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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Can you show me some good food habits to save money for a single adult under $500 per month ? (details inside )

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (17703points) July 12th, 2016

What foods habits or products are cheaper, healthier, and tasty. I’m thinking fruits and vegetables, chicken and appreciating tap water , and buying from dollar stores. Also what are cheat day foods that you eat for fun like KFC and name brand pop once and a while? I have an electric frying pan and a microwave, kettle, oven and a fridge and a toaster oven?

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18 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I also have a crock pot and a toaster.

cazzie's avatar

Proteins are always the most expensive. Cheaper, more filling proteins like lentils can save money. Find recipes for cheap proteins like lentils, lima beans and chick peas and you can save money.

jca's avatar

Frozen veggies are not the best for you compared to fresh, but they may be cheaper.

If I were you, I’d buy chicken (raw) in a big family pack, wash it and wrap it in individual serving sizes (whatever is your individual serving size – 2 pieces per meal, maybe?), and freeze. Then each day you can take one out, defrost it and bake it and make some rice and veggies, maybe.

Oatmeal for breakfast? Eggs with toast?

You spend more than 500 per month on just your own food?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@jca I have $1,008 to spend each month. I pay $500 on credit card debt and $500 for everything else. Utilities and cab fares charged to the credit card.

johnpowell's avatar

I’m not going to comment on your food situation.

But what is the credit card situation? Are you paying it all off right away when you get your check to avoid interest charges?

Depending on the card the interest on 500 can be a few pizzas a month.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@johnpowell I owe $1,500 on my MasterCard. I signed up for an ics (International Career School ) class. I will save my money from now on. I pay $ 50 a month on charges. My bad. A learning experience. I will ask for my limit to be lowered to $500 after I pay off my credit card.

SmartAZ's avatar

First you need to watch a book occasionally so you will know a few things. A few books on nutrition can completely rearrange your eating habits. I learned that canned food stays good forever, as long as the can doesn’t swell. If the can swells, you discard it without opening it. So you can buy canned food at dollar stores or scratch ‘n’ dent stores or anyplace you get a bargain. I routinely buy canned veggies for 50 to 75 cents a can, or a dollar for the big can.

I learned that the body requires fiber to keep the colon clean, so I stopped buying white bread and snacks made with white flour. Just knowing what foods to prefer has cut my grocery expense to less than 70 bux a week, and most weeks are much less than that. Eggs can be stored a long time so when I get a good price I buy as much as I can.

I can’t even imagine spending 500 bux a month on groceries.

Coloma's avatar

Look for the 2 for 1 deals at your local market and their special club prices.
Today my local Safeway had large containers of Yoplait strawberry yogurt on sale for $3.49 and fresh Strawberries too. I bought a flat of berries and the container of Yogurt and will have the sliced berries with yogurt for breakfast every morning. They also had cereals two for $5. 00 so I bought 2 boxes of regular and maple frosted Wini-wheats.

Most markets have two for one deals or better. Had I wanted 4 boxes or more of the cereal it would have been only $1.99 a box. I like Safeway, they have good buys and you also get gas credit on your card for lower fill prices.

kritiper's avatar

Shop at Wal-Mart. Check with your local food bank. Watch out for the 2 for 1 deals at your local super market. Sometimes the “sale” price of 1 equals the regular price of 2.

Coloma's avatar

Crock Pot cooking is one of my favorites. You can do so much.
Buy spaghetti sauce, like the Hunts brand sauces, add a can of stewed tomatoes, onion, diced orange or yellow bell pepper, hamburger or sausage and make a big pot of spaghetti sauce you can freeze in portions. Same with soups, look up Crock Pot soup recipes and you can throw an entire whole chicken on with potatoes, celery, carrots, onions and have roast chicken for several days. make sandwiches and then, make a soup stock with the bones and make a pot of chicken noodle soup. Crock pots are awesome!

RocketGuy's avatar

When I make a big pot of beef stew, I use half beef/half tofu for protein. Comes out pretty good, and is a bit cheaper than all beef. I came up with this recipe because my kids were too lazy to chew beef when they were young.

Coloma's avatar

@RocketGuy LMAO! THAT is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time! ” my kids were too lazy to chew beef when they were young.” Hahahahaha

PriceisRightx26's avatar

Didn’t read the previous answers; apologies if I repeat anything.

Do you have the option to grow some of your own food? If so, do it. And learn how to can food, also. It’s not hard, I promise. A solid garden can take care of you all year round if you know what you’re doing (I’m actually currently giving away some canned goods, as the harvest last year left me with more than I apparently needed). Plus, you can control pesticides, etc. and allowance for variation (e.g, stores won’t sell “ugly” looking species).

Check your area for local food and compare prices. Depending on your location, you might have neighbors that sell meat, dairy, or produce, and often times you can get much better quality and a better price than store-bought. Buying meat locally makes me feel better on a moral level, anyways, just to know that the livestock is properly cared for and not overcrowded (and all the other issues that rise from factory farming).

Buy what you can at “discount” stores. My go-to is Aldi. The ones in the area I’m currently in don’t offer the best produce, but I still buy their dairy, basic home and bath products, grains, canned goods, and frozen foods. If you can fit it in your freezer, buy it in bulk. Keep in mind that frozen fruits are great for smoothies [you can also freeze any greens (spinach, kale, arugula, etc) that you might add to your smoothies].

Lastly, coupons. Although, I don’t actually have any experience in this department.

The reality is that to live frugally (and sustainably), you have to rely a lot on “the old ways,” which often requires a little bit of effort that most of us aren’t used to anymore. Personally, the pros outweigh the cons tenfold.

Coloma's avatar

@PriceisRightx26 I think @RedDeerGuy1 is in an apartment but if he has sun exposure he could do some container gardening. We have a huge garden here and are up to our eyeballs in several varieties of squash, several cucumbers, string beans, chard, turnips and the tomatoes are a massive wall, 6 feet tall and just ripening. Plus a wall of blackberries. We can’t give enough away right now and are canning too, making bread and butter pickles soon.

We also have 22 hens on the property and while we don’t kill any animals we have enough eggs to sink the Titanic. lol :-)

lugerruger's avatar

Don’t eat too many rich meats like steak, pork, etc. Being vegetarian is cheap, but if you don’t want to make that change you don’t have to.
Try finding cheaper alternatives that provide the same nutrition.
Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, they may not taste as good but they’re a lot cheaper.

RocketGuy's avatar

Costco meats are cheaper per pound, but you need a freezer to keep the large quantities.

MooCows's avatar

Just a reminder that when you buy grocery store meat you have
no way of knowing what country the meat has came from and I
can guarantee you the meat is full of antibiotics, steroids, chemicals
and that is what you are paying for and expecting your body to digest.
Find a farmer’s mkt and though their off the farm meat might be a tad
more expensive it will fill you up faster and you will stay healthier and
have more energy and feel better! Its hell on a body to have to digest
foreign matter and chemicals that are used on feed lot cattle to try
and keep them alive and eating as fast and much as possible while not
being able to even move. And that is what we are to digest. NO wonder
many start their days with IBS, Colitis, stomach ulcers, colon cancer, to
name only a few. And while we are getting sicker the Dr.‘s and big med
companies are getting richer….its all part of politics. Who pays off who.

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