First Person: Eating Healthy on $30 a Week

Yahoo Contributor Network

Eating healthy does not have to cost a lot, but it does take some planning and a willingness to eat what's affordable. Typically, my diet consists of rice, lentils, pork, chicken, fresh celery, onions and carrots, frozen broccoli, green beans and corn, eggs and Farina hot cereal, and I can eat those items for about $30 a week.

How It Works

The trick to eating healthy on a budget is all about preplanning, portioning and using multiple vegetables instead of an entire bag of one vegetable. For a typical breakfast, I'll eat two servings of Farina. For a typical lunch, I'll eat one carrot, one stalk of celery, half a cup of rice, three ounces of pork or chicken and half a cup of broccoli. For dinner, I'll have a cup of lintels, one carrot, one half cup of peas, one half cup of green beans and three or four ounces of chicken. By limiting the amounts of each food, I am ensuring that I do not eat too much of one food, and that my individual foods last longer which allows me to have variety in my meals all week long.

Breakfast

For breakfast, I buy a box of Farina for $2.34, eggs for $1.25, smoked sausage for $1 and bread for .59 cents. The reason I can get those items so cheaply is because I shop at multiple stores. I buy my eggs and bread at Kroger's early in the morning so that I can catch their manager's specials which consist of food that are about to expire. I buy my Farina at Walmart for $2.34, and I buy my smoked sausage at the dollar store for a total breakfast cost of $5.18.

Lunch

My lunch consists of boiled celery, rice, chicken, onions and green beans. I buy all of these items at Kroger's. I can buy celery for $1.68, rice for $1.58, chicken for $7.68, onions for $3 and frozen green beans for $1. My total lunch cost for the week is $14.94.

Dinner

For dinner I buy pork roast, carrots, peas and frozen broccoli and lintels. This food is also bought at Krogers. I can purchase pork roast for $4.50, fresh carrots for $1.68, frozen peas and broccoli for $2 and lintels for $1.48. The total cost for my weekly dinners is $9.66.

Snacks

For my snacks, I either make myself a bowl of Farina, or I eat a piece of toast.

My total grocery shopping bills for the week is $29.78 before tax, and the food typically lasts for 21 meals which is a little over $1 a meal, and I'm not eating any junk. If I buy fatty cuts of meat, I cut all the fat off the meat before I portion and freeze it which reduces the amount of fat and calories I'm consuming. I also do not buy any cakes, cookies, doughnuts, chips or junk food.

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