We're also on a strict budget, allowing $25 to $50 a week on groceries and that includes any cleaning supplies, toiletries, dog food, etc. Please help with recipes, tips, anything to get us to be able to start eating healthier!
Jeggie from Elberton, GA
Just wanted to let you know corn is not a vegetable its a grain! For a great starting point visit www.abundantlifeessentials.com and on the gluten free living page their is a easy substitutions for healthier living list. This will help you slowly change your diet as budget allows and your husband wont notice. As you start to eat healthier he will crave more healthier foods. If those veggies are all he will eat work with that. I'm guessing iceburg lettuce! Start adding other dark leafy (spinach) to it he wont notice a taste difference. Corn is very unhealthy don't eat it. Try sweet potatoes ( most people like them). (03/08/2006)
By Dr Beth
I don't have any tips for the eating better part, as we don't eat any of those things either. but I'm allergic to most fruit/veggies so I guess I have an excuse... but as for the cleaning supplies, have you thought about making your own? My all purpose cleaner is made of things I already keep at home. I make my own laundry detergent which is a whole heck of a lot cheaper then buying it. (03/08/2006)
I have a four year old and one year old, and have lived my whole life on a tight budget like that, so here is some tips....and you can leave me a message anytime!
If you are planning to get pregnant, focus your money on the quality foods: yogurt (no artificial colors), frozen veggies (last longer and even healthier than fresh) ESPECIALLY CARROTS and BROCCOLI; whole-grain breads ; oatmeal (no more cold cereal) The foods your husband likes are great, you can get them frozen, then you don't have to keep buying...but be sure you get Romaine (more antioxidants) it keeps longer in the fridge. My husband has to watch what he eats, and we get problems with lettuce, so we buy bagged salads and TRY to use them by the date, but we gave up. This website, and lots of others have great homemade recipes, but a lot is trial and error. Go generic WHEREVER you can....but if you have to go brand, be a coupon clipper and stick to one item that way. Coffee is our life source! If you hubby loves lettuce and corn, he's probably picky about TP, Extra Soft Scotts is best for your money (my DH used to use Cottonelle, but got to be too much, I had to wean him and he didn't know for the first month) With babies/pregnancy, you may qualify for WIC and they have good info, but don't get caught up with formula, please try to breast feed, you'll save so much on money, health EVERYTHING. And when the baby is ready for solid food Puree), invest in a good blender and a lot of ice cube trays. Babies after 4 months (or when ready) can eat vegetables and fruit like we do, just prepare cooked and blended. Jarred baby food is only that, so it is cheaper to make your own. My oldest wouldn't touch it when I tried to give it to him! Changing your food now will help you get ready for that baby, and give you lots of energy for it!
For cleaning supplies: bleach (unless your allergic), baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax is great in laundry; all these things are multi-purpose and vinegar/lemon juice have anti-bacterial properties. For dog food, go with the healthiest and cheapest. I found Diamond brand at my local Feed shop, only two dollars more than the Attaboy, but what a difference. When you are pregnant, or have the baby, you may not have money for vet visits (we even prioritize on gas v. other things) so having good food is essential for health. Keep a first aid kit too, and learn how to do the small stuff. Sorry I am taking up so much. I make it my life's goal to do as much as I can with very little! (03/08/2006)
Laundry: I forgot, start using perfume & dye free, if you aren't comfy making your own. Just as good for baby clothes, because dreft is a rip. Purex laundry is one of the cheapest, and has that. The 1/2 cup of Borax will deoderize, and boost the soap, so you can use half the normal amount. (03/08/2006)
For ALL who plan to try for a family... FIRST >>> NO ALCOHOL at all.
Take prenatal vitamins NOW!
You'll get plenty of tips for the other stuff. Those 2 things will be the best start for a little one. We adopted a son with fetal alcohol exposure -- there is NO safe amount! Spina bifida and other related problems may often be prevented by adequate B vit. intake. Baby will need them B4 you know you are expecting. Blessings...aardvark (03/08/2006)
Use finely ground mixed veggies ( I just whirled in the blender) of any type in any ground meat recipe by slightly decreasing liquid and increasing crumbs or egg binder slightly, he won't even know and the flavor is actually improved.
Also use in tomato sauce based dishes. This is a great way to use leftover veggies and or those still good but slightly past their prime! (03/08/2006)
My guys eat veggies if they have some kind of sauce on them. For example, I make a Bisquik casserole that uses canned soup and frozen mixed veggies... including lima beans... lol and they love it. Also, many vegetables go well with cheese over top. After you're done cooking the veggies just lay a few slices of cheese on top and the heat will make them melt. If they don't melt for you, just put a pot like on the top to hold the heat inside... My son in law benefited from us telling him he had to set a good example for his son. The children are learning eating habits that will last a lifetime. Its one of the most important things we can do to help them. Best of luck.... (03/09/2006)
Thank you all so much. I'll definitely try to get started on some of these tips. I do have a couple of questions though. A couple of people talked about making their own household cleaners, including laundry detergent. How do you make these, what is the best way to store them, what do they work best on, and what can you not use them on.
(Sorry that was more than a couple.)
Thanks again for the help so far. (03/09/2006)
Money saving idea. Try shopping once a month plan healthy meals in advance. The less you go into the stores the more you will save. You can also buy bigger packages this is also cheaper. Meat is very expensive so make casseroles as often as you can remembering to put veggies in it. This will cut down on the amount of meat you use.
good luck. (03/09/2006)
By Brenda (canada)
I buy bags of pre chopped/pre-washed coleslaw and also bags of baby spinach. When the coleslaw mix looks a bit dry - I use it up in stir-frys or in homemade soups. With the baby spinach I use it for salads and when it looks slightly "wilted"..I simply steam it. Sometimes it`s just a matter of a different presentation. Most veggies can be cooked in homemade soups and stir frys. Hope this helps. (03/09/2006)
I make my own all purpose spray cleaner out of equal parts vinegar and water with a little squirt of dish soap. you can use this on just about anything, windows included. If you need to scrub something like soap scum or something, you can use either baking soda or borax. as for laundry soap, you can find tons of recipes on tons of sites. I prefer powder, its easier for me. I use equal parts borax and washing soda (found at most good size grocery store chains) and I grate a couple of bars of soap. most any soap will do, but I use a low sudsing laundry bar called zote. there are others like fels naptha and kirks, but zote is cheapest around here. When doing laundry it only takes 1-2 tablespoons to do a load, so it lasts a long time. (03/09/2006)
With laundry detergent, there is a recipe I used: 1 cup grated soap flakes (ivory, pure & natural) 1/2 cup each washing soda (Arm & Hammer) and Borax. Note: washing soda is not like baking soda, though similar in ingredient! I never use the Laundry bar soap (fels naptha I think) but that may work better. Use 2 tablespoons for Large/heavy load. Works okay, but grating soap is a PAIN. Really depends how soiled your laundry normally is. Because my husband works on cars a lot and has skin problems, and my oldest is still working out potty issues, we tend to go with store brand no perfumes/dyes and borax. The borax is part of the cleaning process, and great for coffee stains too or other acidic. And great for urine. Yes, when I talk about laundry, I have to talk about fluids and solids! LOL
Anyway, borax is about 3-4 dollars for a 3 # box. With all the uses, it's more than worth it. Whether you buy or make your own detergent, clothes will keep some of the residue, unless you double rinse. SO with store brand use 1/2 recommended and add a 1/2 cup borax for large load, 1/4 for small med. Borax is safe for all fabrics. I have used it to soak silk that had coffee stains. If you use cloth diapers, line your diaper pail with Borax, it absorbs odors. (03/09/2006)
We have been trying to eat better at my house too. We really don't like many veggies, so I sneak them in whenever I can. Chicken stir fry is good and cheap. And you can't taste the veggies at all. Once I made a spaghetti squash and mixed noodles in with it and put spaghetti sauce on top. It tasted just like regular spaghetti. (03/12/2006)
When my brother & his wife were having troubles conceiving, the Dr. suggested them cook their foods using peanut oil, amongst some other things. Something did the trick. They had a beautiful baby daughter, 9 months afterwards. I was just thinking that if you started using peanut
right off the first, it might help your chances of getting pregnant.
About your husband being a picky eater, sneak foods, cut up in small pieces, into foods that he's unsuspecting of. Like in meatloaf, or make meatballs smothered in gravy, served with noodles or rice (he'd never see the small pieces of veggies made into the meatballs!). Just a couple of ideas.
Best of luck on your venture for starting a family!! (03/14/2006)
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