BFL and Budgeting–Maggie’s Cheapass Challenge 2006

My posts for the rest of the year will be spotty since I’ll be on vacation for the next week and a half, but once January 1 hits, be ready for twelve solid weeks of detailed workout and meal plan write ups…on a strict budget.

Oh yes, it will soon be time for my Cheapass Challenge 2006, a real-world experiment with myself as the guinea pig to prove that you don’t need to spend buckets of money to get into shape following a plan like Body-for-Life. I still need to work on the details of the challenge because I plan to post the exact recipes, shopping lists, equipment, tightwad strategies, workout sets, and resource links needed to participate right along with yours truly from January 1, 2006 through March 25, 2006.

Some of the basic guidelines will be:
– Spend $25 or less each week on groceries per person
– No supplements besides a daily multivitamin and whey or soy protein powder
– Weekly grocery receipts will be posted
– Final 12 week total for all food, gym fees, and equipment used will be posted by April 1.
– Progress photos and measurements every two weeks
– Workouts will be 6 days a week using the BFL exercise plan (with extra cardio sessions)
– Meals will follow macronutrient ratios of carbohydrates/proteins/fats between 50/30/20 to 40/40/20.
– Five to six meals a day will be eaten.
– One free day or two free meals (to be taken at any time during the week) each week, which count toward both my calorie and budget totals

I think that the addition of the budget constraints will help control free meals and the urge to have extra portions because, darn it, food is money. :tongue:

Be warned: There will be quite a bit of monotony in the diet. Sorry, but them’s the breaks when you want to keep the food bill low. The positive side of the monotony will be the fact that my daily intake will be pretty standardized, which should create a consistent daily caloric deficit as long as I don’t sneak in any extras from the company candy jar. It will also make it a lot easier to adjust my diet for faster or slower fat loss.

Any readers who share my dual interests in fitness and tightwaddery are welcome to check out my progress over the next three months. (Disclaimer: Given the level of detail I plan to employ in my posts, I realize that some of you will be tempted to follow my diet and routines. Do so at your own risk. I am not a doctor, dietician, or exercise physiologist. If you have any health issues or special dietary needs which might affect your ability to follow my plan as written, please, please PLEASE consult with your doctor before diving in and use your own common sense when it comes to your own body.)

Speaking of challenges, Kyra will be posting a new challenge on January 1 at that will be open to the public. I doubt that the PDB challenge will require you tally up your grocery receipts, so those of you who don’t exactly rub your hands together with glee at the thought of tracking both calories AND dollars might want to keep an eye out for the Pink Dumbbells New Year’s challenge over the next week or so.

Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: SGX Meal, 1/2 c. Fiber One
2: Free meal (2 slices pizza), 1/2 c. Fiber One
3: SGX Meal
4: SGX Meal
5: Father’s birthday dinner free meal
6: None

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter

Water: 16 cups minimum


The Awful Truth:
1. Overslept this morning. Blargh.

Brownie Points:
1. Finished Xmas shopping and wrapping.
2. Staked and tied plants.

Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Work on paper doll book.
3. Work on holiday cards.
4. Get gym ID card.
5. Work through pile of mending and alterations in my sewing box.
6. Plan spring veggie garden.
7. Finish moving out of apartment.
8. Clean apartment.

10 thoughts on “BFL and Budgeting–Maggie’s Cheapass Challenge 2006

  1. Good to see you posting and very excited to watch your BFL on a Budget Challenge – I think it’s a great idea! Have a great vacation!

  2. De-lurking to say that I am so excited!

    I will be following along with you for sure. This is exactly what my ADD mind needs. Someone to follow that knows what they are doing!



  3. Maggie! I’m having my baby any day now, so this Cheapass Challenge could not have come at a better time for me. I’m ready to start up another official challenge, and since I’m not working right now the Cheapass aspect of it is just what I need. I look forward to reading your daily posts and welcome the monotony… I wanna be a buff mama!

    Thanks and Happy New Year!


  4. sounds like a great idea! I’ll definitely be checking to get some insipiration. Will this include cheap workouts as well (i.e some ideas w/out gym or classes?). I’m on a bit of a budget right now as well.

  5. Hey Maggie… I put this list together for someone over on JSF… thought this might be right up your alley. This was done for a college student, which means limited availability for cooking facilities (basically just a microwave), limited storage (basically just a mini fridge), and portability (meals on the go). Thought you might be interested in seeing it… I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do for $25 a week.

    3 dozen eggs – $3.00
    6 cans tuna – $6.00
    1 box instant brown rice (success boil-in-bag) – $2.00
    1 gallon skim milk – $3.00
    1 jar natural peanut butter – $2.00
    1 loaf whole wheat bread – $2.00
    1 jar fat free mayo – $3.00 (only need once per month)
    1 lb. turkey bacon (jennie-o) – $2.00
    6 apples – $2.00
    2 bags salad mix – $2.00
    3 bags frozen veggies – $3.00
    1 lg. container instant oatmeal – $2.00
    1 lb ground turkey (jennie-o frozen) – $2.00
    1 jar salsa – $1.00
    2 cans black beans – $2.00
    1 lg container cottage cheese – $3.00
    2 tomatoes – $1.00
    1 bunch bananas – $1.00
    1 box green tea bags – $2.00
    Splenda, mustard, and ketchup packets – FREE

    average food total per week – $40.00

    sample daily meals:

    meal one – instant oatmeal, skim milk
    meal two – eggs, bacon, wheat toast
    meal three – tuna w. fat free mayo, salad w. tomato
    meal four – apple, peanut butter
    meal five – ground turkey, black beans, salsa, brown rice, veggies
    meal six – cottage cheese, banana

  6. Where are you, Maggie? I’m really excited about this new program, and I miss your blog posts!
    Hope you’re doing well in health and life, and that the same is true for your friends and family. 🙂

  7. Maggie, Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Looking forward to your Cheapass Challenge posts.

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