Jump to content
Health Discovery Network
SSKatie

LIVING ON A BUDGET

Recommended Posts

I thought it would be nice to have a specific area where we could share tips on low-cost, but healthy, meals. Please feel free to contribute any and all tips, sites, and recipes you like, cause I know a lot of you out there are experts at pinching those pennies.

 

Here's to watching our weight...and our dollars! thumbup.gif


---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal

highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150

*He leadeth me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi SSKatie wave.gif and thanks for this new post. I have been having a big problem ugh.gif trying to stay OP and OB at the same time. I am looking forward to any ideas from you guys that are low-cost and healthy for me to make for DH and me. sobbing.gif I must truly count those pennies.

My Favorite cheap meal and one that is pretty tasty is a chinese stirfry made with Ramen noodles and vegetables. I must find the original recipe before I post it here.

Thanks again!! bcbsalute.gif MT


:salut MT

 

a18ec6f08b2b3ca.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fresh veggies can be expensive out of season. And often frozen have more nutrients than fresh because they are flash-frozen right after they're picked.

 

I buy 16-oz. bags of frozen veggies from Walmart at between $1 and $1.25. I put them in a skillet and throw everything that looks good at the moment in there without any oil. I thrown in minced garlic/garlic powder, onion powder, kidney beans, can of diced tomotoes or Rotell, diced ham/chicken, etc, etc. (Haven't tried it yet but I be onion soup mix would be good sprinkled in.) You don't need any extra water. I let 'em cook until it gets pretty tender (I like them that way), and then watch closely while the liquid from the frozen veggies cooks off; then they'll start to "burn"/get browned and I keep stirring until all the liquid is gone.

 

There are SO many variations, and I have fun each and every time I make it. Just decide if you want a protein meal or "just veggies" and then be creative! Just count the points for whatever you put in and it's a great meal! thumbup.gif


---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal

highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150

*He leadeth me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread! Here are a few of the things I've found that work for my family ---

 

* I almost always buy frozen fruit and frozen veggies. They are frozen in their peak so they are just as nutritious as fresh veggies. Plus, they store easier and are often easier to prepare than fresh.

 

* When I buy fresh, we buy in season. Strawberries in December? They are $10 of tastelessness IMO.

 

* I buy meats in family packs. I buy boneless loin pork chops, 92% lean hamburger and top round beef from Sam's for about $2 per pound and then bag the pieces in pairs before throwing them in the freezer. I buy frozen chicken breasts from Trader Joe's.

 

* I have a "meatless" day. As Catholics, DH and I do not eat meat on Friday and we have found that we save some money that way.

 

* I read the ads of local stores every Sunday morning. I look for the deals and plan my meals around them.

 

* I am an avid couponer... BUT only for things that I buy already. Coupons work the best when you match them with a sale and can have them doubled.

 

* I keep a price book on all of the things that I buy so I can easily check to see if a "sale" is really a sale.

 

* I try and cook from scratch as much as possible.

 

* I Stick to the whole foods; fat-free snacks taste good but they rack up at the grocery store and often leave me wanting more.

 

HTH!

 

[ January 25, 2004, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: Paris Madeleine ]


273.8/266.8/164

restart 1 November 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paris, I've been toying with the idea of a price book for years now, but I can't get it together! Can you describe yours in more detail, please?? smile.gif


---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal

highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150

*He leadeth me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, Katie!

 

My price book is not even a book actually; it's an Excel spreadsheet. Basically, I made a master shopping list of all of the things that I buy. If a product must be brand specific I noted that and if I was willing to compromise on brands I listed that too. I then took a Saturday where I priced everything that I buy - it took about 5 hours, but you could also split all of it up. I recorded to prices and sizes of all the items and then recorded them in my spreadsheet and then priced them by unit - usually ounces.

 

I found out A LOT when I priced items by the unit. Many of the bargains that I thought I was getting at Sam's where not bargains at all! Ditto with using a double coupon on a product at Meijer instead of using the coupon at Wal-Mart.

 

Now I can check out a sale flyer and see if it really is a sale or can I get it cheaper at another store to begin with. I know that this sounds like a HUGE project, and it is big. I put off making a price book for 3 YEARS always saying that I didn't have the time, etc. Yet the proof is in the pudding. DH and I used to spend $100-$150 weekly on food and household supplies... we now spend $30-$50.

 

{I lost my PB in a computer crash and I am in the process of rebuliding it.}

 

HTH!


273.8/266.8/164

restart 1 November 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, dear Paris! I PM'd you. :D


---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal

highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150

*He leadeth me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks you guys! wave.gif A good idea about the price journal! I also shop sales and plan my meals around them. Sometimes on the weekend I must hit 3-4 stores to try and get the best sales. Your ideas were terrific! Thanks again.

bcbsalute.gif MT


:salut MT

 

a18ec6f08b2b3ca.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I am going to put my own price book together, after doing an inventory of the foods I buy most often. This will pay off, in the most literal sense of the word. I think because of the differences in Canadian products and prices and the fact that I do a lot of cross-border shopping, my version may have an international section!


Gaining Momentum and losing weight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest B.G. Falcon

Paris, I PM'ed you. Your price sheet sounds like a winning idea! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well most of my hints have already been said!

 

But, here is one thing that works for me. My dm lives across state but we found out she gets the same ads.... grocery and drug store... So, we email/talk back and forth about what is on sale and if it is a good price. We are both always on the look out for good sales for ourselves and for each other. Its fun too... So, if you have a friend or family member, you might try "comparing notes".

 

I dont' know about drugstores everywhere but down here we have Eckerds and Walgreens. I often find a really good deal on SOMETHING especially at Walgreens. From the usual drug store items such as vitamins to canned Tuna/Salmon! You never know what they will have for a good price till you look at their ad.

 

I NEED to start a price book.... I have a good memory but not of everything!

 

Any hints on organizing your coupons... Keeping it up to date, etc???

 

Boy I wish I had a store that doubled or tripled regularily! There is one that does it sporadically but its been like 4 months;(


Its worth every ounce of determination and self-discipline required to make this a lifestyle!

Highest weight:258

Current weight: 158

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

re organizing coupons...

 

i keep mine in 2 envelopes, one for groceries and one for 'wal mart' stuff. i keep them in expiration date order. that's the easiest for me. i tried keeping them by category but found that way too complicated. by keeping them in date order, it is so much easier to cull the expired ones and to check if a coupon is expiring that maybe could be used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Auntie Em, I don't know if you live near Jewel/Osco but here in Chicago they take expired coupons up to 5 years. My sister works for Osco and she told me. Also, if something rings up different from the sale price or shelf tag you get that item FREE!


Success is not a race, be patient.<br />Success leads to success.<br />Success is always a work in progress.<br />Success doesn't come to you--you go to it.<br />Success is a journey, not a destination. Focus on the process.<br />Everyday is a good day to SUCCEED!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Christym1969

Paris I PM'd you also, that price book sounds interesting. I really need to pinch pennies right now so I can really use all the help I can get. Thanks alot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a website that has some wonderful organization ideas.

 

This link is for a price book.

 

I have had one for over a year, and it is wonderful to have with me. This way I always "know" when I am really getting a great price. I stock up!

 

http://organizedhome.com/time/pricebk1.html

 

Have a great day!


I did not gain the weight overnight, therefore it can not come off overnight.

 

Dr. Phil-- "You don't have to LIKE it, you just have to DO it."

 

HW -- 234.4

CW -- 214.6

 

1st goal 10% 211.4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to keep diet/food info...so to cite sources.Yrs ago I read that any ground beef loses almost all fat,if cooked...then pour boiling water over...drain & blot.I do that,then divide into small pks for freezer.Have cut way back on meat used in ground beef dishes,sometimes using part soy crumbles.I also cook gr beef with onion,green pepper & celery...then freeze.So handy.

 

Cut up day old bread,spray with ICBINB & sprinkle with seasonings.Bake till crisp...for home made croutons.I've used extra rolls,buns...all tastes good.

 

Cook frozen veggies,any type you like & add...with seasoning, to cooked pasta.Add oil & seasonings,or some diced fresh veggies.Can add cooked meat & stir fry sauce.Keep boiled eggs at all times...make egg salad,add to tuna salad,make deviled eggs. Peel & warm in micro for a protein brfast.Make your own flavored iced tea mix.Most of all...buy only on sale.Sale items are lots cheaper than " I want" items.


Patti<br />*****<br />Your body keeps an accurate journal regardless of what you write down. <br />******************************<br /><br />"The road to someday, leads to the town of nowhere. Procrastination is the silent killer."<br />~Anthony Robbins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ruthanne

I found I was buying canned beans more than ever before since starting WW. While they aren't "expensive" it was a huge savings to buy dry beans, cook them in my pressure cooker and the drain and freeze them in baggies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its just my DH and I in our home, we have no kids, and aren't at least for a few years. I have gotten pretty good at sizing our meals for both of us so there aren't really any leftovers. Neither of us really eat leftovers-don't know why.

We bought a vacuum sealer and every few months we go to the warehouse club nearby and "stock up" on meats, etc. They actually have a real live butcher, so their meats are fresh and good. We then spend an afternoon just dividing the meats into little packets. We recently got 10# of ground beef for $12 or so there. Also, I like buying veggies and stuff at farmers markets in the summer.

I cut coupons out each weekend, and tack them to our cork board in the kitchen. We always review the coupons and see if we can use any of them. Recently we got a good roll of papertowels for a quarter, after the coupon! :D


Annie <br /><br />SW: 160.4 (11/03) <br />CW: 151.6 (4/17/04) <br />GW: 135 <br /><br />Total loss: 8.8<br /><br />Ya-Ya Name: Duchess Drink Away the Pain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While these may not be the best tips in the world, they have certainly worked for me over the years. I have been able to plan and organize very well, and also keep my weight off for 13 years following some of these common sense ideas!

 

Plan ahead, make ahead. Our lives are very busy, and for whatever reason ground beef has taken on the placement as a staple in our diets. Not a problem. I buy it in bulk and have the butcher, or whoever divvy it up into 1 pound increments. Then I take it home and COOK it. (You don't use uncooked HB, do you?) Then I drain the fat off, rinse it again, let it cool slightly, then I package it in freezer bags (I have been toying with the vacuum sealer idea myself). I them put them in 1/2 and 1 pound increments and freeze them. If I'm in a hurry, I pull out an already cooked bag and thaw it or throw it in the microwave to thaw. It's multipurpose and easily available if already cooked. My husband/son can pull it out and make something for themselves (HB Helper or Spagetti) in a pinch if I'm busy.

 

I also buy whole roasters or turkeys on sale or when in the fall they give turkeys away, I will try and get as many as I can. I will plan a weekend of meals around them and cook all weekend, then I strip them and freeze the leftovers in 1 pound increments. This gives me a meat base for many recipes that I use. I have also made ahead meatballs (ALREADY COOKED) and I have casseroles that I cook ahead (most time I will double and triple the recipes - you can easily put the stuff in plastic bags if you don't have enough casserole dishes) and I make ahead meatloaf and freeze that as well. All that stuff can be cooked in advance (not necessarily the entire cooking time) and frozen for those times when you are busy or time just creeps up and gets away from you. It also will save on your budget, because you buy on sale and cook in advance.

 

My best time/money saving advice? Plan your meals AT LEAST a week in advance. I plan several weeks in advance because it allows for those occasions when things go haywire. You can watch your sale ads and plan your meals appropriately. Right down to fresh fruit and vegetables.

 

Hope that was helpful...sorry it was sp long, though.

 

Cindi wave.gif


Live everyday as if it's your last!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paris,

 

I PMed you. Thanks so much for sharing it!!


Diane

 

237 - 1/3/6

198.8 - 12/30/08

 

"Live each day as if it's the BEST day of your life!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a great site, that I go to often for tips, and they have good ideas for eating on a budget:

http://www.stretcher.com


---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal

highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150

*He leadeth me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Editht

I will mention my favorite store here....ALDI! It's a discount food store with the best prices on everything! It's mostly store brand, and you should sample just one pack of something before buying in quantity because, as with most generics, not everything will be just like name brand. I usually go every two weeks and buy a FULL shopping cart (we're talking stacked here) for around $70. I still shop superwalmart for name brands and things Aldi doesn't carry. It's the best grocery deal in town IMO.

 

My fav. Aldi pics...frozen veggies, frozen chicken breasts, canned soups and veggies, produce (hit and miss for quality, but when good stuff is available the price is awesome!), lunchmeats, cheese, milk, eggs, bread (for kids, I buy the low fat expensive kind for me), lunch treats for kids...and I could go on! Anyway, if you have one near try it out!

 

Edie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Editht

Another thing I just had to post...if you like em, play with beans! All kinds! Lentels, pintos, kidney, garbanzo...lots of very low fat high fiber low point and cheap alternatives! I like canned for convience, but dry is even cheaper. My fav no time to cook dinner...big salad with 1/2 can of garbanzos or black beans on top...add some lite ranch and salsa on top. Yum!

 

Edie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Editht,

 

I love Adi too. I know they are not everywhere in the country, but I told my husband we should never live too far away from Aldi!

 

A lot of my friends and family have Sams Club and Cosco memberships. I go occasionally with my mom, but everytime it looks like their prices never match up to Aldi!

 

I am also a super budget stretcher. I found the books "Tightwad Gazette" excellent. There are some ideas that I would never do, but a lot of them are worth giving a try.


Lori - SW: 225, CW: 221.8, Weekly Loss: +1.2 :( Total Loss: -3.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Splash Shopper has a program for the palm pilot that allows you to create multiple shopping lists for every type of item you might purchase; i.e. groceries, christmas, etc. I think the program is $19.95,but you can download it for free and use for 30 days. I really like it. You can access the progam at palmone.com and then search for splash shopper. They also have other cool programs to keep you organized!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.