Kidney Diet Tips

Kidney Diet Food Budget for the New Year

The beginning of a new year is a great time to assess and plan your food budget. When it comes to buying food for a kidney diet, some people express concern over spending more money on special products to help reduce sodium and phosphorus intake. For example, the low sodium version of canned tuna and canned veggies costs more than the regular salted canned products. Low sodium condiments like no salt added ketchup and low sodium salad dressings also carry a higher price tag, not to mention the probability of containing potassium chloride, a salt substitute that kicks up the potassium content.

Following a kidney diet does not have to be more expensive if you’re aware of a few budget tips. Making wise choices at the grocery store requires a plan before you head off to the store.

Kidney Diet Budget Tips

  • Plan your meals and snacks for the week.  Include go-to meals as well as a few new recipes.
  • Create a grocery list. Use grocery store flyers or check their websites to find bargains and coupons. Use smart phone notes or grocery store apps to create your grocery list to easily access at the store.
  • Buy plain frozen vegetables instead of salted canned vegetables. Not only do you decrease sodium, you also have less waste because you can cook only what’s needed; reseal or store remaining vegetables in freezer bags for later use.
  • Make your own instead of relying on pre-packaged items. This includes salad dressings, sauces and gravies, low-sodium broth, seasoning blends, marinades, and flavored rice or noodle dishes. You’ll save on sodium, avoid phosphate additives and it’s much cheaper to make it homemade.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season and on sale. Instead of buying in bulk and risking spoilage and waste, buy only the amount you intend to consume within the week. Look for sales on canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook several meals in one day and portion and refrigerate or freeze meals for use during the week.
  • Compare products and buy the brand with lowest sodium and lowest cost.

For more information on food budgeting, read “Budget Meals on the Dialysis Diet“.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

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.

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 30 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 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.