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Can't afford to feed my husband

(374 Posts)
Prusik Mon 13-Nov-17 11:19:08

Gah, the title sounds pathetic! Please don't rip me to pieces for the fact that he should be feeding himself but it's the simplest summary I can give.

DH is 6ft7 and skinny. He eats a lot to maintain his weight. He's both milk and egg free (milk is allergy, egg is intolerance as his gut tends to get inflamed). He also tries to avoid sugar as he was finding he was getting major energy slumps during the day and reaching for sweets.

Ok, so here goes. I did the food shop last night and it was £100. Haven't bought any luxury items apart from I bought four cartons of supermarket brand apple juice and haven't yet bought meat for the week.

Try to fill him up on protein, ie nuts, chicken wraps, etc as empty carbs just don't seem to cut it. I rely on cheap meat where I can, we eat a lot of mince. And I bulk things out with cheap veg and potatoes. We cook chilli with beans, pulses, etc and I make my own humous as that's a good fix and so much cheaper than the supermarkets.

I'm just at my wit's end. For various reasons we're now at the arse end of poor. We're going down to one vehicle and are really struggling. We don't buy coffees out, don't go anywhere which costs parking... everything we do is free. But I'm still struggling to afford to feed DH. I do buy fruit in for the baby and am starting to cut corners with what I eat just so DH and Ds can be fed. I'm not going without but will just have jam on toast for lunch rather than anything better as I don't want to use food up. This is far from ideal as I'm 28 weeks pregnant change in circumstances happened after I conceived

We get tax credits and child benefit.

Any tips for feeding a very hungry person on the cheap?? He's not greedy, he genuinely needs the food. ds is beginning to look like he will be the same

NapQueen Mon 13-Nov-17 11:21:45

What is his daily meal plan?

Can he have porridge with water for breakfast?

Prusik Mon 13-Nov-17 11:26:04

I guess at a simple summary he'll eat about four ham wraps with a simple salad in them, a whole pack of nuts that he'll eat throughout the day, rice cakes, dinner and then something for supper before bed.

He's not really a breakfast person but I did think I could make some sugar free flapjacks. Might also make him some overnight oats to take to work. That's a good idea. I could use almond milk

BabyOrSanta Mon 13-Nov-17 11:27:41

Watching with interest as you're not alone OP - my DP is 6'4 but very very broad

loveulotslikejellytots Mon 13-Nov-17 11:29:46

Have you told your DH the situation? I'm sure he could and would make adjustments to his diet to make it cheaper if he knew his pregnant wife was going without proper food.

I'm not sure I have any practical tips as such, but talk to him and see how he could make what he eats cheaper, put some responsibility on him.

esk1mo Mon 13-Nov-17 11:32:45

what about something like that to supplement his diet? not super cheap but in the long run it might cost less to feed him. a mass gainer or bulking powder should fill him up for a few hours.

have you worked out his BMR/TDEE to work out roughly how many calories he needs? then you could get him to track his meals on myfitnesspal for a week and see if he is actually eating enough, he might not be eating all that much when he writes it all down.

ZetaPuppis Mon 13-Nov-17 11:34:07

If he’s not a breakfast person, then how about the porridge for supper?

What nuts does he eat? You can buy big bags of nuts from the world foods section if he supermarket or from Asian supermarkets if you have any nearby.
Pitta breads and lentils from there can be cheaper too.

Florene Mon 13-Nov-17 11:36:30

Mix half lentils, half mince in all your recipes.

StormTreader Mon 13-Nov-17 11:37:17

Ham wraps, rice cakes etc are what I would think of as "diet food" in that they are relatively low calorie for their mass. I think you both need to be considering more "stodge" options, thick-cut bread sandwiches, pasta, stew and dumplings, porridge + cereals.

esk1mo Mon 13-Nov-17 11:37:40

also my DP does things like add a spoonful of coconut oil to his coffee, to add extra calories (you can buy 500ml of coconut oil for £2.50 in lidl)

we got 3 oils for £20 on amazon (avocado, apricot and macadamia) and we drizzle it on salads, pasta etc to add calories. they’ve lasted us over a year.

Jenala Mon 13-Nov-17 11:38:39

My partner is very slim and now has a very physical job and despite eating a lot of food has lost half a stone the bastard.

We were talking just last night about him getting some protein shakes, he's had them before and it's an easy way to get some calories and protein and quite cost effective if you're own having one or two a day. So I second that suggestion.

Frittattas are cheap and easy and if you use plenty of veg, a fuckload of eggs and grate loads of cheap cheese on top it's filling for them.

MorrisZapp Mon 13-Nov-17 11:41:29

You're talking about him as if he's a dog. He's an adult. What does he like to eat and how does he propose to pay for it? I don't understand why you're taking responsibility for his personal care, unless of course he is ill.

Council Mon 13-Nov-17 11:42:15

I agree on the wraps and rice cakes, apart from being ridiculously expensive for the nutritional content, cheaper bread, unprocessed rice and potatoes would be much more filling.

HerOtherHalf Mon 13-Nov-17 11:45:54

First things first. As you are pregnant you really need to prioritise yourself and stop sacrificing your own nutrition for the sake of your husband. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your unborn baby.

Second, you seem to be focusing a lot on protein and I'm not sure what you think you mean by empty carbs but it sounds like you may be misunderstanding what that term means. Frankly, what you say you're giving him currently sounds more like what my wife or daughter would eat when they're trying to lose weight. Anyway, we all need some protein in our diet but it doesn't need to be that much and as it tends to be the most expensive of the three macronutrients you shouldn't be focusing on it. Healthy fats and complex, high-GI carbs are perfectly fine and will keep him as full as meat will. Hearty soups are one thing you might look at. I'm an active 16-stone, 6'3" male and 2 or 3 bowls of a good, thick soup with some decent bread can more than adequately fill me up for an evening meal. Chicken or beef broth loaded with pulses and veg, thick enough to stand a spoon up in, is my goto soup - easy to make, very cheap, delicious and freezable so worth batch cooking.

AdaColeman Mon 13-Nov-17 11:46:32

Thick soups with beans, barley, lentils, serve as a first course and a bowl for supper.
Serve bread with all meals.
Add lentils to all meat stew type dishes.
Learn to love mixed bean casserole.
Have porridge for breakfast and mid morning snack.

Enb76 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:46:38

Potatoes - seriously. My mother used to buy massive catering bags of them and go through them in a week trying to keep us fed. She also fed us pony carrots (the carrots that don't make it to the supermarkets cos they're not pretty).

Don't buy rice at supermarkets, buy from the Chinese or Indian outlets, they do massive bags for much less money. Same goes for pulses, lentils etc...

Supermarkets are expensive - find your local butcher and see what weekly deals they have as an example one of our local butchers does a £30 deal (which this week included 1.2kg pork crackling joint, 4 x chicken breasts, 500g minced beef, 2 lamb shanks, 12 chipolatas and 4 smoked bacon steaks) and another has a meat auction on a Friday night.

Vegetables - again, supermarkets are expensive if you have a local grocer use them, your local market may have a veg trader, mine has an organic vegetable co-op that means I can get a weeks worth of veg for much less than I could in the supermarket.

Fruit - in the winter, frozen is the way to go except for seasonal.

In winters, I do slow cooked stew and potatoes in a thermos for lunch or soup. Mince and potatoes would also work.

Somerville Mon 13-Nov-17 11:49:14

His wife and unborn child are going hungry so he can be full?
That doesn't make sense. Does he know?

TrojansAreSmegheads Mon 13-Nov-17 11:51:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

esk1mo Mon 13-Nov-17 11:53:32

to contradict the previous poster - protein is important and you are right to be focussing on it.

Prusik Mon 13-Nov-17 11:54:13

Oh god, I'm not taking responsibility for his personal care at all. It's just a dilemma we face right now. He's happy to sort his own food, and often does. I'm currently working very part time so have more time to think about these things. I didn't want to get into a debate about who does what, that's not what my issue is.

He worked out his resting metabolic rate as 3000 calories a day. Plus he does a job where he's on his feet all day.

He tends to eat almonds and peanuts. Peanuts lately but moving back over to almonds. They are better value in the world food isle, you're right. We buy a lot of rice, etc, from world food aisle as well as any spices. That's the thing that's annoying, we're pretty careful shoppers.

I think the main worry is the fact that his gut has been inflamed lately. Cutting the eggs out has helped but he's trying to keep his food quite clean. He finds white pasta/rice doesn't fill him but brown is better (and obviously more expensive). We discussed protein powders last night but the conclusion was that he needs the fibre at the moment until he can return to normal almost like he's got IBS or something at the moment

I can make up some pastas pretty easily during the day when Ds is napping so that'll help

ArcheryAnnie Mon 13-Nov-17 11:55:12

I'm not going without but will just have jam on toast for lunch rather than anything better as I don't want to use food up. This is far from ideal as I'm 28 weeks pregnant

OP, it's not 1955. However much you are struggling with money, it;s not right that you - pregnant or not - should go without (and you are going without, whether you recognise it or not) so that your husband receives a special diet.

He's a grown man. Involve him in this discussion.

EssentialHummus Mon 13-Nov-17 11:56:54

Does he know?

Big bowls of porridge and soup get my vote.

clairethewitch70 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:57:13

Pasta is cheap and use a tin of tomatoes as a base for a sauce rather than a jar.

Egg free baking - look up vegan recipes and make some cookies and cakes for him.

Do you have a garden? Can you grow some veggies next season?

Can you make flatbreads or wraps? Cheaper than buying if he has four a day.

Go to the supermarket at the end of the day for bargains you can freeze.

ravenmum Mon 13-Nov-17 11:59:01

Has he seen a doctor? Is he especially hungry, more so than before?

Somerville Mon 13-Nov-17 11:59:50

Eating a lot of nuts is expensive, wherever they're purchased. A bag of thick, wholemeal sandwiches with peanut butter would be more calories than nuts, and cheaper.

Has he been back to GP about IBS symptoms? Stress can exacerbate those, so the current financial concerns might be linked. GP might have more ideas of other ways to help.

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