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Because I'm Cheap & Counting Calories

Almost every week either hubby or I head to the grocery store to do a big shop. This week, however, I wanted to try to prolong the shop and eat up a bunch of the stuff we had lying around the house. Normally operation eat everything in the house consists of boxes of Easy Mac and canned soup. You gotta do what you gotta do to save money, right?

The last couple of days I tried to mix it up by using leftovers and random pantry items to make some new recipes. One favorite was curried tuna cakes. Bear with me - if that sounds crazy, just think spicy crab cakes. Really tasty - I promise!

Plus, it's the ultimate quick meal using cheap ingredients. Here's the recipe for you:

-1 can of tuna in water (5 ounces)
-1 egg white
-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs
-1 stalk of diced celery
-1 teaspoon of curry powder

Mix it all up and form it into patties by hand - I made four from this recipe. Rather than frying them, I baked for 15 minutes in an oven heated to 350. Flip halfway and voila!

I topped them with a Greek yogurt dip made with fresh garlic, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and parsley.  I will definitely make these again, not least of all because I checked out the stats after I made them and was really surprised - they are so filling but surprisingly low calorie. Which is a good thing because then you can eat twice as much dessert.

That total includes a serving of the dip as well. Last time I used one of these homemade nutrition label calculators I got a lot of emails asking how I did it. There are a few online, but THIS ONE I think is the best. Just enter in all the ingredients and how many servings it makes (in this case - 1) and it comes up with the results. So easy! I don't really track calories anymore but when I was I really liked it.

What is you cheap go-to meal?
Pasta definitely, or anything that uses frozen items. I'm the worst at storing stuff in the freezer and then sort of forgetting it's there. 

Do you count calories?
When I was losing weight, absolutely. I know some people are able to lose weight without doing that - I wasn't one of them. Now, however, I try not to think about it. It can start to be a little consuming if you think about it for everything you eat.  


  1. Hmm cheap go-to meal is usually PB on toast!! Never fails!

    I used to count calories too...but for all the wrong reasons. I pretty much know more or less what is in the stuff I eat so I know how much I'm eating every day! It's better just to have a rough idea or else it can drive a person crazy!

  2. Spaghetti is the go to cheapo meal.

    I used to count calories too...but now that just makes me go crazy. I just eat healthier and focus on what is going in more.

  3. I counted calories when I needed to lose weight too...but then once it was gone and I'm exercising all the time I haven't continued. I am not nearly as skinny as you, but I am happy with the way I look and I figure, I'm married....Colin can deal with it ;)

  4. Love it!
    I like how you are using regular, not-expensive, everyday, regular people ingredients when you cook (except that Beef Wellington you made, of course).
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Clever. I got into the calorie counting business for a bit and learned a lot but it has served its purpose and I have moved on. The scale, mirror, and tape measurements tell a better story.

  6. Love this recipe, planning on trying it SOON! Thanks for sharing. I am trying to lose a few lbs, so appreciate healthy recipes.

  7. Cheap go-to meal... pasta, beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, spices.

    I do track my eats for nutrients and calories on software called FitDay.

  8. 100% agreed, i have to count calories to lose weight. that's why i haven't lost weight in over 6 months!!! :D

  9. When I return home after a work-trip, my go-to meal is pasta with frozen spinach, olives, and a little olive oil. It's cheap, easy, and since it's been my go-to for so long, it makes me feel like I'm home. :)

  10. I've started again, more for nutritional reasons, and it's an exercise (mental) in and of itself. So eye opening, though.

  11. oh my gosh, i think i might even be capable of pulling that one off myself and i will have to try!! i luv tuna so much and that looks like a quick, cheap, simple option!! dang, all this food money i spend is sending me to the poor house, no joke! :P

  12. Pasta is our cheap go-to meal as well! I've done WW for over 5 years and I'm not nearly as diligent about tracking everything as I need to be.

  13. These look tasty!! We have scrap night every Sunday night - you make your own from whatever is in the house. Pasta is def my go to cheapo meal and I go through ups and downs of counting calories.

    1. Very creative! I often think I should spend one week living off what I have in the freezer/pantry. Never do it though!

  14. Those look good. I go through those phases too where I'm determined to clean out odds and ends. When I first started losing weight, I counted calories but then stopped once I got the hang of it...though I still certainly look at labels at time to keep myself reigned in!

  15. I would probably eat those tuna cakes, but I can't see getting excited about making them. Maybe they just need a sexier name. :)

  16. Oh I am so incredibly cheap as well. Like it is kind of ridiculous actually. ha ha these look really good!!

    I started myfitnesspal for a competition I am in and countaing calories makes me crazy!! Not a fan.

  17. Those do look delicious. Too bad Mike doesn't eat seafood. My life is so hard.

  18. Does cereal count as a meal? That's bottom of the barrel laziness for me. That, or the taco truck, which probably isn't cheap, and contains ZERO vegetables.

  19. We do pasta or risotto with leftover meats from previous nights to get rid of left overs and then chuck in some frozen peas to make it feel healthy :-)

  20. Those look amazing! Love curry and tuna, must try! I do count calories, when I'm not being a total lazy ass (which I am currently...). Our usual cheap go to meal is pasta or breakfast, a couple of potatoes and eggs and we're good to go.

  21. The tuna cakes look yum, and a nice way to eat seafood easily!

    My go to meal is always spaghetti.

    I can't count calories because I feel too restricted and panicky. It does make a lot of sense though!

  22. I don't count calories, I am afraid I would be shocked at how much I eat :)

    I am having a clean out the pantry week this week, I might have to try those tuna cakes, though i think the kids may not be so impressed, but you never know :)

  23. I completely agree pasta is my cheap meal...I always stock up when it's buy 2 get 3 free on the pasta noodles, so I have pasta for days literally lol Plus I don't eat a lot of sauce, so it lasts for awhile too.

  24. I tried to count calories once and realized that I wasn't even eating the recommended amount with 3 meals and snacks so I gave became too controlling for me, so I just eat what I want and get full and that's it lol If I get hungry then I snack. Counting calories is too much work for me lol

  25. Oh I'm totally bookmarking this recipe..looks delicious!!

  26. Oh I'm totally bookmarking this recipe..looks delicious!!

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