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cooking/grocery shopping/MEAL PLANNING is a lifeskill I just do not seem to have. Advice on frugal(ish) HEALTHY options?


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cooking/grocery shopping/MEAL PLANNING is a lifeskill I just do not seem to have. Advice on frugal(ish) HEALTHY options?

novicecrafter0608 | | Jan 2, 2010 12:22 AM

I am not sure why I am having such a hard time picking this up. I live with people who can do it but they eat so differently than I do that the skills haven't rubbed off. I get the concepts but how to translate it into something I can use??? ugh. Out of 3 roomates 2 of them cook. However one of them lives on fried/pizza/chicken wing/mt dew and the other lots and lots of pork which I hate. Both of them do not cook with health in mind.

I think I just need to bite the bullet and learn how to do it myself from scratch. The problem isn't lack of information. The amount of options that come up with a simple search is so overwhelming I just don't know where to start.

I cannot afford to spend 20$ getting together the stuff for one meal. I can follow instructions but I lack basic cooking skills and often a recipe will assume that I have them. Basically after reading a list of 20 different things that I dont have on hand and mentally calculating the cost I run into stuff I dont know how to do. Makes it seem pretty risky and I just give up and go back to my normal habits.

Add to this the health angle. Also so much information out there your head will spin and much of it is conflicting. You get to the point where you feel that you can't be right no matter what you do. I do not want to count calories, I believe that if you eat real whole foods that you will be satisfied and do not need to obsess.

Here is the criteria. Any and all advice, even if it is pointing me to something to read or learn, would be MUCH appreciated. I have read through other posts regarding frugal living, and I feel bad that I am having a hard time with the amount I have when they are trying to live off of 10-20. I also find that it doesn't exactly translate as I do not need to be that restricted.

I think the one thing I need most help with is the concept of meal planning. Finding a theme and being able to buy all the stuff for that theme that will make meals for a week.

food budget (cooking just for me) 50$ a week or 200$ a month.

Healthy as humanly possible using only regular grocery stores

no butter and a min of oil (olive)

Love vegetables,beans,lentils etc. and willing to experiment with exotic grains.

Don't know how to cook fish but would prefer it as a main protein source along with low fat turkey and occasionally chicken. I only use lean ground beef to flavor chili. Dislike pork.

full time student so breakfast needs to be fast and healthy and lunches need to be portable in an insulated lunch bag. leftovers are ok.

Access to fully stocked kitchen as far as garlic/onions/potatoes/condiments(basics) and cooking utensils.

I am willing to do prep work if I knew exactly what to do.

All of this put together should mean that I could eat almost like royalty (for a student) but because of my lack of skills It all goes to waste. That bothers me more then anything else. The waste of it. So please, any advice at all would be welcomed.