No disease, whether it is celiac, diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular, should put your pocketbook into overdrive, even if a doctor ordered a complete overhaul of your current diet.
When life throws you a major curveball, say a prayer and think outside the box for ways to live with that new diagnosis. It is surprising how many resources are available. And that’s a relief, because the last thing I need to worry about right now is staying within my budget because I’ve had to change my grocery list!
How to Stay on Budget and Eat Healthy
Organic Coupons. They do exist, but it takes some searching! Consider coupon-clipping services, swapping with friends or picking up weekly ads at a health food store.
Request Specific Coupons and Samples
If asked to purchase specific foods or nutritional supplements, contact the manufacturer and request coupons and product samples. Explain you've been diagnosed with a disease and are trying to stay within budget and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Store Specials and Overage
Watch for daily reductions in all departments, especially produce, dairy and meat with manager's specials. Stockpile these items when prices are low.
Take advantage of overages. When purchasing an item for $0.75, use a coupon for $1.00. That puts the buyer "over" $0.25 on the item and earns that difference back toward other items in the order. Some stores adjust the amount of the coupon "down" to match the price of the product, but many give overages, including Wal-Mart and Kroger.
Un-Branding Brand Loyalty
Consider purchasing organic store-brand products instead of commercial products and save at least 33% compared to name brands.
Walmart and Target allow shoppers to bring a current competitor’s ad into the store to "match" that price. It is necessary to have an original sales ad with the current date. Show this to the cashier before the item is scanned, and the price will be manually reduced.
Buy in Bulk
Many stores, such as Whole Foods and Sprouts, offer at least a 10% discount when purchasing one case of a product. Whether or not a coupon is used, this can result in instant savings. Speak with the store manager if unclear on whether this is available.
Otherwise, utilize any coupons or discount stores to stock up on great deals. Often stores such as Big Lots, Trader Joe's, Kroger and Meijer have organic produce and products at great prices.
Many dollar and discount stores offer a multitude of organic produce, canned foods and nutritional supplements for a fraction of the cost at a regular grocer or health food store.
Utilize the Freezer
When great deals are found, extend the product’s life by freezing it. It is possible to freeze milk, cheese, breads, meat, butter, veggies, fruit and more. Or cook and freeze a meal for those days when you’ll be unable to cook because of treatments or a physician's appointment.
On days when you aren’t feeling well consider shopping online instead. Find great deals by shopping for products at Amazon. Sign up for Swagbucks and use those credits to earn Amazon gift certificates. This is a great way to save.
Vitacost is another fantastic site to shop online for products. Purchase $49 or more and get free shipping, and save up to 33% daily. When matched with coupons and special offers even more savings are possible.
Individuals diagnosed with certain diseases may be able to receive tax deductions for expenses associated with foods and products. You must have a doctor's note and keep your receipts. Learn more here.
Educational Materials and Free Medications
There are many reference materials available for free. While waiting in a medical specialist's office or at the pharmacy for a prescription, take home a complimentary magazine related to your disease. Use the “free subscription” postcard to receive a complimentary subscription to the magazine. Look through the magazine for other additional savings such as free cookbooks, coupons for free 30-day prescriptions, resource guides, and coupons for medical supplies.
Whatever your diagnosis, it is possible to have the best of both worlds by staying within budget and knowing where to find resources to help you maintain a well-balanced, nutritious life and understanding how to manage your disease.