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Old Style vs the USDA head-to-head challenge...

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
1.7K replies 203.7K views
weezl74weezl74 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
Hi:D
I’ve been reading with interest about how the US gov't ensures every family has healthy food to eat, it’s sparked an idea which I think will motivate me to make my grocery challenge uber healthy.
I thought I’d have a go at blogging about it, and others can join me too.;)

The US system is as follows: the US Dept for Agriculture has a mandate to ensure that the poorest families eat healthily. Meal plans and recipes were developed by Pennsylvania University nutritionists, called the ‘Thrifty meal planner'.

This is a diet based on allocated ‘food stamps’ ensuring that if families eat this way, their diet will still be healthy. More here:

So what’s this got to do with me? Since tightening my Grocery Challenge, my friends in real life have shown alarm at what I’ve been spending. Their key objection: the ‘5 a day’, are me and Mr W getting enough?(fruit and veg!);)

The icing on the cake came when mum sent vitamins through the post.:rolleyes:

So, I thought I’d look @ what the ‘thrifty food planner’ gives to a couple our age in food stamps. As 33 yr old male, and 34 yr old female, we'd get $71.60 per week, if on the poverty line.
So then I converted this to pounds sterling, this makes £35.80 per week.:eek:

For April to June, I have set myself a budget of £40 a month for the two of us. The USDA would give us the equivalent of £155.18, to make sure we were adequately vitamined! Oh dear, I seem to be doing it on a quarter of that! Am I sending Mr Weezl to an early grave?:o

But I think it can be done. And I thought I’d diary it so you can see how I get on.

So what are the rules? Well the USDA say that the healthy American should:

‘Choose most of your foods from the grain products group, vegetable group, and fruit group. Eat moderate amounts of foods from the milk group (2–3 servings) and the meat and beans group (2–3 servings)’

I shall try to adhere to these guidelines whilst keeping to my budget as much as possible. I will be doing this as old-style as poss. Batch cooking from scratch will be my method.

So here I go! It’s me versus the USDA and the University of Pennsylvania. Ding Ding! Seconds away…
Anyone else wanna play?

:confused:
Weezl x

click here for thoughts about the different nutrients

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breads, bagels, baps, and baguettes

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something to drink?

a healthy snack

hearty breakfast ideas

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:hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
:)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
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Replies

  • seraphinaseraphina Forumite
    1.1K posts
    That sounds really interesting -good luck!

    Are the USDA food plans actual meal plans? Or are they just nutritional guidelines? I had a quick poke on the USDA website but couldn't find an answer.
  • Hiya,

    I'm game for that. I'm a bit deserate this quarter. And my mum has also bought me vitamins, more important than ever now I'm ditching the veg box and so will feel less pressured to much my way through a mound of veg.

    I eat alot of pulses as a meat substitute (meat being expensive), but that seems to indicate they rank them together, that's very interesting. I'd assumed even adults needed a decent intake of protein (else their nails snap, leading to stress :) )

    PM me? Maybe we could IM about it a bit.

    Count me in for a challenge, I can only fall off LOL

    PGxx
  • seraphina wrote: »
    That sounds really interesting -good luck!

    Are the USDA food plans actual meal plans? Or are they just nutritional guidelines? I had a quick poke on the USDA website but couldn't find an answer.

    There's a meal plan that starts on page 14 http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/MiscPubs/FoodPlansRecipeBook.pdf and loads of recipes.

    Thanks weezl, this is going to give me hours of reading and hopefully lots of ideas.

    FFM :)
    AMAZON SELLERS CLUB member 0077 come and join us :hello: make some space and get hold of some cash, we're on the ebay and other auctions, car boot and jumble sales board.
  • weezl74weezl74 Forumite
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    Hi Seraphina and PG,

    Glad to have some company!:D

    Here's an interesting link showing ways of getting your 5 a day on a budget.

    found it while trying to work out what weight of sundried tomatoes makes a 'portion'.:confused:

    Yes the thrifty food planner does have recipes and a suggested daily diet, I'll just go hunt, I'll be back!

    Weezl x

    P.S oh FFM's found it already, cool!

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
  • weezl74weezl74 Forumite
    8.7K posts
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    Just having a go at baking 2 loaves of this. From my calculations, 3 slices of this will count as a veg portion.

    If your sun dried toms are each made from half a plum tomato, then you only need 2 to 'count'...

    Thinking as well of making onion and herb bread too, to sneak in more of those '5 a day' if it comes out nice I'll post the recipe!

    TTFN,

    Weezl x

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
  • thriftlady_2thriftlady_2 Forumite
    9.1K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    That sounds very interesting Weezl ;) I shall follow with interest.

    Just one thing though -if the US govt is doing so much to get their citizens to eat healthily how come 63% of Americans are overweight ?

    Just had a look at the mealplan in the link above -interesting, what a lot of drinks! milk, juice, cocoa plus others with every meal -why not water? And a lot of margarine.


    Sorry, I've come across as a bit negative there -don't mean to. Good luck:)
  • weezl74weezl74 Forumite
    8.7K posts
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    :rotfl:I completely agree with you thriftlady! I guess they are spending their foodstamps on Reece's peanut buttercups rather than collard greens. (these seem to feature heavily in the thrifty meal planner)

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
  • ravylesleyravylesley Forumite
    1.1K posts
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    Weezl having read the so called healthy eating recipe suggestions I am amazed that the americans arent even fatter!It might just be me but I didnt think that the healthy eating recipes were that healthy

    Lesleyxx
  • MRSMCAWBERMRSMCAWBER Forumite
    5.4K posts
    Hi weezle74

    oooohhhh going to have fun watching this thread :D .... I eat more fruit n veg than anyone i know :p although i have actually cut it down..YES i was eating that much :eek: I have mainly cut down as im losing weight at the moment and know that "extra cals" are extra cals no matter where they come from ;) ....
    I know a lot of people think healthier eating is expensive, and it can be -but for me if you go back to basics it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg..
    My hubby very rarely eats fruit.. but he has enough veg to compensate.. at the moment he gets more than his 5 a day in his flask of HM soup for lunch :T and evening meals we do have meat most days but smaller amounts and more veggies...salads with plenty of variety.. peppers etc to get the different vitamins in :D
    To save money at the moment (and to stop me eating to much) i buy big navel oranges, then i will buy tinned bottled fruit in juice at the moment peaches, cherries, to have in sugar free jelly and have sliced banana (in the freezer)or stewed apple puree (in bottles here)on my porridge.. and thats befor i get to my veggies...
    Ok im rambling now..will go away and be quiet :D
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • weezl74weezl74 Forumite
    8.7K posts
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    Hi MrsM,

    Chuffed you've joined in, there'll be some nomnom recipes before long I'll warrant!

    Speaking of which, hubbies 5 a day soup, how do you cram in the 5 portions?

    Hi Ravylesley, I completely agree with you, that's why I think we OSers can do better! I'm gonna aim for a lowish fat, low salt at least 5 a day plan and see how I get on.

    I'm gonna need to include twinks hobnobs tho, cos without them MrWeezl goes all skinny. At 6foot 3 and a fast metabolism he needs constant fattening!

    Weezl x

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
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