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ArchivedComments are lockedStickied postModerator of r/EatCheapAndHealthy

We have a capable staff at /r/Food_bank and /r/food_pantry, along with a powerful and giving angel network of users.

If you need assistance, go there. Not here.

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We can help, but there are better places than this sub. PM me for details. Thanks!

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514

So Costco was selling its basil pesto for 97 cents the other day. I may have gotten a little carried away and bought several containers because I love basil and heard amazing things about pesto.

But now what do I do with it all? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

My goals are to cut weight by eating less than 2200 calories a day (6'8" 360). And I'll eat everything except olives and mushrooms.

Edit: Wow - what a ton of replies. I dont even know where to start. But I think bathing while drinking it seems like a good start based on some of the recommendations.

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My daughter is away at college. She's frugal and responsible and has a "thing" about accepting financial help. BUT, her efforts to be all-independent are having a negative effect on her grades. I want to help without completely breaking her pride, so I've been sending small Aldi (her preferred grocery store) gift cards on an irregular basis. I'd like to send an amount, throughout the month, that would be enough to pay for all of her basic groceries (and maybe a few treats), but not so much that it breaks MY bank or that it feels excessive to her.

She's single (cooking only for herself), she has a full kitchen, she's a good cook, basically pescetarian (she is allergic to poultry and doesn't like pork or beef). Frozen fruits, fresh and frozen veggies. She doesn't buy sodas, and she lives in a mid-west college town (not cheapest-of-the cheap, but affordable food costs).

What would you all suggest as YOUR "basic grocery" cost (dollar amounts, not recipe ideas. I don't want to dictate what she has to buy)?

Thank you!

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Hey all!

I'm a freshman in college, and even though I find my courses easy I dont necessarily have enough time to make anything at all. I wasn't able to get the money to get a car, so I spend a good 2 hours getting to school by bus.

This makes my Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5am to 10pm. Meaning I have to make food on monday and Wednesday nights.

Any ideas for meals to prep that I can make the night before? Preferably under $15 per meal and for a low calorie, low carb, and some high protein diet

Edit: I meant $15(with scholarship that I'm very likely to get, without its $20 for the semester) per day not per meal. Whoops

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Hey guys, I have narcolepsy. I am exhausted for a good portion of the day, and by the time I get home from work I often find I am too tired to cook and order out a lot. I know I am slightly overweight and that is doesnt help my medical condition. I eat a lot of junk and drink most of my calories in soda, but I want to change my habits. Can anyone recommend me some healthy, energizing and quick meals for lunch, snacks, and dinner? I would really appreciate it.

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I was going to just reheat it, but started thinking about maybe empanadas (but too much carb for me).

Any ideas what to do with it? It's like a melenzana sauce with eggplant, tomatoes, olives capers. It was delicious, so I want to give it a decent send-off.

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Am I really missing out on essential nutrients if I eat the same thing everyday? I eat a variety of nutrient rich foods everyday but I don't switch it up from day to day. I don't get tired of the same food. In fact, I prefer the consistency and predictability. Does anyone else eat the same thing everyday and have thoughts to add?

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My boss is having a bet around the warehouse, no sugar for a month. I'm just looking for some easy recipes. Also natural sugar is OK to consume.

If this breaks any rules let me know, thanks for your time (:

Edit: Mainly meals but snack ideas are always welcome

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Kroger had another huge sale on chicken breast. Getting three big cuts for around $2, sometimes less. Threw them in the freezer to store for later. Anybody have any delicious recipes? I am tired of making broccoli and rice with it xD

Edit: thank you guys for all the recommendations! Definitely gonna give them all a try.

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I want to try to get a a bunch of ingredients I could keep in my fridge, then grab some so I can make different wraps every day, rather than make the same wrap for a week straight.
I was thinking something like romaine lettuce, avocado, various cheeses, etc etc.
Was wondering if ecah could help add some suggestions on ingredients I could put in that is kind of universal and would work with lots of other ingredients.

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I'm considering moving out soon. I'll be on a tight budget and I'm considering growing my tomatoes and my lettuce and whatever else I can in my own home. Is this a good idea?

EDIT: Thank you for your responses, I'm glad there's a lot of discussion going on. Here's more on my situation:

I'm tired of the toxic family I live with and I wanna move out. I like in Yucatán, Mexico, which is similar to Florida in terms of weather. I'm not sure how much time I'll have, I'll be doing my social service by next January and probably be working part-time at something that takes me around 20 hours a week, also I'm in a clinic starting to practice as a psychotherapist. I don't know how much money I'll have but I'm looking to cut costs as much as possible, so that's why I'm asking.

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I'm in college and I go grocery shopping once a week. Ideally I make a large batch of food and eat it for 2-3 days. (Cook on Sunday night, eat until Wednesday then cook some more)

I usually stick to chicken breast or ground beef but I was wondering if this was even safe, I recently saw that keeping meats for ~3 days is the threshold for when you can get sick.

What is the best way to go about this? I want to buy a bunch of meat and freeze it into portions. So I could thaw a portion, cook it, then eat it over the next 1-2 days.

For chicken I usually get breasts or thighs and just bag them and freeze.

For beef I only ever get ground meat. I usually portion about 200g for a meal and freeze individually.

I've never prepared pork like this but I was thinking of buying a loin and making pork chopish cuts and freezing them individually.

Any thoughts?

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Hello, I live in a dorm, and am a broke college student. Are there any easy to make meals that are really cheap that I can make?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a stove. I have a microwave and a flat hot plate type of thing. Like the George Forman grill but without the panini ridges.

Preferably not time consuming, and also something that I can make a lot of once and bring it with me for lunch for the week. I can’t eat beef, but the rest is fine. Thank you!!

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I have a wife and 2 year old daughter. We got the frugal thing down. My wife is very thrifty and does a great job feeding us. However, our meal choices (I'm a bad influence) could be better. We eat a lot of red meat (burgers, sloppy joe, Hamburger Helper), white bread, and usually get coupons for virtually free stuff from various fast food places. Our deep freezer currently only has a pizza and 10 containers of ice-cream.

We aren't experienced cooks. We probably don't have a lot of seasonings and oils and I barely know what a lentil is. But I want my wife and daughter to be healthy.

What are some really simple meal ideas for us that's healthy and cheap?

Thank you.

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Hey guys!

So I had a pretty overwhelming response to my comment on a post the other day, so I thought instead of trying to answer everyone individually, that I’d list some of my recipes here, and share whatever information. First off, I’m not a Dr., so if you have a doctor that has prescribed you meds, PLEASE continue to take them. My recipes are iron rich, but will never replace prescribed medications.

With that said, here you go! (Sorry I don’t have exact measurements for my recipes, as most are handed down or just kitchen experiments.)

Molasses tea – 1 tbsp molasses in 8-12 oz of hot water. (This tastes like crap and I’m sorry) Add in a little bit of sugar and drink. This is basically my “I’m so exhausted, my face is white and I can feel my energy just gone” drink.

Breakfasts

Squash & eggs-basically winter squash pureed on the side with eggs & a whole grain bread.

Spinach (or greens), eggs, mushrooms-sauté the greens in a pan, crack a couple eggs in there, toss in some mushrooms and bake in the oven.

Pumpkin pie oatmeal-I use quick cook and just add hot water, but can be cooked on stove. Oats, pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling), cinnamon, some walnuts, and brown sugar.

Oatmeal with cranberries & pecans-same as before but substitute in some dried cranberries and pecans.

Oatmeal with banana-banana bread spice mix, bananas, brown sugar.

Breakfast rice-brown rice, poached eggs, leafy greens. Basically make a stir fry, and add a poached egg on top.

Whole grain waffles with bananas & peanut butter

Other meals

Squash & eggs-so acorn squash cut in half, seeds scooped out and baked until ALMOST cooked. Add a layer of spinach and then crack an egg in the hollowed out area. Finish baking until egg is cooked. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Lentil soup-I recently got an instant pot, but this can be done on the stove. I use red lentils. 1 diced sweet potato, 1 cup lentils, can diced tomatoes (drained), tomato paste, leafy greens, cashews, 2 cups broth, and then a boat ton of spices. (I don’t have a set of spices, but I like adding in garlic, turmeric, chili, cinnamon, just about anything that gives it a light heat and warming flavor.) Throw everything together BUT the leafy greens, and cashews, and cook on medium/low heat. Add in the greens before it’s just about done and they’ll cook down. (Some greens take longer, like kale but spinach cooks quick so it’s a best judgement) Sprinkled crushed cashews on top.

Bean soup-basically a ton of beans, added to broth, served with some whole grain bread on the side.

Beef heart-I cook mine in the oven, like a roast. I use a dry rub of spices on top (garlic, onion powder, salt, just whatever to add in some flavor.) Drizzle with olive oil and surround with diced potatoes, carrots, parsnips. Bake until nice & cooked.

Beef shank-these need to be cooked long and slow, cause they are tough as hell but the results are amazing. Brown the shank in a pan and then transfer to a slow cooker. Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery (aromatics) and 1-2 cups of beef broth. Slow cook for several hours until it’s all done.

Baked beans with ham-Navy beans, ham, onion (this is usually leftover ham from roasting bone in ham over the weekend.) Then molasses, brown sugar, tomato paste, garlic, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, paprika. Sauté the onions in a pan, add the rinsed & drained beans, and ham. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook until heated throughout. Serve with a nice slice of crusty whole grain bread.

Meatballs served over whole grain bread-meatballs, whole grain bread, marinara. I use precooked cause it’s easier. But warm up in the marinara, add a little garlic and serve over the bread (like a meatball sub).

Brown rice with beef & gravy-cheap cut of beef cut and stewed in broth, add in some diced carrots and anything else you want, since this one’s a “kitchen sink meal”. Once it’s done, take it out and use the leftover broth to make gravy (cornstarch & water). Serve over brown rice.

Poor man’s paella-brown rice, tomato paste, tomatoes, turmeric, garlic, paprika, onion, tomato, cilantro. Then the seafood (mussels, canned fish, shrimp, any inexpensive seafood) frozen peas. Cook the rice and add the spices and sautéed onion. Then cook the seafood with the peas and add on top.

Sloppy joes served with a side salad of leafy greens. (Served on whole grain buns)

Gnocchi with beans and greens-gnocchi, white beans, mushrooms, turnip greens, olive oil, whole grain bread

Chili-this one is so easy. Ground beef, onions, various beans (rinsed & drained), tomato paste, tomato juice, diced tomatoes rinsed & drained. Cook the beef and onions, add in the juice, tomato paste, tomatoes and let it simmer until it’s all warm and toasty. Serve with whole grain crackers.

So, basically iron rich foods are whole grains (brown & wild rice), dark leafy greens, white potatoes, broccoli, beans, red meat, shellfish. If you make a soup, throw some brown rice or wild rice in. Or serve with some whole grain bread. Soups are great-since you can add a lot of “stuff”. If you make pasta, try to switch up to whole grain if possible.

Hope this was helpful.

Edit Forgot to add that pumpernickel dark rye bread is full of iron! Just be sure to check labels! It's great with eggs and spinach (open face sandwich)

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  1. I never buy premade food. I make everything from scratch. Most recipes are easy, pancakes, bisquick, muffins, cookies, hummus.
  2. I buy veggies in bulk when fresh or on sale. For example once per month I buy a 6 pack of peppers and if I don’t use them up on time. I cut into chunks and freeze. I use celery rarely so when it’s a good price I buy it, cut it up and freeze it. Tomatoes I freeze whole when too soft.
  3. I don’t make my own pasta but we eat a decent amount of casseroles. With some canned mushroom or tomato soup (staple). A chicken breast or some leftovers can feed a crowd if necessary.
  4. I ask my friends occasionally to give me their fall apples or frozen bananas. I give them some banana or apple loaf/muffins in exchange. Most people just keep freezing their overripe fruit and have too much. People love treats and willingly give me fruit to make it.
  5. I save leftovers in a pail in the freezer...some potatoes, veggies, random bits of meat etc. Makes great soup!

Most of my ideas involve a freezer.

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Hi everyone, I'm currently looking to eat more vegetarian meals but am having trouble finding recipes that meet my tastes/goals.

I'm looking for recipes that are:

  1. No soy/wheat
  2. High protein/Fat
  3. Filling and good for someone who works out a lot.
  4. Not these recipes: Chili, buddha bowls, lentil soup, stir frys. Bascially something other then the go to recipes you see on vegetarian website. If I have another bowl of lentil chili or a quinoa bowl I might lose my mind.
  5. Relatively cheap but also decently interesting. I've cooked my whole life and like well balanced food, I will get bored if it's too basic.

I know this is picky criteria but I thought I would give it a shot. Thanks everyone.

Edit: Eggs and small amount of dairy are fine

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Have you guys tried it? Thoughts?

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Went to the minor emergency clinic today and i have some viral infection, not exactly sure what. I have body aches and i’m having a hard time getting my fluids and getting myself to eat anything, even crackers. I have a sensitive stomach so I cant take my fever reducers without eating but i cant force myself to do so.

What are some of your blandest, calorie dense foods that I can eat relatively quickly?? Even chicken soup isnt doing it for me. Thanks!

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Hey folks, sorry if this is the wrong place to post this.

I look at some posts on here and you guys seem to really know how to stretch $20. I'm not sure if the prices work out the same in Canada.

I'm just curious about what the bare minimum requirements are. I'm thinking eggs in the morning, with some toast. In the evening I'd have potatoes and chicken strips. What should I do for vegetables? I'm thinking boiled carrots.

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My husband has bee relegated to cooking duty and has become pretty good at cooking meat or grilled cheese sandwiches. I need a balanced meal and he doesn’t do veggies. He can do spaghetti but I’m looking for more like soups or casseroles. When I make these I’ve done them so often that I just know how much I need to put in of liquids, spices, etc. It doesn’t translate well to him.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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I am trying to break out of my 5 meal cycle and could use some more easy meals. I don’t like to wait to eat when I get home so if I don’t make something in my slow cooker I like to have the meal prepped and cooked in under 45 min

Edit: thanks for all the reply’s. I promise I am seeing them all even though I am not responding to them all

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We make "grumbly bits" and freeze them. They are basically seasoning packets made with leftover vegetables.

Grumbly bits are usually minced carrots and celery cooked (sauteed) until soft with lots of butter, salt and pepper (heavily seasoned). These are frozen in small packs (maybe 1/4 cup) in snack-size bags. The small bags are rolled tight and put into a pint or quart-sized freezer bag. The outer bag can live forever in the freezer and you can just slide the rolled smaller bags in and out easily.

We make batches from leftover carrots or celery from other recipes. Sometimes we buy carrots and celery just to make them and freeze them.

We use them to season boring things, or things when we don't have the time or money for fresh.

So ... scrambling an egg? Break off a Tablespoon of frozen grumbly bits and warm them up in the pan before adding the eggs. You probably won't need to season the eggs otherwise, depending on how strongly you seasoned the grumblies.

Making soup from leftover chicken? Punch up the flavor at the end by dumping in some grumblies.

Having a boring bowl of beans and rice? Add grumblies!

We also use them in "rice pancakes" which are made from a single whisked egg, about 1 to 2 Tbsp of day-old rice and some grumblies, then pan fried in a non-stick pan like a pancake in butter.

Making a roast? Smooth a thick layer of grumblies over the top before cooking. If the roast is covered (braised), then the condensing water will fall from the underside of the top of the pan on to the grumblies that are sitting on top of the roast, and take flavor down in to the roast. We do this even when the roast is sitting on/with big chunks of carrots and celery. Works great in a slow cooker or the Instant Pot.

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As an aside, we also mince other things, like ham and freeze in small packs.

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I'm contemplating making a huge batch of grumblies, then freezing them in a log (maybe wrap in freezer paper to avoid sticking), then just slicing off a disk when wanted. Anyone tried that with anything else?

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