5 Tips for Sticking to a Grocery Budget
Like many people, you may be looking for ways to keep food and grocery costs down. Along with that, you may need to stick to a kidney-friendly diet—which some may think is more expensive. But, like any other diet, it all depends on how you shop. Here are five tips to help you stick to a budget and stretch your grocery dollar on a kidney diet.
Plan ahead and make a shopping list.
It sounds simple, but planning your meals and shopping list can help you save big at the grocery store.
To start, think about your week and where you’ll eat. Will you be cooking and eating at home? Will there be days you’ll need to bring lunch on-the-go? Once you know what your week looks like, you can plan your meals.
Next, make a shopping list before you head to the store. This is a good way to make sure you only buy what you need and avoid overspending. When making your list, see which ingredients you already have at home. From there, make a list of what you’ll need from the store. Another strategy: Check your store’s weekly specials and plan your meals around what’s on sale. You can see many stores’ weekly specials on their websites, including Kroger, Albertsons, Save-A-Lot and Safeway.
Use the same main ingredients to make multiple meals.
When it comes to meal planning, try to buy main ingredients (such as chicken or eggs) that can be used to make a second or even third meal. When possible, avoid recipes with very different ingredients—otherwise, you’ll be buying a lot of different items. Select one recipe, look at the ingredient list and let that help you select the next recipe or two for the week. For example, if your first recipe calls for a whole cooked chicken, find another recipe that needs chicken, such as Chicken Squares or Chicken and Rice Casserole. For more ideas on using one main ingredient for multiple meals, download DaVita’s free Today’s Kidney Diet cookbook: Cooking on a Budget.
Take advantage of sales and store specials.
Coupons and advertised specials are a great way to save at the grocery store. As mentioned above, you may want to plan your meals and recipes around specials and coupons. You can also use store or discount cards if offered by your grocer. Other websites you can use to save or earn cash back on grocery purchases include Coupons.com and Checkout51.
Buy on-sale or frozen produce.
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season and on sale, and only buy as much as you plan to use each week. To avoid having to throw away produce that’s gone bad, freeze any extra. Another idea: Buy plain, frozen fruits and vegetables. This way, you only use what you need and can save the rest for later. Plus, frozen vegetables have less sodium than regular canned vegetables. Low-sodium or no-salt-added canned vegetables have similar sodium content as plain frozen vegetables.
Stick to your list.
At the store, it’s important to follow your shopping list and not get distracted by other items. A few impulse buys here and there can really add up. Use a paper list, your smartphone’s notes feature, or your grocery store’s app to create your grocery list and easily reference it while you shop.
Additional Kidney Diet Resources
Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:
- DaVita Food Analyzer
- DaVita Dining Out Guides
- Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks
- DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes
- Diet and Nutrition Articles
- Diet and Nutrition Videos
- Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.