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postcollegetryingtorunfast
Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 9:58PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Has anyone done this? I graduated in June, and I figure I have 2-4 years before of super competitive training before I give up the dream. So, how did y'all go around eating well? I figure I will need 3000-3500 calories a day (5'11, 155 lbs), running 100-120 miles a week (is this correct?)...I'm looking to spend about 30-40 a week, and I know there's a local place I can get fresh produce cheap...so should I just spend like, 20 bucks there, and 20 on milk, pasta, and oatmeal?

Thoughts on this? How do all you sub-elites pay for food?
postcollegetryingtorunfast
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:06PM - in reply to postcollegetryingtorunfast Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Also, I've run 15:14 for 5000m, and I'm looking to run 14:55 this year.
eliteathlete
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:16PM - in reply to postcollegetryingtorunfast Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I average about $150-170/month Cdn $'s, about the same number of calories you mention. And that's allowing myself "luxuries" like Tropicana orange juice (vs. the frozen concentrate much cheapter) etc. VERY easy to eat healthy and cheap... IF you really know/learn your prices well, use the flyers and coupons, and most importantly stay away from pre-packaged pre-prepared foods! Cookies, frozen meals and pizzas, etc etc... usually not the "healthy" stuff you want anyway... is where your bill starts to skyrocket. Also, don't get into a pattern where "this is what you eat every week" and you just go to the store and fill your basket with the "usual stuff"... regardless of price. There are ALWAYS well-priced fruits, veggies, meats, cereals, etc. if you aren't stuck on eating exactly the same things week after week - buy it when it's in season/on sale, buy something different the next week when something else is cheaper. Variety is healthier anyway. I know other athletes who eat no more than I do, but spend twice as much as I do and don't understand how I keep it so cheap... then I go shopping with them and watch how they shop... and it's easy to understand - they don't even LOOK at the prices.

$40/wk should be no problem if you pay attention, and no need to survive on pasta and oatmeal alone. You might need a bit more at the beginning to get some "staples" (eg. condiments etc. that last a long time).

Just my 2 cents, hope that helps.
Chow Hound
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:25PM - in reply to postcollegetryingtorunfast Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That should be plenty if you shop right. If you're able to spend $40, put aside 2 or 3 dollars a week and after 3 weeks buy yourself some kind of treat...a steak, dairy queen or some kind of treat. With your budget, you're going to be eating salad, pasta, rice pretty much every day. It can get pretty boring. Make a large salad using chopped cabbage instead of lettuce, add chopped celery, scallions, chick peas. Make a dressing of Olive Oil, Rice Wine Vinegar, garlic and a dash of mustard. Canned beans like chick peas and cannelini are great if you add some garlic, chopped red onion, cilantro. The first week you should probably buy the Olive Oil, pasta and other stuff that you'll use ove and over. Hamburgers are a cheap way to go. Best not to buy any, or few prepared items. Things like frozen pizzas don't taste good and take your money. Use good ingredients and get a lot of flavor out of all that you eat.
postcollegetryingtorunfast
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:26PM - in reply to eliteathlete Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks, that's exactly what I'm looking for. I'm not a big meat eater, but I will probably eat hamburger twice a week just for the extra protein and iron. Mostly I'll rely on tofu and fortified cereals for my protein, as well as some varieties of bean.

I'm sort of thinking that I should just go to the local grocer and see what's on sale, and that way I can get some variety each week. Thanks for the info though, good luck with your training.
mzungu
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:30PM - in reply to eliteathlete Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
My wife and I get by on $125-150 per month combined, and she's putting in 75-80 mpw and racing well (34:00 10k).

Here's what we're buying:

Breakfasts (after morning run):
High Fiber Cereal (Frosted Mini's, Grape Nuts, Raisin Bran)
Cottage Cheese or Yogurt
Fruit

Snacks:
Animal Crackers
Fruit
Ice Cream

Lunch:
Sandwiches/Quesadillas
Fruit
Juice
or
$1 frozen meal from Kroger (Michaelinas)

Dinner:
Cook up a big batch of rice, pasta or couscous
Mix in 1 can of beans or veggies (peas, broccoli, spinach)
1/2-3/4lb grilled meat (chicken, beef, goat, tilapia, turkey)
or I'll cook up some chicken & black bean burritos

Snack:
Ice Cream
Cereal

During the school year it's even better because I get free lunch at work. We also kill the sales on our "plus card" getting lots of 2 for 1 stuff - sometimes the register tape will show that we save more than we spend.
Person Man
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:30PM - in reply to postcollegetryingtorunfast Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It's definitely possible. It's not easy, but it's possible. Be a smart shopper--buy stuff when it's on sale (check the grocery flyers in the newspaper or online). Even better, buy staples at a discount grocery store like Aldi. For nonperishables, it doesn't get much better than Aldi.
yada
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:33PM - in reply to Person Man Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
tofu protein is not good for men.
eliteathlete
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 10:53PM - in reply to Chow Hound Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Again, I'm on that same budget and I'm by no means at all surviving on "salad, pasta, rice" every day. That you can do on $10-20/wk probably. I eat steak occasionally, chicken breast a couple times/wk, basically I east almost anything I could ever want! I just really watch how I shop. You can sometimes get skinless chicken breasts on sale for the same price as lean hamburger meat. Just buy in bulk when things are on sale and use your freezer. That's another thing to keep conscious of... better to spend $20 on chicken breasts one week if it's on sale half-price, if it'll mean in the long run you'll spend less. Another tip is to KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS - then at the end of the month add them up, and monitor/budget your monthly grocery spending that way. While at first (several yrs ago) I actually "tried" to stick to a budget, these days I find that I'm so used to shopping the way I do that without even trying my monthly grocery bill never varies by more than $10 either side of $160 Cdn.
afdfda
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/22/2006 11:00PM - in reply to postcollegetryingtorunfast Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Healthy is not just food that you think is good for you. Whole foods are way better for you in the long run. Get off the JUNK OFF! Your life will be better. Train less and eat better and your life will be better.
Chef Boy R D
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 1:55AM - in reply to afdfda Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
What you have to realize is that the theory isn't how much you spend, but how wisely you spend it. You have to look at your body just as someone that owns a high end sports car. These people that own these cars (Porsche, Lexus, BMW, etc.) use quality products for their cars because the car won't function without them. And that's the same with your body. You have to feed it quality nurishment to get quality results from it.
Bottom line.... You will have to spend some to get some. I'm not recommending spending $200/wk or anything like that, but just realize that the fridge will be somewhat limited.
But if that is all you can spend, you might consider going vegetarian. Cutting meat out of your diet will cut your bill dramaticaslly.
Also plan meals with friends, training partners, girlfriends, etc. That can cut down on your food bill as well. Running is an inexpensive sport, but it's not exactly cheap.
Nature Rules
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 2:14AM - in reply to postcollegetryingtorunfast Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Buy lots of bananas, as far as cost per calorie they are the best fruit you can buy. Don't waste your money on animal products or refined foods.
hannsen
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 6:46AM - in reply to Nature Rules Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yeah bananas are def good and cheap. Any grocery store has deals like two for price of one most times- just get those. I shop mostly by price per pound now lol(it says that in small print on the price tags obv). Im around 50-upper 50s per week including all stuff at groc store not just food. Im sure if you really want to go low you could get into the 40 range without too much trouble. Like i get a few generic brand items but not all(maybe 1/4) but they are much cheaper obv.
budget guy
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 10:26AM - in reply to postcollegetryingtorunfast Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
$30-$40/week for food - and eating healthy - is easily do-able. I spent just over $2000 last year (~$40/week) on food and that includes all food at home and meals out plus beer. The keys are to not eat fast food out much (maybe 5-6x for me last year), shop the weekly sales, and look for in-store markdowns. I don't use coupons anymore but still save ~20%-30% off shelf prices by shopping the weekly specials. Around here, if you shop the supermarkets late in the day a lot of times you can get bakery and meat markdowns. Meat that's close to the expiration date a lot of times will be $2-$3 off. I figure I'm either cooking it that night or freezing it-have never gotten meat home that was spoiled. With bakery there's usually a rack of day old items that are half price. Honstly, I can't tell the difference.

One thing that keeps it down for me is I don't eat lunch much. I'll eat some fruit or maybe a pb&j (love pb&j!) or energy bar but I eat a big breakfast late so I'm just not hungry until mid-late afternoon.

By the way, I suspect you'll need more than 3500 calories a day for your size and mileage.

A good way to stretch your resources is one pot meals heavy on the rice/pasta and veggies and light on the meat. You can mix 20oz of chicken or beef in to a couple pounds of pasta or 3 cups rice and a pile of chopped veggies and get 3 meals out of it. Rice is cheap, as is pasta. Potatoes are cheap and great energy too. If you've got a grill cut up some potatoes and other veggies, toss some butter or oil on top with salt, pepper and basil and wrap in aluminum foil-yummy.
citius99
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 10:32AM - in reply to yada Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
why is tofu protein not good for men?
close
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 10:48AM - in reply to citius99 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
How do you figure out how many calories you need each week?
8-Pack of Mickey's
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 10:55AM - in reply to citius99 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Estrogen
My Take
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 11:47AM - in reply to 8-Pack of Mickey's Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You can do it. Grocery store food is the best bargain going. Just don't buy anything in colorful packaging (especially brand name cereal and frozen pizza) and you are halfway there. Milk will also run up your tab. Rice, beans, pasta, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables are the way to go.

Finally, no soda, no fast food, no eating out. I went two years under those conditions, part out of poverty and part from principle, and didn't miss a thing.
need help
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 12:10PM - in reply to My Take Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
folks, go get a better paying job, then you won't have to be such an anal frugal head. i dated a frugal guy. we went to chipotle for our aniversary, I dumped him a day later.
My Take
RE: Possible to eat healthy on 30-40 dollars a week? 7/23/2006 2:42PM - in reply to need help Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Like I said, I didn't miss a thing, lol! But "need help" has a point... living the Spartan ideal can put a crimp in your social life. It might also indicate that you are a mean, stingy, self-righteous, overly cautious, unfun SOB, and the traits are only going to get worse with age. Careful!
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