T Nation

Budget Grocery Shopping

So I’m on a low college budget. I want to eat as healthy as possible, but I also want to put on weight. I need to spend less than $50/week minimum, preferably around $30. What foods should I put this money towards? Eggs, chicken, broccoli? Thanks guys!

eggs, natural pb, maybe some 80/20 ground beef

do you have a food plan, or is this your only source of food?

I wouldn’t expect to gain much weight off $30/wk.
At this point you may just have to maintain right now and once you’re in a better financial situation then worry about gaining. Not saying this is a must, but it might prove difficult off $30/wk

I don’t really have a food plan, just want to get the basics while trying not to go “dirty”. Would it be wise to get those staples, but also get some dirty, high cal foods that are more budget friendly to keep the lbs going up? I mean, things like Hamburger Helper only costs about $1.50 and I can probably get 2 meals out of one box. Not exactly “healthy” but have a decent amount of calories and protein when you add the beef. Idk.

I’ve been eating a lot of chicken thighs lately when breasts arent on sale really cheap. in my area you can usually find them for around $1-$1.50/lb. cottage cheese may also be something worth considering.

look for the reduced meat thats a few days before its sell by, I got a shit load of steak and chicken last night, quite often veg will be reduced as well, I find mondays the best day for cheap deals

i go to the big 24/7 supermarkets at about 2am. there will always be meat that is technically 2 hours past its sell by date for absolutly peanuts.

take it home and cook it. last for 2-3 days depending on the meat.

i got 3lbs of cassorole steak for £1/$2.

did me for 3 massive meals.

peanut butter is another good source of cheap calories

i dont think you can really plan what your going to eat if your going cheap. its prob a case of being able to plan 1 or 2 at the most days in advance, as your pretty much at the mercy of what you can find for real cheap.

get a friend who works in a butchers. get him to keep you meat thats past its sell by date, its still good to cook for a day but they need to get rid of it.

Scott

Just been playing with some recipes for when I go to uni:
Criteria:

  • under £1 per meal
  • fits my macro goals
  • can be eaten cold
  • minimal preperation time
  • minimal equipment
  • can be easily stored

The one that fits these best so far:
650g tesco value vegetable stir fry
90g tesco value peanuts
2tbsp groundnut oil
340g tin of corned beef.

Bit of a no brainer - cook as a stir fry, makes 3 servings of:

40g protein
40g fat
9.3g carbs
5g fiber

58.5p per serving =]

there are alot of these threads; search for them. save yourself (and us) time.

:slight_smile:

[quote]B rocK wrote:
there are alot of these threads; search for them. save yourself (and us) time.

:)[/quote]

True but then its nice to see new ideas thrown around.

I think by “food plan” jehovasfitness may have been referring to the meals at the university cafeteria that may be already paid for with your tuition.

I don’t know about outside the U.S. - don’t know where you are - but if you’re in the U.S., clip grocery store coupons from the newspaper. Yes, you may feel like a dork, but it definitely stretches your money - especially at stores that will double or even triple the value of the coupon.

Thanks everyone! Great tips! They’ll definitely help me keep chuggin’ along while being broke :slight_smile:

I really don’t mean to be a dick, but consider getting a part-time job, even a few hours a week will increase your food budget massively.

Cafeteria or other food service industry jobs often allow for subsidized meals, working at a bar or coffee house will allow for some socialization with peers without costing your pocketbook a dime, and intramurals sport requires officiating in small blocks that may fit your schedule.