bmrgould01 wrote


For cheap, doing the processing yourself is where you can save the most money, at the cost of time and effort. So buying dry beans instead of cans is a lot cheaper, but will require time to prepare them ahead of time.

Protein is one of the easiest parts, definitely not the nutritional aspect to worry about. Generally I would recommend tracking your food for ~2 weeks while you adjust. It will give you a good daily idea about what you missed in your diet, and how far different quantities of food go.

Things to watch(imo): Calcium, Iron, B-12. I find iron easy to get, but that's based on my own diet choices. B-12 supplement, easy cheap. Calcium requires effort to eat greens and/or fortified foods.

Recommended Meals that should be cheap:

Grains + Bean + Frozen Veg

Pasta + Canned Tomatoes + Frozen Veg

Chili: 2 Canned Tomatoes + ~2-3 Canned Beans + Tofu

Stir-fry: Rice + Frozen Veg + Tofu

Oatmeal: Oats + Frozen Berries + Fruit

Potatoes: With whatever

Processing Cheap Foods:

Typical dry beans, such as Chick peas, black beans, kidney beans, are easy to process, but take time. Wash them, soak them in water overnight (12h+ but less than 48h because water will stagnate), then change the water and boil for 10 minutes, then shimmer for the required time (usually 1-1.5 hours). Drain and let cool, ready to use.

Dry lentils require minimal prep, no soaking, and time for cook/shimmering is between 15m to 1h depending on type. Easy to use for soups and curries.

Rice is easy. Though eat in moderation because of arsenic, Soak Strain Drain the rice. Cook with turmeric, but not too much because it's fairly potent.