Want to know how to save money on a Low Fodmap Diet? This article will help you squeeze all that deliciousness into your existing grocery budget. From meal plan strategy to specialty items, let LofoFoodie help you save save save!
So, you’ve embarked on what is the Low Fodmap diet. Well done on getting started! If you have gotten started, you will know that the Low Fodmap diet is the most effective, medically proven, way to beat those dreadful IBS symptoms.
The one thing you don’t get told so much about the Low Fodmap way of eating is that it can get expensive! It most likely means that you are eating more ‘real foods’ and more of them that you have previously. New spices, fresh herbs, more protein – things get costly! And the cost continues to rise when you start creating more meals outside your ‘staple’ recipes – which is important to do in order to maintain variety and have a greater chance of not going off the plan.
Despite costs adding up quickly, Lofofoodie has some surefire tips that can help you to stick to your plan, stay symptom free and save some cash!
Here are our tips :
1. Plan meals at least a few days in advance – best case a one week plan
Research has shown that consumers who make a midweek “fill in” trip to the store buy twice the number of items they had intended. Hit the supermarket aisles less often, and save almost $1,000 a year—as well as a lot of frustration.
When writing down a list of meals for the week, it enables you to mix and match ingredients to ensure the entire shop is utilised. For example if one recipe calls for 4 springs of fresh coriander, its perhaps best to look for another recipe that calls for coriander to make later in the week. Writing down meal plan also makes it more likely that you will get in to a situation where you can’t think of anything to make for dinner and eat something you shouldn’t.
2. Make it homemade where possible
Scan some online forums and you will see an unending amount of photos by group members who are desperate to know if a pre-packaged meal is Low Fodmap. Whilst it is a great idea to be knowledgeable about what food items you can pick up in the store and heat up quickly in an ‘emergency’, it is a much healthier, cheaper and safer options to cook, freeze and reheat your own meals. Of course this means more time spent in the kitchen (which none of us have!), however if you follow some meal preparation ideas that we have shared, the time can be reduced significantly.
This is infact one of the areas we consider to be critical in terms of maximising the benefits that can come from the Low Fodmap way of eating.
3. Buy bulk items/sale items
The most important point of buying bulk is to not overstock and end up having to throw half of the items away because they have gone bad. This would of course be counter-productive. Here we are referring to food items that you know you will be using such as chicken fillets or olive oil. Buy items on sale and freeze where possible. When freezing be sure to freeze in portions so that you do not need to defrost the entire package when the time comes.
Check out food stalls, markets and wholesalers for items that are offered at cheaper prices in bulk. Of course, buy-in on sale is an obvious way to save money, however the point is to buy a lot on sale and then store in order to use over a longer period of time.
4. Pick just a couple specialty items
Try to avoid buying all of the specialty items listed in a particular recipe. For example, substituting butter for ghee. The recipe will most likely call for a small amount of ghee and the rest will most likely sit in your refrigerator until you stumble across it in 6 months time cleaning out your top shelf.
5. Be smart about where you shop and for what
Track prices of your must-have products at your local supermarket, then keep a best-price cheat sheet in your phone, wallet or handbag. Next time you’re stocking up, you won’t have to wonder if you’re getting a good buy.
Calculate based on the cost per unit before you buy in bulk. That figure isn’t always posted on the store shelf, but there are apps and online calculators that will do the math for you. Grocery price calculators are a handy app to download and have with you when shopping.
Also be sure to determine which foods to buy where. For example, you may find that fresh herbs are better value at the farmers market versus lactose free milk purchased at a discounter.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line, like more or less anything to do with the Low Fodmap way of eating is that being prepared will offer you the most advantages. It will provide you with additional time, meaning less trips to the supermarket per week and it will save you money knowing what you will be cooking and when, enabling you to utilise all of the articles purchased for the week.