New Jersey Bariatric Center
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Staying On Track When Food Costs Are High

By Dana Babeu, R.D. | July 8, 2022

Many households are feeling the impact of higher food costs. Foods that benefit our bodies such as chicken, eggs, low-fat dairy and green veggies are rising in costs and impacting our wallets. Higher food costs don’t have to derail your progress toward becoming a healthier you, with planning you can maximize nutrition without emptying your wallet. Here are some tips.

Utilize Curb Side Pick-Ups

Shop using the curbside pick-up or delivery option at your grocery store. This way you can buy only what’s on your list. This method can help you cut down on impulse purchases you might  make if you were roaming the aisles, which saves you both money and calories. 

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is a great way to save on everything from milk, eggs and meat to paper products and shelf-stable items. Consider a membership to a Costco or Sam’s Club, or utilize a subscribe and save option available from retailers like Amazon.  Some of the best prices on protein powders and shakes can be found at these membership clubs.  Many even allow you to share with a friend or family member for added savings. 

Store Safely & Save

If the last two years of pandemic life have taught us anything, it’s how valuable it is to stock up on essentials. Storage is one key to making your bulk purchases and subscriptions work for you without resulting in waste. If storage is an issue, consider a group-buying approach. For example, maybe you don’t need 10lbs of chicken breast. Split the cost with a friend or neighbor and you each get 5lbs at a cheaper rate. 

Pay close attention to expiration dates for all food items and always put the most recent purchase to the back of your cabinet or fridge. This way, the first thing you grab will be the one you need to use up soonest. If you have the space for a separate freezer, you can maximize the storage time for meat, fish and leftovers you cook in bulk and portion out for later use.

Think Local

A great way to increase the type and variety of foods is to think local when it comes to meat, eggs, seafood and even veggies. Shop at farmer’s market or co-op for locally sourced foods. Know a recreational fisher or hunter? They may have extra meat to share for a reasonable price. For veggies, consider growing your own produce in the summertime, like tomatoes, zucchini and fresh herbs. 

Plan, plan, plan

One of the surest ways to go over a budget on groceries is to have no plan. Keep a running list of items you buy regularly along with meals you make on regular rotation. Build a weekly or monthly menu around seasonal items which are more likely to be fresh and local and less expensive. Use the shelf-stable and frozen ingredients you have on hand when planning your choices. Cooking extra to use as leftovers and freezing individual servings for easy reheating cuts down on expensive takeout lunches and dinners. 

Inflated prices come and go, but these timeless tips can help you maximize the health of your body and your budget. For more questions, call our office at 908-481-1270 to make an appointment.

Dana Babeu, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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