/ by Sean O'Nan, MS, RD, LD
Written by Sean O'Nan, a registered dietitian at UK Markey Cancer Center.
Many people face financial strain after they are diagnosed with cancer. If this is you, you may be trying to look for new ways to save money as your medical bills rise, but you might find yourself stuck trying to figure out where to trim your finances.
The good news is that it is possible to be budget-friendly while buying nutritious foods, which are essential to improving treatment outcomes and helping you on your way to recovery.
Here are a five tips to help you save money at the grocery store:
- Pay attention to your produce! What kinds of produce do you typically prefer? If you have ever had some of your favorite fruits or vegetables go bad while waiting to be used, it may be time to consider frozen or canned options. These items will have a longer shelf life and provide similar nutrients, just be mindful of any additional sauces or syrups – instead pick “plain” options or canned in water.
- Choose alternatives to pricey brand names. When it comes to buying groceries, brand name products may lead to a higher cost at the register. Often, these foods are comparable in flavor and quality to the store brands, so it may be worth switching to save extra dollars on your grocery bill.
- Conventional food products are OK, too. A popular topic of debate in the fields of nutrition and medicine stems from the use of organic and conventional produce. Many people believe that organic products are “healthier” and provide more nutritional benefits than their conventional counterparts, but research shows that these claims aren’t true. By choosing conventional products, you can save money at the register and still have a good source of nutrients.
- Rack up savings with your smart phone. In today’s technology-driven world, grocery stores, including Kroger, Meijer and Walmart, have created smartphone apps that not only advertise their products but can also provide nice savings from weekly specials and electronic coupons. Check your phone’s app store to see if your favorite retailer has an app and let the savings begin!
- What about assistance programs? Depending on your household income, you may be eligible to apply for SNAP benefits and receive supplemental food assistance. Each state has different criteria for SNAP eligibility. Click here to review FAQ and begin an online application.
For additional information regarding diet and nutrition for cancer patients at Markey Cancer Center, please call 859-323-2798 and ask to speak with a registered dietitian.