$250 Budget - Can Huel fit?

Hi! So a quick rundown of my situation:

  • Work as a part-time cashier in retail, lifting (up to 50 lbs, usually more like 30-40) and constantly fast moving. On days off work, I do fast-paced walking for anywhere from 45 to 120 minutes a day. That’s my ‘exercise routine’. Own a small business hosting video game tournaments online which I run on the side

  • Still trying to figure out this whole balanced diet at a maintainable price thing

  • Currently, struggle with not being able to eat enough in a day to steadily gain a little more weight despite eating 3-5 meals a day as I am just about 25 pounds over what would be considered underweight.

  • Currently my go-to meals (with a cup or two of water) are:
    -PB&J on two Eggos or two slices of bread
    -Yogurt with Granola as a snack or a small meal / dessert
    -A full box of Annie’s MacnCheese
    -Frozen dinners when I don’t feel like taking the time to make something after work or after a long hot day
    -Mott’s fruit snacks and cliff bars taken to work together with a water bottle that holds up to 21fluid ounces.
    Probably not a very balanced diet, however, I’d appreciate any input on how to turn it into one!

  • I’d ideally like to establish a solid food budget at a cost of $200-250 a month that incorporates Huel if it is indeed the right fit. Establishing a solid food budget with any manner of consistency has been a struggle for me though, and I am not someone who enjoys spending much more time on their meals than it takes to cook and cleanup boxed mac & cheese.

Thank you in advance for any input you can give, and let me know if anymore information would be useful!

Hi,

Very interesting post. Before anything else, best of luck.

Let’s start with some Huel calculations:

Assumption: you need 2500kcal (you have not said your weight or height, so you should do this calculations yourself).

Scenario 1: 100% Huel
2500*30 = 75000kcal needed a month. You will need 11 bags (77000kcal). At a total cost of $283.44 (with subscription). $1.52/400kcal

I would say this scenario is not very likely.

Scenario 2: 50% Huel.
75000/2 = 37500kcal a month. Let’s round the number down to 35000kcal = 5bags. 5 bags cost $139.5 (with subscription); $165 (without).

Scenario 3: 33% Huel (825kcal or about 2 meals)
This would be about 24750kcal a month. 4 bags of Huel for $112.5 (with subscription) or $132(without).

Maybe you could do an easy spreadsheet to calculate the costs.

I think these scenarios are semi helpful to calculate how much Huel you may want. Now, to go a step further; you could use milk or some peanut butter to add easy cheap extra calories (other options include oats but you should blend this). Take into account you will alter the nutrition slightly; but you should be OK.

As for the rest of the diet, perhaps reddit may be a better option:
https://www.reddit.com/r/EatCheapAndHealthy/
https://www.reddit.com/r/budgetfood/

I think a good way would be to identify your most expensive meal and swap it for Huel. Also, I would swap the MacNCheese when possible as well as the frozen dinners. The bars (I don’t know the price) seem another place where you can cut a little and/or swap with Huel.

I was going to suggest meal prep, but ye. There are simple recipes like ragu that you could do easily and freeze and use.

For starters, I would buy two Huel meals and give it a go. If you like it, you will be able to improve your diet as well as keep yourself within budget, I believe.
Keep:

and swap some

Use milk, peanut butter, frozen fruits etc to bulk up your Huel if necessary.

Just few ideas

P.S.

Very interesting passtime. I hope it goes well. Can I ask which games?

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First off, thank you for the informative reply. I appreciate you taking the time to address everything!

I just calculated it and came to 2527kcal, so you were correct with your assumption.

Will do! Thank you for the smart suggestions.

Alright, thank you for the links! I’ll be sure to check out those subreddits and will probably ask there too for additional opinions.

Right now only one game, although open to other opportunities. The PC & Xbox indie game, Minion Masters (The tournaments are PC-Only at the moment).

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Wow, looks pretty interesting. I have never head of it before.

Best of luck!

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Just an update, I did some research and realized that I misunderstood something my doctor told me.

I wrote earlier that I am just 20 lbs over what would be considered underweight. That is incorrect. My goal should be to gain 20 lbs as I am only 9 lbs over what would be considered underweight according to the BMI range for my age.

I’m going to be super honest: I love Huel, but can’t stand the taste of it plain, no matter which flavor I get. Here’s a couple things that make it better: peanut butter, vanilla or chocolate almond milk, fresh fruit I freeze myself, and flavoring extracts.

I usually do half a serving of Huel + 1 frozen banana + 1 big spoonful of no salt/no sugar peanut butter. Ultimately the number of calories ends up close to a full serving of Huel. I use that in place of breakfast and it makes me feel good and is helping me lose weight.

If I were in your shoes, I would get unsweetened/unflavored Huel in powder, served with the full amount but plan to add fruit and/or peanut butter. Or mix in a scoop of another product of protein powder. The added calories and protein should help with muscle and weight gain given your daily amount of exercise.

To keep costs down, I got to Sam’s, Costco, or Aldi and buy whatever fruit is in season and dirt cheap. I then cut it up and freeze it myself (pre-frozen fruit is extremely expensive and not always tasty). Going off my own budget, you could make this happen in under $300 a month depending on where you live. I live in the USA Midwest though, so I would keep that in mind.

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hello there. i would suggest starting out with getting on a balanced diet. start by reading the nutrition labels of the food you consume and planning out your meals over the course of a day to achieve the goals that you are setting for yourself. this will make it easier for you when you start to transition to a product like Huel as a meal replacer to still maintain your goals and to keep tabs on your budget.
i just started out with Huel a week ago, but already am noticing that i am eating much less, and consuming a lot less foods that are full of sugars, fats, and other junk that we don’t necessarily need. in large quantities if at all, that is to say.
not only do i feel better, with more energy, but i am mentally psyched that i have started taking better care of myself and that is reflected in my daily life. ya, ask my dog!
i am on a budget of about the same as you each month, give or take a dollar here and there, and with a dog that is no easy feat to accomplish every month. of course i take care of my dog, so that leaves me sometimes with change that i need to stretch to make last and i didn’t always buy the best things to eat. with the addition of Huel to my diet i am beginning to make dollars out of that change. so, this is something that you might also think about.
first start with your daily diet. make sure you are getting balanced carbs and protein, essential vitamins, staying within your budget. then start to ween off of the junk foods and try finding meals that have more fresh fruits and vegetables, adjust your budget, and see where you are then. if you need to make more changes to anything…look into Huel. other meal replacements.
personally, i like the taste. there are many things you can add to the shakes to adjust the flavor to make it taste how you want. there are flavor boosts to enhance the flavor. you can add fruit, nuts, protein powder, peanut butter…
best to you

Milk can make a serving of Huel really thick.

That’s how we like it.

In more seriousness, when I say milk, I often refer to milk+water combo.