Kidney Diet Tips

Tips for saving money on a kidney diet: Make a grocery list and shop for grocery sale items

Grocery listHigh gasoline prices are contributing to rising food costs. Since many people on dialysis are unable to work full-time due to treatment time or disability, the increased cost of living calls for new measures to save pennies whenever possible. Start to control food costs by deciding what  to buy before you leave the house.

Grab your diet plan and grocery flyers and start making a grocery list. You can identify the lower potassium, sodium and phosphorus foods on sale by referring to your kidney diet guide while browsing through the grocery ads. Studies show that shoppers who use a list are less likely to buy impulsively. Grocery flyers help guide you to the sale specials and this can make a big difference.

For example, in one store’s ads this week boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale for $1.97/pound (regular price $3.50/pound). Thighs and drumsticks are available in bulk packages of 12 pieces for 99 cents/pound.  A whole chicken is on sale for 77 cents/pound—the best deal if you don’t mind cutting it up yourself.
In another store’s flyer chicken is not on sale at all, but beef tri-tip or boneless pork loin is on sale for $1.99 /pound and save $3.00 a pound.

Here are some additional tips to help save money when shopping for your kidney diet:

  • When foods you eat frequently are on sale, stock up. Extra fresh meats, poultry and seafood can be portioned and frozen.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables in season may cost less than frozen or canned, especially those that are locally grown.
  • Buy canned goods, mayonnaise and other condiments on sale and stock up on the items you use most frequently.
  • Plan your kidney friendly meals around sale items.
  • Buy in bulk instead of individual serving packages. Look for meats, rice, pasta, juice, soda, cereal and snack foods in bulk.
  • Use coupons.
  • Shop at stores that double coupons.
  • Sign up for the store’s reward or savings card.
  • Buy only what you will eat until the next grocery trip.

Got your list ready?

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.