Food, Health, and $$ - How We Balance The Trifecta

I’m giving your disordered eating thoughts a big hug to let them know it’s OK to be scared of food, but food still needs to be eaten so they are heard but need to let you bring bigger portions. Or a second lunch, if a second lunch is less scary than a bigger lunch.

@Elle that SUCKS that you have nowhere warm at either workplace to eat your lunch! I would eat at the cafe with their food in that instance and call it partially an expense of working at those locations on those days.

I’ve decided buying the little $3 yoghurt tubs is cheaper than DH buying a $7 or $10 breakfast (coffee+snack) on days when we need to Just Get Out The Door. Combining this with getting better at packing both of our lunches (he can learn to pack his own some other time, after we get the "WHAT are we packing for lunch? question sorted), I should actually start to see a decrease in our spending! Assess habits first, work within those habits to reduce spending second. Better than going hungry because ideal frugality isn’t practical.

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Thank you, @LadyDuck - it’s a thing that recently popped back up, to my total shock, after years and years of being more or less OK with food. It’s good to remind myself that food is a need and eating is not weakness! Bigger lunch instead of second lunch would work for me. Though for a while it’s likely going to be second lunch because I have a freezer full of pre-(small)-portioned batch cooking in my freezer and I don’t really want to thaw everything out and combine containers.

Yeah, sometimes buying a slightly more expensive convenience food is actually the better choice if it means not getting takeout. Trader Joe’s prepackaged stuff is great for that and seems to in general have less chemicals and crap in their food.


I’m adding a recent food win that I’ve been relying on a lot as a way to get a cup of fruit in while spending a little less money and simultaneously not relying on having in-season produce available (as fresh fruit out of season is sad on multiple levels for me).

Enter using frozen fruit as ice in lemon water.

Into a pint glass, dump roughly 1 cup of frozen fruit. Add lemon juice (if you too are a Californian, grab a lemon from one of the many overproducing trees in your vicinity. If not… the squeeze bottles are fine). Add cold water. Wait 15 minutes for the fruit to cool the water down and ENJOY LIKE WHOA. The fruit lets out its juices as it unfreezes, so the water gets sweeter and has some Bonus Fruity Flavors (although not sweetened as heavily as a lemonade) and then you have all this delicious lemony fruit at the end to munch on.


Have I mentioned that one can achieve a similar effect using frozen blueberries and red wine? :slight_smile:


Ooo! A friend of mine does this – she freezes champagne grapes and then pops them into wine as a cooler. :slight_smile:

Oh hahaha. I’ve been eating mostly Clif bars and bagels.

Now that I am in a stable apartment, I’m gonna work on this.


That’s a good idea too. I just use bags of frozen blueberries from the store. In a white wine, you’d need something like champagne grapes. Or maybe strawberries?

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Yep, the champagne grapes are what she uses! Although I don’t know if she’s ever tried strawberries – she would probably love that (they’re her favorite fruit).

Cherries is excused since they have such a short season.

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Partly because of Budgetober, I’m trying to focus on buying cheaper proteins for cooking at home this month: chicken, pork, tofu, beans, eggs.

This is a really useful exercise for me because it’s been easy to default to more expensive meats, such as beef and seafood because it’s 1) what I like to eat and 2) commonly eaten here in Texas. This means sometimes I may buy beef as a “default” when I’m just thinking about what I want to eat, when perhaps pork or chicken may fill the same needs.


I was surprised how well ground turkey did as a beef substitute, esp in pasta sauce and meatballs. Maybe tacos, too. (Turkey burgers, I think, require different toppings/flavors, but also good.)


I’ve been substituting ground turkey for ground beef for years. It’s been great for Dad’s cholesterol levels.