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Eating Well on a Budget

February 13, 2015 | Uncategorized

Are you ready to change your diet after weight loss surgery — but are worried about the high cost of quality foods? This is a common concern. The Texas Laparoscopic Consultants team has met many people that consider budgetary constraints an obstacle to eating well after surgery.

However, it is possible to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals without spending a fortune. The key is knowledge and preparation. Here, the TLC team shares a few tips for eating well on a budget.

Cook at Home

The single most important thing you can do to save money on food is to prepare your own meals. Sit-down and fast food restaurants charge a premium for dishes that you can prepare simply and less expensively at home. Also, preparing your own meals enables you to control the ingredients and portion size of your meals, which is critical for post-weight loss surgery patients.

Make a Plan

Cooking at home becomes even more cost-efficient when you plan your meals and your grocery list ahead of time. Not having a plan will result in multiple trips to the grocery store and more money spent overall.

Once a week, take 30 minutes to map out your meals. Look through your local grocery store mailer, and make a note of the meat and produce on sale. Perhaps there is a bargain on chicken breasts and sweet potatoes, or salmon fillets and broccoli. Plan several meals around those ingredients, adding in fruit or whole grains (if your diet permits) to complement the meals.

Save Money at the Grocery Stores

As you’re shopping, stay around the perimeter of the store; that’s where you will find your fruits, veggies, meats and low-fat dairy sources. Avoid the middle aisles, which typically have expensive, high-processed packaged foods.

When shopping for produce, avoid pre-sliced, peeled or chopped options, as you will pay a premium for the convenience. Buy an entire onion or head of lettuce, and chop it yourself to save money. Look for fruits that are in-season, which will be cheaper.

Also, consider buying spices, whole grains and nuts in bulk (if it makes sense). Compare the “price per weight” of bulk and non-bulk items to help you decide whether it’s cost-effective.

Visit Farmers’ Markets

You probably do the bulk of your food shopping at your local supermarket. Try to carve out some time in your schedule to visit a local farmers’ market. In many cases, you can find quality produce at a cheaper price (bonus: it may be locally sourced!).

Grow Your Own Greens

Depending on where you live, you might be able to grow your own greens in your backyard. Packets of seeds are cheap and, with the right care, will produce a veritable feast of crops. Fresh herbs, which are also pricey at the supermarket, can also be grown at home.

Have a Nutrition-Related Question?

If you would like more information about meal planning and preparation after weight loss surgery, please contact our practice and speak to a member of our team. Call (713) 489-1410 or send us an email today.

 

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