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Old 05-15-2013, 03:55 AM   #1
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High carb is cheaper?!

When I talk to people sometimes I get this argument: "I couldn't do a low carb diet, the high carb foods are all the cheap foods and I am on a budget." And I do understand this,bread, rice, pasta, sugar, snack foods etc., are cheap ways of getting your calories. But one thing I have noticed with myself is that my groceries bills have gone down because I eat less! When I was eating HC I did buy cheaper foods than what I buy now, for example a loaf of bread I can get for $2.00 where as a cartoon of cream is double that. But I don't drink as much cream as I ate bread. If you buy stuff when it is on sale it is even better, I think LC can cost less if you use your grocery money wisely. For example I just bought myself a few cups of walnuts in their shells and it cost $1 for 20. Which seems expensive but by the time I crack them open and eat them I will probably only be able to eat 5 of them. That is 25 cents for a snack. A bag of chips costs $2 on sale of which I could easily eat half a bag in one sitting. I think HC costs more.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:45 AM   #2
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Well- it does cost more in our house- there is no way I can compete with mac n cheese - 24 boxes for $12 or wheat bread for $.99 a loaf vs. GF bread $6.00 a loaf ( although very seldom made or bought), Kraft PB $3.69/ jar vs. natural PB $5.79/ jar.. ..... We eat a lot of meat ( thank you uber-fit hubby who can eat 1lb+ of roast at a sitting) a LOT of fruit ( thank you children who are bottomless pits and a lot of veggies. However- to qualify- we also eat gluten free when the rest of the family ( OK- me too on occasion) venture into the breads and cakes world) BUT 98% of what we eat is made from scratch. Oh yeah- almonds and walnuts are also budget busters.....
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:04 AM   #3
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I am one of these that can say the cheapier the better. Unfortunatly when our kids were younger and we had lower paying jobs, it was easier and cheapier to stretch things like mac and cheese than it was to double the veggies type thing. Now that hubby and I are in a better position money wise and the kids are older.....I find its hard to break from the habits I formed for us years ago. I can feed a family of 4 on $150 bucks a month, but when I start adding in more veggies and salads and fish and the better for you things that $150 gets well over $300! And I know when I try to buy the healthier stuff, I hear the growls from the kids and hubby about what ever happened to good old hot dogs and fries!!

I seriously wish the stores can flip thier pricing and make fruits and veggies cheapier and all the bad sugars and carbs more expensive. It would help soooooo much!!!
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
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No doubt about it. Eating the processed junk is cheaper.
For today.
But down the road YOU WILL PAY...
when you factor in the doctors bills, medications, surgeries, and assistive devices you will need, it's easy to see how misleading this apparant saving really is.
Not to mention how do you put a price tag on feeling healthy and vital as opposed to sluggish and in chronic pain?
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:12 AM   #5
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No doubt about it. Eating the processed junk is cheaper.
For today.
But down the road YOU WILL PAY...
when you factor in the doctors bills, medications, surgeries, and assistive devices you will need, it's easy to see how misleading this apparant saving really is.
Not to mention how do you put a price tag on feeling healthy and vital as opposed to sluggish and in chronic pain?
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:25 AM   #6
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I am one of these that can say the cheapier the better. Unfortunatly when our kids were younger and we had lower paying jobs, it was easier and cheapier to stretch things like mac and cheese than it was to double the veggies type thing. Now that hubby and I are in a better position money wise and the kids are older.....I find its hard to break from the habits I formed for us years ago. I can feed a family of 4 on $150 bucks a month, but when I start adding in more veggies and salads and fish and the better for you things that $150 gets well over $300! And I know when I try to buy the healthier stuff, I hear the growls from the kids and hubby about what ever happened to good old hot dogs and fries!!

I seriously wish the stores can flip thier pricing and make fruits and veggies cheapier and all the bad sugars and carbs more expensive. It would help soooooo much!!!
I'm impressed with your 300 a month for a family of four!! 150 just seems crazy. I am envious and I could take a lesson or 2. I spend no less than 1000 a month for my family of 5 including 2 teenage pigs (woops I mean boys). I do tend to choose higher quality foods/ingredients though. I feel "low carbing" is a lot cheaper for us because we NEVER eat out. Eating out with a family of 5 (basically 4 adult appetites) is ridiculous!!
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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Bread for 99cents?! Mac and cheese 50cents a box?! Wow, that is cheap. I live in a northern town in Canada, I guess I forgot that food is more expensive up here! My mistake...LOL.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:42 AM   #8
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I'm impressed with your 300 a month for a family of four!! 150 just seems crazy. I am envious and I could take a lesson or 2. I spend no less than 1000 a month for my family of 5 including 2 teenage pigs (woops I mean boys). I do tend to choose higher quality foods/ingredients though. I feel "low carbing" is a lot cheaper for us because we NEVER eat out. Eating out with a family of 5 (basically 4 adult appetites) is ridiculous!!
Honestly, I can do it and have done it often! No coupons either! Alot of it is buying large prepackaged meats that I can bring home and cut and package myself. I can buy a large pork loin for 15.00 bucks and cut it and package it to where that dinner cost me a dollar for the meat. Sliced thin and cooked just right it makes for a very good meal. And I can usually get atleast 8+ dinners from it. I also buy the really cheap cuts of meats when I have too and use the crock pot alot to soften it. A store I have near me has whole chickens on sale alot and I can get it for $2.50-$3.00 for the whole bird. We eat what we do from it and then I pick the bones to nothing and freeze for another day I can make like chicken and gravy or soup or whatever from it.

A store near me also puts cans of veggies on sale twice a year for around $.30 a can and I stock up like mad when they do!

Like I said I have learned because I had to when I was first married! Luckily for me my kids, who are teens now and can eat, we are in a better place and can afford more for food....but like I said stuck in my "make a dolla holla" routine!! lol!!
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:15 AM   #9
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Oh, no, it's definitely cheaper to eat high carb. There's no question.

I'm not saying that eating LC has to be expensive, but that's a different question than saying that it's cheaper than eating high carb. No way.

And I'm not even talking about processed carbs. You can buy a huge bag of rice and a huge thing of dry beans, cook those and make food for a family for a week, adding some veggies and meat if you like. Same with a ten pound bag of potatoes.

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:55 AM   #10
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Oh, no, it's definitely cheaper to eat high carb. There's no question.

I'm not saying that eating LC has to be expensive, but that's a different question than saying that it's cheaper than eating high carb. No way.

And I'm not even talking about processed carbs. You can buy a huge bag of rice and a huge thing of dry beans, cook those and make food for a family for a week, adding some veggies and meat if you like. Same with a ten pound bag of potatoes.


Yes, potoatoes, rice, beans, white flour, sugar are all cheap staples one can buy in bulk and eat on a high carb diet. Eating LC involves eating more meat, good fats (which are not cheap if you buy higher quality especially), and vegetables typically. Eggs can be cheap, but I will only buy organic/free range (or preferably pastured) which are not cheap. You can eat LC on a budget, but the same budget would buy a lot more calories/food for a high carb WOE.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:55 AM   #11
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HBO has a really great mini series on why we're fat (Weight of the Nation). Its goes into lots of different aspects of it, but one thing they explore is that never in history have we had food so cheap that is so caloric dense. The documentary goes to some very poor areas of the country (Mississippi/Alabama etc), and show that the 'bad food' is sometimes immensely cheaper than healthy fruits and veggies just a few aisles over.

I know my grocery bill is pretty ridiculous but, I also pick up some pretty large portions of rib-eye, brisket, salmon, smoked cheese, macadamia nuts, etc.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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Yes, potoatoes, rice, beans, white flour, sugar are all cheap staples one can buy in bulk and eat on a high carb diet.
I wonder how many of the complainers are actually eating that way, though?

I was a vegetarian for years, and I was always baffled when people would say "I tried to be a vegetarian, but it's too expensive." All of those cheap staples are also vegetarian.

I suspect that most of these people were buying vegetarian fake meats and prepared foods, which are pricy. I wonder how many of the people dismissing low carb are doing so based on the prices of low-carb convenience foods.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:49 AM   #13
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I wonder how many of the complainers are actually eating that way, though?

I was a vegetarian for years, and I was always baffled when people would say "I tried to be a vegetarian, but it's too expensive." All of those cheap staples are also vegetarian.

I suspect that most of these people were buying vegetarian fake meats and prepared foods, which are pricy. I wonder how many of the people dismissing low carb are doing so based on the prices of low-carb convenience foods.
Yeah. I don't know why my grocery bill is less now. I will have to analyze it a bit more. One thing I do know for sure my husband and I are eating a lot less now that I am cooking HF meals. He mentioned it last night. Neither of us could even finish our meals.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:49 AM   #14
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I wonder how many of the complainers are actually eating that way, though?

I was a vegetarian for years, and I was always baffled when people would say "I tried to be a vegetarian, but it's too expensive." All of those cheap staples are also vegetarian.

I suspect that most of these people were buying vegetarian fake meats and prepared foods, which are pricy. I wonder how many of the people dismissing low carb are doing so based on the prices of low-carb convenience foods.
Great point. All the specialty foods are super pricey. Recently people were talking a ton about Atkins meals and those were $4 for one small meal.

And, I don't see high carb as being cheap- most people eat cereals, lots of snacks, fast food throughout the day, sodas, candy, dessert, juices, juice drinks, and buy prepared foods and all of that stuff is expensive! Even big chip bags are like 2$. You can get a dozen eggs for that money and you definitely won't eat them in one sitting. I don't know anyone that is living on rice and beans and potatoes.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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Great point. All the specialty foods are super pricey. Recently people were talking a ton about Atkins meals and those were $4 for one small meal.

And, I don't see high carb as being cheap- most people eat cereals, lots of snacks, fast food throughout the day, sodas, candy, dessert, juices, juice drinks, and buy prepared foods and all of that stuff is expensive! Even big chip bags are like 2$. You can get a dozen eggs for that money and you definitely won't eat them in one sitting. I don't know anyone that is living on rice and beans and potatoes.
(my bold)

I agree. I've done lc twice and my grocery bill was soooo low. Then I started eating more junk and it is more expensive because it's not satisifiying and one eats more. Catch 22 = weight gain. Presently my WOE is somewhat cheaper although spending more on fresh fruit and vegies.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:41 AM   #16
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I guess it could be cheaper, but I eat so much less of the "good" stuff than the pre-made stuff.

Almonds - 21-22 at a time - 1 bag takes me 2-3 weeks to finish if I eat everyday. Buying those doritos snack bags for 2-3 weeks would be double the cost (even on sale), and most people have more than 1 small bag/day.

Meat - organic/natural is more expensive, yes, but I find deals and sales. I add lots of veggies to bulk things up too. Eating filet at home is cheaper than a burger out!

Veggies - places like Trader Joes and Sprouts have specials on organic products. I also grow my own organic veggies and herbs. The herbs saves a lot of money (I dry them too). I didn't have to buy spinach or kale for about 2 months (still have kale) and gave bags away. I have onions, squash, eggplant, cantaloupe (I hope he grows!), carrots (almost done now ), tomatillos (no fruit yet), green beans, peppers, leeks. As soon as my tomatoes turn red, I'll have enough for life... Can't wait until the citrus trees grow up a little. I want to plant an apple and a pomegranate too. Initial cost can be high, but once you get it going, it's not bad. I just have to buy soil and manure twice/year, fertilizers once a year, and seeds will last awhile.

Bountiful baskets or other co-ops can be cheaper ways to get lots of fresh fruits and veggies - $15 regular, $25 organic for a laundry basket full. We have "market on the move" here in phoenix which gets you 60lbs of produce for $10.

Yogurt is cheaper to buy plain and in big containers. Add frozen berries, dried fruit, flax, almonds, small chocolate chips - whatever you like.

I feel like altogether, my breakfast, lunches and dinners cost me $10-12/day. That includes good coffee with coconut oil and organic half and half and almond milk, Trio bar, banana, apple, vichyssoise, carrots, broccoli, tuna w/ mayo, scallion, tomato, spinach, avocado and organic cheddar, 2 hard boiled organic eggs, dark chocolate, greek yogurt with coconut sugar, almonds, and dried cranberries.

That's way cheaper than eating out and I know what's in my food. I guess I could eat toast for breakfast, box of mac and cheese for lunch, snickers for snack, and ramen for dinner for a total of $2.50, but where's the nutrition? How will I feel if I eat that? I'd rather eat smaller portions of good foods then a box of mac and cheese with processed cheese powder or a cup of ramen noodles, but that's just me, I guess.

Some things are worth spending a bit of money on. I'd rather have good food than an i-pad or a video game...or even cable TV to be honest.

ETA: And people usually end up spending a ton of money on sodas, energy drinks, gatorades, and alcohol. It adds up. I'm not saying those things are completely unnecessary, but when you don't buy them as often (i.e. don't drink them as often), you can usually afford better foods. I just bought bourbon (mint juleps!) and fireball whiskey (all for company and summer get togethers) and it was $45!!!! Yikes. Sodas, on sale are $12 for 4, 12 packs. If you bought that once/month, that's $144/year on soda alone.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #17
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I definitely know people who are eating rice and beans and not eating junk food. What a ridiculously sweeping statement. That's like saying all people who eat LC eat bacon and steak all day.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:52 AM   #18
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I definitely know people who are eating rice and beans and not eating junk food. What a ridiculously sweeping statement. That's like saying all people who eat LC eat bacon and steak all day.
If you are referring to my statement, it's not sweeping- I don't know people eating rice and beans and potatoes. And, I don't see anyone ( with the exception of a few people) buying those things without a ton of other pricey processed food that definitely pushes up the cost of high carb diets.

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:37 AM   #19
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Shoot, I would venture to guess that half the Bay Area lives on rice, beans or potatoes. Rice, especially. It's a cultural thing and we have a very large Asian population and they tend to support larger families on tiny money. Rice makes up the bulk, then fresh veggies, then a little meat.

I find that our LC shopping bills are not much more than our old high carb shopping days. We bought a ton of junk back then. We do have access to relatively cheap produce here but I dont scrimp on nuts, cheese or meats.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:46 AM   #20
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On Sunday I spent 300 BUCKS grocery shopping for my LC. Granted...I had not shopped in a while and I needed many staples..but seriously..I nearly fainted. LOL.

But I have spent that before on High Carb too...

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:54 AM   #21
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Great point. All the specialty foods are super pricey. Recently people were talking a ton about Atkins meals and those were $4 for one small meal.

And, I don't see high carb as being cheap- most people eat cereals, lots of snacks, fast food throughout the day, sodas, candy, dessert, juices, juice drinks, and buy prepared foods and all of that stuff is expensive! Even big chip bags are like 2$. You can get a dozen eggs for that money and you definitely won't eat them in one sitting. I don't know anyone that is living on rice and beans and potatoes.
That's not a comment on people you know personally. "Most people eat..." That's a sweeping comment about people who eat high carb. Whether you meant what you see personally, that's not what you said.


And I didn't say people were living on rice and potatoes, but like Andi, I know people who use them as the foundation of their diet, and then add the more expensive fresh veggies and meats to the cheap carbs.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:56 AM   #22
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anything that encourages you to cook from scratch, as low carbing does, will help with food bills, but I don't see how low carb could be cheaper. if someone is determined to be really frugal, carbs are cheaper, I think. of course if you eat processed foods and eat out a lot, it won't be. I think there are a lot more factors than carbs involved. LOL
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:16 PM   #23
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There seems to be two interesting and equally true points being made in this thread.
First is that high carb Food is cheaper than lc. To my mind this is pretty self evident.
Potatoes, rice, pancakes, beans, and bread products are common hc staples, and are cheaper than the meats, fish, and dairy that make up the staples of lc.
BUT .....on lc especially when in ketosis, we tend to eat less.
less food = less $ spent on food. Hence an lc woe can, in fact be cheaper.
I think where it can really get expensive is when your lc woe translates into HEALTHY eating. Meaning organic whole foods, grass fed beef etc. This is where ones food budget can really go through the roof.
Still....the savings in health care costs, IMHO are very real, and should be included in any discussion of costs re: woe
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:19 PM   #24
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Well, this is more of a personal whine than a contribution to the discussion, but here goes... I have been trying to come up w something healthier for my kids to eat for b'fast that is easy for me. Ugh. They *love* yogurt tubes or danamals, but won't eat yogurt any other way. But I decided I was going to make yogurt work for us... and I think I've probably sunk $30 into this unsuccessful experiment. I'm really bummed about it, both in terms of the money and the fact that its a big failure. The last three mornings have involved me for e feeding my screaming four year old, promising him a Z bar if he'll eat it, promising a trip to target later today just for one bite, and being late to school each day this week. I'm so demoralized.

As for hubby and I though, even though what we eat is way more expensive than what we used to eat, we are spending much less bc we hardly eat any bolume and we almost never eat out.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:28 PM   #25
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I am spending less. I eat the same amount of meat and veggies I always ate just not buying the extras. I neve replaced what I ate. Just eliminates certain foods. What does cost more are treats and nut fours.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:31 PM   #26
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There seems to be two interesting and equally true points being made in this thread.
First is that high carb Food is cheaper than lc. To my mind this is pretty self evident.
Potatoes, rice, pancakes, beans, and bread products are common hc staples, and are cheaper than the meats, fish, and dairy that make up the staples of lc.
BUT .....on lc especially when in ketosis, we tend to eat less.
less food = less $ spent on food. Hence an lc woe can, in fact be cheaper.
I think where it can really get expensive is when your lc woe translates into HEALTHY eating. Meaning organic whole foods, grass fed beef etc. This is where ones food budget can really go through the roof.
Still....the savings in health care costs, IMHO are very real, and should be included in any discussion of costs re: woe
I agree!
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:39 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
Well, this is more of a personal whine than a contribution to the discussion, but here goes... I have been trying to come up w something healthier for my kids to eat for b'fast that is easy for me. Ugh. They *love* yogurt tubes or danamals, but won't eat yogurt any other way. But I decided I was going to make yogurt work for us... and I think I've probably sunk $30 into this unsuccessful experiment. I'm really bummed about it, both in terms of the money and the fact that its a big failure. The last three mornings have involved me for e feeding my screaming four year old, promising him a Z bar if he'll eat it, promising a trip to target later today just for one bite, and being late to school each day this week. I'm so demoralized.

As for hubby and I though, even though what we eat is way more expensive than what we used to eat, we are spending much less bc we hardly eat any bolume and we almost never eat out.
Just an idea....do they eat fruit? Maybe cut up a banana, some strawberries or 2 other kinds of thier fave fruits or raisins and allow them to make a layered yogurt. My kids were crazy about different things. They wont not eat PBandJ sandwhiches but let me put a spoonful of peanut butter and a spoon full of jelly on a plate with crackers and a plastic knife and they would eat all of it because they made it themselves. They were like this with alot of foods when they were little....I seriously had to trick them to eat.........broccoli was a tree forest that little bits of hot dogs lived in....I tell you for all the fighting we did to get them to eat, they love this stuff now....broccoli a few times a week in our house!
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:51 PM   #28
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I think in the long run, High carb costs MORE because it doesn't stick with you as long. Yes, the HC staples themselves are cheaper, but you have to buy more of it because you can eat a HC meal and an hour later, be hungry again and want something else to eat, where as, LC sticks with you longer and keeps you satisfied for a longer stretch at a time.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krow134 View Post
Just an idea....do they eat fruit? Maybe cut up a banana, some strawberries or 2 other kinds of thier fave fruits or raisins and allow them to make a layered yogurt. My kids were crazy about different things. They wont not eat PBandJ sandwhiches but let me put a spoonful of peanut butter and a spoon full of jelly on a plate with crackers and a plastic knife and they would eat all of it because they made it themselves. They were like this with alot of foods when they were little....I seriously had to trick them to eat.........broccoli was a tree forest that little bits of hot dogs lived in....I tell you for all the fighting we did to get them to eat, they love this stuff now....broccoli a few times a week in our house!
Ya know I could see my nine yr old going for that, but my little guy barely likes fruit -- refuses to eat bananas, melon, most berries. Ugh. I do think smoothies might end up working, maybe. It would be a little irritating for me though bc I know it's just all about him asserting his will, which is all well and good until it requires me to get up earlier and do dishes for no good reason.

Part of my problem, too, is that I really don't want to taste it myself bc I don't eat fruit or yogurt, but I kinda have to to make sure he's wrong when he says its awful. Gah!
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:12 PM   #30
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i don't see that our grocery bill is very much different than before because before we never bought very much high priced junk/convenience food and today we don't buy any special lc junk/convenience food. we spend around $500/mo for 3.

last week's grocery list: lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, cucumber, potatoes, bananas, melon, grapefruit, frzn veggies, frzn berries, milk, cream, eggs, cheddar, butter, cream cheese, jalepeno jack, chicken, t-bones, grd beef, taco kit, tortellini, mayo, bread, wraps.

except for the types of meats and easy to prepare meals like tacos or tortellini the list doesn't change very much. (and no i dont eat any of the high carb stuff, dh & dd do.)
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lost ~40lbs in 2007/08; then yoyoed 10 lbs for 4 years; (had done Atkins in early '80s and was told it was unhealthy.) refound lc'ing and lost another 25 lbs. not done yet!!
lbs to loose: 95 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 HERE!

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