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Healthy Meals On A Budget

#1 User is offline   Julie Vazquez 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:49 PM

When you're on a tight budget, preparing tasty, healthy meals seems impossible. Tell us how you manage your meal planning on a budget.
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#2 User is offline   smallchange 

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:06 PM

If you include one fresh vegetable and one fresh fruit ( cutting it up yourself saves a lot of money) you can create a healthy meal by adding meat and a starch. Leftover fruit or vegetables can be used in salads, soups, or as a topping for yogurt the next day. Another idea is to freeze any left over vegetables with their juice in a cool whip container, adding the leftovers each day. On saturday, simple pour a can of chicken or beef broth into a crockpot and set the frozen contents right in the crockpot for an hour or two for a delicious "free" and healthy meal!
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#3 User is offline   Crystal24 

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:38 PM

Since having my daughter and chucking away hundreds of dollars on juice for her thinking "hey its healthier than soda" I realized it really wasn't. Most of the juice products on the shelf in the pantry section of the grocery store are loaded with sugar and not even "real" fruit juice most of the time. I have since started buying the frozen concentrate from some reputable brands. Even though it is the concentrate you need to read the labels to make sure your getting 100% real fruit juice. I have saved 50% over the bottles in the pantry section EVERY TIME and that is without the sale price. I don't know about everyone else but I find the taste of the concentrate to be very strong sometimes so I use an extra large pitcher to mix with extra water. If you find the taste lacking in the sweetness department most concentrates I have purchased have little sugar to begin with so I simply add some. Hope this helps.
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#4 User is offline   nannygoat 

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:09 PM

I just found at Costco yesterday a 5.5 lb bag of mixed frozen veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, sliced yellow carrots and whole baby carrots) for $5.99, which works out to $1.09 a pound. Not a supremely good deal, but nice to have in the freezer for when fresh produce is expensive. (Currently, fresh broccoli is $1.68 at my local grocery store.)
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#5 User is offline   AshleyP 

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:47 PM

I load up on frozen fruit and veggies when they are on sale. Every week (or nearly) one of the several local grocery stores has frozen veggies for under $1 a bag and usually frozen fruit for $2. I love having these stocked in my freezer, because for weeks when fresh is just too expensive, I know I have an alternative. Plus they are easy to just pop in a glass bowl with a tablespoon or so of water and heat in the microwave.
Also, my slow cooker has helped me out tremendously. Inexpensive cuts of meat become flavorful, healthy meals without much work or MONEY. Love it.
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#6 User is offline   Julie Vazquez 

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:37 PM

View PostAshleyP, on 05 January 2011 - 02:47 PM, said:

Also, my slow cooker has helped me out tremendously. Inexpensive cuts of meat become flavorful, healthy meals without much work or MONEY. Love it.


I have MAD LOVE for my slow cooker also. I can buy the cheapest meat at the butcher and turn it into something delicious in the slow cooker.
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#7 User is offline   Scoobie 

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 11:49 PM

My husband and I started doing "once a month cooking" or "OMAC" the web is a great resource for these recipes. Basically you are buying in bulk when things go on sale and preparing several meals from ingredients while they are fresh. If you store the meals in freezer bags you can fit a whole bunch of them in your freezer. This has cut our food budget dramatically. And since we don't have a ton of time, two days of shopping, preparing and cooking makes a huge difference... time is money afterall.

Usually I garden and am able to cut our food budget to a fraction of what it normally is. Canning is easier than I thought it was... and we also have a stand up freezer.
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#8 User is offline   katy_j 

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:24 PM

A slow cooker is definitely the way I go. Just got the Cooking Light Slow Cooker cookbook and it's awesome. The best tip that has worked for us is to plan out all of our meals and only go to the grocery store once a week and stick to the list! Every once in a while I also do a "pantry week" where I make myself use only items from the freezer and pantry. Makes for some creative meals at times, but it saves us a ton of money! I also get several ideas from Web sites like $5 Dinners (check out http://www.5dollardinners.com/)
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#9 User is offline   Candy1 

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:42 PM

Coupons, couponsm coupons! I also have a great little ethnic food store down that street that sells fabulous produce for cheap! Love it! Also, for date nights out IMIN.com has amazing deals to great restaurants and other fun things.
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#10 User is offline   Northern Cheapskate 

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:00 PM

I watch the sales and use coupons to stockpile items we use regularly. We try to buy fresh fruits & veggies in season and we buy our bread at the Bakery Outlet.

The best thing to help you save on your grocery bill? Menu planning! You can plan to use up what you already have and plan around what's in season and on sale. It helps a TON!
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#11 User is offline   EStimpert 

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:30 PM

View PostCrystal24, on 15 December 2010 - 09:38 PM, said:

Since having my daughter and chucking away hundreds of dollars on juice for her thinking "hey its healthier than soda" I realized it really wasn't. Most of the juice products on the shelf in the pantry section of the grocery store are loaded with sugar and not even "real" fruit juice most of the time. I have since started buying the frozen concentrate from some reputable brands. Even though it is the concentrate you need to read the labels to make sure your getting 100% real fruit juice. I have saved 50% over the bottles in the pantry section EVERY TIME and that is without the sale price. I don't know about everyone else but I find the taste of the concentrate to be very strong sometimes so I use an extra large pitcher to mix with extra water. If you find the taste lacking in the sweetness department most concentrates I have purchased have little sugar to begin with so I simply add some. Hope this helps.


It didnt cross my mind until a few days ago to buy concentrate! As much juice as we drink, we are surely going to start doing that the next trip to the store for juice.
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#12 User is offline   EStimpert 

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:31 PM

View PostCandy1, on 25 February 2011 - 02:42 PM, said:

Coupons, couponsm coupons! I also have a great little ethnic food store down that street that sells fabulous produce for cheap! Love it! Also, for date nights out IMIN.com has amazing deals to great restaurants and other fun things.


Great idea looking at an ethnic food store for produce!
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#13 User is offline   Lizzard 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:49 AM

Turkey ! We always buy ground turkey instead of beef. It's 1/3 of the price and you can make everything from tacos to hamburgers to sloppy joes to stroganoff. All with turkey which is very cheap and better for you than fatty beef.
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