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I am weighing all of the positives versus all of the negatives while trying to make a final decision about surgery. I have been considering the gastric sleeve surgery for years, and am now closer to making decision than I have ever been . The referral has been made and I have scheduled my consultation. So far, just about everything I have researched has me leaning towards going for it except my fear that I won't be able to afford the expense of groceries in the future. Why are healthy foods so expensive? And the Protein and Vitamins expense is scary to think about. I have joint pain, apnea and high blood pressure as well as a rare disease and know that my future health would benefit from the surgery, but I'm so poor! Is bariatric surgery only a solution for people with more substantial finances? (I have insurance and some savings to help with surgery costs). And advice?

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Healthy foods may be more expensive, but you will not eat nearly as much as you did before. Yes you will need items that are not part of your regular food plan like Vitamins and Protein Shakes, but literally, you will be eating 6 ounces of food a day in total! A perfect example of two things I did.. I made my own Protein crust for pizza. 1 cup of mozz cheese, 1 egg, and 1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower.. I may have spent 8 dollars on those 3 items.. the cheese will make this twice, and so will the cauliflower.. and well you now have 11 eggs for something else.. so in essence it cost me 4 bucks to make this crust, but this one batch of crust made 5.. enough for 5 meals!!! and then some.. because I can only eat half LOL. Also, we have wawa gas station here, and I bought an egg bowl. with eggs, steak (double) and cheese.. the item cost me 3.74 but again, it was 5 breakfasts worth of food.. what somebody else would eat in one meal. It truly is worth it in the end!

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My grocery bill has gone way down. Plus, I basically never eat out anymore, and when I do it is in tiny portions.

Some examples of what I buy:

Protein Shakes are typically $2/2.5 each. Fairlife milk is about $4/52 oz - expensive for milk, but still only about $0.61 per 8 oz serving. And it has more Protein, so it is worth it. But you can also buy cheaper milk. So a meal is less than $3. And Premier Protein is $25/18 at costco (sometimes on sale for $5 off) - so $1.40 each.

I buy frozen fish/shrimp at costco - a bag costs about $14 and has roughly 9 fillets in it. Lasts me forever. Each fillet lasts 2 meals for me (3 in the earlier days) - so about $0.78/serving. Add in some canned or frozen veggies, which are a few cents per serving. So, dinner is less than a couple dollars. Edited to add - and a little veg will last a while. I LOVE veggies and easily would eat a single zucchini or head of broccoli in a sitting. Now a zucc or brocoli will last me a week. SO there is savings there, too.

My eggs are fairly expensive - about $4/dozen (they're free range, organic, etc), so about $0.33/serving. But you can get eggs much cheaper.

I make dried Beans - a lb of beans lasts me forever. And the bag is only about $1-2.

My most expensive things for me are veggie sausage (about $4.50/bag - about $0.75/each) and every now and again I treat myself with really good cheese.

My Vitamins cost about $26/30 day supply, so about $0.86/day.

I track my spending pretty closely. Between rarely eating out (especially bringing my lunch to work every day) and eating a lot less, my food bill (grocery, vitamins, dining out) is significantly less than it was before. Plus, I'm off a few of my meds, so that saves me money every month.

If you're worried about the initial outflow of cash to get supplies, start buying things a bit at a time before surgery. Watch for when frozen veg goes on sale and stock up. Same with meat/fish/whatever protein and freeze it in 2-3 oz portions.

Edited by notmyname

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Jazzy1125 and notmyname, thank you for the replies. They are so encouraging! Would you both mind sharing brands of Protein Shakes and Vitamins? I live in rural Hawaii and I would like to start checking on availability. Our small local grocery store is pretty basic and the adjacent town is probably only a little more stocked. Thanks for you feedback!

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1 minute ago, sheslittletex said:

Jazzy1125 and notmyname, thank you for the replies. They are so encouraging! Would you both mind sharing brands of Protein Shakes and Vitamins? I live in rural Hawaii and I would like to start checking on availability. Our small local grocery store is pretty basic and the adjacent town is probably only a little more stocked. Thanks for you feedback!

I use Bariatric Fusion Vitamins. 1 chewable Vitamin 4x/day. I use the orange, but they have several flavors. And I think you can buy a sample pack. I buy them from this website (and I usually check Amazon to see who has the best price). I buy enough at one time for free shipping (not sure how free shipping works to Hawaii).

For Protein Shakes, I try to drink different things. Some that I like: Premier Protein chocolate (I buy at Costco), Unjury chocolate powder (buy from their website), and different Syntrax Nectar (I buy from this website or Amazon - whoever has the best deal. I got a sample pack, then bought a 2lb container of my two favorites - Roadside Lemonade and fuzzy navel.

If your town has a health shop, they'll also have some Protein powders. It is a good idea to have some on hand for immediately after surgery, but note that your taste buds might change, so don't buy too much in case you suddenly don't like what you used to.

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1 hour ago, sheslittletex said:

I am weighing all of the positives versus all of the negatives while trying to make a final decision about surgery. I have been considering the gastric sleeve surgery for years, and am now closer to making decision than I have ever been . The referral has been made and I have scheduled my consultation. So far, just about everything I have researched has me leaning towards going for it except my fear that I won't be able to afford the expense of groceries in the future. Why are healthy foods so expensive? And the Protein and Vitamins expense is scary to think about. I have joint pain, apnea and high blood pressure as well as a rare disease and know that my future health would benefit from the surgery, but I'm so poor! Is bariatric surgery only a solution for people with more substantial finances? (I have insurance and some savings to help with surgery costs). And advice?

Amazon and Walmart sells discounted priced Multivitamins, Yogurt for Protein vs protein shakes...

Edited by GreenTealael

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Also- making your own shakes with powder and liquid is cheaper than the RTD options. But even immediately post op- you may be drinking two shakes a day. So, your food at that point would cost about $5/day.

My biggest hurdle is not food cost, but food waste post op, because we really do not each much so buying just enough can be difficult. I am still working out how to buy just what I need.

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1 minute ago, GreenTealael said:

The Dollar tree sells Multivitamins, Yogurt for Protein vs Protein shakes...

No Dollar Tree here, darn! Lol. Do you mean that I can do yogurt instead of shakes? I am a yogurt freak, so that would be great. Would I need to supplant with additional protein, added to yogurt?

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My Protein Shakes - I have two.. I buy pure Protein Powder and make my own shakes. Each container cost about $20 at Sams Club but has 30 servings, I also use Torani Flavored Syrup in the SF version.. to make my own flavors. As for the other ones. I buy Premier Protein.. I ONLY use them for Creamer in my coffee! I thought about getting some other stuff, but I can get 5 or 6 cups of coffee out of each container and I don't have to buy creamer anymore. ( I add about 2 ounces of Protein Shake to my cup of decaf) The Vitamins I take are ProCare Health They come with Iron and I get them from Amazon. It is about 20 a month supply, but then you will have to add in Calcium. If you have health insurance ask your surgeon about the Nascobal. That is a prescription for B12, which you will need. My Job offered Health insurance in Jan.. Now my health insurance does NOT cover the surgery, but it covers the Nascobal 100%.. the perk.. when you get the nascobal, they send all the vitamins you need along with it. So you will get your calcium, iron, and Multivitamin if approved for the low cost. Mine is now free for the next year. I was told mine would be declined because I have *** Insurance but to the surprise of all it was approved and without a copay for the prescription.

I don't know why this is *** out the Insurance type LOL.. Just know its not PPO its the other one that starts with H LOL

Edited by Jazzy1125

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also the ProCare Health Multivitamin is only 1x a day! A true blessing! I also went out and bought Celebrate Calcium, because I have a 3 month supply of ProCare before my health insurance kicked in and sent me the Nascobal ones. So I had to get a calcium supplement for the supply I had before I can take the others.

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1 minute ago, sheslittletex said:

I am writing all of this down. You are all wonderful to this total newbie.

We would rather you ask, at least I would LOL..than to try and figure it out and stress then eat the bad foods you are trying to stay away from. Also, read a lot of the message boards. You will find so much information out there and it can help you prepare for the "what may happen" and how people handled it. If it doesn't happen, great! you are lucky, but if it does, you will be totally prepared and have an idea of how it can be handled.

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7 minutes ago, sheslittletex said:

No Dollar Tree here, darn! Lol. Do you mean that I can do yogurt instead of shakes? I am a yogurt freak, so that would be great. Would I need to supplant with additional Protein, added to yogurt?

I edited it to say Amazon and Walmart once I read you were in Hawaii (derp , speed reading), yes yogurt can replace a supplement. *Most* Teams prefer that you eventually work to get your protein macros from real foods instead of shakes when you can.

Edited by GreenTealael

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You might also want to look-up recipes that contain the items you can find close to you easier. The Vitamins are forever but the expensive shakes are not so don't be turned off by the cost there. Also it's true that you wont be eating much so you will need to buy less. You can also try combining a bit of expensive with much more cheap stuff. In Hawaii you might want to grow your own veggies for fillers. Look up recipes for the specific stages in Pinterest There are tons of them.

I bought these vitamins here ProCare Health "1 per Day!" Bariatric Multivitamin chewable - 30-Day Supply for $22.99 That's .76 cents per pill. I also bought the citracal petites 400 mg calcium citrate With 500 IU Vitamin D3 on Amazon 200 pills for $10.89.

My last suggestion is to talk to local store manager and ask if they would be ok ordering some things for you when they place their orders to save on shipping.

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4 hours ago, sheslittletex said:

I am weighing all of the positives versus all of the negatives while trying to make a final decision about surgery. I have been considering the gastric sleeve surgery for years, and am now closer to making decision than I have ever been . The referral has been made and I have scheduled my consultation. So far, just about everything I have researched has me leaning towards going for it except my fear that I won't be able to afford the expense of groceries in the future. Why are healthy foods so expensive? And the Protein and Vitamins expense is scary to think about. I have joint pain, apnea and high blood pressure as well as a rare disease and know that my future health would benefit from the surgery, but I'm so poor! Is bariatric surgery only a solution for people with more substantial finances? (I have insurance and some savings to help with surgery costs). And advice?

So here’s my take. I have all the big five boxes checked. And I am getting bypass done on the 5th. The ampuntnof money I spend on meds and doctor visits and other incidentals pale in comparison. You will you find that thing will balance out once you factor in all the other expenses. The food you eat will help off set cost. It can be done you will have to refocus on what’s important and that’s your health.

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