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mamasooze 09-05-2010 10:54 AM

Low Carb on the cheap
 
After some shopping around, playing with numbers and planning, I have come up with a two week menu of South Beach/LC friendly meals. My challenge will be to shop for $50 for the two of us (DH) for two weeks, average $25 a week.

Shopping for Project25-Week 1

My husband eats higher carb (waffles, rice) and I will be at induction level or so. It will be interesting to see what I have leftover at end of first week...or what I need to ditch to stay within my budget. I have all my proteins, nothing over 1.99 lb. and the veg looks pretty good. We don't eat desserts, so not a problem and I make my own greek yogurt. I will post the recipes (or like recipes) when necessary and the cost of each meal each day on the blog. We are starting on Tuesday. Wish us luck :)

Fizgig 09-05-2010 12:07 PM

$100 a month for two people? That's really ambitious! I'll check out your blog.

I spend $200/mo on myself, and that's mindfully shopping sales. Good luck and I look forward to picking up some ideas from you.

hockey_gal 09-05-2010 12:28 PM

No possible way you could do this in Canada. With shopping & coupons, a great deal is $2.99/lbs and it's usually only chicken. I did get bacon for $3/package and that was a steal.

A lot of times I see deals here like - $X a can at Walmart. Then I go to my Walmart (which I rarely do bc I dislike them so) and they don't even have the product.

Since I have to drive to Walmart and I can walk to 3 other grocery stores, I've given that up.

Good luck and keep us posted here too!

Deanne

mamasooze 09-05-2010 01:20 PM

I'll keep it posted here and on my blog. We did a similar challenge earlier in the year (for Lent) and I broke my bad habit of impulse buying. Since then I've been very careful not to relapse and friends encouraged me to start the blog so they could keep up too. When I saw the blog a girl did for her and her fiance that was $25 a week -gourmet even- I just had to take on the challenge.

Why are prices so high in Canada? Are there no big chains up there to compete and keep prices low? We have grocery store wars here fighting for turf (Texas) so it's easy to shop sales, really good sales.

slh72454 09-05-2010 01:31 PM

I'm not sure I could do LC on this budget, but I could totally do off plan with it. I used to set aside twenty bucks a week for food, but it mostly consisted of cheap Mac&Cheese(which I like) and frozen pizza. With sales and stuff over the summer, it was totally easy to do this.

I've only been back on induction for two weeks now, but it's been costly, though it will even out soon. I miss how cheap things were a few years ago when I was dieting. I had so much put back because I wouldn't have any needs, so I would stock up. I'll get to that point again, it will just take time.

Aside from all that, I wish you luck and can't wait to hear some good tips.

clackley 09-05-2010 01:32 PM

Prices are higher in Canada but where I live, not as high as Deanna indicates. I can usually find chicken for 1.99/lb and bacon at Costco is always pretty cheap. In Ontario we have a 'dairy council' that keeps the prices higher than else where. A major food chain had 'AAA' rib steaks for $4.99 all summer long (great deal). I wonder if the prices are higher on the West coast due to shipping?:dunno:

JustCallMeAmy 09-05-2010 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hockey_gal (Post 13861841)
No possible way you could do this in Canada. With shopping & coupons, a great deal is $2.99/lbs and it's usually only chicken. I did get bacon for $3/package and that was a steal.

A lot of times I see deals here like - a can at Walmart. Then I go to my Walmart (which I rarely do bc I dislike them so) and they don't even have the product.

Since I have to drive to Walmart and I can walk to 3 other grocery stores, I've given that up.

Good luck and keep us posted here too!

Deanne

yep, yep, yep! i'm in Toronto and spend about $1200 per month. i coupon, shop sales and price match. it's pathetic. i will say though, i'm picky about what i eat and do not buy things like chicken legs. i buy boneless/skinless chicken, pork roasts, ground beef, steak & shrimp.

we have a few big chain stores here, but prices here are overall just higher mamasooze.

kaybie 09-05-2010 01:53 PM

I'm at ~$175 a month on myself right now, but that's getting the fancier eggs and higher quality meats from WF. Although, I do get the cheaper cuts! I got lots of chicken legs for this month, only a couple breasts. I find the legs fill me up much better than the breasts do because of the yummy skin! So it works out great. Next time I stock up, I'm going to hit up the farmers market and see how well I can do.

I really don't get that many different things. Just the basics like meat (salmon, chicken, bacon), eggs, hwc, coconut oil, coffee, butter, and cheese. I don't buy hardly anything in the center aisles other than some olive oil or a spice if i need it. I've pretty much stopped buying vegetables or fruits.

I spent $288 this month because there were sales I couldn't pass up, but I think I may not have to buy hardly anything next month! I really have a ton of stuff in the fridge and freezer. I might need some eggs and some hwc, that's it. :kicking: Weird, so that means I won't need to buy food until November :eek:

kaybie 09-05-2010 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hockey_gal (Post 13861841)
No possible way you could do this in Canada. With shopping & coupons, a great deal is $2.99/lbs and it's usually only chicken. I did get bacon for $3/package and that was a steal.

Deanne

I've spent a lot of time in Vancouver (lived there a couple times, go back every year) and I definitely noticed that chicken is outrageously high there compared to here in Kentucky. I can get a whole chicken at Kroger here for like $5 whereas the same chicken up there would be $15. However, I noticed your beef is cheaper than it is here! I may end up moving back there someday and I figure I will live off of salmon and burgers and say goodbye to the chicken.

mamasooze 09-05-2010 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JustCallMeAmy (Post 13861995)
yep, yep, yep! i'm in Toronto and spend about $1200 per month. i coupon, shop sales and price match. it's pathetic. i will say though, i'm picky about what i eat and do not buy things like chicken legs. i buy boneless/skinless chicken, pork roasts, ground beef, steak & shrimp.

we have a few big chain stores here, but prices here are overall just higher mamasooze.

I'm pretty picky too. Grass-fed beef, bison, scallops. I haven't bought the thigh/leg think in like 10 years (I think that was for a party) but figured for the price I could handle it for two week. And seafood is a no-go for the next two weeks as even here it's expensive--but I only buy wild anything $$$ anyway. I will schedule a ribeye for the day after we finish this challenge :cool:

Krisco_kid 09-05-2010 02:06 PM

vending machines
 
I used to spend at least 2.00 to 3 dollars in a vending machine, every day now that money goes all in to low carb. I never took a lunch always bought a coke and chips and sandwich out of the vending machine , I do not do that any more.I take some nuts and a few pepperoni and cheese slices,or some home made beef jerky,hard boil egg.That has really save alot of my money that way.

mamasooze 09-05-2010 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaybie (Post 13862042)
I've spent a lot of time in Vancouver (lived there a couple times, go back every year) and I definitely noticed that chicken is outrageously high there compared to here in Kentucky. I can get a whole chicken at Kroger here for like $5 whereas the same chicken up there would be $15. However, I noticed your beef is cheaper than it is here! I may end up moving back there someday and I figure I will live off of salmon and burgers and say goodbye to the chicken.

Live off salmon? In a minute, babe :kicking:

kaybie 09-05-2010 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamasooze (Post 13862054)
Live off salmon? In a minute, babe :kicking:

Haha.. I've tossed the idea around of eating salmon every single day. I think I might get tired of it if I do that.. I may try it later on down the road and see how it goes! I lurve me some salmon!!

juddinminime 09-05-2010 02:26 PM

Shoot we spend 250-300 here in California and that gets us by for two weeks.

If it were just me and groc for me it would only cost aprox 20-25 a week.
(for induction foods)

mamasooze 09-05-2010 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaybie (Post 13862076)
Haha.. I've tossed the idea around of eating salmon every single day. I think I might get tired of it if I do that.. I may try it later on down the road and see how it goes! I lurve me some salmon!!

My oldest DD says given the chance, I'd have it for dessert :rofl:

cleochatra 09-05-2010 02:44 PM

It's a great idea! We have three teens, so we couldn't get by on $25 a week, unless we only ate eggs and cheese. lol

mamasooze 09-05-2010 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joflora (Post 13862111)
Shoot we spend 250-300 here in California and that gets us by for two weeks.

If it were just me and groc for me it would only cost aprox 20-25 a week.
(for induction foods)

I will be eating induction level and DH eats ww bread, waffles and crackers, etc and I may partake of 1/4 of that sweet potato. I still think he's going to lose some weight without really trying.

My last trip to the store I bought $1 of bacon at the deli....will treasure it :rolleyes: It goes on loaded broccoli one night.

mamasooze 09-05-2010 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cleochatra (Post 13862163)
It's a great idea! We have three teens, so we couldn't get by on $25 a week, unless we only ate eggs and cheese. lol

Eggs and cheese? MMM. Whaddya do? I had four girls so I can identify. Add $12.50 pp and give it a try--that's all you can do. I did score in-store special 18 eggs for $1. I bought the limit-2. If I had a brain I would have gone back.

charlielou 09-05-2010 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamasooze (Post 13862054)
Live off salmon? In a minute, babe :kicking:

Maybe now with the huge salmon run, but even in a fishing village I can't generally afford salmon.

DJFoodie 09-05-2010 03:35 PM

Hi Mamasooze,

I just looked at your blog and see what you're doing. It's an interesting idea! Good luck with it. I hope you stick with it and come up with some great ideas for people, and save some money in the meantime!

I've spent most of my life in the restaurant industry. In it, like other industries, there is the 80-20 rule. It basically states that 20% of something represents a change to 80% of the whole. In this case, where I've seen it used, if you look at a plate of food, with meat, green beans and some mashed potatos, the meat is 20% of the food, but ... represents 80% of the cost!

The first thing I saw on your site was a big image of smaller cuts of meat. I'm positive that if you work to cut down your meat costs, you'll either pay less for the same quality, or stay within the same range, but upgrade to organic, grassfed, higher quality, better cuts, etc.

I personally, when I'm being a little more proactive (which has been almost most of the time for 6 months now), buy in bulk from a restaurant meat distributor. Then, I come home and break down the meat into smaller portions, then vacuum pack and freeze. I do this about once every 3 months. You get great deals because you're buying straight from the distributor PLUS you're buying in bulk. It's a much greater investment, up front, but it pays off, in spades, over time.

$.02

lowcarbie 09-05-2010 03:47 PM

Tuna fish (Bumble Bee white meat tuna) is 99 cents a can at CVS this week, Walgreen's has Chicken of the Sea tuna and salmon for 99 cents a can and Food Lion had dark meat tuna for 69 cents a can all this week.

mamasooze 09-05-2010 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJFoodie (Post 13862300)
Hi Mamasooze,

I just looked at your blog and see what you're doing. It's an interesting idea! Good luck with it. I hope you stick with it and come up with some great ideas for people, and save some money in the meantime!

I've spent most of my life in the restaurant industry. In it, like other industries, there is the 80-20 rule. It basically states that 20% of something represents a change to 80% of the whole. In this case, where I've seen it used, if you look at a plate of food, with meat, green beans and some mashed potatos, the meat is 20% of the food, but ... represents 80% of the cost!

The first thing I saw on your site was a big image of smaller cuts of meat. I'm positive that if you work to cut down your meat costs, you'll either pay less for the same quality, or stay within the same range, but upgrade to organic, grassfed, higher quality, better cuts, etc.

I personally, when I'm being a little more proactive (which has been almost most of the time for 6 months now), buy in bulk from a restaurant meat distributor. Then, I come home and break down the meat into smaller portions, then vacuum pack and freeze. I do this about once every 3 months. You get great deals because you're buying straight from the distributor PLUS you're buying in bulk. It's a much greater investment, up front, but it pays off, in spades, over time.

$.02

Thanks for that perspective! You gave me something to think about.

mamasooze 09-05-2010 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lowcarbie (Post 13862335)
Tuna fish (Bumble Bee white meat tuna) is 99 cents a can at CVS this week, Walgreen's has Chicken of the Sea tuna and salmon for 99 cents a can and Food Lion had dark meat tuna for 69 cents a can all this week.

Thanks for the tip. I think mine were .59, but will have to find my tape.

snooks86 09-06-2010 12:40 AM

I love shopping for junk food on a budget: ramen noodles, tombstone pizza, hot pockets, mac and cheese, sugary cereal, and pot pies. yum!!!

mamasooze 09-06-2010 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snooks86 (Post 13863382)
I love shopping for junk food on a budget: ramen noodles, tombstone pizza, hot pockets, mac and cheese, sugary cereal, and pot pies. yum!!!

LOL-Too easy. None of that here. That's why its a challenge.

WendyK1974 09-06-2010 07:06 AM

I'm not familiar with the South Beach diet. Which of those foods will you be eating on your menu?

mamasooze 09-06-2010 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WendyK1974 (Post 13863600)
I'm not familiar with the South Beach diet. Which of those foods will you be eating on your menu?

South Beach (phase 2 and 3) allows a little more leeway with whole grains, beans, legumes and fruits than Atkins. I will just be eating the meats, vegetables and greek yogurt (I make my own). My husband can eat the higher carb items though (waffles, whole wheat bread, pinto beans etc) I try to limit him up to 60 a day. My carbs should be 20-30. There will be hominy in my soup but it is the Mexican style which has fewer carbs.

Hope that answers your question.

lowcarbie 09-06-2010 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamasooze (Post 13862413)
Thanks for the tip. I think mine were .59, but will have to find my tape.

You're welcome, it makes alot of difference when food is cheaper especially tuna and I try to stock up when they have these sales from time to time. It keeps me from buying fast food, I am now making my food at home and it is cheaper and healthier too!!!

ravenrose 09-06-2010 10:47 AM

The biggest thing you can do to save money, in my experience is to find marked down food. In this area, near San Francisco, we can usually find one grocery store at a time that puts out a LOT of "manager's special" markdowns of produce and meat. Most of the stores anymore just throw the stuff out, but we have always managed to find one selling the markdowns. It changes from year to year as managers and policies come and go.

The meats are usually half price, though Saturday I bought an organic free-range chicken for 99 cents a pound, which is way less than half.

I also got 3.5 lb. of mixed summer squashes for 99 cents, 5 artichokes for 99 cents, a big bag of those pointy slightly hot frying peppers for 99 cents, probably 3 lb but I didn't weigh it. A large tub of arugula for 99 cents as well. Recent weeks I've had a couple of pounds of exotic mushrooms or a nice big cauliflower for the same price. It's just amazing how nearly everyone bypasses the bargain cart rather than making a beeline for it like I do. I don't know if they feel it's beneath their dignity or whether they think it's less nutritious... But there was that study recently that said for green vegetables, they continue adding phytonutrients at a faster clip while under the florescent lights in the stores.

If you are serious, make friends with the people in the meat and produce departments and find out when they put the markdowns out. Sometimes they will even save things for you if they like you, you know?

Of course the pinnacle of saving money on food is to consider yourself a recycler and rescuing some of the incredible food waste that goes on, i.e. dumpster diving. That sounds horrid, but as I understand it the food is often just dumped in piles behind stores, no need to actually root around in a dumpster. Not so great for low carb, but lots of bagged baked things are available.

DJFoodie 09-06-2010 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ravenrose (Post 13864351)
... as I understand it the food is often just dumped in piles behind stores, no need to actually root around in a dumpster. Not so great for low carb, but lots of bagged baked things are available.

I don't know how true this is, anymore. I worked a brief stint in a grocery store and we worked closely with a local homeless shelter. They had a pickup, every day at about 3PM. We would have everything ready for them that was "fresh"-ly expired.

We never had waste. Someone always ate it.


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