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spending money on food, not saving enough.


LAYAAN

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Man! I think I'm getting sucked into credit cards. I have only 2 credit cards. 1) for groceries, paying house rent, etc. 2) to fill gas, etc. at costco. I currently am not into debt, but I'm afraid if I continue down this path, I'll certainly get into debt. I realized that everytime I go out with my credit card, I tend to spend money. Weekends, I get bored, go out to have fun and spend money on buying sweets, soda, this n that. I come home, eat those sugary foods, increase in size and end up feeling guilty n unhappy about myself. I just calculated today, I drink a lot of protein shakes and eat protein bars and I spend $50/month on those protein supplements. I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat out at all. For protein supplement, I recently started to make 'seitan' (from vital wheat gluten) and I realized how costly its getting. My grocery bills are unbelievable these days. $~300/month and mind you, I am all by myself. No bf, not dating, no roommates, no pets, I don't drink/go clubbing. Why on earth am I spending so much money on food? I'm a student and I need to regularly keep putting some money away to build a savings account. What can I do to keep my expenses under control?

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First, I personally don' know if I consider $75/week on food all that much! Take away the protien bars, and you are spending $63/week or under $10 A DAY...Not really that bad.

 

Second, instead of using the credit cards (cut 1 up and put the other in cup of water in the freezer for emergencies!) and get a bank debit card so your expenses come out of your checking account directly. This will force you to spend within your budget.

 

Oh yeah, if you haven't already, put together a budget based on your current expenses, and then look at your income and decide what (if anything) you need to cut back on.

 

Put at least 10% of your income into a savings account that is not to be touched.

 

The keep to "keeping expenses under control" is to have a budget and follow it.

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If what you need is protein, there are cheaper sources of it than bars and protein shakes, which are pretty expensive.

 

Get a vegetarian cookbook that focuses on beans, lentils, tofu etc., and start cooking at home and bringing your lunch in containers to school.

 

Also keep in mind that most protein bars and shakes do have protein, but they also have a lot of sugar so may be stimulating your appetite for more food. Avoid sugar and refined carbs for a while and your appetite may decrease.

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thank you guys.

Yes, I do cook my own meals, never eat out. Yes, I use tofu, seitan, tempeh, beans, lentils in my cooking. The reason I buy those protein supplements is coz they are really handy. link removed

30g protein/shake and only 1g sugar. Isn't that great? link removed

My trainer recommended these to me. It works great. I don't feel hungry or crave sugar when I eat those. But I'm getting addicted to these now. So, I'll try now on to instead keep eating healthier way.

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If what you need is protein, there are cheaper sources of it than bars and protein shakes, which are pretty expensive.

 

Get a vegetarian cookbook that focuses on beans, lentils, tofu etc., and start cooking at home and bringing your lunch in containers to school.

 

Also keep in mind that most protein bars and shakes do have protein, but they also have a lot of sugar so may be stimulating your appetite for more food. Avoid sugar and refined carbs for a while and your appetite may decrease.

 

Agree. That is a hell of a lot of money to spend on food for only one person.

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I spend about $60/week on food.

My issue is I can't just make one trip. I ride a bus, and I'm limited to what will fit on the bags on my bike, but it has to be light enough that I can also carry them...Ugh. It gets complicated.

I grocery shop 2-3xs a week. $15-25 is pretty common.

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$60-$75 for one person for a week of food isn't bad at all. The protein bars are definitely expensive so you might look at changing that. But otherwise your expenses don't seem out of line considering how high food prices are.

 

You might consider leaving your credit card at home when you go out and spending cash only. That tends to cause most people to spend less.

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Tinu,

 

Get the 5lb tub of protein powder - On's Natural Whey or Muscle Milk are decent, depending on what you're looking for on fat content (more fat=more energy for active workouts, less fat=better for recovery). The tubs are much much cheaper than those individual drinks. You can put a scoop or two in a Nalgene bottle, fill with water, and shake it up.

 

Also, you can try to diversify your diet more. Eat the more expensive foods less often (but still eat them from time to time) and add in some cheaper filler meals like beans & rice, which is still healthy.

 

As far as credit cards, I'd recommend having just one with no more than a $500 limit. So even if you lose control a bit, you won't be in a deadly debt hole.

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Jeremiah,

I tried the whey protein. I can't stand it. Yes, its much cheaper but I can't get it down my throat.

 

That one you posted a link to, Premium Nutrition protein shake, it's a whey protein as well. Some of the protein powders out there are terrible, some are OK, and some taste really good. If you've never had it, give Muscle Milk a try sometime... it's really popular for its taste.

 

Good luck with everything.

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Jeremiah,

Yes, I should have clarified. By whey protein I meant the powdered ones in big tubs. I tried one of those.

I'll certainly give muscle milk a try. You are talking about Cytosport muscle milk powder right? Do you know what flavors taste good?

Thanx

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The only sure way to make sure that you don't go overboard with your spending and don't go into debt is to not use credit cards! Instead of buying things and putting them on credit, you should use cash or instead get a debit card - these are very handy! You should never spend what you can't afford.

 

I know it's difficult sometimes, but every time you go to the shops before you purchase something you just need to pause for a moment and think, "Do I really need this?" If you don't need it, if it is not necessary, don't buy it.

 

Also, being a student, I find that it is very difficult to save large amounts of money after I pay all of my expenses. So just concentrate on spending money to feed and take care of myself, and if I don't have much left for savings, I try not to be bothered by it. I know that when I finish my studies and hopefully get a full-time job, THEN I can start saving much more.

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Jeremiah,

Yes, I should have clarified. By whey protein I meant the powdered ones in big tubs. I tried one of those.

I'll certainly give muscle milk a try. You are talking about Cytosport muscle milk powder right? Do you know what flavors taste good?

Thanx

 

Yup, Cytosport Muscle Milk. Honestly, all their flavors are really good - Cookies & Cream if I had to pick one. They also make protein shakes individually in the box, which cost substantially more than their tub-o-powder, but I've had both and the powder is equally as good.

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I spend about $60/week on food.

My issue is I can't just make one trip. I ride a bus, and I'm limited to what will fit on the bags on my bike, but it has to be light enough that I can also carry them...Ugh. It gets complicated.

I grocery shop 2-3xs a week. $15-25 is pretty common.

Do you ride a bus? When I didn't have a car, I used to ride bus as well. I bought a push cart (something similar to what you see in stores). I would do all grocery shopping for a week-2 weeks and it would fit perfect in that cart. Yes, when it was full, I had to struggle a bit to get it on n off board. But then on, I just had to push the cart. It saved me money, time n energy. I bought it at food-4-less for $20.

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Yup, Cytosport Muscle Milk. Honestly, all their flavors are really good - Cookies & Cream if I had to pick one. They also make protein shakes individually in the box, which cost substantially more than their tub-o-powder, but I've had both and the powder is equally as good.

I looked at Cytosport Muscle milk 1120 g (~2.5 lb) tub (chocolate flavor). The "sale" price is $26 at Clark's. 2 Scoopful = 70 g. So that tub will give me only 16 servings (1 serving = 28-32 g protein). I'm paying similar price even for my protein shakes. $30/18 ready-to-go shakes (30 g protein). I don't know how I'll be saving money with this by switching. My Pure Protein bars (20 g protein/bar) are ~$1.2/bar. Liquid egg whites cost me ~$1.5/egg starts carton (1lb = 454g) (24 g protein/carton). I think most men I know take muscle milk. I'll start it once I'm done with my premier nutrition shakes. Doesn't look like a cost saver though. Please tell me if I'm not getting something here. Thanx

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I looked at Cytosport Muscle milk 1120 g (~2.5 lb) tub (chocolate flavor). The sale price is $26 at Clark's. 2 Scoopful = 70 g. So that tub will give me only 16 servings (1 serving = 28-32 g protein). I'm paying similar price even for my protein shakes. $30/18 ready to go shakes (30 g protein). I don't know how I'll be saving money with this by switching. My Pure Protein bars (20 g protein) are ~$1.2/bar. Liquid egg whites cost me ~$1.5/egg starts carton (1lb = 454g) (24 g protein). I think most men I know take muscle milk. I'll start it once I'm done with my premier nutrition shakes. Doesn't look like a cost saver though. Please tell me if I'm not getting something here. Thanx

 

Well maybe you are better off with your current selection if that's the case. I generally get the 5lb tubs at GNC when they're on sale. Also, there are several different powders I use so if one is on sale and another is not, I just get the sale one.

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Tired Of Being Broke? Lose your Pov...
Tired Of Being Broke? Lose your Poverty Programming

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