• Upgrades have been completed! Including conversations, 😁😎🏀⚾⚽ Emojis and more.. Read more

Weightloss on a budget.

I'm having real difficulties with my student finances, but I'm trying to make a real effort with my weight loss this year. I'd hate to stop just because I can't afford it, but I'm really struggling to come up with cheap meal ideas :(

I would appreciate any tips or help you give, immensely. So thanks in advance.

One very poor Curvy_lass (who also has a weigh in at 11.30am tomorrow! Eek).
Get Rid of this ad and join in on the conversation for free today! Tap here!
Are you following a particular plan or simply calorie counting?


Gone fishing
Get some basic ingredients in. Things like potatoes, tinned tuna, tinned sweetcorn, tinned tomatoes, bread, milk, eggs, cheese, mince, pasta, lentils.

Potatoes. If you get a bag of medium sized ones, you can use them for allsorts, rather than buying a more expensive pack of 4 baking ones. Buying loose is usually cheaper (for everything!)
Tinned tuna, cottage cheese on potatoes is good. Maybe some sweetcorn too.

Mince. If you do shepherds pie or spag bol, do double the quantity to help save wastage. You can either have some for lunch/dinner the next day or put the other portion in the freezer for a home made ready meal.

also when cooking the above, you could replace some of the mince with lentils. Very healthy, much cheaper and a similar taste as long as you don't overdo it.

Eggs are cheap. Make a good breakfast :) Pasta is very cheap and versatile. Tomato based sauces etc.

I love cauliflower cheese. Make my own white sauce as it's cheaper (and nicer). Dont' waste money buying cheese slices etc. Slice your own. Cheese isn't cheap, but again very versatile.

If you buy really strong cheese you will need less of it and save on the pennies.

Always look for bargains. Go to shops at the end of the day, consult shopping websites such as
Supermarket Special Offers Tesco Asda Sainsbury's - Free Search and Save money on your shopping UK Prices

Chicken is quite cheap too. Buying cheap chicken is a bit of a ethical concerns, but when money is short, then need must............

Don't buy portions though. Get the whole thing, and use all of it if possible. Add to pasta, make a sauce for it etc, put it in sandwiches.

Avoid buying ready made salads. They're really expensive and often don't last.

I like iceburg lettuce, and find it much better to buy the whole lettuce than a bag. It keeps for so much longer and I can just 'cut a slice' when needed.

I could go on for ages. Hope that gives you some ideas.


Gone fishing
OMG. I forgot baked beans!! Can't stand them myself, but again, very versatile. On jacket potatoes...in shepherds pie, on toast etc.
Porrige oats are a great low GI breakfast and cheap as chips ... very easy to do in the microwave in the bowl you're eating them from (saves washing up). I usually toss a few sultanas in before cooking to sweeten without refined sugar.

Tinned sardines in tomato sauce are low in fat, high protein and with some 'good' fats. Mash up with some black pepper, put on some wholemeal toast, top with a couple of slices of tomato and grill - serve with salad for a very filling, healthy but cheap meal.

Tinned soups make great 'bases' for all sorts of casserole type meals but without the fat and cals and cheaper than cook-in-sauces.
Tinned tomatoes are also life-savers when counting the pennies.

I usually avoid white, refined carbs like the plague when I'm trying to lose weight on a 'normal' diet. That's because I'm insulin resistant and eating those things makes it harder for me to lose weight. Some people are insulin resistant and don't even realise it ... one 'symptom' is if your fat is concentrated around your tummy.

For that reason, I rarely eat white bread, pasta or rice limiting myself to small amounts of wholemeal. Eating low GI will fill you up more and ensure your insulin is released in a steady, controlled way which helps control hunger. I bulk my meals out with steamed veg.

I usually buy frozen veg to avoid waste - I can't afford to be chucking wilted cabbage away. Using frozen means I can have just the amount I want at any one time.

Hope some of this helps :)


Gone fishing
Good ideas there too RD :clap: Especially porridge. So cheap and yummy done in the microwave. Those fake porridge satchets are an exorbitant price:eek: and it's just as easy to make your own.

Sometimes I add sultantas. Sometimes a little honey (you could use a sweetener) and cinnamon. Add cinnamon...it helps stabilise blood sugars making it an appetite suppressant.:clap:

I'm another fan of frozen veggies, though I will buy the fresh stuff if I know I'm going to be using it quick. Yesterday I bought a cheap cauli (10p) and made a great cauli cheese which we had with jacket pots. The sauce from the cauli cheese was enough to keep the jacket pots moist and soft :)
Those fake porridge satchets are an exorbitant price:eek: and it's just as easy to make your own.

Sometimes I add sultantas. Sometimes a little honey (you could use a sweetener) and cinnamon. Add cinnamon...it helps stabilise blood sugars making it an appetite suppressant.:clap:
You're right KD - those 'easy-make' porrige sachets are a total rip-off AND they don't even have the proper texture of real porrige.
Love the cinnamon idea. I use it on my packs when I make PH porrige but I never thought of having it on real porrige!

I also sometimes drizzle honey on too - mega yum!


Gone fishing
I'm a cinnamon fan :clap: Sometimes I slice an apple or banana, and put some cinnamon on it (with sweetener of choice...for me it's either honey or brown sugar, but you could use a low cal on), and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Zap in the microwave and it's lovely.:cool:
You two are FAB! Thank you :D

Karion, I HATE baked beans too, but will take on all the over tips given. I really appreciate it :D It'll also be handy for next year when we move into our own place and will DEFFO need to save on the pennies. Having a freezer would also immensley help there ;) :D
Frozen veggies, tuna, oats, potatoes, soups,
sorry.. im so nosey.. but porridge is just lovely.. i mean.. just buy some oats.. in a bag.. not even like.. in a cereal type box.. if you can find some cheap raisins.. and its just lovely.. *drools*.. damn ssing.. I love porridge..
x x x


Gone fishing
Another porridge lover here, but I like mine with dried apricots chopped up in it xxx
Oh yes. My fav is porridge with cinnamon, apples and raising...with a little brown sugar or honey :clap:

Sometimes I have add a handful of frozen berries to it before cooking. The kids used to call it Purple Porridge
I love to eat my porridge (oats) dry, I mix it into my yogurt. Mnnnn so good, then I also cut up an apple or a banana mixed in with it too...
Stick to free range! I too am a student but I'd rather go without than buy a cheap chicken with burned hocks on it :/ (That's when they live in their own urine and it burns them and it isn't very nice :()

BUT yes I concur with everyone else really, try and fill your cupboard with tins and have big, cheap, filling meals with pasta and potatoes. It's the fresh fruit that's the main problem for me and it's expensive and doesn't last very long, but if you have somewhere like a Lidl near you then you can stock up more regularly from them.

Similar threads