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2013-05-12 3:45 PM


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Subject: Nutrition on a budget

Hello

I am hoping somebody could help me. I am keen to sort out my nutrition so that I am able to get the most out of my body. The problem I have is that I am not the best of cooks and due to a busy teaching schedule I do not always have the time for cooking. 

Finally I also have a limited budget which is not ideal when trying to eat lots in order to replace lost training calories/nutrients.

So basically I am looking for help with a diet that is cheap, easy to make and quick to prepare. (if it tastes good then that is an advantage!)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mark



2013-05-12 9:17 PM
in reply to: #4738814

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Louisville
Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget
Teachermark - 2013-05-12 4:45 PM

Hello

I am hoping somebody could help me. I am keen to sort out my nutrition so that I am able to get the most out of my body. The problem I have is that I am not the best of cooks and due to a busy teaching schedule I do not always have the time for cooking. 

Finally I also have a limited budget which is not ideal when trying to eat lots in order to replace lost training calories/nutrients.

So basically I am looking for help with a diet that is cheap, easy to make and quick to prepare. (if it tastes good then that is an advantage!)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mark

Have you ever been to the website called Once a Month Mom? I'm not a mom but the idea behind it is to spend a day cooking food for a week, freeze the food and have it available quickly and easily to reheat. I've just started using it this month and it's been fantastic. There are free recipes but for a low cost (about $8 per month) you can get recipes, recipe cards and shopping lists to go with each recipe. The shopping lists are organized by section (produce, dairy, etc.) so shopping goes pretty quickly too. Not sure how many you're cooking for but you can also set an option for how many servings to cook. I usually cook multiple servings so I can mix and match during the week. It has really helped me out a TON. There are multiple menus too (Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian etc.) so there's a wide variety available. I hope this helps! Also, I'm big into organic eating but don't have the funds always so I just accept that even non-organic veggies are better than bags of chips. Good luck!

2013-05-13 5:39 AM
in reply to: #4738814

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Saigon, Vietnam
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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget

I'm in the same boat--teacher, so by definition, limited income. Plus I live overseas where it can be very hard to get some products locally; imported stuff is sporadically available and crazy expensive. My advice would be to prioritize your spending, and stock your fridge and cupboards with stuff that can be quickly assembled into a healthy, tasty meal. As others have said, organic may or my not be worth it--you can get data about which fruits and veggies are most pesticide-laden and just buy those organic or locate a farmer's market with good prices so at least you know the stuff is fresh and local and can find out how they grow it.

What I would stock my kitchen with if I could get all this stuff, and we didn't have situations like no oatmeal for six months.....

*good whole grain bread (Don't skimp--if it's real whole-grain, you'll fill up faster, eat less, and save $$

*plain whole oats or other whole grain hot cereal (spice up yourself with fruit, nuts, etc.).

*plain yogurt, honey if you like it a bit sweeter

*nuts and dried fruit--pricy, but ration it. I haul mine in from Singapore.

*peanut or almond butter--just the nuts and salt kind (from store grinder)

*whole-wheat pasta, brown rice

*fresh fruit that's local (if possible) and in season. And bananas are pretty cheap!

*fresh veggies that are local (if possible) and in season. If nothing is, even mixed frozen veggies have plenty of nutrients and can be used in lots of dishes.

*staple veggies like onions, garlic, etc.

*good olive oil--makes even basic salads and hot dishes taste good

*variety of fresh and canned beans (lentils, kidneys, black beans, garbanzos, etc.) Great for adding protein to soups, salads, etc.

*eggs are a good value for protein if cholesterol isn't a big concern

*Miso soup base or similar to make noodles soupls with veggies, tofu, etc.

*Spices to make things interesting. I like to do a lot of Asian cooking so soy, sesame, cooking wine, curry powders, etc.

*If you eat meat, get whatever lean protein is on sale, in a big quantity, then freeze what you won't use right away. In Hawaii, I saved a lot of money by learning to prepare and eat squid!

I like the idea of cooking a lot of meals in advance, but I almost never get that kind of time block. I also don't have air-con in the kitchen, and doing this with a triple-digit heat index sounds grim. When I lived in a more sensible climate, I often made a large amount of soup and spaghetti sauce in bulk, though, so I'd have a quick meal I could thaw out on a busy day.

Hope some of this is useful!

2013-05-13 7:57 AM
in reply to: #4738814

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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget

Wanted to edit but my computer was acting up and wouldn't let me....

*dried beans, not fresh ones!

*canned tuna when on sale--another quick protein addition to salads, pasta, soups, etc.

*always have salad greens on hand so you can make a big salad with different veggies and some protein. That plus a few slices of good wheat bread with a little butter could be dinner, if you have simple tastes like me!

*Asian cooking is great for saving money--a little meat/fish goes a long way if you stir-fry it with lots of veggies and eat it with brown rice.

*If you like sandwiches, whole-wheat wraps are cool as you can roll up all kinds of stuff in them. Can't find them here, though.

 

 

 

2013-05-13 2:00 PM
in reply to: #4738814


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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget

Rnay and Hot runner

Thank you for your help. It certainly gives me plenty of things to try. Will certainly check out that website.

thanks again

Mark

2013-05-13 2:48 PM
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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget

I'm all for the making a large dish and freezing a bunch of meals.  Not everything freezes as well as other things, but soups /stews are always a good option for this. 

Some things that I like to eat that are cheap and quick (I only eat vegan at home)

Easy pizza! - Take a piece of whole wheat pita bread, or flat bread cover in pizza sauce and top with veggies.  I use mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions, garlic, green onion, and alfalfa sprouts. 

Bean and rice burritos.  Black beans and brown rice.  I top with guacamole and salsa, roll up in a whole wheat tortilla, or over a bead of chopped greens.

Like mentioned above stir fry's are always an option.  Lots of veggies and healthy.



2013-05-13 9:22 PM
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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget
I've modeled my diet off of the east Africans, for two reasons. 1) dirt cheap food and 2) simple.

Meals prior to dinner/supper/whatever you call it is most often than not oatmeal with some type of fruit (banana, strawberries, grapes) cut up along with a tablespoon of natural syrup (currently blueberry). It comes to about $.50 or so for 400 calories.

My other staples are sweet potatos, rice, quinoa, stir frys, mexican.

Might be more cooking than you prefer, but it's all quite inexpensive food.
2013-05-13 9:50 PM
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Kansas
Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget

Yes to making a large crockpot of soup or a large pan of casserole then freezing or eating leftovers for a few days. 

For example tonight I made a Mexican casserole. I didn't have ANY of the ingredients at home so bought all at once at the store - cost was $8.50 for: 30-pack of corn tortillas, 2c of shredded cheese, red onion, poblano pepper, canned green chilies, canned black beans, canned green enchilada sauce. Probably 3-4 servings depending on how hungry you are. Not bad for $8.50 (and a few things were name brands, could be cheaper with store/off brand stuff - plus I didn't use all the tortillas or cheese).

Going meatless a few days a week will also make a big difference - beans, lentils, rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, tofu are great substitutes and relatively inexpensive.

2013-05-14 5:52 PM
in reply to: #4738814


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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget

Thank you for the responses guys.

By the looks of it I guess I am going to have to try and limit the meat. As I said I am not the best cook. But I can cook usually its just not having any decent ingredients at home and I can never think about what I may need when I am at the store.

But I have a few things to go on. This will help greatly.

Cheers

Mark

2013-05-18 10:08 AM
in reply to: Teachermark

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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget
I'm a huge fan of making things ahead of time and freezing for quick consumption later. For a couple reasons 1. You get good food that you know you like without all the extra preservatives/additives/flavorings and 2. You can pre-portion certain serving sizes ahead of time if you're working on timing calorie consumption properly.

Just as a second motion to meat being expensive, it is also a good source of protein, but of course not your only source. Not all protein is created equal and they vary in terms of the amino acids they contain (which affects your body's ability to use them). I've pasted below the chart just taken off the wikipedia article about amino acid completeness in varying proteins. Don't feel limited to meat to be your only protein source, but I would advise prioritizing some of the better vegetable/alternate sources if you're not having meat. 1 being the highest and 0 being the lowest in terms of amino acid completeness.

1.00 casein (milk protein)
1.00 egg white
1.00 soy protein
1.00 whey (milk protein)
0.99 mycoprotein
0.92 beef
0.91 chicken breast (looked this up and added it myself, chicken is relatively cheap to beef I find around here)
0.91 soybeans
0.78 chickpeas
0.76 fruits
0.75 black beans
0.73 vegetables
0.70 Other legumes
0.59 cereals and derivatives
0.52 peanuts
0.42 whole wheat


There are also a couple different methods that have been developed to determine how usable each of these protein sources is, but each of them is a good general guideline.
2013-06-27 11:54 AM
in reply to: Teachermark

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Subject: RE: Nutrition on a budget
Originally posted by Teachermark

Hello

I am hoping somebody could help me. I am keen to sort out my nutrition so that I am able to get the most out of my body. The problem I have is that I am not the best of cooks and due to a busy teaching schedule I do not always have the time for cooking. 

Finally I also have a limited budget which is not ideal when trying to eat lots in order to replace lost training calories/nutrients.

So basically I am looking for help with a diet that is cheap, easy to make and quick to prepare. (if it tastes good then that is an advantage!)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mark




I dont' know if England has anythign like we do in the US with Sam's Club/Costco/BJ's - but I buy a lot of my meat in bulk through them, and then divide it up into smaller servings and freeze - so like a 10lb (4.5kg) thing of ground beef (90/10) is like $10, but if I were to buy that in separate smaller packs at a store, it would be closer to $25-$30 (between 2-4 per lb) - ditto with the chicken

I also do what others suggest - cook batches of stuff on the weekend and freeze. My slow cooker/crockpot is my friend for stuff like that - I can do a batch of one thing on Saturday and then different one on Sunday for variety.

If you want to cook each night - do you prepping the night before you want to cook - mix up marinades and stuff like that - so that at night, when you get home, its quick and simple. I normally leave for work at 5am (swim at the gym close to work), work by 7, leave at 3, home by 4, workout for a couple of hours (depending) - so its like 7-8 before I consider eating and then in bed by 10...so quick and simple is best


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