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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

How do you eat healthy while on a fixed income or minimum wage?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (19440points) January 14th, 2018

For me I tried a Turkey neck and potatoe dinner and I got sick and ordered out ribs and salad. No panic attacks yesterday. Good food appears to help.

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13 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

For one, you need to re-read some of the answers to your questions that were similar to this one. There has been tons of advice from all of us on how to eat healthy on a budget.

First, you have to decide that you actually do want to eat healthy. I’m not convinced that you do.

Then you have to truly understand what it means to eat healthy.

Then you have to find places near you (or where you can buy online) that sell healthy food for a decent price. I buy all sorts of fruits and vegetables at the 99 Cents Only store, including carrots, cabbage, bagged lettuces, tomatoes, mushrooms, celery, potatoes, sweet peppers, blueberries, strawberries, and nectarines.

I check prices on things at the regular grocery stores, so I have an idea of how much things should cost (like a can of beans, or a head of romaine lettuce, or a package of carrots, or tomatoes by the pound). At some stores, you might pay 2 to 10 times more for the same item. So you need to know how much food should/can cost. It’s a good skill to learn. You mostly learn from observation, and keeping notes, and from checking multiple sources.

Here is an article on How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

I would strongly advise investing in a crock pot (or slow cooker, which is basically the same thing). Here are a bunch of Healthy Crock Pot Meals on a Budget

A terrific way to save money and time is to Make Ahead and Freeze Meals It helps too, if you choose recipes that use some of the same ingredients (chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, beans, tomato sauce) so that you can make different dishes, with the same ingredients. Often, you can get certain items on sale, and you can get a bigger package of that item. Then you can make multiple dishes with the same ingredients, rather than having to run to the store and get a whole bunch of different items.

Lay off the processed food, the less processing the food goes through, the better it is for you. Eating Whole Grains are much better than eating things that are the result of processing the fiber and nutrients out of them.

Look to find nutrient dense foods, rather than foods with empty calories. Here is a List of Healthy Foods that are Pretty Inexpensive. But make sure you compare prices and do your homework. Like I said before, you could buy the same food for 2 to 10 times the price depending upon where you get it, or whether there is a sale at a certain time, or whether you buy in bulk. Educate yourself on how to find good prices on healthy food.

Learn to Cook It’s easier to eat healthy and control your portions and ingredients when you are the one controlling all of that.

Just because you’ve brought healthy food into your home, you are not home free yet, unless you Prepare Your Food in More Healthy Ways. Deep frying is bad!

I hope this will get you started down the road to a healthier diet, while still maintaining your budget : )

Patty_Melt's avatar

By fasting one week each month.

Kardamom's avatar

There are some good answers on your Q from 2014

And good answers on your Q from 2011

And here are more good answers from a Q from a member called rockstargrrrlie

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Nothing that I like is on any of the lists. I’m thinking pre-made meals. Like Jenny Craig or Weightwatchers, Meals on Wheels, Blue Apron or civilian Mountain House, ect. making food is too much of a burden. I’m looking for a simple way to eat food and pocket the profits. my limit is $500 a month Canadian. Can you list the different companies that deliver food In Red Deer? Looking to streamline meals.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

“Streamline meals” mean they are charging you, for the ease of getting meals.
$2 worth of meat and cheese and some crust costs $7.99 for delivered pizza.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Im living on my own. I would gladly pay extra to have someone prepare meals for me. Especially when I am sick or hot summer or cold winters. Just until I can take over slowly. Doesn’t mean I will do it just looking up my options.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Costs for prepped foods, buying and shipping will cut into your monthly allocation for food.

zenvelo's avatar

”...making food is too much of a burden.

That, my friend, is the crux of your problem. You want it given made for you with no effort on your part, and done cheaply. We offer many solutions to your situation, but most of them require actual effort on your part. Effort beyond asking question on Fluther.

MrGrimm888's avatar

When I was at my poorest, I substituted a can of beans for one of two meals a day. Usually less, or around a dollar per can. You can have lunch for a week, for $8. I have eaten every type of canned bean that exists. And peas…

It helps you with your weight too. Try this diet for a month, and you’ll understand. Half way through a self-force-feeding of a salted bowl of chic peas, you get so disgusted you can’t eat the rest…

I did this for about 5 years. It is humbling.

I know it seems easy to some, to eat healthy when poor. The truth is that it isn’t. It takes ,at least, what @Kardamom was mentioning. I think some innovation, and lowered expectations helps too…

And now to open a can of giant lima beans. Salt, pepper, margarine, maybe some garlic powder. Three minutes in the microwave. Bam! Breakfast is served. Dig in. Think of ways to augment income, while forcing it down to stop the hunger pains… Think of people who have nothing to eat…

Kardamom's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Now I am craving a can of butter beans and some corn bread : )

MrGrimm888's avatar


MrGrimm888's avatar

I do love corn bread…

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I’m experimenting on Fruit and nuts delivery. For fun.

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