I am living on campus without a meal plan and have been cooking my own food. A girl down the hall surprised me to the fact that she lives off of 70 dollars a month on food. Starting February, I will only spend 100 dollars on food and will try to be as healthy as possible.
Any tips? What would you do? Is it even possible?
i spend easily $700/month feeding the wife and myself. it's outrageous. ive finally started learning how to cook and am interested in any responses in this thread. ive been pretty pleased with cost savings so far, especially with how far chili can go.
This. Also make sure the rice you buy is Brown for the extra fiber that makes it more filling per serving than enriched or expensive varieties like Basmati, Jasmine, or Orzo. It takes longer to cook but the time can cut if you pre-soak it for a couple of hours in advance.
Also sacks of potatoes and onions.
PB&J + Whole Grain Bread (the ingredient label should a ratio of carbohydrates to fiber that is 5 or less such as 15g Carbs and 3g fiber = 5 or 12g Carbs + 4g fiber = 4, yes it'll be pricier than white bread but you can afford it at $100/Mo and it will be more healthy, filling and allow you to get through the day snacking less).
Stock up on canned veggies like corn (creamed and/or whole kernel), green beans, tomatoes, and English peas. They should be 45-50¢ each.
Drink only water.
Buy bulk packs of steel cut oats for oatmeal. Or skip breakfast
If you have access to a refrigerator:
Get giant bags of plain frozen mixed vegetables that include broccoli, cauliflower, squash, carrots, zucchini, etc that aren't good canned or available that way.
Use the canned potatoes, onions, and canned tomatoes with some spices of your choosing + water/stock cubes to make big batches of soups
What not to buy:
Meat of all kinds which are both expensive/ounce and not filling
Eggs & Dairy products especially cheese: See above
Candy/snacks/pre-made canned soup
There's a youtube channel called Brother's Green Eats which did an awesome 7 part series on eating with only $3 a day. The dude made some awesome stuff and used a bunch of simple techniques a lot of us co/ck/s can benefit off. He is slightly dorky and very jewish, but if you're like me, he'll grow on you pretty quickly because of how much he cares about what he's doing.
I would highly recommend their other stuff too on basics if you don't know how to cook.
Rice and black/red beans. Condiments that aren't too sugary. Olive oil. Some herbs but don't go crazy spending money on them. Lots of vegetables, all kinds. Some eggs in there. Sardines, but not constantly. Chicken thighs and trim off the fat. Don't get lazy and eat out unless you absolutely have to. As long as you aren't completely retarded you can realize that 100 can be stretched to an enormous length.
So you're going to adjust your diet so that your meals contain higher ratios of cheap stuff, which in most cases are going to be rice and pasta.
This means making your portions a little smaller so you don't gain a bunch of weight.
Meats: chicken, pork
Veggies: try to buy in season
Avoid: prepackaged meals, soda, bulk items you cannot realistically use before spoiling
It's not just important to buy affordable ingredients, but also how you buy them. Every Sunday, plan your meals for the week, go to the store, and stick to the list. Otherwise you'll buy a bunch of stuff you don't need. It's so easy to overspend by $20. Make that mistake each week, and you've almost doubled your budget.
Making a meal plan will also reduce waste. If you need half an onion for one recipe, make something that needs half an onion the next day. By Saturday, your fridge should look pathetic. On Sunday, it will be full.
>12g Carbs + 4g fiber = 4
I would consider getting into baking. 80% of recipes you'll come across are just different ratios and mixer orders of sugars, milk/heavy cream, butter, eggs, baking soda/or powder, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, and the flavoring agent (fruits which can be bought frozen, sweet spices like cinnamon, cocoa powder in lieu of chocolate, etc..).
When you stock up on those 7-8 ingredients in bulk they go a long way, especially those you only use some in very small amounts like the vanilla. You'll find they will yield you more cookies/cakes/pie etc. per batch and therefore per serving than you could get from the snack shelf of Little Debbie's and Nabisco, not to mention the frozen aisle.
The only truly expensive desserts that are out there are gonna be your majority dairy-based ones that revolve around using cream cheese or ricotta or something in a custard base.
If you don't already do this, buy whole cuts of meats with skin and bone-in and break it down when get home.
Meat = meals
Skin/fat/bones = Stock for cooking pasta/dumplings/soups
I also find heads of cabbage that you stick in a stock pot with just a little water at the bottom + salt/spices of your choice boiled until tender give a lot of servings for little money.
I do judo and powerlifting combined, it requires an outrageous amount of calories.
Split peas are my best fucking friend. They are very cheap, they have a ton of protein, fiber and micros, I usually eat an lbs or so (dry weight) of boiled split peas, I fry them with eggs, bacon, butter, meat, offal or whatever else I have. Rest of the carbs I get through spaghetti with whatever sauce I want at the moment and cottage cheese (cheap where i live).
>Living on $3/Day
>Day 3: Let met just pull out my ELECTRIC SPICE GRINDER to make some chick pea flour for some pancakes
>Day 4 Brings out the FREAKING VITAMIX "You don't need it, but I like it"
>Day 5+6 Oh I know why don't bring out that COTTON CANDY MACHINE to make a snack and then make some bean soup with my IMMERSION BLENDER
It's a nice series of videos, but come on...
how can you put anything over what you eat? whenI had to cut down I got rid of my landline, pay tv, downgraded my mobile contract etc. but never would I consider buying crap food or cheap wine. just my two cents - you will do better if you feed yourself in a healthy manner - all I eat for lunch are oranges, banana, bell pepper and gherkin. perhaps a muesli now and again, then share a fair dish with everyone at home.
I live in Louisiana, go to LSU and I live on $50 every two weeks. I buy:
>large brown eggs
>2 gallons of milk
>honey wheat bread
>jiffy extra crunchy peanut butter
And then whatever else my budget slots me. Usually I spend under $50. It's quite easy.
Spend that extra 30 on impressing the girl
>Buy a cookbook
You're there to fucking learn are you not? Don't be a fucking slave. And do not lock your body's metabolism into unhealthy mode while paying off your debts at the same time, you'll want to kill yourself faster don't you think?
Also oatmeal forgot that. It takes probably $100 or spread out over a few months to "establish" your kitchen. You'll need flour, sugar, brown sugar, various spices, minced garlic, etc. to enhance your dishes. Also get a rewards card with your grocery. Windixie does .05 off per gallon of gas for every $50 you spend at their grocery. 2 times a month = .10 cents off and now you got cheaper gas.
No? I just spend my money on plane tickets and going out to nice restaurants when I want to. As much as I hate the Chinese, they have it right. Live frugally at home, and live luxuriously when you travel. Just in my sophomore year in college, I've flown to New York and Boston during the school year to visit family and eat some great food.
Just cook a bunch of cheap stews, red beans and rice, chili, etc using the cheapest cuts of meat and fresh vegetables you can find (you're going to be slow cooking it, anyway). I can usually make a massive pot of something for under 20 dollars and it easily lasts me a week. Seasonings (especially beef bullion) will be your friend, here.
It won't be the most delicious food you've ever cooked, but it will be hearty.
>100 dollars a month
That's pretty easy
1: Never eat out. Never buy 'pre-prepared' meals
2: rice. beans. peas. potatoes.
3: don't buy fucking expensive meat or dairy
4: buy bulk shit like oatmeal
5: don't drink anything aside from water
6: peanut butter sandwiches are good too, as well as typical ramen,
It would most likely be hard to do in college, with limited storage space, but learn to use coupons and shop the sales to stock up. Learn how to can and pickle stuff. Invest in a vacuum sealer for the freezer.
1. consider that she's a girl and probably needs 2/3rds or less the calories you do (who knows what you look like)
2. get a Costco membership. You pay 50 bucks up front and it seems like you won't use up stuff in bulk but it's surprisingly easy. Stuff comes separately packaged too so it won't go bad quick (e.g. cereal boxes are pretty big but they're split into at least two separate bags so shit won't go stale). You can freeze extra cheese and bread and meat. If you have any roommates this is extra easy and you'll save a ton of money, but even shopping for myself this is how I'd do it (source: been doing this for the past year and a half with my college roommates)
I used to spend £100/month as a student and it wasn't a challenge at all.
That's about $150 though.
I reckon I could have done it by making bigger, cheaper dishes quite easily (no treats, slightly worse cuts of meat). Was eating 2300kcal/day.
>Big pots of chilli with discount meat
>oats for breakfast (pretty much free lmao)
>lots of eggs for dat dere protein
>Never eat out
this will save the majority of money
look at the prices, add vegetables to your steaks and you can easily live healthy for far less than 100$ a month.
In the phases where i cut sweets from my shopping list and bake my own cakes and cookies i even fall below 50$/month
The amount of fiber you get from brown rice is hardly worth the effort, and there's the potential phytic acid thing from brown rice, along with it absorbing more toxins (arsenic) while growing, combined with the extra effort of soaking/cooking it.
1 pound of dry brown rice has only 16g fiber, and you could get that out of 1 serving of beans. (1/12 of a pound).
Sometimes you can get brown rice for cheap, the same price as white rice, but any way I look at it, it's not quite worth using. I tried to get on the brown rice hype for a while, but that's my current conclusion.
tldr; you can just eat more beans/veggies with your rice, and get more fiber than by messing around with brown rice, which arguably isn't actually better for you than white rice.