brand
-buy cheap veggies--carrots, celery, potatoes (sweet and reg), onions..these are always cheap at the stores i go to.
-in general when shopping make sure you look at unit pricing, and not just the cost of the individual item you are buying.
-if you know someone else that wants to do this with you, you can buy a food share from a food co-op. They have healthy options, but not always cheapest.
-lastly, stew meat, or tough cuts of meat, are always cheapest. just simmer them for a while and they aren't tough!
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
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current weight: 125.6 on April 13, 2011
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:44 AM   #5
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i too live on a budget. I'm just starting only been trying to loose weight for 6 weeks now, and have only lost 20lbs. My starting weight was 233 i want to be at 160 on or befor 4/11/11. I'm only 4'11 so yes i am REALLY overweight. However that being said I found that you can loose weight on a budget....i but fresh fruits and yes frozen vegies. I have stopped buying junk and replaced it with fruits. Just counting calories, and thinking about what i eat and drink befor putting in the mouth.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:39 AM   #6
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Morning exercise may be ideal, but evening exercise sure beats no exercise. As long as you aren't too wired for sleep, I wouldn't worry about that. You don't have to go organic, but you should ALWAYS read the label! Frozen veg is much better than canned. If you must use canned (like tomatoes) look for low sodium. Look for lean meats, not a lot of white on it. Whole chicken breasts are cheaper than boneless skinless, and it's not difficult to take the skin off yourself. Eggs can be an inexpensive protein source, especially if you don't use all the yolks. 1 whole egg and 2 whites makes a nice size portion of scrambled eggs, add in some veggies and that's really filling. My receptionist at work has chickens and right now they're laying overtime, so I've got 2 dozen free range eggs that didn't cost me anything Water packed tuna is easy and healthy, as long as you aren't eating a lot of canned products. Salt adds up quickly. Healthy eating gets easier and cheaper this time of year.
If I keep starting over, eventually it will stick, right?

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Old 04-30-2010, 10:40 AM   #7
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I found that I sent way less money when I cut back on the animal products, don't eat as much, and buy quite a bit of frozen fruits (morning smoothies!!!) and veggies, dried or canned beans, and low-sodium meat substitutes such as morning star. I used to spend probably close to 100 dollars a week for just my husband and I. I now spend 40-60/week! The nice thing about eating healthy, at least for me, is I instinctively know what is actually going to last me a week. I know by the amount of servings in everything. I no longer need to buy a lot of extra food because I would eat way more than a serving at a time! If you live in a city, not only farmer's markets, but street vendors are often much cheaper that stores. I know that's the way it is here in Boston.
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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The ladies who have replied all have great suggestions. I would also suggest that if you can't afford healthy foods or don't have access to farmer's markets or a garden, just make sure that you are sticking to portion control. We all know that we can't eat entirely health 100% of the time, but when we can't, sticking to proper portion sizes will help. I.e. - if you're having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, make sure you are only using 1 tablespoon of PB and 1 teaspoon of jelly, and try to swap white bread for whole wheat. Making some simple substitutions and measuring out your portions can help keep you on track.

I would also suggest checking into a Sam's Club or Costco if you have one in your area. A one-year membership is usually around $30-40, but it can save you alot. They often have lots of fruits and veggies at good prices all year. Also see if you have a Gordon Food Service (GFS) which sells in bulk without having to buy a membership. Some other cheap healthy foods are: quick oats with splenda or stevia (the kind you boil for a minute on the stove), frozen veggies, frozen fruit (make sure no added sugar), a huge bag (like 10-12 breasts) of individually frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts are only about $13 at Sam's, a big bag of apples and oranges is only about $3-4, sweet potatoes and red potatoes, a big tub of plain or vanilla low-sugar, low-fat yogurt for making smoothies with frozen fruit (cheaper if you buy a large tub of one flavor rather than little individual containers), and I know Wal-Mart has bags of frozen tilapia and salmon fillets (about 4 fillets to a bag) for only $3-4.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:11 PM   #9
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So many good replies here! Another way to eat more cheaply is to plan your meals. I make a plan for all the weeks meals before I shop, which stops me from buying fresh produce that I'm just not going to use. I just read that Americans are throwing out about 40% of the produce they buy. Planning meals should help reduce that number.

I read Cheap Healthy Good - Frugal Recipes and Food Tips regularly too for ways to eat well, inexpensively.
Starting weight: 187 28-Sep-2011
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:53 PM   #10
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I'm a real tightwad, out of necessity. About 18 months ago I went completely deep discount on almost everything, but we never go without in this house, we now have so much that I often deliver bags and bags of food and personal items to those in need. My advice to you would be to check out a website called couponmom.com. I use coupons and match them up with sales for almost all my H&B items, which often comes out to pennies or sometimes even free. Many of the food items I buy are fresh, but there are occasional coupons for them as well. It takes a little while to get used to using coupons and shopping for the best prices, but once you get the hang of it you save so much money it isn't even funny. We used to spend $150-$200/week on groceries, this week I spent $38, and have everything I need for my diet and my family. Oh and like avelina said, I never throw out food if it can be helped. Most veggies and meat freeze just fine, fresh produce is a little trickier, but just buy in moderation with a menu in mind.

Last edited by almeeker; 04-30-2010 at 07:05 PM.
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