The “Tight Budget Diet” – You lose weight but don’t break the bank!
That is what I decided to call this new diet plan while making breakfast. I am a very cost-conscious person because of being on a extremely limited budget. One place that I have succeeded in saving money is when I grocery shop and prepare meals. I have now gotten so good at it, I have made a game of how much can I save this week? By playing this “game” I have also started losing the extra weight I have gained as well! No doctors, no fancy memberships, no expensive pre-packaged food!
How this all came about was by trying to find every possible way to save money. Of course, one main area is groceries. I am lucky enough to shop at a store that gives you savings on gas. But sometimes things are higher priced, especially name-brand products. Through trial and error, I have discovered what items I can buy under the store-brand name, and which things I do not. FYI – peanut butter value-brand is disgusting!! Things like toilet paper, napkins, ketchup, etc, are just a few. Even the store brand ground sausage tastes just like the other popular brands. Most people don’t realize that the value brands are made by the manufacturers of the name-brand items.
I also save by resisting the yum-yum items – like candy, cookies, and most ice creams. The only time any of this is in my home is when my son is with me, or there is an awesome sale. Even then, I still by one package of the item in question.
How this became the “Tight Budget Diet Plan” is very simple. Let’s say I have a taste for bacon, eggs, toast, and potatoes. To make my bacon supply last, instead of cooking three pieces, I cook two. Instead of two eggs, I cook one. I like to make raw-fried potatoes. Again I only shred two instead of three. My toast, I still have two pieces, but I use the “Pepperidge Farm Thin Slice” brand. Of all the items that I have made, the only name brand product is the toast.
Granted, you still have to be determined to help your body to adjust to the smaller servings. You may still be slightly hungry after you finish. But by reminding yourself how you have extended your food budget, it makes the feeling that you would love to eat more easier to handle. Eventually, you find that those feelings go away.
I can even treat myself to outside food as a treat. For instance, our local Chinese restaurant has lunch specials. My favorite is the sweet-n-sour chicken and fried rice for $ 3.99. I also add an order of two egg rolls for $ 1.50. I will pick this up on my way to work, since I start at 1:00 on that particular day, and I will split the amount in half and get two meals for $ 2.25 each day! I am totally full as well!
Another trick of the mind and budget – so very obvious! Water. Not the special pre-packaged stuff that we are now discovering may be just tap water. I fill up a water bottle with filtered water and add lemon or lime slices, or use the squeeze fruit type. No calories, very cheap, and the lemon and lime helps regulate sugar levels. Sure, I still treat myself to regular juice, or my favorite, Slushies from the corner gas station for $ .63. That way, I don’t feel totally deprived.
I still eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Sometimes I will just have fruit, cheese, and whole grain crackers for lunch. Also, if you start packing your lunch, you continue to play the “game” and can control your budget and portion sizes.
I realize that this may not work for everyone, but if your health permits, try it! Pretend that by cutting back on the grocery bill you can pay your electric bill, gas bill, whatever. Or have extra to put into savings. Whatever “trick” works is the one you do. You may be surprised at the results!