T Nation

Help Eating on Minimal Food Budget


I've found that my body does best on mod-high protein, and mod-high fat, with very little carbs. Basically just meat, vegetables, and olive oil. With my budget right now, I'm eating about 150 grams protein per day. This is mostly chicken breast which I can get at GFS really cheap. A few cups of frozen vegetables per day. Several Tablespoons of EVOO per day.

Some life changes in the very near future are going to severely reduce my food budget. I'm going to have to do my weekly food shopping on only $20 per week. Maybe a little more, but no more than $25. I'm not sure how to best go about this.

Any thoughts? Ideas?

Also... This is going to be a long-term situation. Probably at least one year, probably more.



If all you are eating is meat and veggies while adding EVOO to them you can save money right of the bat by buying cheaper cuts of meat then chicken breast. Chicken thighs for instance are cheaper and have a little more fat on them plus dark meat taste better IMO. Cheap cuts of beef like Chuck-Eye, skillet steak(also called minute steak), ground beef 80/20. All of these cuts should be under $5 per pound.

Also, I don't know about your market but mine discounts meat a day or two before it expires so by going to the market and checking out the meat section regularly you can get meat 20-50% off.
NOTE: You need to know a little bit more about meat to take this approach.


I had a buddy who ate oats and store brand whey (sometimes with PB thrown in) 4x a day to save money. Probably one of the best macro breakdowns diet I've ever seen.



At GFS, I can get a 5-pound bag of boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $9.99, sometimes $7.99 if they are one sale, but that is rare. That's only $2.00 per pound. The quality varies a lot. Sometimes the chicken is almost all meat, sometimes a LOT of fat, sometimes a lot of bloody areas. Once you trim off the junk, the amount of chicken left can vary quite a bit.

I've actually done the nothing but oatmeal thing last year when I was working overseas. In my case it was nothing but oatmeal 1-2 times per day for 2-months. Got really skinny and weak. Given the option I'd prefer not to go that route. But, if I could get some really cheap protein powder, then I may try that.

With chicken, veg, EVOO, I could possibly do 1-2 meals a day. I would have to cut my protein down to about 100-grams per day or less.

The oatmeal suggestion is currently looking good...