Any suggestions for budgeting when you have special diets but very low income?

I see a lot of really good advice on here for cutting down on your food bills. Unfortunately I have been unable to apply it myself as I am a vegetarian and have now became intolerant of a lot of foods. Worse still I really need to cut my budget down as I was paid off from work last year due to ill health and only have £84 a week to live on after rent etc I am about £ 20 a week in debt. I dont drink, smoke etc or spend a lot on anything apart form paying household bills.
I am unable to eat -
Dairy products
Potatoes a bit dodgy....
Yip ! Life is hardly worth living :beer: ( had to stop eating chocolate this year !!!) I hate having to avoid certain foods but too be really honest I have ended up making myself anemic due to not eating properly and skipping meals.
Ways to save money would greatly be appreciated.


  • Ted_Hutchinson
    Ted_Hutchinson Posts: 7,142 Forumite
    The World's Healthiest Foods is a good source of information about the best foods to eat.
    In your position I would concentrate on pulses and invest in a pressure cooker to speed up their cooking times. Buying dried pulses, soaking them overnight then pressure cooking them is both cheap and nutritious.
    You might also find sprouting seeds and grains adds nutritional value and variety to the food your eating.
    Do check your local vegetable market particularly at the end of the day. You may find that slightly overripe avodaco's are being thrown out and these can be turned into guacomole and frozen, may not be the pale green colour of the shop bought but just as nutritious.
    Another good place for cheapo veg is Lidl's, they often do half price veg offers.
    It would also be worth asking your wholefood shop if they are prepared to do deals on bulk buy packs. I use a lot of linseed and so buy a 5kg pack for about a £5 which works out a lot cheaper than small packs.
    I am worried that by avoiding meat, dairy,fish you are getting insufficient protein. Hopefully you can manage eggs.
    My weight loss following Doktor Dahlqvist' Dietary Program
    Start 23rd Jan 2008 14st 9lbs Current 10st 12lbs
  • Cat72
    Cat72 Forumite Posts: 2,398 Forumite
    Thanks Ted. Unfortunately I can not eat eggs at all. I have beeen a vegetarian for 26 years so am used to that but the food intolerances I have developed have now meant I have a big problem- affording food and finding a balanced diet.The wheat free products etc are very expensive. I should have probably mentioned that where I stay is slightly cut off. There is a lidls about 12 mile away but although I stay in a fairly populated place we only have a small somerfield and a small ( and usless ) Scotmid. The Morrisons stores moved out recantly leaving a big problem for people without transport ( plus the somerfield store is totally unable to cope with the amount of customers - a total disgrace). My heart goes out to those who live here with no car and big families.Which although I have transport ( but sometimes cant get out ) it means pushing the price of things up. I have been finding it difficult to have a supply of fresh fruit + veg. I have been buying cheap frozen veg from Iceland ( yip 12 miles away! ). Again I also put this post on as I must not be alone in this situation.
  • Ted_Hutchinson
    Ted_Hutchinson Posts: 7,142 Forumite
    So it looks like your main sources of protein will have to be legumes and nuts. You are though in danger of malnutrition if you don't provide yourself with 45g of protein daily. This would be easy if you ate 150g of red meat but 135g baked beans provides only 10g so you will need to be thinking about other sources of protein, such as soya mince.

    However, in your situation I'd be asking around to see if anyone does a Wholefood buying co-op.
    If you could get a group together of like minded people and ordered a bulk supply to divide between yourselves you'd find it much the cheapest way to get your wholefood seeds/nuts/pulses/grains. SUMA are one wholefood group that are happy to supply community groups so if you can find there isn't someone already doing this you might try to get it started yourself.
    My weight loss following Doktor Dahlqvist' Dietary Program
    Start 23rd Jan 2008 14st 9lbs Current 10st 12lbs
  • Cat72
    Cat72 Forumite Posts: 2,398 Forumite
    Can I just ask something else Ted I have seen cans of Soya Protein powder in Holland + barrett would this be ok for a source of protien? I was not sure it would and also how much to take.
  • Murtle
    Murtle Forumite Posts: 4,154
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I know this was posted ages ago, but I thought that the soya protein powder had dried skimmed milk in it. Does anyone know??!
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