You've gotten lots of good advice here. I'm assuming from the way you phrased your question that you are a minor child? It's really hard to eat nutrient dense food if you don't have control over the shopping.
Can you try planning one healthy & budget friendly dinner a week? Then go with whoever does the shopping to get the ingredients?
Look for recipes the include rice and/or beans. Brown rice is only pennies more a pound and a pound of brown rice would probably feed 10 or 15 people.
Look for dried rather than canned beans, you have to work a little more to soak & cook them, but they are about half the price. If your grocery store has a "bulk" aisle (with dry goods in bins) you can get the best deal and only have to buy what you need.
Finally, frozen veggies on sale are very economical and easy to use in recipes.
Good luck! Overall I would try as much as you can to get involved in the menu planning and food selection process in your house. It might be hard and will require patience and a zen-like calmness, but it's absolutely worth it.
4/29/12 11:34 P
It's not that fresh produce is expensive, it's just that you have to use it up pretty quickly. It's just me to cook for so I have to find ways to keep my wallet and my belly happy. I don't know if you have a farmer's market nearby, but if you do, USE it! It's the greatest thing because everything is SO inexpensive! I bought something like 8 roma tomatoes for 2 bucks..one beefsteak tomato at the store can be upwards of 5 or 6 dollars. It's unbelievable. Haggled with the one guy who gave me 2 eggplants for a buck. A buck! So I feel great about not only buying local, but also saving a TON of money.
It often seems more expensive to eat healthier but I think it's comparable in many ways. Buying a bulk pack of chicken breast for example will provide a few meals, and will be healthier then say, frozen chicken nuggets or tenders. I buy a pack of chicken breasts, approx 4 pounds and divide it into freezer bags and freeze what I do not use. I usually pay around 11-13 dollars for the pack and get multiple meals out of it. A one pound pack is usually 4 or 5 dollars, so it really makes a difference if you can afford the upfront cost. Frozen veggies go on sale often, buy store brand to save more. Eating healthy doesn't mean you need to buy everything organic or local. If you have the money to do that then its a great option, but many of us simply do not. then of course there's some simple changes, buy wheat bread instead of white, non sugary cereals, canned fruit ( not in syrup), low fat versions of snacks you're family enjoys..hope this helps
Fitness Minutes: (4,362)
4/29/12 9:59 P
You might not be able to control what gets served, but you can control how much you serve yourself.
Help out when your family is cooking so that you can write down the ingredients and add them to the tracker.
Also, if your family is making chicken or pasta ask them not to put sauce on your portion.
Go to the store with your family and point out food that doesn't cost too much like rice, beans, lettuce etc.. (It does not have to be organic)
Fitness Minutes: (68,349)
4/29/12 8:32 P
I just don't buy the notion that healthy food is more expensive than non-healthy food. We raised our two kids up for the last 22 years eating well. Healthy foods and unhealthy foods. Having kids does make it difficult to keep very healthy foods flowing. Now that it is just the wife and I, we have very little "unhealthy" foods around here. And I just talked to my wife to see if she has seen any monetary differences other than amounts of food since we have been eating healthier. She hasn't and she buys most the food.
The only way I see "healthy" food being more expensive is if one is buying organic foods, packaged weight watchers foods or things like that. But as far as just good healthy food, it is really, mostly the cheaper foods. For one, instead of coke and other soft drinks, water and milk is my staple drink. I do juice and we do buy some fruit juices but we usually dilute them with water when we drink. Which if you think of it, is how they jack up the price on those "health" drinks that just tastes like weakly flavored water since that is what they are. So there is how you reduce the sugars and stuff yet have plenty of cheap healthy drinks in the house.
FOOD, potatoes, rice, seasonal fruits and vegetables are usually quite cheap. And much cheaper than chocolates, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. As far as meats, check for deals out there and only eat the portion size you are suppose to and it too is inexpensive. Maybe one of these days I'll take the time to figure out the cost of feeding me for a week at 2000 calories per day. But I'm sure it is no more expensive than before and more than likely cheaper than before when I didn't count calories. keep the faith.
Fitness Minutes: (40,376)
275 4/29/12 8:11 P
Since your options for food are pretty limited, on top of portion control and filling up on healthier stuff first like Dragonchilde said, you might want to find ways to up your calorie burning. It doesn't cost any money to go for an extra walk in the evening or do jumping jacks during commercial breaks if you're watching your favorite TV show. You're right, it can be expensive to eat healthy, but there are some cheaper options out there. Is there any way you could offer to do the shopping or go along so you could buy some fruits or vegetables? Even just getting a bunch of bananas (which are like 50 some cents/pound) or a head of lettuce to add to whatever your family cooks for meals would help. Good luck, it looks like you've lost weight even with the extra obstacles so great job!
I've just seen everywhere that eating right is 90% of the fight.
And to eat right, you have to eat healthy, which is expensive (which makes no sense since America wants to fight obesity).
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,692 4/29/12 7:48 P
You don't have to "diet" to lose weight; you just have to eat within your ranges. When I first got started, I didn't change a single thing about my diet... I ate the same things my family did, including those cheap, easy to fix foods.
The trick is to fill up on the things that you know are healthiest, and manage your portions. Weigh and measure everything!
You can lose substantial weight, and you don't need to diet to do it. It's all about working with what you have, and making the best of it.
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