Weight Loss Surgery Post-Op Life: Money Saving Tips

I thought I would address something about having bariatric surgery (aka weight loss surgery) that is not talked about much...

Good Protein Food Sources
Protein Powder
New Wardrobe, Shoes, Jewelry Resizing
Gym Memberships, Exercise Equipment

It's expensive.

Here's some money saving tips and hints that have helped me make this journey to good health more reasonable on the pocketbook I hope they help you too...

Food:  Before weight loss surgery I'd fill up on cheap fillers like pasta, rice, and bread. Good quality protein sources cost more. I do love my Trader Joe's goodies but you can do healthy on the cheap too...

* Chicken (get whole versus boneless skinless) - roast it and divide up yourself or drop one in a crock pot all day, save & strain the broth for soups.

Favorite Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Dinner Recipes

* Ground Turkey, Chicken, Beef - watch for sales and grab a couple to freeze for another week.

* Costco/Sam's Club buy big bags of chicken, shrimp, turkey meatballs, turkey/salmon/bison burgers, fish fillets, things like that. Frozen Turkey Meatballs are a favorite of mine. Costco Rotisserie Chickens are the best and under $5.

My Costco Shopping List

Weight Loss Surgery Cheap and Healthy Foods Legumes

* Beans (in the bulk bins: pinto, lentils, split peas, etc. in canned kidney, black beans, chickpeas, cannellini) Sign-up on the S&W website they routinely send coupons (and recipes.)

Oodles of Eggface Bean Recipes

* Hit the Bulk Bins in supermarkets for whole grains, steel cut oats, quinoa, tvp, nut/soy flours, protein powders, powder peanut butter, etc.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Surgery Fitness Health

* Eggs - I have like 45 (almost) different "Bites" aka crustless quiche recipes that are super yummy and you can toss anything in.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Surgery Cheap Meals Appetizers Healthy Food Recipes

More Eggface Egg Recipes

* Tuna, Salmon, Crab - packets are great and often on sale. $1 each last week so I stocked up.

Wls weight loss surgery bariatric surgery cheap food menus

* Dairy: Blocks of cheese are way cheaper than cheese sticks, buy store brand cottage cheese, milk.

* Farmer's Markets (go 1 hour before closing) freshest fruits & veggies for awesome prices, Buy what is in season. Ask the farmers for recipe ideas.

* Shop the sales and cut coupons. Flipp App (or website) lets you see all your local ads at once and make a shopping list. Hit the manufacturer websites, supermarket websites and request coupons some have downloadable ones online. Sign up for their email lists. Contact companies directly and ask for coupons or samples.

* If you have a freezer stock up when there is a great deal. Most foods freeze just fine.

* Plan menus to utilize leftovers. Today's roast chicken leftovers become tomorrow's chicken salad. I have a bunch of ideas for repurposing on the blog. Hit the search box above and type in whatever you have bumping around the fridge, I'm sure I have a few pages of recipes for it. Here's a post that explains more about repurposing.

Vitamins and protein powders are not cheap especially the tasty ones but you know I figure I'm saving all those Dr's office co-pays, lab fees and meds from all my co-morbidities that are resolved so it sort of balances out for me... and no they are not all created equal so just be sure whatever you are taking is meeting the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) 2016 Guidelines which are designed based on long-term studies and evidence for best outcomes.

My Favorite Protein Shake Recipes

* Ask your bariatric support group leader or surgeon's office to host a protein or vitamin swap. One man's yuck is another's yum. Bring those tubs and bottles that you just aren't feeling and trade them with other post-ops for their stash.

*Is there a flavor or brand you want to try but it's $$ go in together on a tub with a friend from support group, meet before, bring a container and split it.

Protein Shake Weight Loss Surgery

In Case of Emergency: Essentials for the Weight Loss Surgery Post-op

New Wardrobe, Shoes, Jewelry Resizing: Don't buy too much too soon. I swore when I got to size 18/20 that was it... it was beyond my wildest dreams from a tight 28 so I went to town a bit and bought some beautiful outfits that I was in for about 2 weeks. Seriously. Single digit jeans now.

Jeans Weight Loss Surgery

* See if your local weight loss support group has a clothing exchange if they don't... start one.

* Craigslist, eBay, Freecycle, Thrift Stores (poppin' tags), Poshmark

* Shop the discount stores. I great big puffy heart TJ Maxx, Ross, stores like that. Macy's Clearance racks rock. I routinely get $100 jeans for $20.

* Look in those mailer coupon books or the back of the phone book or online for jewelry resizing coupons and don't do this till you are at least a year out. I went from Size 11 ring finger to 6 1/2.

Exercise: Gym Memberships are expensive and let's face it a lot of us won't go as much as we should. Here are a few free (or almost free) ways to get moving...

* Exercise DVDs - Leslie Sansone has a great set of walking tapes you could probably get off eBay for dirt cheap. Hit your local library and borrow some. This is a great way to try before you buy. Start a monthly swap with friends.

* YouTube, Fitnessblender, there are tons of free workouts online. Free Phone Apps. Here are some of my favorites...

weight loss surgery bariatric surgery WLS

* Go on local Facebook groups, Craigslist or Freecycle and put up a notice asking for home gym equipment. I just got rid of a gazelle machine on Freecycle I no longer wanted.

* Mall walk - some malls even have groups. If you think you might spend money leave your purse in the car trunk. When you go to the mall park the farthest away from the building you can (and still be safe.)

* Dance at home. Turn on some great tunes (Free Spotify) and get down. 3-4 songs = 10 minutes. Do this 3x a day (before breakfast, after dinner, before bed) and you'll have an extra 30-minute workout.

* Walk in your neighborhood. I do this one most of all. Meet a friend for a walk. Find a free "urban stair stepper machine"

Urban Exercise Weight Loss Surgery Fitness

More Resources:

Here's an article I wrote for Your Weight Matters Magazine, "Online Resources for Health, Fitness and Well-being" with lots more free ideas.

81 Awesome Mental Health Resources Many FREE

What Can SNAP Buy?  Information for those utilizing the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Obesity Action Coalition Vitamin Recover Program (1-time use only)

Obesity Action Coalition Your Weight Matter Convention Scholarship Program (sign-up for e-alerts to hear when the application process opens each year)

Hope these give you a few new ideas and feel free to leave ideas you are doing to save $$$ in the comments.


gharkness said...

Many city parks and recreation departments have workout facilities. The ones in my city rival ANY for-profit venture and are cleaner and cheaper, to boot. The price is $65.00 per year, as opposed to hundreds for the commercial ones, and a little bit of ingenuity makes it possible to go when the crowds aren't so big.

Debbie Y. said...

Absolutely wonderful information to have on the weight loss journey. Thanks for all the tips and the recipes, etc. I read your blog everyday when I get off work. Thanks again.

Donna said...

Love your blog! Had to LOL when you said, "park far away from your car." How exactly do you do that? ;) Yeah, I know what you meant.
Donna:) (DHRN from DS)

Michelle "Shelly" said...

LOL Yeah huh "park far away from your car" I fixed it. ;)

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Great tip gharkness!


Thanks Debbie :)

ME-chele said...

Hello there, I found your site thru another blogger and am very impressed by all your great advice. I can't wait to try out some of your recipes. I am very excited to try the protein Ice creams that you make specially the Mint choco chip.. Yum!! Can you by chance tell me if you have ever tried making the ice cream using lactaid? I am sure it would work but I was just wondering.

You are such an inspiration, I am only 4 month along and hope that I do as well as you. Feel free to check out my blog sometime.
Take care. ME-chele

alittlebitofscrap said...

These are al very good tips! Thanks :) I'm pre-op (surgery Sep 3rd) so I will def keep these in mind.

Diane said...

Great tips! I don't own a gym membership, opting for bike rides and walking/hiking. I never buy clothing full price....always shop clearance sales (even at goal weight). Protein powders are much more economical than premixed (I save about $37/mo). Also, I make, rather than buy allot of "specialty" foods. Thanks, Shelly! You are an inspiration!!!!!

Marie said...


Great tips for the coin conscious WLS people out there!!

hippie_chick said...

Great blog, Eggface! I bought my Gazelle off Craigslist and absolute live on FreeCycle! My 2 youngest sons haven't had new clothes in forever thanks to Freecycle :-)

The YMCA also has discounted memberships if you need assistance.

barbra seville (Ms Macky) said...

I got a bike from Craig's List for free! I also walk around the grocery store a lot longer than I used to. Park farther away at work, walk to the park and I walk my neighbor's dog! I have lost -112lbs. Great article!!!

boomrkt said...

Ask friends or family if they have workout dvd's or vhs tapes that they havent been using and have an exhange every couple of weeks. It gives you a chance to try something new without the commitment. Most people these days, if they aren't WLS patients they are more then likely "dieting" for something or other. Also, if you are going to pay to work out find something that you love, I am doing ballroom dancing. I knew that if I paid for a gym membership that I would never go so instead I dance and it ends up being my therapy and my workout!!! I love it!!!

Lieslgee said...

I always want to post a caution when I see the "park far away from the door" at malls and strip centers. These are really dangerous places and it's not really a good idea to park out in the boonies. Pay attention to the lighting and your surroundings because you are at your most vulnerable during the time you are walking to and from your car.

Tsa said...

youtube also has some great workouts videos to watch!!

MarcyB said...

When we decided to move after retirement, we chose a neighborhood that had an Olympic-sized pool that costs us nothing to use. We decided we wanted to live close enough to the pool that we could go every day if we wanted to, so we looked at houses within a 6-mile radius. That was 7 years ago and we are still happy with our decision. Of course, not everyone loves to swim, but if you're planning a move, think about your fitness needs when you choose where you'll live.

Christina said...

Awesome post. Another way to save cash, still get what you want and be happy doing it. This is truly inspiring.

Alabama Bariatrics said...

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