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Possible to avoid processed carbohydrates on $5 per day?

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  • Possible to avoid processed carbohydrates on $5 per day?

    So some stuff went wrong and I need to do the equivalent of eating ramen for a week. What's the healthiest way to do this? If you had just $5 per day to feed an average-sized guy, without sugar or processed carbs, how would you do it?

    (Just as a reference, I already eat really clean and have a food budget of about $18 per day)

  • #2
    Potatoes. With each meal.


    • #3
      Eggs and potatoes. Some butter or olive oil. Onions.

      Make tortilla espaņola.
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      • #4
        Lots of eggs and frozen broccoli or cauliflower.


        • #5
          Lean ground beef. Not ideal, but gets you through temporary tough spots. (I speak from experience.)


          • #6
            Do you have a costco or a sam's club nearby? You can get six cans of chicken breast for about five dollars. Add some fat (butter, olive oil, whatever) and some veggies and you've got six lunches or dinners.


            • #7
              Go to the 99c Only store. But read labels really well. Most stuff there is crap, full of HFCS, MSG and soy. You might find some tuna or cheap produce if you are lucky.

              Also, try this bottom-feeder trick. Get a schedule of events in your city. Look for events where there may be free food. Such events include:
              - Art gallery openings
              - Sierra Club or other group potlucks
              - Church potlucks
              - Dances

              If you attend any of these types of events regularly as I do, if your town is small enough like mine is, you will recognize a subset of people who always turn up at them even though you know they are not members of the Sierra Club or Audubon Society, care not a bit for art and aren't religious.

              Another trick if you live in So Cal is to just walk or ride your bike around and look for back yard fruit trees leaving fruit all over the ground or hanging over fences into alleys and side-streets.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


              • #8
                I am in a tricky situation myself as I live alone in a tiny flat (little storage space, a small fridge and no freezer) and only work part time so am on a budget. I eat a lot of eggs, canned tuna sometimes, whey protein and ground beef or turkey. I buy fresh veg but it doesn't last the full week so I also keep jars of sauerkraut which are cheap and healthy. Frozen spinach is relatively cheap too (I do have an ice box, it just doesn't hold much).


                • #9
                  Assuming you have some fat on hand, fried cabbage can be a lot of calories for little money. I think the last head of green cabbage I bought was 27 cents.


                  For protein I noticed the larger cans of salmon and mackerel are much better $/oz than the small tins

                  If you have any bone stock laying around you can make a soup with 30-cent tomato paste, dried herbs, and celery that's pretty filling

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                  • #10
                    Although prices would differ in the US - I am in Oz - I would go for cheap commercial dairy: cheddar for protein and butter for extra calories. Just add a few cheap veggies, such as frozen veg, carrots, onion, cabbage. As for meat, the cheapest here is chicken or turkey drumsticks or wings. I was just calculating last night that per calorie cheap commercial butter here is actually cheaper than a super cheap bulk bag of rice, which is actually a really cool thought for dire times! I personally have access to free fruit and veg so if I had too I could live on buttered veg for some time.
                    Primal since May 2012. Loving life and down 50lbs.


                    • #11
                      unsure of what you normally eat, I'll say this:

                      Ground grass-fed beef - 85/15 or 80/20 - I can get it for $6-7/lb in NYC, so I'm guessing you can get it for that much or cheaper. One pound can make 4 burgers (gussied up with some onions/garlic/other spices) or multiple servings of a stirfry/larb/seasonsed meat thing.
                      If you have to buy non-grass-fed, go for the leaner cuts/mixes and add a healthier fat - HOWEVER, I've found that the leaner conventional meat is more expensive than the fattier Grass-fed.... sometimes there will be a special super-low price on some fatty grass-fed cut I've never cooked before - I've learned a lot of new recipes by picking up an unfamiliar super-cheap cut... as I refuse to eat conventional when I have a choice, and $15.99/lb skirt steak is tasty, but I can't have it every night.

                      Eat more veg, fruit, and potatoes. I'm not sure if weight loss is a goal of yours, but if my food budget shrank that much, I wouldn't be thinking about weight loss AT ALL, just about eating clean until my situation got better. Get whatever's on sale - kale, spinach, carrots, oranges, bananas, cabbage, green beans, sweet potatoes - use lots of fat and flavor when cooking.

                      Eat more healthy fat - it fills you up

                      Don't let ANYthing go to waste - sautee some veggies in your bacon or burger drippings and/or save the drippings to use for cooking later; save all your bones and meat/veggie trimmings for stock. don't toss leftover food (I was shocked when I ate at someone's house and they just threw away the extra bacon and eggs - sacrilege!)

                      EGGS - now is prime season, so it's one of the cheapest times of the year to get good eggs. Pastured is best, but don't be afraid to go for Organic or Cage Free or... even conventional eggs are better than eating processed junk. I can get Large cage free eggs for about $2.49/doz - the Pastured ones at the farm market are like $4-7/dozen.

                      Hit a farmer's market at the end of the day - they're trying to avoid hauling stuff back, so they often give out CRAZY deals on awesome fresh veggies and fruit (and don't be afraid of the fruit - it's still REAL FOOD).

                      Use EVERYthing in your fridge/freezer/cupboards... I did this once when I had a delayed paycheck... I had all kinds of goodies I'd nearly forgotten about - and we were able to "save" a lot of stuff (mushy fruit/veg? cut off the mushy parts, chop up the okay parts and use them for something!)

                      Oh, and some people find it good to drink more water - it'll help fill physical space in your stomach.


                      • #12
                        good luck, lol.
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                        • #13
                          Head to Aldi and get several bags of frozen veggies, some cheap frozen meat, nuts, and some cheese. You can get a lot there for $35


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                            Potatoes. With each meal.

                            I have no idea what prices things are where you are, but you should be able to get a 10kg bag of potatoes fairly cheaply, and best of all, they can be cooked so many different ways:
                            boiled - whole (blah, but good when you have meat in the meal)
                            boiled - mashed
                            baked - whole
                            baked - jacket wedges
                            baked - in milk
                            refried (boiled previously, then fried in wedges or slices)
                            casserole (the same way you would use carrots)

                            I'd also hit the eggs and butter pretty hard, along with other vegetables like onions and carrots, and spices to flavour.

                            I have no idea what things cost in your country, but assuming a $35 budget, in my country (NZ) the prices would work out roughly as:
                            30 eggs $5 (caged eggs. we actually by free range ones for $15)
                            0.5kg beef mince $5
                            1kg Butter $6
                            10kg potatoes $8
                            2kg onions $3
                            2kg carrots $2
                            3 tins of tomatoes (440g ea) $2
                            2 broccoli $2
                            garlic $2
                            Last edited by magicmerl; 04-21-2013, 06:04 PM.
                            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                              baked - jacket wedges
                              Is that another name for accordion potatoes? Definitely my favorite.

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