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Is It Possible To Eat Healthy On $10 For A Week


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Buy whole chicken and chop it up yourself. Put the breast meat and legs into ziplock bag and freeze for later use. The bones can be used for stock.

Look for cheap deals (asian supermarket often have cheaper price compare to other supermarket). Also farmer's market have good products but price might not always be lower.

Cook a big pot of chicken soup(with the left over chicken bones) with wintermelong or hairy melong. You can drink it plain or add noodles to it.

Eat lots of carb.... they are usually cheap

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Having a small, fixed sum to spend on food actually means you have a better chance of eating healthily, but it does require enormous discipline.

In general, a lot more seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, and little or no meat. Pretty well nothing packaged or canned, with the exception of tomatoes when they're not in season.

Rice and beans.

But $10? Depends where you live, I guess.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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$10 a week? I cannot imagine it except under the most dire of circumstances in which you might just be able to stave off starvation. I am speaking in Canadian dollars, here. Money spent on driving (or public transportation) to get bargains would soon negate at least some savings. I believe that the Canadian Penitentiary Service allows prisoners, living under minimum security, $4.50 per day for food which is purchased and prepared by the prisoner. I have tried to work that out theoretically and it's a tight squeeze to ensure a healthy and well-varied diet. And that's more than $20 a week more than you are proposing. But as one who is striving to live on a very limited budget, I'm willing to be educated! :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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There was a time not too long ago when I was living on a food budget of about $10-20 a week, and I recall that it involved a lot of spaghetti (homemade sauce, much cheaper and better than jarred) and chicken quarters. Tuna fish and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Yes, stay away from packaged foods, generally more expensive than making it yourself. Also, make things like soups and stews, gratins, lasagna that can be stretched for several meals. Good old rice & beans. Classic 'peasant' foods were developed for a reason--stretching limited food resources as far as possible.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Hi! A few years back I had to live on about that same amount as a weekly food allowance. I, too preferred to eat healthy (still do). First, I bought all kinds of dried herbs and spices from the bulk section- curry, thyme, rosemary, cayenne, peppercorns, bay leaves, brown/white sugar, salt, oregano, cumin, caraway, red pepper flakes, chili powder, garlic etc. I found a variety of flavor choices to be invaluable! Then came the bags of lentils, split peas, beans, nuts, couscous, barley, rices, whole grain pastas, etc. Onions, carrots and celery are cheap- good flavor base for any soups or stews. Cabbage, potatoes, winter squashes, bunched spinach, green onions, radishes, oranges, lemons and bananas (freeze for a summer treat- they last longer that way, too). I was a vegetarian so meat was not on my list, but the chicken suggestion was good. Smoked ham shanks/hocks are affordable and add a lot of flavor. Liver and the various organ meats are priced to sell in America. Tofu is versatile and usually reasonably priced. I found dairy to be pretty spendy in all its forms (at least the ones I liked)- I learned to like black tea and coffee! A basic vinegar and neutral oil- butter on a super-sale only. I was not sure wether you were looking for recipe ideas or shopping list ideas, but I hope this helps. Good luck!

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Tough to budget money for food. I have done "whole chicken for a week" plan myself. And cooking potatoes, cabbage and carrots, made me feel full. Wen I've had a soda craving, I would buy a can of seltzer and add lemon juice to it.

Fresh fruit salads you make yourself? One canteloupe, with one peach, plum, apricot sliced up? Less expensive than blueberries/strawberries?

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You will probably have to hit the pulses pretty hard! Lentils and beans provide cheap and fairly tasty prorein

You can feed yourself with very little money, for limited periods of time, but over the long term you may be deficient in some vitamins and protein. Pasta is an obvious choice, but you can't live on carbs alone.

If you have a reasonable stock of spices, vinegars, herbs etc you can make fairly austere meals quite palatable, if you haven't then you can't really afford to buy things with no calorific value, which is why I always stock up on spices, olive oil, vinegar etc when I get paid!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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The only thing I can add to all the good suggestions above is -- greens like kale, turnip & mustard greens are extremely cheap and very healthy. Do you have a farmer's market nearby? I bought a giant bunch turnip greens for $1.50 last week. Great with onions that are caramelized until crisp. Or with bacon. In any case, you won't acquire any huge nutritional deficiencies from one week of poverty, but incorporating these ideas into your menu afterwards will go a long way towards avoiding this situation in the future :smile:

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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Sooo I need to last a week on $10 and I like eating healthy. What do I do :unsure:

Where are you, and what is your starting state? Are you in a city with a stocked pantry? Are you in the country with bare shelves and a bicycle? Do you like to eat breakfast or skip it? I'll assume you're mobile, but without a stocked pantry.

My off the top of my head suggestions for cheap healthy eating involve the availability of asian shops-- you can get soba or udon by the kilo for less than $3 at some near me. Add another $3 for a jar of dashi granules and you're set to eat healthy japanese soups for at least a week. Add a dozen eggs for $1.50 for some protein (they poach nicely in dashi). Now you've got $2.50 left for variety goodies. Bean sprouts are cheap and consistent with this menu. So are scallions. So are big leafy greens like kale and mustard greens, both of which will probably boil up nicely in dashi broth too.

A kilo of soba should keep you going pretty well for a week... if you have a pantry that contains sesame oil it would be a great addition...

OR

you could take a different route if you've not got an asian shop near you... buy a whole chicken for $5 or so. Buy some onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Roast all together. Pour off what fat is not absorbed by potatoes and veg and save for frying eggs or other such. (mmmm schmalz) Eat chicken. Boil the carcass to make stock. Make soups or sauces to go on the noodles or potatoes or other cheap starches you can find. Less healthy, but if it is what's available, ya gotta eat... no?

Even less healthy, but good no less, are chicken livers... which go for about a buck a pound. I don't know I could survive on them exclusively for a week, but chicken livers and onions and a bit of balsamic vinegar or wine (if you've got a pantry with stuff in) are yummy yummy yummy.

You could go cheap and make lots of stuff from inexpensive building blocks... get a head of garlic and roast it. Buy a can of white beans. Whiz beans and roasted garlic in blender for a great dip. I'd bet you could make felafel-like croquettes by dropping dollops of this stuff into hot oil. Bake yourself some bread from a 70 cent bag of flour and a dollar of yeast granules.

You could eat local cheap specialties... when I was living in Texas, tamales were a grocery store thing for like $2.99 a dozen... and frozen burritos were about the same price. A dozen burritos, a dozen tamales and some vegetables to make a salsa could certainly keep you going if such local stuff were available to you. You could probably get some eggs and remain on budget too...

So... if you want good advice specific to you, tell us more than your budget... and we'll be able to focus more clearly on your needs.

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Take stock of what you have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. I could probably not shop for a month, if I had to. I'd just have bare shelves at the end of that time. If you give us a list of what you have available already, we could probably come up with a lot of ideas for you. But it sounds to me like you'll be eating a lot of soup! :wink:

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Get a soup going. Root veggies are cheap, so's cabbage, etc. and you can keep adding stuff to it. I second the eggs idea for protein. I learned once that lentils (really cheap) and rice (cheap too) together make a full protein. Don't buy any mixes, because you can do pizza dough, cake, etc. at home very cheaply. Buy on sale, in season, and freeze/preserve what you can. Don't let anything go to waste.

You can also make your own yougurt.

Good luck!!! :rolleyes:

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Somebody has to mention MFK Fisher's paean to cooking and eating under stringent circumstances, in her case, in England during the shrotages and rationing of WWII. (to say nothing of the Nazi bombongs)

"How to Cook a Wolf" was first published in 1942 and revised by the author in 1951, and is available in many MFK Fisher anthologies, one being "The Art of Eating".

It's worth reading not only as relevant to this topic, but as an example of food writing at it's very best.

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If you give us a list of what you have available already, we could probably come up with a lot of ideas for you. But it sounds to me like you'll be eating a lot of soup! :wink:

This sounds like a game of remote refrigerator roulette. :smile:

Which brings to mind the thought of throwing something like a rent party, but instead of collecting cash at the door to pay the band, ask everybody to bring an ingredient of their choice, and put your culinary skills to work (you're an egulleter, after all) to make vast quantities of something out of the collected ingredients. Feed everybody, and you, as host, get to keep the leftovers.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Somebody has to mention MFK Fisher's paean to cooking and eating under stringent circumstances, in her case, in England during the shrotages and rationing of WWII. (to say nothing of the Nazi bombongs)

Not England, I don't think. Wasn't she in either California or France in all of her writings? I think cooking wolves was about wartime rationing in the US... we didi that here too...

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Shawn and I (two of us!) survived on $15.00 a week for a LONG time. We had the advantage of a good Farmer's Market. My budget there was $8.00 to $10.00 a week with the rest going to dairy products (milk and butter).

As previously suggested, we would buy a lot of beans and rice in bulk so they would last a long, long time. The Farmer's Market bounty usually provided enough to make various forms of vegetable soups or stews which, when supplemented with the rice and beans, were very nutritious and filling.

Find the local 'cheap' markets -- every town has them and you can get ham hocks and other pork products that make beans more substantial. I've become quite proficient with Black Beans and Rice (Moors et Christianos) and Red Beans and Rice.

The chicken is an okay idea, but seriously, if you only have $10.00 a week, it seems like a luxury. We were occasionally lucky to get a chicken a month and that felt like splurging.

Find the bulk stores -- beans, rice, pasta, and flour in bulk is much, much cheaper.

Best of luck -- but chin up! It is possible and don't be surprised if you look back on the time of need with some admiration at your resourcefulness and ability to adapt.

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If you're looking for fresh veggies, consider the "greens" - kale, chard, dandelion, etc, because you can usually find them at a decent price (in the cents per pound range), even at the big grocery stores.

Check out what you might be able to find wild in your area.

Don't forget your day-old options - bread soup is one of my cheap favorites.

The big question is this simply for one week, or is this going to have to be a long term plan? that can make the difference between going whole-carb or exploring your local options.

--adoxograph

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Somebody has to mention MFK Fisher's paean to cooking and eating under stringent circumstances, in her case, in England during the shrotages and rationing of WWII.  (to say nothing of the Nazi bombongs)

Not England, I don't think. Wasn't she in either California or France in all of her writings? I think cooking wolves was about wartime rationing in the US... we didi that here too...

Maybe? It's been a long time since I read it. I just recall picturing it taking place in London for some reason. Perhaps because it has "stiff upper lip British flair about it?

In any case, the sentiment is universal.

THANX SB

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I think all of the suggestions are great BUT the only given in the original post was $10 for a week of eating.

If one has a pantry and a fridge then one is only supplementing and that's not so hard.

But given the original information and assuming that BoboBrazil lives in a small town in the USA (not a place where ethnic and famer's markets abound) anyone prepared to list what that $10 would buy that would provide healthy eating for 7 days?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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A package of whole wheat tortillas, beans(dried), cabbage or lettuce or spinach, salsa. Maybe cheese if money allows? Burritos, quesadillas, chips (bake the tortillas or fry) with refried beans. Yum.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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One bottle of Smirnoff = $9.95

Dude, you're all set...

:wacko:

But seriously folks, one thing not mentioned is how active our friend is. I had to recover from an accident and surgery for a few weeks. I noticed I didn't need so much food while I laid flat all day and night. I made it on $11/week: a whole roast chicken and asian noodle/veg combos, using the chicken stock. Rice and Lentils often. Splurged on tofu and eggs. I also stretched one bottle of sake by the thimble-full for one month.

I did find the less understood foods were generally cheaper, ie turnips, kale.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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One bottle of Smirnoff = $9.95

Dude, you're all set...

:laugh::laugh:

That's along the lines of what I was going to post, then I remembered it's gotta last a whole week. One bottle?

Noise is music. All else is food.

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