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Lean cuts of meat, boneless, skinless chicken breasts and fresh produce -- typical staples of weight loss menus -- can put a crimp in your budget, but low-calorie meals don't have to be expensive. Low-Calorie Meals for One. Low-Calorie Meals for One. You can use them in hot soups, cold salads -- even bake them into bread or veggie "meat loaf. The Serving Size for Chicken. Hearty salads are another low-cost alternative dinner choice. Instead of buying containers of hummus, make your own at home with a can of garbanzo beans, a clove or two of garlic, lemon juice and a little olive oil.

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Store-brand cereals have the same nutritional value and low calories, but cost less. Top a bowl of cereal with half a sliced banana and low-fat milk for a healthy, low-calorie breakfast that costs less than a dollar. Instead of buying small containers of flavored yogurt, buy a quart of plain yogurt. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sunflower seeds over the top and drizzle with just enough honey to sweeten the yogurt to taste.

Build your lunches around inexpensive sources of protein, such as canned tuna, hard-boiled eggs and dried beans. For lunch at your desk, dress half a can of tuna with lemon juice, spices and a drizzle of olive oil and pack it into a small container.

Instead of buying containers of hummus, make your own at home with a can of garbanzo beans, a clove or two of garlic, lemon juice and a little olive oil. Pack up a plastic container of homemade hummus, wedges of pita bread and a piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple or an orange, for lunch. International dishes add variety to your diet and are often inexpensive to make. Top a bowl of cereal with half a sliced banana and low-fat milk for a healthy, low-calorie breakfast that costs less than a dollar.

Instead of buying small containers of flavored yogurt, buy a quart of plain yogurt. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sunflower seeds over the top and drizzle with just enough honey to sweeten the yogurt to taste. Build your lunches around inexpensive sources of protein, such as canned tuna, hard-boiled eggs and dried beans.

For lunch at your desk, dress half a can of tuna with lemon juice, spices and a drizzle of olive oil and pack it into a small container. Instead of buying containers of hummus, make your own at home with a can of garbanzo beans, a clove or two of garlic, lemon juice and a little olive oil.

Pack up a plastic container of homemade hummus, wedges of pita bread and a piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple or an orange, for lunch. International dishes add variety to your diet and are often inexpensive to make. Make Mediterranean dishes, such as lentil soup and tomato-mint salad, a part of your dinner repertoire. Instead of buying containers of hummus, make your own at home with a can of garbanzo beans, a clove or two of garlic, lemon juice and a little olive oil.

Pack up a plastic container of homemade hummus, wedges of pita bread and a piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple or an orange, for lunch. International dishes add variety to your diet and are often inexpensive to make. Make Mediterranean dishes, such as lentil soup and tomato-mint salad, a part of your dinner repertoire. Lentils are inexpensive, easy to prepare and full of essential nutrients, including protein. You can use them in hot soups, cold salads -- even bake them into bread or veggie "meat loaf.

Hearty salads are another low-cost alternative dinner choice. Instead of iceberg lettuce, substitute other leafy greens, such as spinach or Swiss chard, which pack more nutrients and may be less expensive at some times of the year.

Add chopped hard-boiled egg, small amounts of cooked, lean meat or cooked dried beans to supplement the protein content of the meal.

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