Limited Food Budget + Food Issue = Help?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Allenna, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    I'm on a limited food budget (SNAPS, 195 a month) and I always seem to be out of fund by the last two weeks of the month. To complicate things I have food issues - I can't handle certain textures (mushy things especially) and colors (there like a handle full of green things I can eat without this being an issue) and smells - and sometimes my brain just declares things I've been fine with "Not a Food'. It doesn't help that some days anything more complicated that the rice cooker or microwave is right out. Any suggestions for making my food budget last and working around my brain would be appreciated - even if its just recipes for food that will make a few days worth of meals.

    (sorry if this is the wrong place for this)
  2. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    You say you have a rice cooker - is rice a Brain Okay? What about pasta?

    General advice: cut down on meat and fresh produce, unfortunately, especially the former. Bulk up on whatever grains your brains allow. Cut down on prepped TV dinner style meals, if you eat them, unless you can get the Big Family Size that will make a bunch of meals.
  3. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    Possibly more spoons than you routinely have, but I do a cooking blog that's mostly about low-effort reasonably inexpensive cooking. I use a lot of canned soup for making soups (all of my soup recipes are at least 2 meals worth, some of them way more) and casseroles, and I can often find them for like $0.69 a can, but a basic roux with spices in would serve the same purpose. Mostly the call there is monetary cost versus spoons cost.

    Are potatoes a thing you can eat? Because potatoes come in huge quantities for cheap and one can make them into many different things in massive quantities that store well. I generally handle one slightly more labor-intensive step better than multiple steps, so I don't make mashed potatoes a lot, but I make oven-roasted potatoes really frequently, and cut up potatoes with a little bit of oil and whatever spices you have on hand can be delicious. If the potatoes are in roughly bite-sized chunks, cooking them in a single layer at 425°F gets them nice and crispy and cooking them all together at 350°F for longer gets them softer-textured.
  4. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Starcrossedsky: Rice is very much an okay thing, as is pasta. I'm just already really really fat, and pasta and rice are the first thing people keep telling me not to eat. How do you still get protein without meat, btw? I already don't do pre-made tv dinners because they tend to gross me out. I'm really terrible picky and weird about my food. ):

    Chiomi: Oh I never thought about potatoes for some reason, I love oven roasted potatoes. I'll have to try that. Do your soup recipes help hide the taste of the metal cans? Because if so wow that will be a huge help, thank you!

    I'm sorry, if I'm difficult. I grew up upper middle class and a lot of my food issues were catered to by my mom so I guess my brain just needs to wrap itself around the idea that I can't eat what I'm used to anymore and that I need to eat things even if I don't like them for whatever reason.
  5. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Feeding yourself on SNAP is hard to begin with, harder if you're dealing with something else (those are sort of characteristically autistic food problems). And that doesn't entirely overcome "well, you can do this or not eat enough", but it may help to keep in mind that you're not being arbitrary and unreasonable to want food you actually want to eat.

    My major protein source is probably cheese, but that's not likely cost-effective.
  6. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    Hmm, I'm not sure if they really hide the taste. I've never found they taste like cans, and when I asked my roommate she said it wasn't enough can taste for her to really notice. But I also haven't had unadulterated canned soup in years and years, so I'm not sure I noticed a taste in the first place. But if you do notice, more garlic or paprika or both will fix nearly anything. Garlic I've found that the huge jars of diced garlic are what I like: the one we have now was . . . something under five dollars, and a multi-year supply, and paprika the really nice stuff is nice, yeah, but for mixing into other dishes the stuff you can pick up for as cheap as possible still adds paprika flavor and covers a vast multitude of sins.

    And it's all good! I am picky and allergic to lots and my roommate's really picky and generally hates food, so I'm used to looking for things that will be eaten because that's really the only criteria that matters.
  7. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I get two pound jars of minced garlic that are like $5-7. Although I can't imagine how they could last more than a couple of months. Do you not put at least an ounce of garlic in everything? :P
  8. Helen of Boy

    Helen of Boy Hugcrafter Pursuivant

    That depends on a few things. How are you with beans and legumes? Eggs? Nuts? Nuts are crazy expensive usually, so not ideal, but what things you can handle can change things.

    I used to make rice and beans in the rice cooker together and eat them for pretty much every meal. Not ideal or tasty without seasonings, especially when you hit Day 4 of all-meals-are-this, but it kept me going when I had almost no money or energy.
  9. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    @seebs: Sadly my roommate objects when there is more garlic than starch in a dish. :p

    re: protein: I just noticed that part. In general one doesn't actually need that much protein. Eggs, peanut butter, tofu, and beans are all good options. Also frozen hamburger in tubes tends to be cheaper than the fresh ground stuff, and doesn't really taste that different. If you need iron, cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, broccoli) and dark leafy greens (spinach, kale) and the Devil's grain (quinoa) all have a bunch. If none of those are options and you're looking at cutting down mostly or entirely on red meat, though, it can be worth looking at getting a supplement. I've been various degrees of anemic for the past decade and a bit, and everything (from mental health to breathing) is a lot harder when I'm anemic (I am extrapolating potentially-incorrectly based on selected gender option and commonly-associated junk/iron needs).
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  10. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Everything needs more garlic. Expect maybe ice cream. I have a huge jar of purred garlic from one of the Asian markets (which I need to shop more since stuff tends to be cheaper and I like more of it) -it's lasted me what seems like forever so far.
  11. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Beans are a none starter for me. I can barely stand to see other people eat them. The smell and the texture. *Shudders*

    Also really on the protein? I find myself craving fish like big time if I go too long on just grains. But I guess my body might wanting something else that it associates/gets with fish. The egg thing is a good idea, I was doing pretty well on microwave mug omelets and peanut butter banana smoothies for a while. Though the smoothies can be pricey since they need greek yogurt and almond milk.

    Broccoli is sadly the only thing in that list I will eat. I should start remembering to buy it. Granted I should start making lists for the store in general. Thank you :D
    • Like x 1
  12. Helen of Boy

    Helen of Boy Hugcrafter Pursuivant

    With the smoothies, have you ever just mashed banana and peanut butter together? I do that for quick-and-easy meals all the dang time. Might not be as good without the yoghurt and milk, but might be cheaper, I dunno.
  13. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I am also not a fan of beans!

    The FDA has revised their guidelines up since I last looked, but generally per day you only need 5 ounces - and an egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter counts for an ounce.

    And you're welcome! I am pretty much always happy to get to talk about food. :D
  14. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    Time for some straight up poverty kid talk: when you are looking at the options of being fat because of your diet or going hungry, be fat. Be fat every time. Diets are a luxury for people with money; healthy eating is a huge class issue. Put simply, on food stamps, you can't afford to worry about it. If people close to you start giving you shit over it? Tell them if they want you to eat better so badly, they can start supplementing your food budget. Watch how fast that shuts them up.

    Secondly, the whole "grain makes you fact" is just the newest diet fad, the study that initially supported it has already been debunked. Most likely, you're like me, and just Genetically Fat, especially if you've already tried diet control and it didn't help much. In my entire life I've only ever lost weight due to depression.

    Re:Meat: You don't need to eliminate it entirely. If that's how my meaning came across, oops. Vegetarian eating is ALSO expensive as hell. Just don't expect that you can regularly eat chicken breasts or burgers for dinner every night. Instead, throw little bits of meat in your pasta, or have sandwiches that are Significant Portions Bread.
    • Like x 3
  15. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    The people who need to be careful about simple carbohydrates are those that, like me, have blood sugar issues. Even then, not too hard.
  16. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    There are some issues there that I don't think this is the right place for me to get into make the choice 'be fat or be hungry' not so easy. But that gets into a shit ton of other issues. But thank you for your advice.
  17. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Thank you everyone for your advice and suggestions. I'm going to try to employ as many of them as they can. And I'm going to hope when/if I get into a new clinic they have someone that can maybe help me with food planning, because I'm starting to notice that my food issues (both autistic and other wise), make this harder than I thought. Sorry. ):
    • Like x 1
  18. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    Fair enough. I'll be the first to admit that my view on the matter is very harsh.
  19. Lerxst

    Lerxst salty parabola

    If broccoli is OK for you, it is super easy to steam in the microwave. Cut it to your preferred size, put it in a nukeable bowl with a few tablespoons of water, some seasoning (garlic, salt, pepper, and maybe lemon juice), and a pat of butter/butter-like substance, cover with plastic wrap leaving a loose bit for steam to vent out of, and nuke it till it's as done as you like (usually about 3 minutes for me).

    WARNING: be careful uncovering it, if your fingers are in the way of whatever vent you open the steam will burn the shit out of them.
  20. budgie

    budgie not actually a bird

    oh, so! i was big on smoothies for a while, and greek yogurt is definitely not a necessity with them (although quite nice). you really just need something to help make them thick. there's a lot of detox-type nonsense on this website that you should feel free to ignore, but they do have a lot of nice recipes. the page that i'm linking is basically a list of suggestions for various fruits/liquids to use, but there are more recipes all over the page. the "recipes" tab brings you to a section where you can search for particular ingredients. and for the most part, greens like spinach don't really add flavour, so if the colour is an issue just leave them out.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice