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Eating Healthy for $50-$75 a Week


#1

I’m moving in 3 weeks to Denver. I’m budgeting everything and I decided for the foreseeable future I can only spend $50-$75 on food.

I need to eat 2500-3000 cals per day.

EDIT: It doesn’t need to be organic.

I plan on having 2 slow cookers to cook most of my breakfast/lunch and then dinners I’ll cook fresh.

Is this doable? What items should I look to have? I like variety, but I can handle being pretty plain overall.

The ONLY food I don’t eat is beef (religious reasons). So everything else is game!

Any help/tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

I know I need at least 170g Protein.


#2

Not going to list things but just some helpful tips. When things go on sale(especially meats) stock up and freeze them. Buying things in bulk from bulk retailers will usually make things cheaper. Fruits and vegetables which are in season are always cheaper, during the winter frozen is cheaper.


#3

You can buy Organic whole milk in most places for 6ish dollar per gallon. 1 gallon per day will be, I think, 2100 calories if I remember correctly. That’s a huge percentage of your calories, and it totals about 42 bucks per week. That will also get you to your protein requirements easily. And you’ve got 20-30 dollars left over to spend on any other solid food. You can buy items like rice and oats in bulk, for very, very cheap prices. Things that probably won’t be doable would be organic chicken, organic eggs, fish, or any other organic meats. They’re likely not going to fit your budget.


#4

Found the other day at Safeway grocery stores - 3lb of ground beef, 70%/30%, $13. I get 3 to 4 a week.

Add greens (bulk kale, bulk spinach…)
+variety of cheap fats and carbs

  • whatever you can get in bulk orders (cough whey cough)

and you’re set.


#5

Price match. Wal-Mart does. Online like albertsons,or whatever grocers are over there,find out,get their ads,and walmart will price match.Hell you don’t even need the ads to prove,they should have them,if they don’t,they can’t argue.
A perfect example ,My receipt came out to 76.90,here’s what I bought
3 35 pk waters@2.98 ea(Wal-mart price)
40.4lbs of chicken breast@1.29 lb reg price 1.99 lb
4 dozen eggs@1.79 a dozen reg price 2.19 a dozen
Jalapenos .58lb@.58 lb(reg price.68lb)
8 avocados@.41 Ea (reg price .43 ea)
roma tomatoes 1.78 lb @.61 lb (reg price 1.38 lb
Organic Cinnamon 3.97

My total was 76.90 when at regular price it would have been 108.28.That’s a savings of 31.38. I stock up when items go dirt cheap. Buy a used freezer if you can,it’s worth every penny. I also shop at costco(55 a year fee) ,the savings on my organic steel oats and organic veggies outweighs the fee. Sams,sucks. Sprouts has good deals too,in which you can also price match at Wal-Mart.
Also avoid processed foods in which they are always the most expensive. Hope this helps.


#6

I’ve been on a similar budget food wise recently and have managed to eat for around 60-75 a week. Theres a little looseness to my diet right now, trying to gain some clean(ish) weight and have managed to put on 5 pounds in the last 6 weeks while getting my abs to come out more (sporting that 4 pack, now flirting with the bottom 2 coming through). Here’s my rough meal outline:

Meal 1: Breakfast egg sandwiches
2 eggs, 3 egg whites, 4 slices of wheat bread, 1/2 banana (save other half for later)
Meal 2: Mid morning smoothie
1 cup frozen fruit, around 1 cup greek yogurt, handful almonds, milk (or water sometimes)
Meal 3: Lunch
Chicken breast (sometimes grilled sometimes in the slow cooker, love the slow cooker), spinach kale baby chard salad mix (comes in a bag at Walmart called power greens for like 2.75 for a bag big, usually go through 2 a week), and then sometimes a half an avocado
Meal 4: smoothie about 45 minutes before workout
1 scoop protein, 1/2 banana, 1/8-1/4 cup oats, water
Meal 5: immediate post workout
jelly sandwich-2 slices white bread and strawberry jam, 1 scoop protein with water
Meal 6: main post workout meal (30-45 minutes after meal 5)
potatoes, any veggies you want (celery and carrots taste really good in the slow cooker when cooked with meat and broth/stock), and then for meat I try and change this meal up week to week to keep a little variety for my taste buds. Sometimes I will go with lean ground turkey, but I really love throwing a pork shoulder in the slow cooker with some apple juice and all the potatoes and veggies, of course the pork shoulder is a good bit fattier than the lean ground turkey option.
Meal 7: pre bed
cottage cheese mixed with a little peanut butter, protein, and milk
I also will have a glass of milk here and there throughout the day with some meals

Main grocery list:
Eggs
Egg whites
Wheat bread
Bananas
Frozen fruit
Greek yogurt
Almonds
Spinach salad
Chicken
Avocados (optional)
Oats
White bread
Jam
Veggies
Potatoes
Meat of choice
Cottage cheese
Peanut butter
Milk

Initial costs will be higher than 75, but that is just because things like almonds, peanut butter, frozen fruit, oats, and protein powder will last you longer than one week so you won’t have to buy these things as often.

Last thing, go shopping the day of or the day before you plan on cooking and find meats that are close to the sell by date and they usually will have a nice discount price on them.


#7

Chicken
70/30 beef ( 75/25 some places )

5lb bags of rice Rice
Potatoes

Butter/Coconut Oil/Olive Oil

It’s all relatively cheap and you could easily get a weeks worth of groceries for 50$

Throw in some large containers of hot sauce/mustard a month and you’ll be fine.


#8

[quote]

Last thing, go shopping the day of or the day before you plan on cooking and find meats that are close to the sell by date and they usually will have a nice discount price on them. [/quote]

Buy them regardless and just freeze right away. Meats were sometimes marked down 75% when they expired the next day, I always stocked up for my freezer as a student.


#9

I get a 5lb thing of skin-on chicken thighs for under $4. Eat a third to half of it a day, that’s 3-5 thighs in one or two sittings. Sushi rice is $1 a pound, makes great sticky rice, and there’s your carb/protein dose for one big meal a day for maybe $2.


#10

Hey guys thanks for all the input! I’m thinking I sorta figured out how to stay within my budget. I think I figured out how to eat for cheaper while still getting nutritious meals. How does this look?

BREAKFAST
-4 Eggs
-1 Apple
-2 Cups Oatmeal
-1 Cup Whole Milk
-1 Banana

LUNCH
-2 Chicken Thighs
-1 Cup Brown Rice
-2 Cups of Veggies

DINNER
-10oz Meat (Whatever is on sale lol)
-1 Large Potato
-2 Cups of Veggies
-1 Cup Whole Milk

Cals: 2700
Carbs: 300g
Fats: 90g
Protein: 180g

ALSO, if I wanted to only have 200g of carbs per day to make up those calories do I just add them to protein instead? I don’t like to calorie count, but having this setup gives me a template to follow. I am trying to eat at my maintenance level currently.


#11

I don’t think you need to have 280g protein so I wouldn’t switch the extra 100 carbs to protein. Maybe do a bit more protein and add some more fats in.


#12

Have you considered getting a daily protein shake?
They quickly get you 30g of protein in a shake, and mostly are dirt cheap (relatively to meat).


#13

[quote]Panopticum wrote:
Have you considered getting a daily protein shake?
They quickly get you 30g of protein in a shake, and mostly are dirt cheap (relatively to meat).

[/quote]
Quality protein powders are over $10/lb. Certain decent meats are $1-3/lb, sometimes less, like the chicken thighs. Skinless, they charge $4 instead of $0.68.
Get untrimmed, buy big, do a little prep and packaging. Money in the bank.


#14

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
Hey guys thanks for all the input! I’m thinking I sorta figured out how to stay within my budget. I think I figured out how to eat for cheaper while still getting nutritious meals. How does this look?

BREAKFAST
-4 Eggs
-1 Apple
-2 Cups Oatmeal
-1 Cup Whole Milk
-1 Banana

LUNCH
-2 Chicken Thighs
-1 Cup Brown Rice
-2 Cups of Veggies

DINNER
-10oz Meat (Whatever is on sale lol)
-1 Large Potato
-2 Cups of Veggies
-1 Cup Whole Milk

Cals: 2700
Carbs: 300g
Fats: 90g
Protein: 180g

ALSO, if I wanted to only have 200g of carbs per day to make up those calories do I just add them to protein instead? I don’t like to calorie count, but having this setup gives me a template to follow. I am trying to eat at my maintenance level currently.[/quote]

Just leave it at 300, you don’t need more protein and protein is the most expensive macro. If you really must cut carbs, replace it with fat.