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Frugal Tips For a Convenience Food Addict

My fiancee is the pickiest eater ever! He really only likes convenience foods which are costing me a small fortune! He likes chips and dip, frozen waffles, pizza and french fries. He won't eat any vegetables, except potatoes or un-cooked celery and carrots. I want to make good, healthy, inexpensive food for us in our tiny dorm room "kitchenette" but his picky-ness is ruining everything! This week alone I made him 4 boxes of mac n cheese, because he won't eat anything else! Do y'all have some frugal tips to please a picky eater, that don't contain lots of veggies (which i dearly love) thanks in advance!

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Morgan

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March 5, 20050 found this helpful

First of all, why is he costing YOU money? Since you're not married shouldn't he be picking up at least half the tab for groceries? Second, I actually do have a tip I stumbled on. Grated zuchinni can be added to so many meals with no discernable taste difference. I add it to meat loaf & muffins to add moisture. No one even knows it's there. It can be added to spaghetti sauce, and casseroles. When cooked it can't usually be seen. I know you could add just a little, to start with, to Macaroni & Cheese. There won't be a taste difference, but the texture would not be quite the same. Tell him ahead of time what you're doing. See if he'd be willing to try eating more healthy if it didn't change the flavor a lot. That's just a start. Bake potatoes with all sorts of toppings like sour cream, bacon, and cheese sauce might interest him. Sweet potatoes with butter, cinnamon, sugar, and pecans are really good too.

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March 5, 20050 found this helpful

Also, if he just eats carrots and celery he might really like Sugar Snap Peas. They're good raw for someone who doesn't like cooked vegetables. They are a little pricey, but well worth it since they seem to be the only green he'd get in his diet. A handful at lunch and dinner would be easy to do. I like to eat them for a snack.

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March 5, 20050 found this helpful

I'm with Tressa....Why is he costing you money? If he won't eat what you fix then he should get what he likes and pay for it himself, not you. Also have him make a list of likes and dislikes this a least will avoid frustation on your part because you fix a nice meal and he won't eat it.

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March 5, 20050 found this helpful

Could you go to your local health centre and get him some pamphlets on healthy diet and the dangers of a diet high in saturated fat and what he is doing to his body with all this high fat rubbish food.

You're obviously a caring person - maybe try and work on his caring side. If you are going to marry and have children they will need a father around when they're growing up. On this diet he is probably going to have a heart attack or stroke in his 30s or 40s.

Trying to tempt him to eat by adding more fat in sauces can't be the answer. He is not a child he's an adult and has to take responsibility for his own eating habits. I would just carry on with your healthy eating, making enough for him and if he won't eat it let him get a take away meal. And if you do marry him make sure you get him well insured to protect the welfare of your children.

Regards

Jo

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March 6, 20050 found this helpful

Does he know that there is alot of hydrogenated material in ALL pre-packaged food? I know some people don't seem to care about that, but I was SHOCKED when I did some research on it and found out it causes not only heart problems but also cancer! scary! Check out the labels and inform him so that later in life he won't fall prey to a heart attack, or worse.

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March 7, 20050 found this helpful

My daughter is a terribly picky eater. I tried the "eat it or make your own," but that didn't work because all she ate were high carb things and then had sugar crashes, over and over... Solved it by buying a cookbook with pictures and letting her select the recipes. Basically, it's a restaurant/junk food appetite, but at least we have both figured out what she likes. I involve her in making the salad, peeling potatoes... just a little something, but it's helping her to understand and appreciate what goes into meal preparation.

For your fiancee, I'd like to suggest that you do the same with a cookbook and a budget, then let him figure out what can be afforded. Just roughly guess the price of each recipe and write it next to the recipe, omitting the staples like sugar, flour...that you might already have. Draw up a balanced menu outline and help him to fill in the blanks.

Do this for only 2 meals at a time and keep a record of what he liked and didn't like. Within a few weeks you will have a boring meal plan that you can serve over and over. Make yourself something a little different and offer him a taste of yours. Eventually he'll expand his taste buds to include some of your choices.

The reason he eats like this is because his mother catered to him, wasn't much of a cook or he was in charge of his own meals.

Holly

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March 7, 20050 found this helpful

I guess it is my mistake about saying "costing ME a small fortune" I only meant that I am in charge of OUR money, and it is more expensive to eat b/c of his picky-ness. I was suprised at all the people who made such a huff about that. I also think that suggesting we shouldn't get married over his food prefernce is absurd. I just wanted some adivce on basic foods without a lot of veggies that I could try. Again, my fault I should word it better

Morgan

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March 7, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Morgan, sorry your request received some responses about your relationship instead of more food ideas. She is looking for food help folks, lets try to think of frugal solutions to the meals issue or ways to get people to eat more frugally who are not used to eating that way. Thanks for posting the request! And thanks to people that responded, I know you are just trying to be helpful, but lets focus on food ideas.

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March 7, 20050 found this helpful

You know what? I find it so hard to believe that people say these things on forums. Do you think she came here looking for relationship advice? Do people know that saying things like that can really hurt peoples' feelings?

Anyway, Morgan... my boyfriend was the same way. He wasn't so much into the processed foods, but expensive deli turkey, etc... I asked him what he liked to eat and made those things for him. He liked chicken fingers, so I always made those with french fries, but sometimes I would make vegetables, and surprisingly he actually ate them! He eats so much healthier now! Take it slowly. I'm sure getting pamphlets for your fiance is not going to work. Just do it so slowly he won't even notice. He has to like pizza right? Everyone does. Start off with cooking that and put some green peppers on your side or something. Whatever foods he likes to eat prepackaged I'm sure you can make yourself. You should phrase it like this and you can't go wrong: "Honey, guess what? i'm going to make dinner for us tonight and I'll make WHATEVER you want. If you could choose anything, what would you have me cook?" There must be SOMETHING you can cook for him. This is a slow process, and it has taken me 5 years for me to be able to put broccoli in our pasta.

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May 11, 20050 found this helpful

If he'll only eat celery and carrots, then try to get him to eat this more often. Better that then nothing (vegetable wise) and they are very good veggies anyway.

For mashed potatoes.... add cooked cauliflower. Not saying he's a kid, but my children won't touch any vegetable unless its green beans (which I let them eat a lot of, again, better than nothing). They like the mashed potatoes yet do not know it's also about 1/4th cauliflower. I just add a little Mrs. Dash and they're good to go.

I know a lot of people say you lose the nutrients when you boil veggies, but in my opinion, if they'll eat it boiled, better than not eaten at all.

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August 20, 20050 found this helpful

Perhaps get him some fun tupperware/rubbermaid type containers or snack sized zip lock bags and fill them up with single serving of food he might try if they are around and packaged small.

Apples cut up, celery with Peanut butter,small containers of nuts or trail mix, If he has a more savory tooth not sweet then perhaps make some home baked pita chips, make some dips with cottage cheese and ranch dressing. Pickles are sorta a vegetable.

invest in some great kitchenette gadgets like a crock pot. Make some great soups that smell great while cooking.fench onion, or if the veggies are cut small and there are some tomatoes to make it taste sweet a veggi soup.

make the waffles the type with whole wheat and flax seeds they really are good. Or invest in a good muti-vitimin and let him be.

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August 23, 20050 found this helpful

HI! My husband was like your fiance... and I had to tolorate a lot of garbage about his being a momma's boy and how was I thinking about putting up with that for the rest of my life, blah blah. It gets better. :-)

patience is key here. Feed him a good, rounded meal that you find nutritionally appropriate once or twice a week, and eventally you'll stumble onto something he likes. Really, pizza isn't that bad for you if you make your own.. he probably doesn't like homemade pizza right now, but keep up at it and he'll learn to like it. Spagetti is great! you can add whatever frozen veggies each of you likes individually on your plates. I like to keep bags of frozen veggies around, and they just cook in a couple minutes in the microwave (for him) or thaw under running water (for me- mushy veggies? yuck!) and go great with already kinda healthy sauce (more healthy if you can get him to eat homemade- mine won't because he sees cans of tomatoes laying around and automatically assumes he won't like it). also casseroles- if he says he doesn't like casseroles, then cook it in a pan over the stove and call it something else. tastes the same to you, but his mental block is down.

again, it takes time. and a bit of comprimise- which i'm sure you are already great at. keeping frozen stuff around helps because you can add a bit here, a bit there... more to his soup, thow extra on his plate and see if he'll try it. eventally, he'll get tired of hearing about how picky of an eater he is and he'll try stuff... especially if his friends pick on him (i'm lucky enough that my husband's friends went to colinary school and tell him he's a food snob). Good luck!!

p.s. also veggies and rice work really well around here, especially if you cook the rice in chicken broth or cream of chicken instead of water

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June 1, 20080 found this helpful

Oh man this sounds like my fiance. he is a picky eater to the extreme! He won't eat ANYTHING green, The only veggies he will eat are cooked and buttered corn, potatoes, and occasionally some cooked snd SUGARED carrots. Other than that he eats like kilebasa, bakery buns and bread, hamburgers, fish & chips, chips and dip, and in the four years we have been together I have only TWICE seen him drink something other the pepsi. He eats such crappy food all the time. I feed our two kids organic, local food whenever possible, I eat very healthy, the kids and I take vitamins and follow the food guide... but he does his own thing. He buys the groceries, so he just buys himself what he wants. We hardly ever have the same dinner, because our always has healthy food in it- and he has this weird hate for health food.

Anyways, he just makes himself whatever he wants, and I cook for myself and the kids. Once a week we do have the same family dinner, but that's about it. I have a veggie patch that we get food from, so it helps with cost. The infuriating thing is this- I am 5 foot 5, and about 170 lbs (had a baby 9 months ago, having trouble losing weight!) and he is 6 foot 4, and 215 lbs, a healthy weight for him. The guy never gains a freakin ounce of weight, never gets sick at all (4 years and he has had only one cold!)... AGH! I figured out some tricks tho- I use veggie "meat" to make meatballs, meatloaf, stuff like that. He eats it and never knows the difference. And, I have been buying off brand or store brand stuff, taking it out of the package, and putting it into food storage containers. he never knows the difference, and I don't tell him! I made sweet potatoe fries a while back and he loved them-- you can probably find a recipe for them online. He has a chicken allergy, so chicken and any poultry (turkey, eggs, broths, etc) are not allowed in our house, which makes our meat budget tough to handle, but oh well... also, when making spaghetti sauce, you can put in a can or jar of pumpkin puree, and mix it in really well- the tomato taste hides the pumpkin taste, and it is tons of fibre, and healthy too...

Good luck and I so know what you are going thru... my fiance is like this because his mom always let him eat whatever he wanted- she would cook for his 3 sisters, and her and her dad, and cook him something different EVERY NIGHT till he was like 24. It was insane, and I am still paying the price with the pickiness, lol...

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Morgan:

Try baking muffins. You can put all sorts of fruit, nuts, even cheese or pepperoni in muffins. Chicken soup or casseroles would be good too with the carrots and celery in them and perhaps you could "sneak" some extra vegetables in these recipies. Good luck!

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