Eating Healthy on a Budget

I think this is probably the biggest excuse I’ve heard, and given, when it comes to eating healthier. But it’s so expensive.

Yeah, it can be. It can also be cheap if you plan. Check out the sale ads. Check out the coupons. What’s already in your pantry or fridge? What can you make that doesn’t take crazy ingredients? It’s possible to eat healthier and eat cheaper.

In our house, we’re feeding 2 people. Mr. Chocolate and myself. Plus 3 animals. We have had a grocery budget of roughly $100 a week for the past 2 months. And we’re doing just fine. We factor in a night out each week and a meal with his parents. Neither of which come out of our grocery budget. We do also have the luxury of having fresh beef in the freezer whenever we want it. That also helps. That being said, I get tired of beef.

So this week’s menu is as follows (well, at least how it was supposed to be before we have tons of leftovers from last night’s dinner)…

Monday: Beef enchiladas with rice & beans
Tuesday: Soup & hot ham sandwiches
Wednesday: Cheeseburgers & roasted potatoes
Thursday: Leftover burgers
Friday: Birthday celebration for Mr. Chocolate’s dad (out to eat)
Saturday: Wedding dinner for my dad
Sunday: Pork chops with sour kraut & apple sauce

We also have breakfasts, snacks, and lunches that we have to plan for. Usually a combination of leftovers & sandwiches for lunch. Oatmeal and fruit for breakfast or snacks. Mr. Chocolate is a fan of gummy fruit snacks and granola bars. I swear, I think he’s still 12 years old.

With that menu plan, and what I could raid out of our freezer, my grocery list was created.

Hamburger buns
Tortillas
Refried beans
Enchilada sauce
Pork chops
Sour Kraut
Lunch meat
Milk
Bread
Sliced cheese
Oatmeal
Fruit (bananas & oranges)
Veggies (Celery, lettuce, & tomato)
Turkey Bacon
Fruit snacks
Apple sauce
Ketchup
Flatout Wraps

We thankfully already have the ground beef, some Mexican flavored rice & potatoes. The soup is in the freezer and will be thawed out to eat this week.

So my grand grocery shopping trip this week. All of that listed above. It came out to $65 and some change. Not hard to feed 2 people & 3 animals (plus all household needs, like TP & cleaning supplies) on a budget. It is do-able. You just have to plan.

Planning can be a pain. It takes time and patience. Some of the things I try to do when I plan our menu are:

I look at the sale ads. I try to see what I can get for cheap. Or at least get an idea of items I may want for the week.

Check coupons. I LOVE COUPONS! Seriously. I’m better at this than the sale ads. I try to plan our breakfasts, lunches, and sides around what I can find coupons for. This week I only had $2 worth of useable coupons.

Store brands. Seriously, they’re great. I can get a can of Great Value brand vegetables for about $0.65. Whereas the regular are almost always pushing $1.

Frozen fruits and vegetables. Hello cheap! I can buy a bag of frozen broccoli for $1.50, TOPS! And there’s so much broccoli in there! The same goes for corn, lima beans, pepper/onion blends. Fruit that I put in smoothies. All that fun stuff.

Portion it yourself. Why buy the single serve packs? I was looking at applesauce this weekend. I wanted some to have for dinner one night & then possibly for my lunches. Ounce for ounce, the same brand, same flavor, was $0.75 more for the prepackaged. I bought the big container.

Check your cabinets!! This is by far the biggest money saver for me. I raid our cabinets before I go grocery shopping. Our menu may change several times before I actually leave the house as I find out what we already have on hand versus what we need to get. I try to stock my cabinets when there are sales and I have coupons. This really helps when money is tight & I need to raid the cabinet even more.

We have $60 in our account for next week’s groceries. Mr. Chocolate asked me if we should put more money in the joint account for next week. I told him no. My goal is to spend no more than $50 next week.

I got this.

WIM + T25

Last Week: 229.0
This Week: 230.0
Change: +1.0

I figured I would have a gain this week. I mean, come on, 6.4 pounds in one week was just too good to be true. And I knew that. I also knew that I was starting up a new workout routine and I was on my period. So having only a 1 pound gain, that’s awesome.

And speaking of that new workout routine, Whew. It’s a butt kicker. But that being said, it’s an amazing workout. I haven’t worked out this hard in a long time. And it feels good. I’m sweating like crazy when it’s done. My limbs are exhausted. My whole body is exhausted. But I love it. And I feel accomplished once I’ve completed my workout. That being said, I can already tell, in just week two, that I’m able to do more than I was last week. Both Week 1 and Week 2 started off with the Cardio disk. I’m able to do some of the moves better than I could last week. I’m also able to do them for longer. I am still following the modifier for some things, I’m also modifying my own and going somewhere between the regular workout and the modifier. And it seems to be working very well for me. I can’t wait to continue with the T25. I plan on continuing with the Alpha version until I can do all the moves 100% for the full 25 minutes. And that may take me longer than the 5 weeks suggested, I may end up repeating a few weeks. That’s ok with me. I want to be able to give Beta my all when I start it, and that’s going to take some building up.

Today’s Menu:

B: Quest bar, grapes, coffee – 5
S: Greek yogurt – 3
L: Turkey sandwich, apple, cottage cheese – 8
S: Cheese stick – 2
A: T25 Wk 2 D 1
D: Salmon, roasted squash & broccoli, quinoa – 12
S: Popcorn – 4

 

Let’s talk about T25

T25

For reals yo, this izz is hard!

Ok, I lie, I lie. It’s not “hard”. I can do the moves. But goodness you move constantly. A lot. You change what you’re doing often. I start off doing pretty good and by the end I’m doing the modified version of some things. The only thing I have found I’m not capable of doing is a burpee. And no, it’s not because I hate them so much, even though I do. They make me dizzy. But my goal with Week 1 is to be able to fully do it before I move on to Week 2. So, I may be here a while. But at least I’m moving, and working out, and burning calories. (And hopefully kicking my coworker’s butt in our weight loss competition!!)

I started the program last night. I managed to burn 430 calories on Wk1D1. This morning I got up early and did Wk1D2. I burnt 370 calories. Loving this. That’s 7APs in 2 days! That’s great for me. Esp when it’s only just 30 minutes of my day. And I am POURING sweat! I don’t normally sweat when I work out, I glisten. No, but really though, I don’t sweat that much. I get “sticky” where I’ve sweat a little. With this bad boy I am d.r.i.p.p.i.n.g It’s gross. Yuck.

That being said, I’m loving it & can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. Ok, I can totally wait to do it tomorrow morning because it requires me waking up at 6am, but I feel good after I do it.

Today’s Menu:

B: Quest bar, cantaloupe, coffee – 4
S: Greek yogurt – 3
L: Ham sandwich, GG potato & mixed vegetables, apple – 7
S: Cheese stick, veggies & dip – 3
D: Baked chicken, quinoa, collards, & green beans (most likely) – 10
S: Popcorn – 4

I seriously still have 7pts left with this menu. I have no clue what I’ll have to fill up those points. Maybe I’ll stop at the store & get something sweet for after dinner tonight.

Weigh Day!

Last Week: 235.4
This Week: 229.0
Change: – 6.4

What. The. Hell?

How did I do that? Seriously? I don’t know. No clue. I got nothin’. But damn it feels good!

I went on one walk all week. That was the only exercise I did. I kept a close watch on my diet. That’s the only thing I can figure. Who knows. But it definitely made me ready to go into week 2 with my head in the right place!

Speaking of week 2, today is day 1 of T25. I have a feeling it’s going to kick my butt! For reals. But I’m really excited to start it.

Today’s Menu:

B: Quest bar -5
S: Greek yogurt -3
L: Turkey sandwich, apple, cauliflower w/ cheese sauce -8
S: Cucumbers & tomatoes w/ dip -1
D: Parmesan crusted tilapia, quinoa, broccoli, greens -10
S: Popcorn -4

I still have 7pts left with this menu and no clue what to have with it! Maybe a glass of wine with dinner? But I don’t really know. I’m sure I can find some way to use 7pts.

Happy Tuesday!

So, I’m attempting this thing again. I’ve tried numerous times without any luck. Myself and a couple other ladies at work have decided to put some money on our weight loss attempts. We’ve started up a little competition. I plan to kick their butts!

That being said, I’m treating it this go round like a total newbie. I’ve order Quest bars for quick grab & go breakfasts. I’ve ordered T25 to start working out at home in the mornings. I’ve ordered new gym clothes from Old Navy, 5 outfits total. I’m going to get new shoes this weekend to workout in. It’s time I do this. Right.

So, I’ll admit the scale. It was bad. Horrible. Awful. I’ve gained back SO MUCH weight. And it’s all my fault. My new WI day is Monday. So, WI yesterday was 235.4 pounds. Like I said, awful. I feel so bad about the way I look. I do not feel attractive at all. What so ever. I don’t understand why Mr. Chocolate still finds me attractive and even question him when he tells me I’m beautiful. That’s when it’s time to change. My issues can not affect all aspects of my life.

It has also become kind of a joke whenever I tell Mr. Chocolate I am going to try to lose weight. He supports me, but he’s seen me fail at it so many times he no longer believes me. I need to prove to him, and myself, that I can. And WILL. Do this.

B: Clif bar & coffee. -7
S: Greek yogurt. -2
L: Smartones & veggies w/ cheese sauce. -10
S: Apple & cheese stick. -2
D: BLT, tater tots, broccoli. -14
S: Popcorn. -3

Seriously. I’m a slacker…

Let’s be honest here. I was doing really good last month with my WLJ. Even though I totally sucked at keeping this bad boy up to date.

But I have an excuse! Yes, I realize it’s an excuse and I still could have updated. Whatevs.

You take 3 5 week classes, try to graduate, balance a full time job, dating someone who works an opposite shift, AND have a social life.

Yeah. I thought so.

Anyway, back to what’s going on in my life.

I have finished my actual class work part of school. Now all that is left is my Integration Project, which is basically a literature review paper. I have to pass this bad boy in order to graduate. I’m nervous. I’m writing about how job satisfaction effects job performance. Wish me luck!

I also have changed my WI day. Several times. I started on Mondays. And it was ok, but not my favorite. I’m a scale checker throughout the week so it would annoy me to see the scale be down like 3 pounds on Friday and back up come Monday morning. So I changed my WI day to Friday. Which didn’t work either. With my week starting over on Friday it was like a free for all. EAT ALL THE FOODS!!! Yeah. So totally not good. The first week I gained a couple pounds. Which annoyed me because I worked so hard to lose almost 5 pounds last month. And I was totally on track to be 10lbs down by graduation! Then 2nd week I gained a little more. So basically, it was bad. I changed to Wednesdays. I’ve done Wednesdays in the past and it worked good for me. It’s a happy WI day for me. So that’s where I am.

I’m also trying not to drink any alcohol this week. See what it does for my skin/scalp. My scalp has been crazy itchy here recently. Crazy! I don’t know if it’s my skin in general drying out, which alcohol doesn’t help. Who knows. But this week, nothing, not even a glass of wine with dinner. Hopefully I can do it. I think I can. Last night I went to my local hangout for Trivia Night. I had water. I got some looks of “What are you doing??” Not drinking. I don’t want to. Don’t feel the need. I can have just as much fun without a beer.

I’m trying to also cook more. Cooking saves me money. I need to save money.

So today’s menu, since I really need to get back into posting these bad boys.

B: Granola bar, banana, coffee. -5
S: Notta – totally left it at home. 😦
L: Turkey sandwich, cucumber & dip. -8
S: Orange & cheese stick. -2
D: Salmon, quinoa, green peas. -14
S: Popcorn. -4

I still have 5pts left. Which I wouldn’t have if I had remembered to bring my snack & part of my lunch. Go self.

Goal Update + General Ramblings

1) Exercise 2 times a week.
Done! I got 3 workouts in this week. Not much, but I’m happy with it. My goal this week is to continue with 3 workouts. Which when you factor in school, work, and having a life becomes harder for me than I really expected it to be.

2) Cook at least 3 dinners at home.
Check! I didn’t even go out for my usual Subway on Wednesdays! I’ve been cooking at home and eating leftovers this week. Loving it!

3) Pack my lunch at least 4 days a week.
This is seriously so easy to do. It saves me so much money and I’m really not missing eating out. It’s cold outside – I don’t want to go out there to get food.

Seriously, next month I’m going to have to come up with something harder than this. Maybe workout at least once during the weekend. That should definitely be a February goal.

I also think I’m going to set myself up some weight related rewards. Maybe every 5 pounds something small. And every 15-20 pounds do a larger reward like a piece of clothing.

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225lbs – New Nail Polish
220lbs (5%) – Piece of Jewelry
215lbs – New Shirt
210lbs (10%) – Mani/Pedi
205lbs – New Nail Polish
200lbs – New Shirt
195lbs – New Nail Polish
190lbs – New Bathing Suit
185lbs – New Dress
180lbs – New Piece of Jewelry
175lbs (Goal!!) –  $100 of new clothes

***

I have a beef roast going in the crock pot right now. I can’t wait to eat it tonight!! Lots of carrots. I’m going to make some mashed potatoes and green beans to go with it. And probably try to make a gravy out of the juice in the crock pot. Oh I can’t wait for dinner!!

And I need to clean some tonight. I seriously hate cleaning. I doubt I’ll do much. Probably just sweep & wipe down the bathroom, take my laundry upstairs. Tidy up I guess is a better term. Exercise. And paint my nails. That’s the plan for tonight.

And of course watch Big Bang Theory. But I can do that while I paint my nails, relax on the sofa, and read my book.

***

Daily Menu:

B: Smoothie, PB toast, coffee. -6
S: Greek yogurt. -3
L: Leftover Mexican stuff. -10
S: Apple, cheese stick. -2
D: Beef roast, carrots, mashed potatoes, green beans. -9

I still have 7 points left. I might make myself a latte (skim milk microwaved & then shaken to get “frothy”, then mixed with coffee & sweetener) to enjoy later.