Monday, June 28, 2010

Can't afford to eat...

I know it's not new, but wow, food is getting expensive. It doesn't really matter where you eat--home or out--it is getting out of hand. And of course, the cheapest thing is also the least healthy and most fattening.

About three weeks ago, the hunk and I went to Red Lobster and almost fainted when we got a load at the menu. We hadn't been there in quite a while. Whoa! The prices on some of our favorites jumped nearly five dollars. The thing is--they're not the only ones. Almost everywhere it's the same.

And groceries? Milk and eggs are creeping up there out of sight. Even in season vegetables and fruit are way up there. Who can afford to eat? Let alone eat healthy...

The truth is in this crappy economy, the cheapest things to eat are processed foods (pasta dishes, potato dishes, rice dishes, and beans). And if you want to eat, you shop at the Dollar Store or Aldi's and walk out of there with enough to feed the family for the week. Vegetables and Fruits and low-fat meats are no where in sight.

So. What's you're favorite low cost, healthy meal? Any ideas? Pitch 'em out here.



  1. I've been stocking up on flat iron steaks when they're on sale; store-label frozen veggies when on sale 10/$10; frozen chicken breasts (3 lb bag, 2/$10), and hamburger. I cut up the steaks for stew meat or stir-fry, and defrost the frozen veggies (esp the blended ones) and steam them. Or get out the wok and stir-fry, either with the beef or chicken.

    Unfortunately, as with all Chinese dinners, the family's hungry again right before bedtime, so out comes the ice cream. Or a late-night trip to Denny's....w/o me and the baby. Hey, I try!

  2. I totally agree..How are we supposed to be fit when all the junk is what we can afford?
    We eat alot of chicken..
    I love cottage cheese and tomatoes or avacado.. :)boring..I know

  3. I have medical dietary issues so it's even more difficult. I think I need a garden...

  4. I know exactly what you mean--especially with 2 teenage eating machines in the house. It's a challenge, that's for sure!

  5. Being a Southern gal, my go-to cheap meal is beans and cornbread. When I moved from Central Texas to Seattle I had major grocery price shock. Most food here is at least 40% higher than what I was used to - some even twice as much. Whole Foods isn't the expensive place up here. But to keep the grocery budget down, I shop at Trader Joe's and at farmer's markets. Luckily we have some farmer's markets that are year round. I'd rather pay the higher price to a local farmer than to a chain grocery store.

  6. We find that if we stick to fruits and veggies we can get out of Harry's Farmer's Market (a part of the Whole Foods family) cheaply. But meat? Horribly hard. We've started utilizing a group called angle food ministries to help. They buy in bulk and then distribute. The food isn't the top cuts or name brands, but it's doable and it helps stretch the budget.

  7. It is tough to eat healthy on a budget. One of my fave things is to buy canned tomatoes and put them in place of chili, stews, curries.

    I don't get why they charge so much for milk & eggs. It's getting seriously outrageous...I also am lactose-intolerant which means I pay even more for lactose-free milk. Bread is really expensive too...I pay $2.99 per loaf and eat it sparingly to make it last.

    I've also tried changing the way I look at brand name foods...I've been buying generic brand foods.

    I've given up eating's just too freakin' expensive and the food never tastes as good as it should...

  8. Sorry but I'm right there with you. My dinner this week is hotdogs because they were buy one pack, get one free. Fortunately in a few weeks things will start being ready to eat from my mom's garden so I have two or three months of free veggies.

  9. Here's a list I found recently that I was thinking of printing out before I come back to the US for the summer:

    We eat vegetarian at home so it helps a lot with cost. Otherwise I think the only thing to do is stock up when things are on sale.

    I read a couple of books this year about the hidden cost of processed food: medical bills down the line. It might be more 'expensive' to eat healthier now, but down the line it really pays off.