Tips for Lean and Green on a budget?

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Hey, guys! I need some help making Medifast work within my budget..

I do the grocery shopping for myself and DH (its just the two of us). I prepare a L&G every night for dinner, which he eats just as I do..

We eat things like London broil, chicken breast, frozen shrimp, and frozen fish as our leans. They are definitely more expensive meats. I prepare a mix of fresh, frozen and canned veggies for our greens..

I buy limited additional groceries for DH. Usually each week I buy him a box of cereal, half gallon of milk, loaf of bread, half pound of sandwich meat and a bag of chips. He eats that plus L&G leftovers for his breakfasts and lunches..

I buy string cheese, SF jello and reddi whip which we share for snacks..

We have very little waste and rarely throw out food. Im good with knowing how many servings a meal will make and putting planned-overs on our weekly menu..

I need help making this work and not breaking the bank. Im currently spending $120 a WEEK on groceries for the two of us. Im even shopping the sales and using coupons, but I can never get below $100 a week..

I know I could save by cutting out the fish and shrimp, but they are the healthiest and most satisfying options..


Comments (22)

One of the best ways to save is to buy family packs at places like Sam's Club, Cost Co or Smart and Final (does not require a membership) Produce is expensive, but if you check local farmers markets you can often get good deals there..

String cheese and reddi whip are probably be where I would cut. The cheese is expensive no matter how you buy it. SF jello can be purchased in the box, generic vs. and made for a fraction of the cost of the premade..

Also consider cottage cheese when it's a good buy as well as canned tuna. These are always low cost options for me..

Comment #1

You could try using cottage cheese and eggs for your lean portion and only doing up the expensive meats for your DH once in a while..

Comment #2

We eat together every night (which is a very important part of the day for both of us) and he would not be satisfied with a meatless dinner more often than once a week or so..

I guess I could tell him to cook something else for himself if he wants it, but then I'd just wind up buy twice as many ingredients..

Comment #3

Do you have an Aldi's? That is where I shop. I spend less than $100 a week to feed a family of five. I don't buy fish or shrimp often though. They have fresh vegetables as well as 1% cottage cheese and their brand of string cheese. They have a whole line of Fit and Active products in fact..

To lower the amount of the meats and veggies my husband eats, I do make him a side of rice or pasta or potatoe. He can use the calories anyway and it stretches my L&G ingredients..

Comment #4


I have often thought of stopping in Aldi, but just haven't made the time to do so. How do you rate the quality of meat there as compared to a name brand store like my Publix or Kroger?.

Comment #5

We bought a chest freeze for $200 and it was the best thing. I now buy family packs or larger of meats/chick/fish when on sale and then break them down into well wrapped, labeled individual sized packages..

Comment #6

Costco, for sure. The produce is SO cheap. The egg beaters are $2.20 for a pint, which is a LOT of egg beaters. With the exception of an occasional cabbage from the grocery store, I only buy my produce there because it's too much money otherwise! We eat a lot of green stuff on this diet.

If you're getting shrimp, Costco has the 30-ounce(ish) container of those little popcorn shrimp, precooked. They're super cheap, and are quite good in a salad..

When you get a package of meat at Costco, it'll be huge, but it's a much lower price. You can have it for a couple nights and freeze the rest, and then pull it out again later. If you're not the kind of people to eat the same thing all week like me.

I think the ground turkey is pretty cheap as well. If you cook up ground turkey with egg beaters, you will get a huge amount of food and hubbie won't feel like it's an unfulfilling vegetarian meal. I do big batches of this and freeze what I won't eat that week in single lean-size servings. Process: cook turkey, drain off fat. Weigh. Keep track of how many 7 ounce portions it is.

Add egg beaters and cook. Egg beaters - one pint is one lean. So if I add 28 ounces of turkey and 5 pints of egg beaters, that's 9 leans. I divide into 9 containers and use my scale to make sure they're even. I put 6 in the fridge for the week and freeze the other 3..

Good luck!.

Comment #7

I am not a real picky eater so for me for the most part I am okay with it. I like the fresh boneless pork chops they sell. I do buy the familys ground beef, chicken drumsticks, etc from Aldi and then run to the market for my 96% FF ground beef, 99% FF ground turkey, etc. That way I get several meals for me from one pack..

They have fresh or frozen chicken breast. Although higher in sodium I do buy the frozen (I don't retain fluid).

They have manager specials on meats and fresh vegetables ALL the time. I got a bunch of fresh mushrooms, zuchinni and tomatoes for 25 cents one day. Went home made a huge pot of stewed vegetables and froze them..

A pain the way they bag groceries but for the money I save I am happy to do it. I go around 7 at night so that it is basically empty in there..

And they have several salad dressings that meet Medifast criteria too..

Comment #8

One of my favorite and lowest calorie meals is an Egg Beater Omelet. It also happens to be one of the cheapest meals I make as well. I suggest using 1 cup Egg Beaters and 3 oz of low fat swiss as your lean portion (the cheese is more costly, but an Omelet needs cheese in my opinion). I then dice green/red/yellow bell peppers, some mushrooms and a bit of scallion. I top it with some fresh salsa and hot sauce..

It is a great meal for me, and I am sure your husband will find it filling. Most people think that egg beater meals are too filling ..


Comment #9

I'll take a man's word for it, Jon! LOL. I think DH might be OK with an omelet. He likes eggs and egg beaters. I just hope hell be satisfied with that as dinner (rather than as breakfast)..

Comment #10

I am another one for Aldi, I shop their all the time and I am a daycare provider so for me I feed my family of four(including me) and 10 daycare kids on a budget of $130.00/week at Aldi and no we don't eat hot dogs, Mac and cheese, or chicken nuggets barley any processed food at all. The other thing I do is I buy meat from a local farmer so I don't have to pay grocery store prices for meat..

Comment #11

I love a pseudo taco salad. I use lettuce, tomato, sliced black olives, diced jalepo, salsa, low fat cottage cheese and a little shredded low fat cheddar. Very tasty and very satisfying!.

Comment #12

I buy many of my veggies at farmer's market. I spend maybe 20.00 a week on the veggies and it is a lot. Now in the off season, I buy frozen and the store brand..

Comment #13

Can you tell me how you package your meat/chicken/fish for the freezer? I always wind up with freezer burn..

I do actually have a foodsaver, but rarely use it. The bags are so expensive! Am I correct that you should flash-freeze raw meat and then package it with the foodsaver?.

Comment #14

Your Costco carries the 98/99% lean turkey?????? Ours only carries the fattier 93/94% lean I believe it is and according to Medifast the fattier ground turkey is a 6 oz serving not a 7oz as the lean..

Comment #15

Wow, I also do string cheese as my lean a lot too during the week! Also you could go to like Sma's Club and buy blaks of food which last longer and is much cheaper than the food store!.

Comment #16

I got this from WikiAnswers:.

" Repeat after me: The ziplock freezer bag is my friend. I have never had freezer burn with chicken, pork, fish, beef or seafood using the following method.

Take whatever you are going to freeze and place it on a cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper on it, wax side up. Place in the freezer and freeze until frozen solid. Separate into portions and place in a ziplock bag and fill the extra area with ice water. Squeeze out any remaining air and lay flat in the freezer. It will freeze faster and it takes less time to thaw out in warm water in the sink.

Instead of water I sometimes freeze the meat in the marinade I plan on cooking with. It saves a step.".

It's funny because that's kind of what I do: I take my cooled food and I use freezer-safe zip-locks, just squeezing any excess air out before I zip it up and label/date it. I should try the freeze-first then ice water idea. good luck!.

Comment #17

I cook it very well and drain off the fat. There's a LOT of fat that comes off it. And by "drain" I mean "put in colander and let sit for a while until every last bit of evil drips out." I know that some fat will still be retained, but then, 98% has some fat in it, and you wouldn't drain that. I don't have scientific testing methods to tell me exactly where it ends up. I guess I could skip draining it and have 6 ounces instead, but I want the protein more than all that fat. And also don't want to go broke. Balancing....

My losses are still good in turkey/egg beaters weeks, so it can't be too far off..

Comment #18

I used to care about freezer burn. Then I got hungry. *wink*.

I just use ziploc freezer bags. But I think that one major key to avoiding freezer burn is not leaving things in there for too long. If you use things within a month or two, keep rotating things up to the front, you should be fine..

Comment #19

Have you ever cooked up 2 cups of eggbeaters????.

Comment #20

But it is off.

You do what you want. I just wanted to clarify the type of turkey you were buying since I have never seen the leaner ground turkey at our Costco and then you were instructing the OP and those reading to use 7 oz when the Medifast guidelines would be 6. Your instructions regardless of what you drain off are clearly wrong.

OP - do some looking around at your local stores. Check out all the options that they offer.

I buy a 99% lean ground turkey at my local grocery store and that serving is 7 oz. I pay $2.68 a pound on sale and $3.68 when not on sale. It is sold in a 1# tube.

I also buy a bag of white shrimp pieces - who really cares what it looks like. A 1# bag is $3.68. If I was making a shrimp cocktail or serving it on a platter I would invest in the whole "pretty" shrimp but heck, I'm tossing it in a salad or using it in a stir fry and don't care what it looks like, I just want 7 cooked ounces of it!.

Comment #21

Might be more fat, might be less. Close enough for government work.

Your caution for others is appreciated, though!.

If you wanted to "follow my recipe" with more fat, then don't drain the meat and use 6 ounces. The rest is the same. Or buy the 98% and use 7..

Comment #22

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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