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I'M A CHEAPSKATE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after searching a bit I noticed there is no super cheap food thread. I was thinking with the economy(yeah yeah we've heard enough about it), it reminded of all the super cheap healthy meals we used to make when we were in collage and still had dreams of being a Professional racer. So here's the task. Post up your favorite super cheap meals. These are real meals, not power gels, and sports drinks, but stuff that will sustain us when were not eating sports drinks and power gels. Also if you can, try to include a price.

My Favorite: Allen Lim's Rice Cakes.

http://www.slipstreamsports.com/2008/07/16/cooking-with-allen-rice-cakes

Feeds 2-3 people

1 - 1.5 cup of Rice Cooked.
3 - 4 Strips of low fat low sodium Turkey Bacon (Grease wiped off with a paper towel and then crumpled into little bits)
2 - 3 Eggs Scrambled
Parmesan Cheese (enough so it taste good)

Unlike Allen's recipe, I just put all this in a big bowl stair it really well and eat it for lunch, dinner or even breakfast (It has eggs :thumbsup:)

Price Break down Per serving based on Trader Joes pricing:
Rice - $1
Bacon - $.20
Eggs $.25
Chees $.25

Total - $1.65 - Not bad for two people.
 

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costco actually has a good deal of healthy food if you look for it, and of course its cheap.

yams/sweet potatoes are ~50 cents a lb. peeled, chopped & steamed for 20 minutes and they're delicious.

frozen chicken breast at ~2.50 a lb. stir fry that with some red onions, carrots & broccoli.

they sell huge bags of spinach for a deal.

i make a lot of smoothes with bananas (40 cents a lb), oranges (70 cents a lb), and frozen strawberries & blueberries (1.50 a lb)....and some whey protein.

idk the exact price breakdown per serving of the meals i cook, but i know its all relatively cheap.
 

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I'm big on home cooking, most of my meals begin with chopping an onion, and I usually make some type of casserole or one-pot dish. my tip for cheap and healthy is to load it up with plenty of veggies, then some carbs like rice or pasta (usually whole grain), and add only a small amount of meat - gives a lot of flavor but keeps the cost down. The trick is to buy all your veggies from a produce stand, where they are much much cheaper than grocery store. Fruits are also very cheap there.

Oats are a very cheap whole grain. I make these oatmeal cookies pretty much every week, I bring them on the bike as training food, and eat as dessert/snack with tea.
http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1610,134189-247196,00.html

The one thing I always do is substitute olive or canola oil for butter, and add a bunch of ground flax seed (cheap and very healthy, can substitute for part of the flour). And I spread them out solid, cook, then cut into bars.
But since I make them so frequently I am always changing things up. Sometimes add cocoa powder for choc flavor, sometimes leave out baking soda for more dense cookie, or change amount of flour or grind the oats. I like to add various ground spices (clove, cinnamon, allspice, etc), a little more expensive but very healthy option is nuts and dried fruit, and wheat germ is good for some protein. Sometimes I skimp on the oil and sugar, and instead use mashed banana or apple. Probably the one bad thing is adding choc chips, but it keeps them always tasting great.
 

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nice. i was just about to look for an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe i can make and then use for fuel on rides.

do those stay a little soft/gooey after a couple days in tupperware....or turn all crispy?

thanks.
 

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nomit said:
nice. i was just about to look for an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe i can make and then use for fuel on rides.

do those stay a little soft/gooey after a couple days in tupperware....or turn all crispy?

thanks.
with oil they are a little drier and turn kinda crispy. with banana or apple sauce they are very moist and stay soft. The high humidity of Louisiana might have some affect on this though.
 

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My favorite quick meal (more of a recovery food..) is peanut butter, banana and chocolate on wheat sandwich.

jif PB 2tbsp $.25 16g fat 7g protein 7g carb
banana 1 $.10 1g fat 1g protein 27g carb
Orwheat 2 slice $.88 2g fat 8g protein 36g carb
Total: $1.23 19g fat 16g protein 70g carb

The carb to protein ratio is 4.4 to 1. I probably tend toward more PB than listed. I buy a local brand bread that is $1.50 instead of $4 for the Orwheat which drops the cost.
 

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lets keep this thread going. I am stumped for other ideas though.
 

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AlliKat said:
lets keep this thread going. I am stumped for other ideas though.
Man, I am not in training mode, and we have been doing monday night rides. But this winter is killing me. I want to ride more and I have this new SS that i really like.

Foodwise, I eat steelcut oats with blueberries and protein powder.
 

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AlliKat said:
lets keep this thread going. I am stumped for other ideas though.
beef stew. works especially well in the winter.

find the biggest pot you own, chop up and add the following...
4-6 cups water (edit...you don't need to chop this part)
~4 yams @ 50 cents/lb
6-10 carrots @ 50 cents/lb
2 chicken or vegetable bullion cubes (salty stuff that makes it all taste better)
1 of the cheapest squash you can find @ $1/lb
2 celery hearts $1.99/lb (gonna leave this out next time...cause its actually expensive considering how little nutritional value it has)

then in a frying pan with olive oil....stir fry 1 onion, a couple cloves of garlic and some mushrooms (optional), and lots of 'stew beef' ($2.99/lb @ costco)....like 3+lbs worth. heat on high until its pretty well cooked (nice dark crust on some of the pieces)....then throw that mix into the big pot.

simmer for a couple hours. you'll have cheap dinner & lunch for a couple days. its darn tasty, and healthy. the red meat will be the least healthy part....but you need protein to build muscle. and you could probably substitute chicken breasts with good results.
 

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Quinoa Pilaf

In keeping with the Costco thread, buy a big-ass bag of Quinoa at Costco. It's cheap, and Quinoa has protein in it.

1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped
4 cups of Veggie broth (I'm using the stuff from Trader Joe's)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of almonds or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 cups Quinoa

In a big pan (you'll actually be cooking the quinoa in it), warm some olive oil and cook the onions for a few minutes, then add pepper and cook for a couple minutes. Then add the 4 cups of vegtable broth and the quinoa. Bring to boil. Then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until Quinoa is fluffy. Add chopped parsley and nuts. Mix up.

BTW, you could make this with whole grain brown rice, too. In general, pilafs are simple to make, and you can mix up the ingredients. Make with chicken broth, mix up the nuts, the peppers, use carrot, add a granny smith apple, etc...The best part is they reheat nicely and taste way better than plain rices. Make a big batch Sunday night and eat it throughout the week.

Great recipe to make a double batch and reheat all week long.
 

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Anything from the 5 major food groups.
Italian food
Soul food
Chinese food
Sea food
and Deli sammitches.
with your beverage of choice. :)
 

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I'M A CHEAPSKATE
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is awesome guys! Keep it going. I'm going to try and post more recipes tomorrow.
 

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Love the Quinoa. I mix up a batch every Sunday for the week with veges and then add either tuna or chicken each day
 

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If you really want "good" food then I recommend you read The Omnivore's Dilemma and maybe rent the movie Food, Inc. (or read the book Food, Inc.). Then try to find a local farmer who has eschewed the practices of industrial agriculture so you can eat some real, whole food, raised the way nature intended instead of through the use of hormones and antibiotics and petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides.

Unfortunately, such food is not cheap. And it is not easy to find. The Omnivore's Dilemma will explain why when compared to industrial food. But you will decide the extra cost is worth it (if you are able to find good local foods).

That "healthy" meal you get from the grocery store is not nearly as healthy as most people think, despite the fancy packaging and marketing.
 

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Squishy Fishy
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Gatorback said:
If you really want "good" food then I recommend you read The Omnivore's Dilemma and maybe rent the movie Food, Inc. (or read the book Food, Inc.). Then try to find a local farmer who has eschewed the practices of industrial agriculture so you can eat some real, whole food, raised the way nature intended instead of through the use of hormones and antibiotics and petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides.

Unfortunately, such food is not cheap. And it is not easy to find. The Omnivore's Dilemma will explain why when compared to industrial food. But you will decide the extra cost is worth it (if you are able to find good local foods).

That "healthy" meal you get from the grocery store is not nearly as healthy as most people think, despite the fancy packaging and marketing.
When you compare the "bad veggies" to the "good" ones you mention there isnt any difference in nutritional value. I will say that there are things that make more sense to buy local and organic but there are many things that would be a waste of money. Moderation is the key again.
 

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Yeti2424 said:
I buy as many foods that I can freeze or store at Costco usually once a month (Chicken, Steak, Salmon, Nuts, Juices, etc) and then buy the more perishable items (fresh fruits, vegetables, and such) from the regular grocery store every week.
+1

I get the boneless skinless chicken breasts, the atlantic salmon and the tilapia religiously. The frozen organic broccoli they have is top notch too.
 

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post ride "meal" instead of a recovery drink I will do a thing of chicken ramen with an egg swirled in it at the last minute (think egg drop soup) and add some amino acid "soy sauce" stuff I have....yum.

Prolly costs less than 40 cents.
 

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White Chili

Super Cheap, super tasty. Cost depends on quantity, but I usually make enough for 4meals for the two of us (8 meals). Costs is less than 8 bucks = $1/meal.

In olive oil, saute' 1 onion and some garlic.
Add 2 lbs chicken breasts cut up into small chunks (or Turkey) and brown
Add 4 cans of beans (garbonzos, light kidney, butter)
1 or two cans of Chicken broth (I buy the big boxes of it.
Season the snot out of it. (Sage, Chili Powder, Salt, Cumin, Oregano, Black Pepper, Basil)

Very low fat (pretty much just the olive oil), high fiber and high protein and just the right amount of complex carbs.

The trick to keeping this cheap is finding the meat on sale. Always buy a lot when it is on sale, never when it's not. I also occaisionally chop up a sweet potato or two and throw that in also.

The same recipe makes cheap red chili con carne, just switch chicken broth for tomato sauce and add some diced tomatoes.
 

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Gatorback said:
If you really want "good" food then I recommend you read The Omnivore's Dilemma and maybe rent the movie Food, Inc. (or read the book Food, Inc.). Then try to find a local farmer who has eschewed the practices of industrial agriculture so you can eat some real, whole food, raised the way nature intended instead of through the use of hormones and antibiotics and petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides.

Unfortunately, such food is not cheap. And it is not easy to find. The Omnivore's Dilemma will explain why when compared to industrial food. But you will decide the extra cost is worth it (if you are able to find good local foods).

That "healthy" meal you get from the grocery store is not nearly as healthy as most people think, despite the fancy packaging and marketing.
Good advice. Probably the best way is to grow your own food. On a healthier planet! :D
(actually...no joke intended. :nono: :) )
 
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