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Diet & Nutrition Message Board

Diet & Nutrition Board Index

Hello all !

So lately, Iíve been trying to better manage how I spend my money. Iíve always considered myself a frugal spender (although that has changed a bit since I started this study abroad program Iím doing for a year), but after looking at my budget, Iím starting to doubt that. I know I could eat for very cheap, but there are a couple things getting in the way :
-I eat a LOT. I am constantly hungry and itís really hard to satisfy that.
-I am trying to eat healthy. Itís not a necessity, but itís a very strong desire. I notice the difference it makes in my everyday life and I want to continue this.

Here is a rough list of stuff I [try to] eat every day. And their approximate prices.

1 Egg 0.35
1 Yogurt cup 0.25
1 Banana 0.30
1 Apple 0.50
1 Bowl of oatmeal 0.25
1 Carrot 0.15
Ĺ Avocado 0.30
Bread or other grain 0.50
Walnut/almond handful 0.40
Goji berry handful 0.40
Seaweed 0.15
Lettuce 0.75
Dark chocolate tablets 0.20

This averages to 4.50 a day. However, this isnít really including dinner. Like I said, I eat a lot. For dinner (which is usually veggies of some sort), it really depends. Yesterday, for example, I had some Swiss Chard for about 40 cents, but then snacked on a lot of almonds and dark chocolate because I was still hungry. Iíd say it averages to an extra 50 cents to 3 euros for dinner, so that comes to a total of about 5.00 to 7.50 a day. So letís just say this is about 35 to 55 euros a week. 150 to 225 euros a month. Thatís not terrible. But thatís not all.

Whatís above doesnít include one thing that Iíve been trying to kick out of my diet : pastries. Iím studying abroad in France right now and I would say that I am addicted to them. I have one a day, sometimes two, so an average about 1.50 per day on those. I crave them like crazy without getting them, and without them it distracts me from being productive because whatís on my mind is them. So, with them in my daily diet, I will be spending about 6.50 to 9.00 a day on food. So about 195 to 270 euros a month on food. Wow. Thatís pricey. Very. To me at least. I also am very much into herbal teas and infusions, which I consume often and daily. Although this is a huge ballpark guess, Iíd say itís about 50 cents a day for that. Although thatís probably overestimating. Assuming thatís right, though, that raises it up to 7 to 9.50 a day, 210 to 285 a month. Eek.

My first step is to cut out the pastries. As much as I love them, I need to part with them. Not only are they pricey, they are also incredibly unhealthy and keeping me from putting both feet on the other side. So thatíd drop it down to 165 to 240 euros a month. This isnít even including snacks or eating out if Iím not able to cook (balancing work and school often leaves a depleted amount of time/me being really exhausted).
150 to 225 a monthÖthatís not terrible, and I know a lot of people spend much more than that, but Iíd like it lower regardless. The thing is, how?
I look at the list above and realize that the easiest thing to do without would be the eggs. I only recently started buying them, too, so itís something I could part with. I should also do without the bread (although itíd be a huge challenge). Usually the stuff I eat are baguettes, which are lovely, but not terribly healthy. As far as other grains and similar things in my flat go, I also have white rice, couscous, polenta, barley, and quinoa ; while Iíd like to focus on the latter two, they are more pricey.

What are some suggestions you have ? I donít know that much about health, but have chosen things to eat daily that are not only healthy, but also fairly filling and balanced (and delicious, too). If you have any suggestions, tips, or warnings, please let me know. I really want to lower my budget because life is expensive here in Paris, but I feel a bit stuck because I donít want to have to sacrifice eating healthy. Do you think what I'm spending is decent? Am I aiming too low and risking cutting out too much in my diet?

Thank you so, so much.

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