According to the USDA, overall food costs are expected to rise 3 to 4 percent in 2013, with meat and dairy expected to rise between 2.5 and 5 percent. As you know, protein is always the first choice on our plate after weight loss surgery, so here are some tips to help stretch your food budget.
- Purchase cheaper cuts of meats for the meats you use in soups and stews.
- Add some plant protein to your meat to reduce the amount of meat you need by adding some lentils to ground beef.
- Reduce meals away from home! This will not only save your wallet but also your waistline from extra calories, fat and sodium from fast food.
- Start batch cooking, or cooking extra portions and freezing it for a later meal.
- Buy raw ingredients instead of processed products. Five pounds of potatoes cost less per pound than a bag of potato chips, and are a lot healthier too!
- Plan what you need from the grocery store before you go. Make a list, and never go hungry!
- Beware of overbuying. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans waste as much as 40 percent of the food they buy. Planning your meals ahead of time will help prevent overbuying.
If you look at your schedule for the week and plan ahead, you can keep your weight on track even with rising food costs. If you have any questions, please contact your weight loss surgery dietitans.
Betsy Felde RD, LDN
Centegra Health System