Adequate nutrition on a budget
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Today I was inspired to write about something that most of us are too embarrassed to talk about but more than half of us have to deal with on a regular basis. I want to talk about not just being on a limited budget; but being able to meet your nutrition needs on one.
So you can’t afford fine cuts of pasture raised, grass fed beef or organic fruits and vegetables that were picked by virgin hippies and displayed pretentiously at Whole Foods. Good news; neither can I. And neither can most people. It’s easy to get down on yourself because you can’t afford to eat “healthy” which, ironically, makes you want to order a Domino’s pizza and forget about being fluffy and poor for one delicious moment.
I’m not going to let you (or myself) do that. Instead I’m going to make a list of cheap, filling, protein and nutrient rich foods that will help you meet your goals. Remember, our diets need not be perfect; they need to give us enough calories and the nutrients we need. We don’t need to beat ourselves up because our diet isn’t pristine; so IMMEDIATELY get the idea of perfection out of your head.
My Monthly Staples
Eggs $3.49/18 pack (3.3 packs needed per month $11.62 total) Pork Loin $2.00/lb (7lbs needed every month $14.00 total) Skinless Chicken breast $2.88/lb (7lbs needed every month $20.16 total) Family Traditions Frozen Vegetables $7.99/4kg bag (5.1kg needed every month $10.18 total) English Muffins $4.29/4x6 pack (30 needed each month $5.36) Kaizen Whey Protein Isolate $37.99/4kg tub (1.26kg needed each month $11.97 total) Butter $2.97/lb (300g needed each month $1.96 total) Olive Oil $5.99/L (.69L needed each month $4.13 total) Skim Milk $4.39 per 3L (7.3L needed each month $10.68 total)
Okay, so this isn’t the most exciting of diets; buuuut the monthly total comes to $90.06 Granted some of these things (like the whey isolate powder) will last more than a month and therefore contribute to your overall expense since you’d have to front the cost of month 2 or more; it’s STILL NOT TERRIBLE.
This not-that-exciting menu will deliver approximately 1675 calories; 123g of protein; 171g of carbohydrate; and 56g of fat and it’s not too bad in the micronutrient department either.
Is it likely that we would eat the same thing for 30 days straight? Probably not (although I’ve come pretty close lol) and does your budget allow for some deviation from the nutritious but boring menus? Probably yes.
As a female who lifts weights 4 times a week 120g of protein is my benchmark @ 1g/lb of lean body mass but yours may be less; it also may be more. These are MY preferences and staples that I hope would give you an idea of how you can be on a tight budget and still get most of the nutrition you need to support your goals.
Leave a comment with your favourite anxiously-awaiting-payday recipes that fit your goals!