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Old 12-06-2013, 02:52 PM   #1
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Low Carb Weight loss success on a ramen noodle budget?

It seems impossible. Has anyone done it? I need some tips or motivation.
Eggs are fairly inexpensive.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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Do you have a Dollar tree or .99 cent store? I found sausage, cheese, dairy eggs etc there.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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We're on a Very tight budget (1 income family of 4) I eat eggs, tuna, sometimes i'll get a chicken from aldis and roast it Or boil it for the broth and take chicken off the bone for chicken salad or just eat it by itself for days. I also look for clearance packs of pork chops or steaks that I can get as cheap as possible and then portion them out in zip loc bags for my lunch or supper. Love Aldis for fish etc too. I get canned chicken breast too for quick salads.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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Low Spending Traps

I think this is where a lot of people get into trouble (like me in the past!) - they start just rotating hamburgers and chicken breasts because they are relatively cheap - and then they end up quiting because they get sick of the same thing every day. I'm facing a big income drop next year, so I'm trying to figure out the same thing. Three things that may help:

1. Buy in Bulk: Go to Sam's or Costco and buy $150 worth of meat (or whatever your family needs to spend), split it into different meals (using marinades and the like) and freeze them for later in the month. Then you only need to buy eggs and veges the rest of the month. In my area, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are 1.77 a lb at Sams!

2. Spend one weekend a month cooking and freezing soups, breakfast recipes (egg muffins and cheesecake muffins), meatballs and anything else you can think of). The more different food options you can pull from your own freezer will both keep your costs down and keep you motivated to keep going. Then you can add hamburgers, chicken, tuna salads, to to your diet without it feeling so boring.

3. The bottom line is planning and budgeting: it does take some time and commitment to stick to this plan over the long houl!

Good luck!
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:17 AM   #5
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I agree, planning ahead helps a lot! I know that every day, at the meat counter at our local grocery store, they'll be marking down the meat that will be reaching the expiration date in a few days. So every day I stop by and check it out. I grab whatever I can find on sale and toss it in the freezer. Our freezer is ALWAYS full. Even WalMart does the same thing at their meat counter. You'd be amazed at some of the deals you can find. I recently got some big 2.5 pound packages of ground beef for $4.

Also, if you go to the stores that sell the roasted whole chickens, usually at the end of the day they'll mark those down to really cheap too. You can get a whole cooked chicken for $2 and then I shred the meat up and use it for all kinds of things.

Tuna, eggs, and chicken thighs aren't too terribly expensive and you can do a lot with them.

I only buy Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. It has such a strong flavor that a little bit really goes a long way. I can use it more sparingly.

Watching the sale ads really helps. Whatever is on sale that week, stock up. Then you can plan your menu each week around whatever you have on hand.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
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One money-saver is to get off the meat-wagon. You don't need it at every meal.

Generally, buying whole-foods is cheaper than processed foods, so like Outlander said, we buy bulk-meat. I may spend $150 up-front, but then I have several months' worth of that type of meat -- I just have to process and store it.

Eggs -- especially if you can find a place to buy them in bulk (5-15 dozen) can take over as your main animal-protein source. (In California, I was able to find a restaurant supply house that was open to the public. I could get packages of 15 dozen eggs for prices ranging from $7.50-12.00)

Whole birds -- both chicken and turkey -- become great protein sources, as well. You can either leave it whole, and go the roast, sandwiches, salad, soup route (Roast it first night, then cut off remains for sandwiches/salads, then boil the stripped carcass for soup/broth), OR you can cut it up and portion it ahead of time. You can usually find whole chickens for $0.69-$0.99/lb if you look for sales. When it hits "rock bottom", buy as many as you can afford!

If you have access to a warehouse store, they're very useful.

And if you MUST err on the carb-y side, due to budget constraints, I'd go for something like split peas before rice. At all times, minimize the damage.

After all, one avocado is going to leave you a LOT healthier and more satisfied than 10 packages of ramen -- which may satisfy your hunger at that moment, but will leave you feeling awful!
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I haven't found anywhere else to track this, and am not sure how accurate my scale is, but Body fat:
10/26/2012: 39.0% 10/27/2012: 39.2%
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10/31/2012: 38.6% 11/02/2012: 36.5%
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:35 AM   #7
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As a full-time student who lives off of loans and a few shifts a week waiting tables, I've become pretty darned good at stretching my hard earned moolah at the grocery.
The advice for snatching up "Manager's special" or "Reduced for quick-sale" meat items was spot on. I've made friends with some of the meat clerk's in the different grocery chains that I frequent, and they let me know when items will be marked down and what the markdown will consist of. If you can make a buddy at your grocery, you'll be much more likely to grab some of those great deals. For example, last week I stocked up on 3 lbs of organic chicken thighs for $8. I don't restrict myself to only organic meats (as my budget wouldn't allow it), but when they go on sale I buy and freeze as many as I can.

I also utilize all the local fish markets in the area for seafood. Cutting out the middle man and going straight to the source not only provides cheaper prices, but MUCH better quality of product. The market closest to me runs a "special" every week - could be shrimp, flounder, oysters, snow crab, etc.
Do you have any farmer's markets in the area? The produce in season is always cheaper and MUCH better than the stuff in the grocery. That may be worth checking out, as well.
Though LC foods are more expensive than those of the SAD, remember that when you're in deep ketosis your appetite will be naturally suppressed. That in itself is an awesome way to save some dollars.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
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I found amazing deals on bacon and other meats at grocery outlet. Also I find WinCo cheaper than Safeway or Fred Meyer (krogrr/Ralphs in other states )
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:25 PM   #9
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This really isn't low carb related, per se, but something I'm starting to do is extreme couponing. I read a book called "Pick another checkout lane, honey." from The Krazy Coupon Lady. It takes a little hard work at first to get it all set up. You don't usually find coupons for meats and stuff, but maybe the money you can save doing extreme couponing can afford you a little bit more leeway in your choices of low carb foods.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:48 AM   #10
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A hobby I started last year was extreme couponing which has limited my grocery expenses to around $20-$30 dollars a week. I always find great deals on eggs, breakfast meats, sour cream, cheese, etc.. Publix actually has a sale right now on the Atkins frozen meals. They are buy one get one free and I had coupons for $2.00 off one making them free since they they are regularly $3.99 a piece.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooke&kaitlynsmom View Post
This really isn't low carb related, per se, but something I'm starting to do is extreme couponing. I read a book called "Pick another checkout lane, honey." from The Krazy Coupon Lady. It takes a little hard work at first to get it all set up. You don't usually find coupons for meats and stuff, but maybe the money you can save doing extreme couponing can afford you a little bit more leeway in your choices of low carb foods.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:18 AM   #12
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Chicken thighs are nearly always a better buy that chicken breasts and, to my way of thinking, they taste a whole lot better.

Get to know your butcher . . . . he or she will know what needs to move, what sales are impending. Some will even give away soup bones.

Farmers will often given away "spent" hens . . . not a name I like, but they are good for the soup pot if you want to do a bit of extra work dressing them ("dressing", haha). Some chicken farmers will sell their pullet eggs for a huge discount or sometimes just give away. Get to know your farmers.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:54 AM   #13
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Thanks, Mrshill45. I'm just starting to "extreme coupon" but I'm such a procrastinator. I haven't organized my coupons yet, but in my defense, there has been chaos going on here since the holidays started and I have 4 children under 10. LOL I'm hoping I can save a ton of money like they describe. That and all the free stuff will come in handy, too!
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:56 AM   #14
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Patience, the thighs are a great idea. I use them instead of breasts all the time. I'm going to be making lc buffalo wings sometime this week and I am going to use thighs instead of wings. I'm just going to cut them diagonally at the joint where those two bones meet and hope for the best!
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:03 AM   #15
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When I did LC last year and money was tighter, I bought a lot of pink salmon in pouches which were $1 a piece and would take a canned veggie with me to work (rinse the veggies because of the sodium) Salmon and veggies were my lunch most days. It was bland at first but I really appreciated the burst of energy I seemed to get from the salmon. I still keep salmon pouches in my purse as a stand by. I swear by them. Especially when I'm working a double shift. Instead of a Monster (which are terrible for you) I'll eat a pouch of salmon when I'm feeling drained and it gives me the energy to finish that 16 hour shift. This may not work for everyone but it worked for me.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:19 AM   #16
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Everyone has posted great suggestions, may I suggest another? Make or buy chicken or beef stock then keep it on hand to make "Hot Pot". I heat up about 2 cups of stock, then I add some thinly sliced baby bok choy or spinach, thinly sliced green onion and a couple of shrimp, or some thinly sliced chicken or beef.... it requires very little actual meat, and sometimes none at all and it is very tasty and inexpensive. super fast as well.

Favorite combos:

Miso Ginger broth (Trader Joe's) with bok choy and mushroom

Chicken stock with green onion, spinach, a beaten egg and some parmesan (strachiatella yum)

Chicken stock with mushrooms and thinly sliced chicken
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet_Belle View Post
It seems impossible. Has anyone done it? I need some tips or motivation.
Eggs are fairly inexpensive.


Turkey is very cheap right now.

I just bought turkey breasts for $1.49 a lb, and WalMart had whole Turkeys for 64 cents a lb.
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