Those of you who were watching my Cheapass Challenge last year might want to check out the One Month Challenge Mash Up over at the Tight Fisted Miser. The Miser is conducting four tough challenges simultaneously: tracking all expenses for a month and judging whether each one was necessary or not, spending only $30 on food for the entire month of February, working out BFL-style for 4 weeks, and trying to establish exercise as a permanent habit.
I posted the following tips for grocery shopping on the cheap in the comments area of the TFM blog:
Cheapest healthy foods in my experience are:
– Whole chicken (as low as $0.39-0.69 / lb on sale) Roast or nuke one and youâ€™ve got lunch and dinner protein for a week if you donâ€™t mind smaller portions.
– Eggs (They range from $1-$2 for 18 in my area. 1 whole egg + 3 egg whites = one protein serving, so you can get about 4.5 servings of protein for just a dollar or two)
– Dried beans
– Frozen peas
– 5 – 10 lb bags of potatoes (baked, nuked, mashed, cut into wedges and seasoned with cheap Creole salted seasoning to make baked â€œfriesâ€, hash browns)
– rice (steamed, stir-fried with veggies and egg or chicken)
– oatmeal (the big tubes, not the individual flavored packets. Scavenge Splenda packets from restaurants for flavoring and cook with nuked apple pieces. Can also be used instead of rice in savory recipes or blended with eggs and banana to make a fake pancake.)
– Apples (5 lb bag for under $4 usually)
– Bananas ($0.39-0.49 / lb on average)
– iceberg lettuce (not the best in terms of nutrition, but cheap)
– Romaine lettuce (slightly better)
– Frozen mixes like the $0.98 Asian veggie mixes at Wal-Mart (I get Peking or Mandarin)â€“each bag is around 4-5 servings
– Check farmerâ€™s markets and Asian markets for good deals on unusal veggies. Basically, if it is cheap, leafy and green and not a lettuce, you can stir fry it.
Misc. Useful Stuff:
– 1 can of non-stick cooking spray (Wal-mart store brand is only $1)
– 1 can multipurpose Creole seasoning (Tony Lachere brand I thinkâ€“only $1.50 or so)
– Samâ€™s Choice brand salsas (Wal-mart, $1.50)
Seafood (unless you fish it out yourself), red meat, berries, bread, pasta, soy, whole grain processed cereals, and such are NOT good deals.
– TT Week 4 Workout B
– YF Cardio (45 minutes)