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KatieLikeMe
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KatieLikeMe
posts: 327

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m not a size 8. I’d love to be, but alas, I’m not.

I blame this on myself, but also, I come from a family that has always lived paycheck to paycheck. Buying healthy doesn’t mean buying cheap. So, it is definitely easier for my family to buy soda than to buy apple juice. Or to buy chips instead of grapes and carrots and celery.
But, I want to go on a healthy diet. One that, paired with a good diet regimen, I will lose weight and improve my well-being.

So, I come to you, previously ignored health portion of Chictopia, what are some good diets for a 19 year old, on a budget, who just wants to be healthy?

posted over 2 years ago
catiebeatty
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catiebeatty
posts: 1333

Buying vegetables is actually much cheaper than you would think, especially things like carrots & celery. They’re easy to grow & always in season, which helps keep the cost down. At most grocery stores you can get a pound of carrots for like a dollar. Now compare that to the price of chips! They run about $3 a bag if they’re on sale, and you can’t do anything with them but snack! You can’t make dinner out of a bag of chips, but veggies have lots of uses other than as snacks: make a stir fry, make soup, add them to scrambled eggs in the morning, etc. The key is to buy things in season (especially true for fruit) & to remember a pound of something is a lot and since you’re probably not feeding a family of four, you won’t need to buy a whole pound. I usually avoid buying grapes, because they never go on sale, same for bell peppers. I swear those things are never in season! Buy sweet potatos instead of regular potatos (more vitamins, about the same price). DRINK WATER. Fruit juice is not good for you; it’s expensive & not a substitute for fruit. Water is free!

Another trick to eating healthy for cheap is to shop at a store that sells bulk food like rice, flour, dried fruit, etc. That way you can buy as much or as little as you want of something, you know exactly what’s going into your meal, and you can find new and interesting things usually. I bought black rice the other day! It was delicious. One of the most important parts of healthy eating is planning! Plan your meals for the week so you can avoid making meal choices when you’re hungry and tired (how i end up eating fish sticks!). Don’t shop hungry and don’t buy things just because they’re on sale (you’ll be tempted to buy more junk). Remember, moderation is important too! Don’t punish yourself for eating a few cookies, but also don’t eat them every day! I know it’s tricky figuring out what poor eating habits your parents taught you, but it can be done (im still figuring it out!)
posted over 2 years ago
 
tightsandtea
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tightsandtea
posts: 1063

the general rule is, anything home-made beats any store-bought meals or juices. you just have to have the time to prepare meals yourself (which can be time-consuming). store-bought apple juice is just sugar water, not any healthier than soda. one person I know avoids “drinking calories”; like catiekat mentioned, just drink water. you can get a filtered pitcher or water bottle with a filter, which is cheaper/better for the env. than buying water bottles.

the hardest thing about living on a budget and trying to be healthy is, fresh things expire fast. it might be cheaper to buy in bulk, but only buy in bulk what you know you’ll use up before it expires. do you have a 99 cents store or a discount store like grocery outlet? they offer cheap produce, and usually have the same pre-packaged lettuce as other grocers, for a much-reduced price. I would definitely check your area. For veggies like spinach or broccoli, I usually buy frozen and just add them to a meal.

a lot about eating healthy is making smart substitutions; e.g. bananas are usually dirt-cheap and portable. you can also sub store-bought with home-made. we make our own yogurt (super easy), and it’s a lot better than crap from danon or yoplait; the whole “greek” yogurt trend is just a better way of saying, “there isn’t as much sugary processed garbage in this yogurt”. you can also grow your own produce—some plants are more hardy than others, and it’s a little time-consuming.

one thing I have trouble with is, knowing what healthy meals I can make. my parents (no offense) are pretty awful at cooking, and never imparted any knowledge on me. but there are a bunch of helpful cooking blogs you can use for inspiration: budget bytes, the 99 cent chef are a couple but they’re not health-oriented. you can check out a directory of cooking blogs; or search a site like foodgawker.

posted over 2 years ago
 
catiebeatty
Forum_moderator
catiebeatty
posts: 1333

When I say “bulk” I mean food out of bulk bins where it’s priced by the weight, not Costco! If you’re just feeding one person, you won’t be able to get thru 5 lbs of Raisin Bran before it goes bad. Bulk food from the bins, however, will not spoil or go stale any faster than packaged food, as long as you store it properly.

I like the point she made about home-made food. That is a great way to start controlling your diet. For instance, my sister only eats baked goods she makes! That limits her options greatly when it comes to sweet treats, and it also encourages her to be more active. Baking might not be like going for a jog, but you’re certainly burning more calories than u would be by just opening a package of cookies!

posted over 2 years ago
 
tightsandtea
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tightsandtea
posts: 1063

I know, I totally agree with you about what you said with things like rice and dried fruit, I just meant things with a short expiration date like lettuce :). I’ve definitely made the mistake of buying a huge tub of greens, only to make like one or two salads out of it and neglecting it in the fridge lol.

posted over 2 years ago
 
TheBeatniq
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TheBeatniq
posts: 11

I’ve found that buying healthy is a lot cheaper than buying junk food. The easiest way I’ve found to loose weight is to work out, and eat smaller, healthier portions of meals. Try snacking on some fruit instead of chips, or eat grilled chicken instead of fried. It’s just a lifestyle change.

posted over 2 years ago
 
MIchelleMcDaniel
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MIchelleMcDa...
posts: 51

I think the most important to staying healthy and on a budget is planning! Planning your meals before you head to the store. I also try to shop as much as possible at healthier stores like Trader Joe’s. This keeps me from buying unhealthy foods because they do not carry the amount of junk foods that regular store do. I have found a lot of products are cheaper at health food store.

posted over 2 years ago
 
MIchelleMcDaniel
Style_council
MIchelleMcDa...
posts: 51

I think the most important to staying healthy and on a budget is planning! Planning your meals before you head to the store. I also try to shop as much as possible at healthier stores like Trader Joe’s. This keeps me from buying unhealthy foods because they do not carry the amount of junk foods that regular store do. I have found a lot of products are cheaper at health food store.

posted over 2 years ago
 
catiebeatty
Forum_moderator
catiebeatty
posts: 1333

So I checked out this cookbook from the library and loved it so much that I bought it! It’s all about delicious, healthy food and she has a lot of tips on how to make it affordable. I thought it would be the perfect cookbook for you, too!

posted over 2 years ago
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