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I have touched on this subject a time or two in my previous challenge titled "Birth of a Legend" but I am having problems fine-tuning our eating habits. I have been stuck in a rut trying to figure out a plan or menu per se that is affordable, caters to toddlers tastes and my dislike of pasta, and a hubby who prefers savory and  rich meals that are super filling. This is where my problem is though. If we're going to start losing weight together we need to cut back on our caloric intake and burn more by exercising. But what is a good medium ground between the nutritional and caloric needs of a man and a woman? Men need more calories than women and from my experience, us women retain fat easier.

Our budget is $250 for two weeks of meals breakfasts lunch and dinners.

Any and all ideas are welcome and appreciated, hope to hear from y'all soon!

 

P.S. What would be a good way to wean off of the fatty empty calorie foods to those that'll give us the energy to be able to start our workout regimen?

Edited by kittykitty93
Misspelling of our. It came out as "out" instead of "our".

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A couple of ways to save money and  cut out empty calories

Don't by (or buy less) junk food ie. pop chips cookies

Add in more veggies to meals

buy  meats when they are on sale

buy frozen veggies or fresh that are on sale

As far as the middle ground between calorie needs,  not sure what you mean. I'd say he gets a bigger portion than you do. 

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A couple of ways to save money and  cut out empty calories
Don't by (or buy less) junk food ie. pop chips cookies
Add in more veggies to meals
buy  meats when they are on sale
buy frozen veggies or fresh that are on sale
As far as the middle ground between calorie needs,  not sure what you mean. I'd say he gets a bigger portion than you do. 
Pretty much just that. As for junk food, I don't buy any anyway lol it costs more for that than healthier alternatives. Bwahahaha. I don't ever notice meats going on sale, I do most of our shopping at Walmart so prices don't change much except on eggs, milk and cheese for some reason.
On my typical grocery list I have: diapers, wet wipes, milk, cheese, bread, bottled water, rice, frozen veggies (whatever I need at the time), macaroni and cheese (not the healthiest side option), bananas mostly for the kids, enough meats for 14 servings (dinners for two weeks) and that's practically it. I've been having to get between 4 and five gallons of milk since our youngest has moved on from formula.
I'm not so sure where I'm going wrong, I don't even buy name brand things other than folgers coffee for $8 every couple of months and Scott's toilet paper for $11 a month. I've even cut down our laundry detergent cost to $8 every other month by switching to Tide Simply Clean.

A lot of detail I know, but I really need to rework this system to optimize meal plans and to actually be able to work in breakfasts and lunches for my husband and I instead of scrounging.

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22 minutes ago, kittykitty93 said:

Pretty much just that. As for junk food, I don't buy any anyway lol it costs more for that than healthier alternatives. Bwahahaha. I don't ever notice meats going on sale, I do most of our shopping at Walmart so prices don't change much except on eggs, milk and cheese for some reason.
On my typical grocery list I have: diapers, wet wipes, milk, cheese, bread, bottled water, rice, frozen veggies (whatever I need at the time), macaroni and cheese (not the healthiest side option), bananas mostly for the kids, enough meats for 14 servings (dinners for two weeks) and that's practically it. I've been having to get between 4 and five gallons of milk since our youngest has moved on from formula.
I'm not so sure where I'm going wrong, I don't even buy name brand things other than folgers coffee for $8 every couple of months and Scott's toilet paper for $11 a month. I've even cut down our laundry detergent cost to $8 every other month by switching to Tide Simply Clean.

A lot of detail I know, but I really need to rework this system to optimize meal plans and to actually be able to work in breakfasts and lunches for my husband and I instead of scrounging.

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If you are  having trouble making ends meet with the grocery bill, do you have somewhere else you can cut? If you are eating out,  buying more food and putting it to that will save money. Milk you could cut it with half powdered milk for your son. That saves a bit of money. Or just tell your son less milk, more water. Do you need to buy bottled water? If you could skip that and just use tap water, that would save money too. 

 

Also, I checked online and at least where I live, Walmart has a weekly flyer that has the foods that are on sale. Check it out before you go to the store, and plan your meals from the meat and veggies that are listed at a reduced price.

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If you are  having trouble making ends meet with the grocery bill, do you have somewhere else you can cut? If you are eating out,  buying more food and putting it to that will save money. Milk you could cut it with half powdered milk for your son. That saves a bit of money. Or just tell your son less milk, more water. Do you need to buy bottled water? If you could skip that and just use tap water, that would save money too. 

 

I agree with you on the bottled water thing. My husband insisted for the longest time that I get them, hadn't thought to talk to him about that. Eating out, I used to order pizza once a week but haven't done that in quite a while.

I'm thinking my main issues are coming from poor meal planning you know? I get rice, potatoes, Mac and cheese the veggies and a meat and end up just throwing it together hurriedly. The milk thing, hadn't though of the powdered milk I'm going to have to try that.

Do you think that I could half the grocery money and go once a week so I have more chances of finding better deals and keep fresh produce in house easier?

It's not that we can't make it on $250 every two weeks, it's totally doable. Just really need a guideline to make healthier meal plan options and stick with them. Sorry my wording is a bit off. It's been a long day. Lol

 

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37 minutes ago, kittykitty93 said:

 

 

 

 

 

I agree with you on the bottled water thing. My husband insisted for the longest time that I get them, hadn't thought to talk to him about that. Eating out, I used to order pizza once a week but haven't done that in quite a while.

I'm thinking my main issues are coming from poor meal planning you know? I get rice, potatoes, Mac and cheese the veggies and a meat and end up just throwing it together hurriedly. The milk thing, hadn't though of the powdered milk I'm going to have to try that.

Do you think that I could half the grocery money and go once a week so I have more chances of finding better deals and keep fresh produce in house easier?

It's not that we can't make it on $250 every two weeks, it's totally doable. Just really need a guideline to make healthier meal plan options and stick with them. Sorry my wording is a bit off. It's been a long day. Lol

 

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Meal planning will really help you save money  and be healthier.  Maybe to start out with, you and your husband can make a list of all your favorite meals. Then you can  make that into a rotating list of meals. Don't be afraid to do the same thing  each week.Taco Tuesday, Stir fry Wednesdays, soup Thursday etc. Make sure to plan a veggie with your dinners. You could do sandwiches or salads for lunch.

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12 hours ago, kittykitty93 said:

I agree with you on the bottled water thing. My husband insisted for the longest time that I get them, hadn't thought to talk to him about that

 

If your husband isn't going to budge on the bottled water thing, think about transitioning to a filter system instead. Over the course of their use, it is much cheaper than continually buying bottled water.

 

Also, not sure if it is in your area, but check out Aldi's. We do a lot of our family shopping there and a lot of times, their prices beat even Wal-Mart. We usually can get eggs for less than $1 a dozen and highest we've paid is like $1.49. I will bulk cook egg muffins on Sunday evenings and the family can heat them up for breakfast through the week. 

 

Something else that has really helped our shopping budget is paying attention to portion control with more expensive foods and substituting with cheaper products when possible. 

 

I agree that weekly grocery shopping helps with having better (fresher) produce through the week - but only if you don't end up spending extra while you are there! If it is easier to go every other week, plan your meals to eat produce that doesn't keep as long first, then switch over to things that last longer. Also, things like soups are great ways to get rid of extra produce that might not be at its most fresh. 

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If your husband isn't going to budge on the bottled water thing, think about transitioning to a filter system instead. Over the course of their use, it is much cheaper than continually buying bottled water.
 
Also, not sure if it is in your area, but check out Aldi's. We do a lot of our family shopping there and a lot of times, their prices beat even Wal-Mart. We usually can get eggs for less than $1 a dozen and highest we've paid is like $1.49. I will bulk cook egg muffins on Sunday evenings and the family can heat them up for breakfast through the week. 
 
Something else that has really helped our shopping budget is paying attention to portion control with more expensive foods and substituting with cheaper products when possible. 
 
I agree that weekly grocery shopping helps with having better (fresher) produce through the week - but only if you don't end up spending extra while you are there! If it is easier to go every other week, plan your meals to eat produce that doesn't keep as long first, then switch over to things that last longer. Also, things like soups are great ways to get rid of extra produce that might not be at its most fresh. 
We do have Aldi here. The produce there usually goes bad within a few days of getting it though. But they do have pretty good prices.
On bottled water I remember it's just for convienience and our city's water isn't the best but that's why we have the softener and the drinking water filtration system and tiny tank. Bwahaha. Now that he doesn't have to work too much it shouldn't be too hard to get out of buying them.

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2 minutes ago, kittykitty93 said:

We do have Aldi here. The produce there usually goes bad within a few days of getting it though.

 

We are definitely hit or miss with produce there also, but I've found that your "heartier" produce is perfectly fine. I've found that the lower prices for the rest of the products I buy offsets any additional gas money to go to two stores, but I'm sure that also varies depending on location.

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*Raises hand for Aldi*

Represent!

 

I do the grocery shopping for our family of two about once per week. I find it is MUCH easier thinking about a weeks worth of groceries than planning two weeks. Always use a list. The reason I do the shopping is that I can be "strong" at the store and not buy something (because if it comes into the house I'll freaking eat it) where the wife is just the opposite.

 

I'd also second the whole not buying bottled water. Granted, I live in an area with wonderful tap water (Memphis). However, I don't really "enjoy" drinking tap water so I make unsweetened herbal teas (celestial seasonings). This adds a little flavor, maybe try that if you switch over to tap sources.

 

You might try checking out the other Aldi's in your area. We had one in our area that didn't get the foot traffic of "our" Aldi and whenever we went into the other one, the produce was not purchasable by my standards.

 

If stuff goes bad, try shopping on a day you have some time, cook the veggies the fridge or freeze them (especially if you're shopping weekly).

 

Lastly, what works the best for us, but their big cuts of meat only when they go on sale (e.g. roasts, pork shoulders, chicken). Keep an eye out too, sometimes they will throw $1-$2 off stickers onto meats that they are getting ready to toss in a few days. Last month I got 15 lbs of ham for about 8 bucks. Cook, eat till you can't stand it, freeze remainder.

 

On portions, I'd second @Elastigirl, hubby gets a second plate/helping IF he wants one. I used to ALWAYS go back for seconds...and thirds...and fourths...because, you know..."I'm a dude and NEED MOAR FOOD!"...well I was also pretty obese because of this. 

 

Now I get one good sized plate and stop...

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Update on the grocery list. The bottled water is a stay for his lunches otherwise it's faucet and ice cubes. LaVergne doesn't have the best water but it is waaaay better than Smyrna city water. Lol I got a pretty good haul from Aldi the other day. I will be finishing up my shopping tomorrow since I've made a quazi meal plan.

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Woot for making a meal plan. It will get easier the more you practice. And non bottled most of the time is a great way to save money

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