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View Full Version : Cheap Food? How to cut food cost????



chimp_53
11-20-2008, 02:12 PM
Hey All,

Due to economics, my budget is severely cut right now. I eat like a horse, too. Anybody out there got any ideas on how to make the most of your food money? I'll do anything to get by with paying as little as possible for food without sacrificing the protein count, etc. and the healthiness of it. I don't give a damn what it tastes like, I eat to get big and that's it. And I need the protein.

Thanks all.

-chimp

Unreal
11-20-2008, 02:27 PM
Buy in bulk and on sale. I got a freezer full of boneless skinless chicken breast I paid $1.69 now. Right now you can get turkeys for 38 cents a pound. Buy a few. Costco or Sams will be a good source too. Eggs, cottage cheese, etc.

chimp_53
11-20-2008, 02:29 PM
Good idea. Thanks.

R__J
11-23-2008, 02:02 PM
frozen turkey breasts! real cheap

cphafner
11-23-2008, 02:07 PM
Buy in bulk and on sale. I got a freezer full of boneless skinless chicken breast I paid $1.69 now. Right now you can get turkeys for 38 cents a pound. Buy a few. Costco or Sams will be a good source too. Eggs, cottage cheese, etc.

You have space to keep a few turkeys?

Unreal
11-24-2008, 08:53 AM
Yah, I have 3 fridges at my house. One in the upstairs kitchen, one in the downstairs, and one in the garage. Heck, over winter I could keep one outside in a cooler because the temps don't get over freezing often.

Ben Moore
11-24-2008, 09:05 AM
Stay away from the inner aisles at the super market. Seriously, think about it. Most of the raw, whole foods are on the outer edges of the market and all the processed junk is in the aisles. When I was in college I'd take $50/wk and apply it to food costs. Served me well and you'd be amazed how creative you can get with ground beef and chicken;)

Reko
11-24-2008, 09:25 AM
Buying in bulk is the way to go. If you start to get bored or it, adding butter and off brand spices to change it up will really expand your options.

Reko
11-24-2008, 09:26 AM
Also, learning to cook and/or make your own sauces will really help if you don't do that already.

=Travis=
11-24-2008, 10:03 AM
Don't think buying in bulk is limited to Costco and Sams. Last year I got a hog, yes, and entire hog. The pork market is low right now. The price was unreal to buy a whole hog. I can butcher myself (butchered a deer last week) but you can also have the farmer take the hog to a meat market, then you pay the processing fee at the butcher and get lots of meat wrapped up. My wife got tired of eating only deer and pork this last year so we're going to buy like half a cow this year.

Stuff, like rice and beans - learn to buy in bulk. Minute rice may be quick, but regular rice can be bought in bulk for cheaper. Cans of beans cost more than dry beans you have to soak overnight before cooking.

Brad08
11-24-2008, 10:08 AM
A deep freeze is a must. That way you can buy whatever's on sale in bulk and save it. Like Travis said, rice and beans goes a long way. Whole turkeys are cheap by the pound and you can bake it, or smoke it, and have lots of meat. You can buy whole chickens for cheap too (like, $.79/lb) and put them in a crockpot with some broth / water, beans (dried beans, soaked over night...maybe a dollar per pound), and veggies and have a big batch of inexpensive chicken/bean/vegetable soup.

Ben Moore
11-24-2008, 10:20 AM
Don't think buying in bulk is limited to Costco and Sams. Last year I got a hog, yes, and entire hog. The pork market is low right now. The price was unreal to buy a whole hog. I can butcher myself (butchered a deer last week) but you can also have the farmer take the hog to a meat market, then you pay the processing fee at the butcher and get lots of meat wrapped up. My wife got tired of eating only deer and pork this last year so we're going to buy like half a cow this year.

Stuff, like rice and beans - learn to buy in bulk. Minute rice may be quick, but regular rice can be bought in bulk for cheaper. Cans of beans cost more than dry beans you have to soak overnight before cooking.

Travis - where are you guys buying the beef from? We're going to do this as well, but Jim's contact seemed a bit high. A deep freeze is the next on my list and I found one for $150 at Sam's yesterday.

12u$$eLL-
11-24-2008, 10:32 AM
To be honest, I eat a **** load of peanut butter, cereal, beef jerky, and protein bars for my mid day snacks but whatever you get, get in bulk..

J Mac0123
11-24-2008, 05:30 PM
We got a half of cow and an elk stuffed in our freezers. Just go on a big hunt! (friends of ours gave it to us) Also dont buy the name brand stuff, no name stuff taste the same and is much cheaper. It really adds up. Buying in bulk is a great idea to.

chimp_53
11-24-2008, 07:42 PM
Cool. Thanks all, I think I will invest in a freezer for the basement and do just that... buy in bulk.

Notorious
11-24-2008, 07:55 PM
I'm surprised nobody mentioned this. MILK! Seriously, whole milk is one of the cheapest sources of calories out there, and it has a ton of protein to boot.

smalls
11-24-2008, 09:05 PM
Agreed, milk, oatmeal and rice are some of the cheapest sources of cals. All meat should be bought in bulk and frozen. Oils, and PB usually arent bad either.

cphafner
11-24-2008, 09:08 PM
Agreed, milk, oatmeal and rice are some of the cheapest sources of cals. All meat should be bought in bulk and frozen. Oils, and PB usually arent bad either.

Good advice, although milk is quite expensive around here. Around $5 a gallon.

BFGUITAR
11-24-2008, 11:27 PM
Good advice, although milk is quite expensive around here. Around $5 a gallon.

It's 4.75 here in Canada. Although the only place to buy milk is at a specific convenience store. I didn't know milk was so expensive in the US.

smalls
11-25-2008, 12:47 AM
Dang, I live in L.A. and can still get it for 2.25 a gallon when you buy two at a time from a number of grocers.

For the most part costco is going to be your best bet.

hellagrant
11-25-2008, 09:56 AM
I feel yeah. Economy sucks right now. Plus I just started my first bulk ever. As someone mentioned above, rice and oatmeal are freaking awesome. Very cheap, especially at Costco. A 25lb bag of white rice is like....$15. I eat about 4,500 - 5,000 calories a day, I would say on average at least 500 calories are from rice. It takes me like 2 months to go through a 25lb bag. Oatmeal, awesome **** as well. Put it in shakes, pancake mix, ice cream, whatever. Potatoes, in bulk they go for like $0.50 per lb.

www.mygrocerydeals.com

Register with your email address then you can do searches for what is on sale near you. For example, I always search for chicken and find out who is selling chicken the cheapest this week. FYI, groceries typically change their sales once a week, usually on WED.

Butter. Tons of calories, makes anything tastes good. Put it on potato,rice, vegetables, etc

To recap:
Rice
Oatmeal
Potato
Butter

jtrink
11-29-2008, 08:03 PM
I'm in college right now and I use 50 bucks a month for my weekly food intake. Cold cut sandwiches for lunch, cereal/oatmeal of breakfast, chicken/pork loin with a baked potato and a side of veggies, 2 gallons of milk, noodles, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. I'd suggest getting EVERYTHING on sale and a lot of discipline.

Mosnar
11-29-2008, 11:38 PM
Along with the other stuff mentioned like milk, potatoes, peanut butter, and bananas, beans are a good choice. Beans are very, very cheap, and can provide both protein and fiber. Start off slow with them and you shouldn't have too much gas.

Mix them with your ground beef and add a little cumin. Pretty tasty.

bruno77
11-30-2008, 01:08 AM
I'm in college right now and I use 50 bucks a month for my weekly food intake. Cold cut sandwiches for lunch, cereal/oatmeal of breakfast, chicken/pork loin with a baked potato and a side of veggies, 2 gallons of milk, noodles, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. I'd suggest getting EVERYTHING on sale and a lot of discipline.

50 bucks a month..holy ****. im at uni now aswell and i easy spend 100 a week. and im tiny and still dont eat as much as i should to bulk. its reeealy hard to buy enough food i reackon..if your a skiny bloke

J.C.
11-30-2008, 11:42 AM
Buying stuff on sale can save you a LOT of money. There's a supermarket nearby me and I generally walk down every night an hour from closing to see what they've got reduced to clear. If you're lucky you can buy meat at about 20% the original price. Cook it that night, or eat the next day it should be fine.

I eat a lot of dairy because as another student I'm also trying to save money, and milk and cheese give you plenty of calories for your money.

nhlfan
11-30-2008, 11:51 AM
50 bucks a month..holy ****. im at uni now aswell and i easy spend 100 a week. and im tiny and still dont eat as much as i should to bulk. its reeealy hard to buy enough food i reackon..if your a skiny bloke

cheap food is a lot easier to find in the USA too, keep that in mind. I'd starve trying to survive on $50 a month here in Sweden.

Notorious
11-30-2008, 12:32 PM
Good advice, although milk is quite expensive around here. Around $5 a gallon.

$5 for 2400 relatively healthy calories still ain't bad.

Mercuryblade
12-02-2008, 10:45 PM
Tuna Helper, mix in four cans of tuna per box instead of one. Last time I checked a box of Tuna Helper is like $1.50 at wal mart, and if you buy tuna cans in bulk, at $.55 a can thats 2.20 worth of tuna.
Split into two meals thats $1.85 for a meal with 60g of protein.
Granted that stuff is not the healthiest, and make sure you drink plenty of water to account for the sodium intake.
Buying half a cow is a good idea too, the possibilities for ground beef are endless.
One of my favorite staples is ground beef, some cream of broccoli soup, and brown rice mixed together.
Another one of my favorite cheap meals is eggs with hot sauce and whole wheat toast slathered in butter.
Peanut butter and jelly is also another great staple, I used to eat four peanut butter sandwiches a day in college to save money.

Eating on a budget isn't too difficult if you get some good suggestions, and I'm sure others here have way more ideas that I do.

whiteman90909
12-02-2008, 11:17 PM
Buy chunks/cuts of really cheap, tough beef. Then invest in a crockpot.

Voila, red meat for cheap.

Unreal
12-03-2008, 08:16 AM
Bought 2 turkey breast last night for 99 cents a pound. Just gotta shop for deals. That is quality good tastey protein for very cheap. Just bake it till done and enjoy.
Milk here was $1.99 a gallon at the store.

whiteman90909
12-03-2008, 09:54 AM
cheap food is a lot easier to find in the USA too, keep that in mind. I'd starve trying to survive on $50 a month here in Sweden.

I'm assuming it's due to the lack of Costco's in Sweden.

AJL11
12-03-2008, 12:06 PM
Travis - where are you guys buying the beef from? We're going to do this as well, but Jim's contact seemed a bit high. A deep freeze is the next on my list and I found one for $150 at Sam's yesterday.

I just got a deep freeze myself and I will be looking at buying a half cow from Carlie's grandparents the begining of the new yr.....I can let you know the price.....