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  1. #1
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    eating food on my tight...

    hey guys its me again i am sure that most of you guys try to save as much money as possible and eat on a tight budget. i need to eat well on my tight budget

    with a tight budget, how do you guys manage to feed yourselves
    eating out vs eating at home
    did having irregular eating habit give you a bad stomach
    do you guys ever skip meals?
    Last edited by stragan; June 19th, 2011 at 08:32 PM.


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  3. #2
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    oh yea and what if when you're busy

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    Eating at home is cheaper and more nutritious than eating at fast food places. Nor does it have to take long; I can feed my family in under 45 minutes. How long does it take to go to a fast food place, queue up, wait for order, eat and go home again?

    Getting started with a good store of essential herbs, spices etc can be expensive at the beginning. Shop around at ethnic stores for those as they are a lot cheaper. Then any basic mince, chicken, tinned tuna etc can be made tasty without much effort.

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    You can eat pretty well on a tight budget, you just have to know how to cook. Cook stuff that freezes well, like chili, soup, and such. (Don't freeze cooked potatoes). Buy as little pre-packaged food as you can manage. Eating in is cheaper and faster than eating out. Invest in spices, if you buy them at ethnic food stores you can get them for cheap and if you have a good stock of spices and staples (like soy sauce, vinegar, etc.) you can make many different kinds of meals and never get bored. Stretch meat out over more meals. Make your own stock out of the bones. Eggs are good and cheap and you can do lots with them. So is pasta. So are sandwiches. There's often one day a month where stuff in the grocery store is 10% off, buy all your more expensive stuff (like meat) then.

    If you're pressed for time cook a big batch of something like chili or jambalaya or stew or curry on Sunday and freeze it in smaller containers. Then during the week pop the container in the microwave and you've got dinner in 5 minutes. I hate doing this because I get bored of leftovers fairly quickly but if you make a couple big meals over the weekend you can alternate.

    I don't skip meals. It makes me right cranky. And I've always had someone around who can make a chicken stretch over a week. I did have a month where I basically lived on oatmeal and pickle sandwiches, and that sucked. Don't do that if you can help it.
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  8. #5
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    EDIT: Did you delete a post while I was typing this? Or am I just hallucinating?

    See a doctor. My guess is that you've developed an allergy to something or other, but it could also be something more serious. Ask someone who knows what they're talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meloncov View Post
    EDIT: Did you delete a post while I was typing this? Or am I just hallucinating?

    See a doctor. My guess is that you've developed an allergy to something or other, but it could also be something more serious. Ask someone who knows what they're talking about.
    ya i deleted it lol i thought "oops irrelevant to the tight budget question"

    allergy? NAH. :p

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    You can eat pretty well on a tight budget, you just have to know how to cook. Cook stuff that freezes well, like chili, soup, and such. (Don't freeze cooked potatoes). Buy as little pre-packaged food as you can manage. Eating in is cheaper and faster than eating out. Invest in spices, if you buy them at ethnic food stores you can get them for cheap and if you have a good stock of spices and staples (like soy sauce, vinegar, etc.) you can make many different kinds of meals and never get bored. Stretch meat out over more meals. Make your own stock out of the bones. Eggs are good and cheap and you can do lots with them. So is pasta. So are sandwiches. There's often one day a month where stuff in the grocery store is 10% off, buy all your more expensive stuff (like meat) then.

    If you're pressed for time cook a big batch of something like chili or jambalaya or stew or curry on Sunday and freeze it in smaller containers. Then during the week pop the container in the microwave and you've got dinner in 5 minutes. I hate doing this because I get bored of leftovers fairly quickly but if you make a couple big meals over the weekend you can alternate.

    I don't skip meals. It makes me right cranky. And I've always had someone around who can make a chicken stretch over a week. I did have a month where I basically lived on oatmeal and pickle sandwiches, and that sucked. Don't do that if you can help it.
    will skipping or having irregular schedule give me bad bowels

    i am planning to live on frozen veggies, chicken nuggets, and BBQ sauce for a month, will that suck?

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    I hope that's not what you're having for breakfast. Get some wheat biscuits for breakfast. You are going to get bored very quickly on that diet - variety is the spice of life etc, but it won't kill you - peas are more nutritious frozen anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    I hope that's not what you're having for breakfast. Get some wheat biscuits for breakfast. You are going to get bored very quickly on that diet - variety is the spice of life etc, but it won't kill you - peas are more nutritious frozen anyway.
    i hope thats not what i am having for breakfast either but i am on a tight budget lol. i'll probably take vineris's advice.
    are there any spices that yall recommend? i am thinking of just buying off the recipe lists i find online.
    now i just have to buy the pots and pans first.




    ..... eating food on my tight...

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    Get a pepper mill and fresh pepper. Chilli powder, mixed herbs, basil, lemon juice, Worcester sauce. soy sauce, Thai sweet chilli sauce, plain flour, salt, curry powder and you're pretty set. You can always add to it later. Get a small frying pan and a couple of pans with lids. Tinned tomatoes and tuna, plenty of pasta and rice. Rice is easy - one handful per person, cover with water to over 1cm above the rice, boil for 10 minutes on low (check if cooked) leave for 10 minutes with lid still on - done.

    I learnt to cook on a Baby Belling that is tiny and made soufflés and éclairs. Mrs Beeton should be the only cook book you'll ever need - the rest are fads.

    Chicken thighs are tastier and cheaper than breast. Frozen mince is easy to use and you can cook it from frozen.

  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    Get a pepper mill and fresh pepper. Chilli powder, mixed herbs, basil, lemon juice, Worcester sauce. soy sauce, Thai sweet chilli sauce, plain flour, salt, curry powder and you're pretty set. You can always add to it later. Get a small frying pan and a couple of pans with lids. Tinned tomatoes and tuna, plenty of pasta and rice. Rice is easy - one handful per person, cover with water to over 1cm above the rice, boil for 10 minutes on low (check if cooked) leave for 10 minutes with lid still on - done.

    I learnt to cook on a Baby Belling that is tiny and made soufflés and éclairs. Mrs Beeton should be the only cook book you'll ever need - the rest are fads.

    Chicken thighs are tastier and cheaper than breast. Frozen mince is easy to use and you can cook it from frozen.
    woah man thats alot of spice. they're on the cheap end, right? thats alot of good info.

    also ya guys, do you guys set time schedules on when you will eat whether you are hungry or not
    or do you guys just eat whenever you feel hungry, which may be different throughout the day
    or do you guys just eat little by little throughout the day
    anyone try these? which is healthier

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    Learn to make a basic pizza dough. It's not difficult. If you have a freezer, make a batch of pizza bases and freeze them. Dice and fry onions until they're transparent, drain and put in a saucepan. Add tinned chopped tomatoes and render them down (boil them 'til they thicken) Put the mix on top of the pizza. Grate cheese and sprinkle over the top. Add anything you like from your store cupboard; great way to use leftover mushrooms, ham, bacon, whatever. Bung it in the oven at about 200 C for 20-ish minutes. When it's golden brown and cooked in the middle it's ready. When it's darker brown and crispy at the edges it's overdone but edible. When it's dark brown (including the cheese) it'll make a good frisbee...

    Remember, though, you should only reheat frozen food one time, or you *will* have bowel troubles.

  16. #13
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    Beans+Rice if you're on a really tight budget.
    Adobe (sp?) seasoning and soy sauce

  17. #14
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    IF you like Italian, find the book "The Cooking of Italy" by Time Life at a thrift store, make SURE it is the 1968 version not the 70's revision. (any of the other time life cookbooks are quite good, even if the country itself is a little boring) The cover looks like this, no white border:

    eating food on my tight...

    The reason I say this is because Italian cooking is easy to master and delicious as well as inexpensive (do not let all of those horrible Americanized renditions fool you into thinking you need to buy ricotta for anything but a Sicillian Cassata!) I make my own pizza dough, sauce and cookies, and do not find it very time consuming once I have memorized the recipe.

    Butter, flour, yeast, milk, cream, onions and eggs are your friend if you are poor. Get to know how they augment food and how they behave. Onions are not only delicious, they are strong anti carcinogens.

    My recommendation is to think of your favorite restaurant. If it is fusionist, find out the base countries they use and find a classical cookbook with traditional recipes and learn the cooking style of these countries by heart. Most really traditional recipes are not that expensive once you invest in the base herbs. Many grocery stores will rip you off when it comes to spices. Shop around. Bay leaves should not cost more than $4, and they goes as high as $18 around here (and looked suspiciously dyed green!)


    Some groceries last longer in the fridge than others. For instance, cilantro, and green beans have inherent anti-fungal properties.

    You should eat based on your medical needs, to save money on health costs. There are many common maladies that can be cured with the right diet. I have not visited a pharmacy for over 5 years since I started eating right.

    Conservation is key. If you cook bacon, strain the fat and reserve it in a jar for cooking. it is fucking delicious in anything. If you cook hamburger, turn the fat into a rue for dinner with egg noodles. If you notice something is going to expire in your fridge, find some way to cook it do not waste it.

    the nice thing about learning cooking is it is a wealth that never leaves you, in more lucrative times you will still be able to use these skills.

    Beans+Rice if you're on a really tight budget.
    Yuck. Beans are cheap, and rice is actually kind of expensive right now, but there are many alternatives to beans and rice that are cheap! One of my favorites are European Peasant Patties, just your choice of a mix of shredded: potatoes, zucchini, any kind of root or squash vegetable, mix with egg and flour (whatever you have on hand) and fry in fat (preferably bacon or beef tallow -hamburger fat) and then serve with sour cream if you have it.

    Sardines and crackers are delicious too, as well as buttered baguette with summer sausage and wine.

    Pythagoras was NOT fond of beans possibly because they make some people quite gassy - not that it is any consequence, but I personally find beans quite boring unless they are in a mexican pork stew or italian salad. Now that would be enticing (yet still cheap - and freezeable) I have a friend who makes it all the time.

    Another tip is - find a real butcher in your area and learn to slow cook large cuts of meat and broil chicken (there are some excellent methods to do this in the Italian cookbook I mentioned earlier) real butchers are often much cheaper than supermarkets and have better quality meat. They are fun to visit too especially for artists who paint horror
    Last edited by Izi; June 19th, 2011 at 06:40 PM.
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  18. #15
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    How much are you looking to spend per meal? There are a lot of things you can do to save and still eat very healthy.

    When I was short on cash, I would make myself Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas. Depending on if you decide to use the chicken or not, you can have 7-8 meals for about 2-2.70$ per meal. If you'd like the recipe, just hit me up. =)

    While spices are good, they are also daunting and expensive. If you can get an idea of what you like, you can narrow what you get down so you do not have to spend a lot.

    I personally love rosemary, thyme and basil. I also use garlic in my cooking to add flavor when ever I can.

    Also, don't forget, beans and rice. Very basic, but the first gives you cheap but good protein and the other really helps stretch any meal you've made! =D

    Rice isn't actually that expensive, and you only need 1/2 cup for one person. This will last you at least 2-3 meals, so one bag of rice will go a looong way.
    Last edited by Jpep; June 19th, 2011 at 08:21 PM. Reason: rawr English

  19. #16
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    Mmmm Jpep that is a great idea. And a package of green chile enchiladas goes for about $5-$6 from the freezer at trader joe's here. great example!

    Also would make the beans and rice palatable

    Salsa fixes anything!
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  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by stragan View Post
    will skipping or having irregular schedule give me bad bowels

    i am planning to live on frozen veggies, chicken nuggets, and BBQ sauce for a month, will that suck?
    That's not exactly very cheap either.... unless it's something you already have in the fridge.
    Get a part time job at some sort of food establishment (restaurant, burger joint), it usually means free food.

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    Always have oregano (for pizza), garlic for everything, onions (ditto) chilli/paprika for chilli/goulash respectively... salt/pepper... allspices (for when you run out of other herbs/spices) Honey (great sweetener) Oatmeal for porridge, pasta, butter or butter equivalent.

    Tinned tuna lasts a long time and is great for pasta dishes (just add cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese or whatever you like to flavour and give it 4 mins under the grill after you've cooked the pasta).

    Yoghurt is a cheap substitute for cream. Don't forget bread for sandwiches, and don't be afraid to make your own. Kneading dough is a great anger management technique.

    If you want friends round, why not ask them to bring some of the ingredients for the meal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naomi Ningishzidda View Post
    Salsa fixes anything!
    Don't you know it! One of my fav. cheap(er) breakfasts is a 1 egg omelet with a bit of cheese and salsa. More expensive then just an egg, but super tasty.

  23. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naomi Ningishzidda View Post
    IF you like Italian, find the book "The Cooking of Italy" by Time Life at a thrift store, make SURE it is the 1968 version not the 70's revision. (any of the other time life cookbooks are quite good, even if the country itself is a little boring) The cover looks like this, no white border:
    oh wow thx!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpep View Post
    How much are you looking to spend per meal? There are a lot of things you can do to save and still eat very healthy.
    dunno maybe about 100$ minimum and 250$ maximum, just in case i need healthier foods. i dont know how much it would cost to maintain myself lol. i figured out once but i forgot.

    and i cant tell the difference between all these spices haha they all taste the same to me. i am retarded in the chemistry of food ok

  24. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stragan View Post
    oh wow thx!!!!



    dunno maybe about 100$ minimum and 250$ maximum, just in case i need healthier foods. i dont know how much it would cost to maintain myself lol. i figured out once but i forgot.

    and i cant tell the difference between all these spices haha they all taste the same to me. i am retarded in the chemistry of food ok
    I'm guessing that is 100$ to 250$ per month right? X)

  25. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jpep View Post
    I'm guessing that is 100$ to 250$ per month right? X)
    no, 100 and 250 dollars per YEAR.
    LOL jk

    you're right, its monthly but i am not sure of $250 is too little? i live in NY

  26. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by stragan View Post
    no, 100 and 250 dollars per YEAR.
    LOL jk

    you're right, its monthly but i am not sure of $250 is too little? i live in NY
    Should be manageable. It'd be tough to go all that much under that without sacrificing either healthiness or variety, though.

  27. #24
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    What spices you buy depends largely on what you cook. I almost never use basil, for example (unless I'm growing some in a pot), but I'd probably die without cumin and oregano. Buy them as you need them.

    I'd probably live for a year on rice and beans before I got desperate enough for chicken nuggets. Ew. But frozen veggies are a good thing to have around.

    Not that there's anything wrong with rice and beans -- onions and curry paste will cover just as many sins as salsa will.
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  28. #25
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    Eggs, Milk, and Bananas are your best friends.

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    I realised as soon as I left home to go to college that my options were limited here...

    -Eat out in fine establishments every night- can't afford it.
    -Survive on noodles, takeaways, tinned food and crap, not an option.
    -Befriend catering students and steal their food- works ok but kinda leads on to the ideal solution...

    learn to cook

    Seriously. The only realistic way to eat cheaply that is long-term sustainable and non-horrid is to learn to cook for yourself. (because awesome as they are, sandwiches get old fast..)

    It's also one of those handy skills that will be useful for your entire life.
    This is not time spent learning software that may become obsolete, this is stuff that once learnt you can use every day for the next 50 or so years, assuming you don't plan to stop eating anytime soon..

    Start out easy with soups, chilli, spaghetti sauce, basic curry and work your way up. It's not as complex as it first appears because you only need to learn how to make the things that you actually want to eat..
    Last edited by Flake; June 19th, 2011 at 11:21 PM.

  30. #27
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    hey guys btw can you guys answer my other post too, its about renting and how to not get screwed over when i do: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=222989

    im sure most of you rented before...

  31. #28
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    speaking of rice, whats an easy way? i heard i should just wash the rice until the water is clear, and when putting the rice in a pot, add water until there's an inch layer of water on top of the rice, cook for 10 min

    good?

  32. #29
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    What kind of rice?

    If there are no cooking guidelines on the packet, call it 9 minutes for basmati, 15 for long grain, half an hour for brown.

    You'll probably want to add salt to the water, a stock cube if you're feeling fancy.

    Stir fry some thinly chopped veggies in another pot then throw it all together at the end, tada! food.

    Edit: if your rice, once drained is a bit soggy, kinda fluff it with a fork and let it air out for a couple of minutes, it will become less stodgy and more fluffy and excellent.
    Last edited by Flake; June 19th, 2011 at 11:33 PM.

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    How about get yourself a wife? lol
    she'll have meals for ya ready when ya come home

    I am concern for myself to when the time comes for me to live on my own
    My stomach just get hungry to quickly after awhile when i stuff myself ><
    one cup of noodle isnt going to satisfy me -_-
    Coming home hungry and nothing cooked just gets me cranky

    that's where ya gonna have to learn to cook for yourself!!
    Learning to cook for yourself is mandatory man!!
    if you do, that''s good man

    As for going cheap on food. Flea market?
    get yourself some vegetables and fruits for low price?
    Or stores that sell u more for a good price?


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