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Cheap, high calorie food for starving student?

Old 07-27-15, 07:12 PM
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Kertrek
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Cheap, high calorie food for starving student?

I was always lean, but riding daily burns a heck of a lot of calories and is making me underweight. What are high calorie food ideas that will reverse the trend of weight loss, that I can afford with my minimum wage college job? And is preferably healthy and balanced?
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Old 07-27-15, 07:35 PM
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Peanut butter and jam sandwiches on whole wheat bread. Greek yogurt. Trail mix - make it yourself with various nuts and dried fruits.
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Old 07-27-15, 08:10 PM
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rice
beans
eggs
cream
whole milk
liver
butter
peanut butter
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Old 07-27-15, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RR3 View Post
eggs
Only 80 Calories each apart from what you cook them in so that's 960 for a dozen at the $2.60 average price per BLS statistics.

Chicken drum sticks are better at 800 Calories/pound (bone-in and skin on) for $1.60.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-27-15 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 07-27-15, 08:23 PM
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Bulk steel cut oats with raisins for breakfast.
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Old 07-27-15, 08:47 PM
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I don't pay $2.60 for eggs but I like them better than chicken.

I used to make my own whole wheat bread for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Bananas were really cheap when I was a college student.

One of the challenges is getting good quality oils and fats when on a budget.

Sucrose, corn syrup, wheat and corn oil are cheap but are not healthy in large doses.
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Old 07-27-15, 09:58 PM
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It doesn't say where you live, but if you are in college, look at their meal programs which sometimes offer reduced rates based on income. Food co-ops are another option for buying bulk food items in reasonable quantities. Some health food and groceries have also caught on to this trend and offer some foods like nuts, oats, dries beans/peas/lentels in bulk dispensers for less than the same quantity of pre-packaged product. Keep your eyes open for local farmers markets as well. If you are genuinely in need of help in obtaining proper nutrition, there are public assistance programs and food banks.

Peanut and real nut butters (almond, walnut, cashew, ect) are a good source of calories in the form of healthful oils, some protein and some carbs, but you should stick with real natural butters as most national, store and discount brands have had the peanut or nut oil replaced with cheaper, less healthful oils and loads of sugar. Bananas are inexpensive and carb rich and you can buy the "over ripe" ones for about half of what the green ones cost (currently 39 cents/lb at my local store). If you catch them at the right stage, they are still firm and can be peeled, cut into sections, and frozen in a ziplock bag for use in smoothies and shakes. If you don't have an allergy or intolerance, whole milk is also a calorie booster with many nutrients (and quite a bit of saturated fat).

Here is a quick, easy shake that you can make for about $1. In a blender combine 1 cup whole or 2% milk (you can substitute soy or almond milk), 4-5 approx 1" sections of frozen banana, and one heaping tablespoon of natural peanut butter. Provides about 400 kCal with a good balance of fats, protein and carbs. (If you substitute almond milk you might want to add a half scoop of whey protein which adds about 35 cents to the cost per serving).

On the subject of whey protein concentrate, when you purchase high quality, natural, organic product (I get it at Natural Grocery for about $11/lb) it can be a very economical source of high quality protein. I get 20 servings of 24g protein each for 55 cents/serving. Compare that to one pound of chicken breast at 26g protein for about $2.98 (USDA average retail estimate) or even a quarter pound of 75/25 ground beef at 22g for about $1.12 ($4.48/lb). Eggs are still one of the best values for protein at about 17g for 20 cents per egg (prices rising nationally but still a good value). Whole foods are still best, but if you are on a tight budget, adding a serving of whey protein in a shake or smoothie is an economical means of getting an extra serving.

For carbs, coarse rolled or steel cut oats (groats) in bulk are about the best deal around. When looking for fruits other than bananas, consider frozen strawberries, mango chunks, pineapple wedges and the like. Unless you live close to the source of in-season fruits, frozen fruits and vegetables are most likely your best nutrition for the buck. With mid-summer upon us, look for places where you can pick your own fruit (legally). Brown rice and dried beans/peas/lentels are also cheap ways to get nutrition with a good amount of calories. When you combine them in dishes like red beans and rice or fried rice with peas and red lentels you get a whole protein in addition to the carbs and fiber. Store brands of whole grain pasta are another source of relatively inexpensive carbs with fair nutritional value.

Last edited by GravelMN; 07-27-15 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 07-27-15, 10:24 PM
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Masa, beans, rice, and corn. While working on a remote island over 4 months we lived off our tortilla press and "grilled" tortillas stuffed with dry red beans that we rehydrated & rice or corn (canned) for a complimentary protein meal. Fortunately we'd brought an excess of hot sauce.

I ate way to much top ramen & tuna fish as a college student. Picked free apples/fruit wherever.
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Old 07-29-15, 09:10 AM
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eggs, butter

Fat is 9cal/gram, twice the energy density of carbs and proteins. eggs & butter are natural healthy fats.
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Old 07-29-15, 09:13 AM
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Just calories may keep you from losing weight, but you need protein to keep from losing muscle mass.
You don't want an even exchange of muscle for fat.
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Old 07-30-15, 11:12 PM
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Brown lentils are cheap (mine are 2.29C$ per 907g) and have a formidable amount of proteins. Looking at the nutrition facts for the one i've got: 104g of proteins per cup.
In a blender with salt and pepper once cooked it makes a great soup.
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Old 07-31-15, 02:15 AM
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It aint very healthy...but I lived for 2 years on Mac & Cheese mixed with Spam and Pinapple....PBJ's are great also!
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Old 07-31-15, 02:44 AM
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My bread machine seems to make too many calories. But, it does make good bread, and cheap too.

And, with bread as a base, you can make PIZZA

Don't forget, this time of year, fresh food is plentyful. Blackberries can often be found for FREE, and make wonderful pies, or can be eaten plain or added to a bunch of things such as your oatmeal.

Personally I think the blackberries make a good diet food... not your goal, but they can still be added to other stuff.
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Old 07-31-15, 12:28 PM
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pasta. I have a package of "100% whole wheat spaghetti" I bought at Target for something like $1.20. The nutrition info claims 210 calories, 41g carbs, and 7 g protein per 2 oz serving. 7 servings per package gets you 1470 calories for $1.20. Of course pasta on its own is pretty bland so you'll want to add sauce of some kind, but pasta in general gets you a lot of calories per dollar.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:03 PM
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Bean burritos are about as cheap as it gets for nutritious food. Add some habaneros and a beer and you have all 4 essential food groups (veggies, starch, protein, alcohol).
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Old 07-31-15, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
I was always lean, but riding daily burns a heck of a lot of calories and is making me underweight. What are high calorie food ideas that will reverse the trend of weight loss, that I can afford with my minimum wage college job? And is preferably healthy and balanced?
oatmeal. best price by good calorie. add some sugar and you golden.
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Old 08-01-15, 08:57 PM
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Potatoes. I can find them as cheap as $0.10 per pound at the local produce store. Usually fairly affordable even at the regular store.
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Old 08-02-15, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
I was always lean, but riding daily burns a heck of a lot of calories and is making me underweight. What are high calorie food ideas that will reverse the trend of weight loss, that I can afford with my minimum wage college job? And is preferably healthy and balanced?
Minimum wage college job, meaning you're a college student? Or just working at a college? Either way, if the college is big enough, there's the sports center. Pay them a visit and get their input.
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Old 08-05-15, 05:42 PM
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Just a thought... but maybe you could buy a Costco membership and buy food in bulk and resell it to other students (and get yours for free) , or perhaps start up a food co-op- have everyone pool their money and buy in bulk - if you do the buying and repackaging, you could get yours for free this way too.

Or you could try working in the cafeteria or a grocery stores and get a discount, or freebies you can scrounge up.

Last edited by RetroDork; 08-24-15 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 08-05-15, 06:02 PM
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This will gross some out but I worked at a fancy restaurant as a student. Some of the students would eat food that patrons left uneaten. I mostly stuck to lobster claws and Grand Cru Burgs from clean looking diners.
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Old 08-10-15, 02:19 PM
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Noodles are pretty cheap
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Old 08-31-19, 10:48 AM
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White rice is the cheapest source of calories...For my dinner I eat 4 cups of rice ( 800 calories) add another 400-500 calories of meat and I can easily get over 1200 calories in one meal.
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Old 08-31-19, 10:50 AM
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I came across this list a while ago. Note: you have to provide your own nutritional guidance: https://efficiencyiseverything.com/c...r-dollar-list/
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Old 08-31-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TinyL View Post
It aint very healthy...but I lived for 2 years on Mac & Cheese mixed with Spam and Pinapple....PBJ's are great also!
Tuna and peas is my favorite macncheese combo.
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Old 08-31-19, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
Potatoes. I can find them as cheap as $0.10 per pound at the local produce store. Usually fairly affordable even at the regular store.
Wow where do you live .where I am at .they cost about 1 dollar a pound or 5 bucks for 5 pound bag.
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