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Casey Caudle 02-22-2009 01:27 PM

College student on Paleo/Zone
Ok so last night I had and idea. I am running low on money and I need to get groceries soon and I don't have very much money. So I decided that I will try a little experiment for the next few weeks to show that you can eat healthy while in College. I will eat only Apples, Frozen Chicken Breast, Almonds, and maybe Peas.
Heres why. Apples cost only $2 per pound and I can get about 4 servings per pound. With chicken I can get 9 breasts for $10 and I only eat half for each meal so thats about .55 cents. The peas are a little more expensive around .80 cents, and the almonds are about .30 cents per meal.

So if every meal was Apples/Chicken/Almonds then it would = ~ $1.50
6 meals a day, 7 days a week = $63 per week.

Thats pretty cheap. So what does everyone think? I know its not the best meal plan, but its better than sandwiches. These are the cheapest/easiest stuff to fix. Suggestions Welcome

Frank E Morel 02-22-2009 01:48 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone
Next time dont go partying every your money.
Eating healthy ?? Why not just go to costco and buy a tub of this
wfs 89 bucks for 273 servings.. sound cheaper yet.
maybe Surplus Mre from ebay... at least you will get variety out your meal plan.

Honestly... try shopping at sam's club target that has a grocery corner or a good mexican market for your food. Ethnic markets tend to considerable cheaper. A mexician market will have cheaper proteins, and fresher veggies. If you need to cut a corner or two.. sams for your frozen veggies. You have other options just look harder.

but for the meal plan that your thinking about?? You might as well, lock the door on your apartment, tinfoil the windows, keep the lights off 23/7. Cause its going to feel like being in the hold at Alcatraz. It will get old real quick, and maybe you end up never eat chicken or an apple again.

Nathan Warren 02-22-2009 02:23 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone
I agree. Not a good idea. I eat on campus for lots of meals (and try to shy away from grains except for my weekly allowance of nigiri sushi two times a week).

I keep my room stocked with bananas, almonds, cashews, almond butter, apples, strawberries, blueberries, avocado, smoked salmon, cucumber and hummus, olive oil, broccoli and carrots, milk, greek yogurt, flax seed meal, Kashi Crunch cereal, green tea, etc. I can usually get a week out of all this stuff at around $60 a week.

Rob Forgione 02-22-2009 02:31 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone
hey man,

i'm a sophomore at boston college and generally to keep it simple i run a 40p/20c/40f split eating mostly grilled chicken, salads, olive oil, and oats/brown rice. effective and cheap. george foreman grill works like a charm. our dining hall always has a grilling station and i'm on the meal plan so i don't use it too much but if they didn't i would be using it non stop. if chicken gets pricy (shouldn't, buy it in bulk if ya need), canned chicken works. My diet is technically not paleo OR zone but instead blends elements of each (the element of keeping your diet in proportion from zone, even though its not a typical zone proportion, and the paleo element being that... well it's paleo-friendly except for the oats/brown rice which are both very low GI, so i don't worry about it too much). With these proportions i've seen pretty solid strength gains as well as a trimmed body fat and i haven't lost any mass as far as i can tell. i never really sluggish due to the lower carbs. i would recommend it as a nice plan for someone on a budget.

Daniel Freedman 02-22-2009 02:44 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone
Here are some more low budget ideas. They do require some equipment purchase, but will add variety to your diet.

A much neglected category. At a bulk store, dry beans cost less than a dollar a pound. Buy a variety of red, white, pinto, navy, kidney, etc... Soak the beans overnight by adding 3 cups of water for every cup of beans. Add a little baking soda for de-fartification purposes. Rinse the beans. They are now ready for boiling or nuking.

Your best friend. Buy a big one. Buy cheap fresh veggies (zuccinni, eggplant, celery, carrots) when they are on sale. Slice in half. Cover with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and maybe thyme or oregano. Cook up a big batch in the Foreman grill. The veggies can also be re-heated later, or even eaten cold.

All done on the Foreman grill:
- season with crushed red pepper
- season with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and oregano
- season with lime juice and rosemary

Invest in a single serving blender (less than $20). Combine milk, banana, chocolate protein powder, and ice.

Combine banana, yogurt, chocolate protein powder, and peanut butter. Change things up by subbing nuts or unsweetened granola for the peanut butter.

Daniel Mays 02-22-2009 03:31 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone
Sounds good although you probably will get sick of those foods after awhile. Some "money" foods for me

70/30 Ground beef from Tha Super Wal-Mart

Not only is this cheaper than leaner cuts(5 lbs for $5.50 on sale, I think it's about $1.70 a lb regular) You get bonus fat calories.

4 oz serving

370 total calories, 19 g protien, Vs. 90/10 has 200 calories 21 g protein.

Apples are cheap, I get them in from Wal-Mart for way cheaper than the grocery store.

Bananas are cheap. Great post workout and pre-sporting events for me. Good for breakfast carbs. Some worry about the sugar, doesn't affect me and I'm not trying to lose weight.


1 Jumbo egg
8 g protein
6g fat

12 Jumbo eggs, $1.65 at the Super Wal-mart. Jumbo turned out to be cheapest on protein cost basis at my store, YMMV, but eggs are cheap regardless of what kind you choose to get. 4 eggs for breakfast and protein and fat taken care of for ~$0.55.

Chicken thighs are also higher in fat and calories, similar in protein and cheaper than breasts. I like the taste better also. One thing about cooking I have found is that you must add spices to things or they will become bland and you will hate it. Bland meat and veggies makes me crave a cheat meal, Eating greek salad perfectly seasoned alongside delicious marinated grilled chicken makes me think I'm having a cheat meal.

Good Luck,


Daniel Freedman 02-22-2009 04:04 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone
Two more things.

Chicken thighs are much cheaper than breasts and almost as good.

You can also make tuna burgers on the Foreman grill. Add an egg, a few drops of worcester sauce, flax seed, onion, and maybe bean sprouts. After cooking, top with a tomato slice. And you can use the same recipe for ground beef, turkey, or chicken (instead of the tuna.)

Casey Caudle 02-22-2009 08:39 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone
Alright guys thanks for the suggestions.

Frank- I don't party on the weekends. I don't even drink so my weekends are pretty boring, just hangout with roomates, rest, maybe play basketball.

Frank E Morel 02-22-2009 09:09 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone

Originally Posted by Casey Caudle (Post 524579)
Alright guys thanks for the suggestions.

Frank- I don't party on the weekends. I don't even drink so my weekends are pretty boring, just hangout with roomates, rest, maybe play basketball.

I was being cheeky... I know university isnt cheap.

Harley Jennings 02-22-2009 09:59 PM

Re: College student on Paleo/Zone

I don't even drink so my weekends are pretty boring
An Aggie that doesn't drink? I have heard it all now. Well if not drinking is related to your health goals you'll need to eat right. Which I agree costs money. So think outside the box for ways to earn money to get that food you need. Shoot, selling blood, platelets, and semen (not mixed) will net you at least $200-$300 dollars a month.

I know that will not be very popular around here, but dedication and intensity comes in all forms.

Keep the faith man.

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