Feeling frustrated - broke
I'm just venting, please forgive.
I started Atkins again on July 3rd and I've been doing really good. I feel so much better. But now reality is smacking me in the face. I just simply can't afford to keep eating like this. I know there are ways to eat LC inexpensively, but most include things I'm allergic or intolerant too, or that I just can't eat due to sensory or taste issues (for example, can only eat white meat chicken, dark is too greasy and makes me gag, allergic to all fish so tuna is out, etc).
I am nearly completely out of food at home right now. Well, out of LC food anyway. My fiance got paid today but his check was short 14 hours (thanks to him being sick a couple days). :( So now we have about $50 to buy food for a week for me, him, and my three girls. And one of my girls is a teenager and eats EVERYTHING! Normally for a low money week like this I'd stock up on pasta, ramen, bread and cheese, things like that. Well that's great for them, but not for me. Heck, my teenager alone could easily eat $50 worth of food in a week.
So here I am, venting. I know somehow I'll get through. And if in the end I can't get enough LC food for the whole week, well, I'll survive and just start up again next week when we have more money. I don't WANT to do that, but I have to be realistic.
Alright, back to making a shopping list.
ETA - I've been reading the threads on eating LC while broke at the top of the forum. Still not finding enough that I can do for a whole week for a family of 5, but lots sounds yummy!
That is a tough situation Vixendrop
I am sure you will get through. I wish you were around me and I will donate you some eggs, bacon and ground beef so you can "survive" your week :hugs:
I know what you're going through. Money is so tight these days here as well.
Eggs are pretty cheap, especially if you buy them in bulk. It might get boring but you could eat a lot of eggs and maybe combine that with some intermittent fasting. That has saved me a ton of grocery money and helped keep me on track. Egg salad, scrambled, fried, frittatas... Add a block of cream cheese and you can make a big batch of oven baked 'pancakes' that keep well in the fridge. It's basically oopsie batter poured into a big baking dish or whoopie pie pan and baked until golden. Good luck!
Go to your food pantry or church in your town! You can get things like cheese, some other dairy as well as sometimes fresh foods and canned goods too!
So sorry you are struggling!! :hugs: :hugs:
Do you have protein powder left?
Any roasts or turkeys or ham? A turkey would feed the whole family for 4-5 days. Then they could have spaghetti, pancakes, grilled cheese, etc and you could have eggs.
Sadly the food pantry here is not really an option. They only distribute food once a week and it's usually really old, past date. Last time I did it there were bugs in everything. Not worth the gas it would take to get there (about 15 miles away from us, and we're not on a bus line). And every church I've called in the past has said they only help their church members. :(
I don't have protein powder, and I'm allergic to pork. Turkey is ridiculously expensive right now (almost $2 apound), and it gets inhaled around here. At Thanksgiving I got a 21 pound turkey and it was picked to the bone in two days.
I'm going to go scour my pantry and see what exactly I have already.
Instead of feeling defeated at the daunting task, set your timer for 20 minutes. Pretend you are on a game show and you will get $1,000,000 if you can make this work for the week (family of 5, one LC).
I bet you can make it work!
It's called the game of life ! Lol
Some people can make it work in social asstc cheque or disability. I am on disability with a family of 4. My hub and oldest son I think have hollow legs. They eat nonstop.
Make this work, stay on plan, and you will be so proud of yourself! More important, every time this happens again, you will KNOW you can stick to plan.
Alright, I checked the pantry and fridge. Currently I have:
1 box pasta (shells)
2 cans spaghetti sauce
1 pkg cream cheese
1 bag frozen peas
7 cans corn
3 flour tortillas
1 can cream of mushroom
3 pkgs chicken ramen
1 shortbread cookie mix
1/2 gallon milk
That is literally it.
It's so frustrating. Those LC on a budget threads and mostly really old and food prices are so different now. Ground beef around here is almost $3 a pound. I am THRILLED when I see it around $2. For a dozen eggs it costs me almost $3. It's just not cheap. Also have seen so many people in those threads give sample menus for a week to show how they keep it so cheap, but they only list one meal a day. Is that all they eat? I need to feed 5 people, 3 meals a day, for 7 days (no more money until August 3rd).
Ok, if I were you, my first step would be a menu for the rest of the family.
That way you can be sure they're taken care of. With the surplus, we can work from there.
I know what you mean about pricing, where I live it's $7 for 4L milk, $6 for a tiny ricotta, and $7 a lb for chicken. Not very frugal! It costs almost $30 a week just in dairy for my family.
Another idea is to switch to Carb Addicts diet for the week. You eat with your family for the expensive meal (supper) and have eggs or a one minute muffin or sausage for the other meals.
Let me try to hammer you out a menu,
Can you tell us what is the cheapest meat in your area your family will eat?? My area has ground pork for $3 for a family pack, for example, and hotdogs are cheap.
Pasta w/ spag sauce
ramen w/ scrambled egg and peas
make the cookies, let them have them a couple for dessert over the week
You get the drift. Use what you have and add to it with the cheapest produce/meats you can find. Check the ads for sales and shop where you need to. It's one week, everyone will survive. :hugs::hugs::hugs: I remember my parents going through this several times when we were young. We all made it through!
Meal1 soup & grilled cheese
2- French toast & eggs
3- hotdogs in buns
5- chili dogs
7- burgers and pasta salad
Snacks: cinnamon toast, popcorn
List: bread, cheese slices, 2 lb pasta, popcorn, 2 cans soup, 1 beans, 1 beans in sauce, 1 tomatoes, 2lb ground beef, 2 hotdogs, hotdog buns
Big pot of veggie soup with veggies on sale ?
Big pot of beans with a lb of hamb meat (cooked ) in it with a big pan of cornbread ?
chicken (whatever is on sale) and rice casserole ?
Thanks everyone. I know I'll get through this week. It's only 7 days after all. It's just not going to be easy and I was having a mini freak out.
I'll try to grab some ads tonight. We have Albertsons, King Soopers, Safeway, and Walmart. Well, there's a Sav A Lot as well but their prices are outrageous and their food is usually going rotten anyway. Thankfully Walmart will price match, so I just have to make it to the other stores to get their ads.
Does your grocery store do half price meat? On the last sell date?
We usually shop at Walmart, and occasionally King Soopers. Walmart doesn't, that I've seen, or if they do I've never been there at the right times. At King Soopers I've seen it once in a while, but usually on the more expensive meats so it's still really pricey. And it's never half price. A few weeks ago I did get lucky and bought some thin sliced steak (can't remember what cut) for fajitas. Normally the package would have been $7, but I got it for $5. Need 3 packs to feed the family though.
You can come check out my threads. I used to do low carb, then went low carb primal. I lost an average of 15-20 pounds per year, then nothing worked anymore. I had to do protein sparing modified fasts, then I saw the potato hack was all the rage.
I dropped 20 pounds eating nothing but potatoes and small amounts of condiments (1 teaspoon per potato) earlier this year. I am now giving up condiments - see below.
I am diabetic. My fasting blood sugar dropped from @120 to low 80s on the potatoes. I went high fat low carb for a couple of days, and my blood sugar fasting shot to 119. It is crazy.
I took a hiatus and regained some of that 20 pounds I had just lost, but just lost back down to where I was. I applied the idea of reducing food reward, which bought me another 5 pounds just in the past week.
The Shangri-la diet (it has its own forum - Seth Roberts), which can be applied to any food plan you are on. It involves resetting the fat point down by taking light tasting olive oil with one hour on each side with no food and no liquids other than water (no gum, no brushing teeth, no smoking). I am also applying the same principal of reducing food reward by eating only bland foods (check out Stephan Guyenet - especially podcasts with Chris Kresser. The extra light tasting olive oil is the cheap stuff on the lower shelves. The oil shots knock out your appetite and you don't feel like eating your other food.
My food bill has dropped to near nothing.
A 20 pound bag of potatoes from Costo is only about $6 and it is hard to eat more than 6 potatoes a day. I once found two bags of 15 pounds of potatoes on sale at the mexican grocery store for $5. And they were the nice yukons.
I am using eggs for protein (but not when I am on the potato hack). They are cheap as all get out.
Just some ideas for cheap eating. You can still lose weight on lower $. The Shangri-La oil shots work even for people eating cheap standard american diet fare.
wow you sure are fighting alot of food allergies that are stopping many kinds of great lc foods. that is too bad.
great responses on the board.
certain foods cost. simple as that. when money is tight I rely on SOUP and that is something I can push a long way :) meat is only on sale and lowest prices I can get AND I use my freezer. I buy ALOT on sale.
Did you plant a garden? fresh veggies from the backyard is a huge money saver. one 25 cent pack of cucumbers can supply your family with TONS thru the season. 3-4, $2.50 tomatoe plants means tons of fresh maters for everything from homemade sauce (which you can make lc) to fresh eats. Spaghetti squash in lieu of buying pasta at the store. All so cheap when you grow your own if you can.
If you have a bit of land, 10 chickens can produce tons of eggs for your family. low cost with a good run to provide bugs/forage and little chicken feed on the side to maintain them. ste up cost is a bit with little shelter and run, but in the end it pays well above what store bought eggs are and more nutrition.
best of luck. I am a farmer so I know but alot of my items I grow and eat and I know it saves big time on the wallet. ALSO hit the farmers market at end of day. farmers cut their prices alot to move produce. don't want it leftover so you can score there also.
I'll look into that, Key Tones, thank you. :) I know having potatoes in the house would make my teenager THRILLED. She is a potato fiend. LOL
The allergies I've listed are only the beginning too. I'm allergic to peanuts, almonds, beans, soy... the list goes on and on. It gets quite annoying at times.
I don't have a garden. We just got this house in March and haven't had a chance to work on the yard yet. It's a mobile and has a tiny yard that the previous owners left in horrible condition. We are hoping to have a garden next year. That's if I don't manage to kill it. (Horrible BLACK thumb here. lol) Unfortunately no room for chickens, nor are they allowed in this community, I don't think. At least not more than one or two IF we had a fenced in yard. Again something to consider for next year, but not right now.
I don't think we have a farmer's market in town. I used to love going to them when I lived in Phoenix. But I haven't seen any here in town.
Do you have Aldi in your area? They can't be beat for prices
I don't. I see people mention it all the time, but I've never seen one.
She could have cheese on baked potatoes. Baked potatoes (microwaving is fine) are much more filling than mashed (I have a teenage daughter; she is trying the potato hack too and says she starves on mashed).
Here is a satiety index chart, because food does not go far if it is not filling. Oatmeal is the most filling breakfast. Apples and oranges the most filling fruit (sometimes there are bulk bags of cheap apples, and you can hollow them out from the top, put butter and brown sugar inside, then microwave them - yum).
Potatos are hands down the most filling food there is.
Popcorn is the most filling snack food.
Eggs are probably the best value for a filling protein.
= = = = =
The Satiety Index
Each of the following foods is rated by how much food people ate after consuming them to satisfy their hunger.
All are compared to white bread, ranked as "100"
Snacks and Confectionary
Mars candy bar
Breakfast Cereals with Milk
Table adapted from S.H.A. Holt, J.C. Brand Miller, P. Petocz, and E. Farmakalidis, "A Satiety Index of Common Foods," European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1995, pages 675-690.
Potatoes are pretty cheap too. At the least I think I'll get a small bag for her. If they will fill her up so she eats less of the other food then my money will last longer. lol
Here is my potato hack thread. Go to the beginning posts I made in the thread to read about it, if you are interested.
I think Wal-Mart carries them. At least the little one near me does.
walmart's frozen veggies range form .99 to 1.29 for a 1 pound bag here, too. Cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, mixed veggies, stir fry veggies and spinach are all easy to incorporate into a cheap meal plan (spinach and eggs, ground beef and broccoli, chicken soup with any number of veggies, etc).
You say you only like white meat chicken, but have you tried boneless, skinless thighs? They're not terribly fatty and cost about 1/3 less than what breasts do.
I've tried dark meat many times. Thighs, legs, on the bone, boneless. They taste so slimy. I can't swallow it. I even cook my white meat so it's very dry. Otherwise I gag.
Most wal marts mark down their meat. Ask next time.
I will mention Aldi again. They have made inroads in Colorado and have more branches, but not necessarily in the high traffic areas which is why I am encouraging you to search on their branch locator. Canīt hurt.
Rice and beans make a perfect protein as bulk for the family. Other than that the rest of the suggestions sound excellent.
We had generic oatmeal, cereals, soups, pasta, etc when we had that happen to us...one time we were so broke I literally had a devils food cake mix, eggs and some fresh tomatoes I had gotten from a kind neighbor....I made the cake, and we had a bowl of cereal, cupcakes and tomatoes for dinner! My kids were fine with it, it made me sad, but we got thru it....the next day my sister came over with ten bags of groceries, nobody knew things were that bad until my landlord, who was a friend of my sisters, told them...I was embarrassed but greatly appreciated the gesture. Now whenever I can, I try to help somebody else, no matter how small it is, because I've been there and sometimes even now am close to being there again.....hang in there! Be creative, you can do it!
I checked the Aldi's website. Nothing came up within 200 miles of here. I checked all the towns I could think of.
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