Kidney Diet Tips

Kidney diet on a budget: PLAN to stretch food dollars

Most of us are trying to find ways to save money and stretch our food dollars these days. With chronic kidney disease or dialysis there’s the added challenge of staying within your diet goals for protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. I’ve often heard patients complain about how expensive it it to follow their special renal diet.

Over the next few weeks I’ll focus on some ways to stretch your food dollars. The best advice I can give you starting off is to PLAN as much as possible.

  • Plan–a weekly menu for home and for meals away from home, when and where to eat out and how much money you budget for those meals.
  • Lists–Make lists of meals for the week, groceries to buy each week, foods on hand to use. Look for kidney friendly recipes that use sale items and foods already in your pantry.
  • Ads—take advantage of advertised weekly specials, grocery coupons, eating out specials and rebates. In addition, use store or discount cards if offered by your grocer. Look at grocery flyers or go online to help plan ahead. For example, Kroger, Albertsons, Save-A-Lot and Safeway grocery websites offer coupons and let you know what’s on special for the week before you go shopping.
  • Necessary—stick to what you need; don’t be distracted by attention getting items usually found on the ends of each isle or near the checkout counter. Impulse buying can blow your grocery budget.

Coupons and advertised specials are a great way to save on many of the products you usually use. Here’s a hot tip for anyone taking the renal nutrition supplement Nepro®. Currently you can save $25.00 off a case (24 cans) by clicking on the Nepro® add from DaVita.com recipe or education section. Checkout other company websites for specials on nutrition supplements and other products you use on a routine bases.

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Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.