I thought I would address something about having weight loss surgery that is not talked about much...
Good Protein Food Sources
New Wardrobe, Shoes, Jewelry Resizing
Gym Memberships, Exercise Equipment
Here's some 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: Pre-op I'd fill up on cheap pasta, rice and bread. Good 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.
* Beans (in the bulk bins: pinto, lentils, split peas, etc. in canned kidney, black beans, chickpeas, cannelini)
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.
* Eggs - I have like 45 (almost) different "Bites" aka crustless quiche recipes that are super yummy and you can toss anything in.
More Eggface Egg Recipes
* Tuna, Salmon, Crab - packets are great and often on sale. $1 each last week so I stocked up.
* Dairy: Blocks of cheese are way cheaper that 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) let's 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 on 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 becomes 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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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)
* 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 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's 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...
* 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"
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
Obesity Action Coalition Vitamin Recover Program (1 time use only)
Hope these give you a few new ideas and feel free to leave ideas you are doing to save $$$ in the comments.