Gestational Diabetes on a Budget

Pregnancy is expensive.  There is no way around that. Even when you try to be thrifty, there are a lot of things that you need to spend money on.  Add Gestational Diabetes and it just adds even more costs into your budget.  Today I'm writing about what I do to keep our budget in check even with the additional costs and the new diet.  

For the most part there are a lot of fixed costs that you can not change with gestational diabetes.  You cannot control the cost of the appointments or the medical supplies that you need.  It does help to shop around at various pharmacies and see if your supplies are cheaper at some places than others.  The easiest cost to control is going to be your food.  

A lot of recommendations for controlling your blood glucose levels involve eating specialty foods.  Something that helps save a lot of money is to remember that you are the only one who needs to follow a special diet.  If your household members continue to eat the cheaper bread, while you consume a more expensive alternative that will help.  So my husband still eats the cheap white bread while I consume the 5 dollar multi-seed and grain bread that has been working best for me.  If you decided to use cauliflower rice for example, the rest of your family can still have normal rice.  

In the same theme, it helps to avoid the specialty items if you don’t need them.  Sugar-free cakes and cookies are a thing but are often way more expensive than the regular alternative.  Same with specialty ice creams.  Its nice to have those as a treat occasionally, but they will also add to your grocery budget.  If you are buying the specialty treats, it helps to keep them away from the rest of the family who can eat normal items.  

It also helps to find the cheap low carb items that you can use to bulk meals out with.  For example, whenever I'm cooking ground beef I normally add in onion, carrots, and mushrooms if I have them on hand.  This helps bulk out the meat portion so for a dish like cottage pie, it lowers the ratio of potatoes (high carb) to everything else in a much cheaper fashion then if I just added more ground beef.  

Remember with gestational diabetes you need to control the amount of carbs you are consuming, not eliminate carbs completely.  So instead of finding expensive alternatives you can portion control your cheaper carbs and have those with most meals.  For example, 1 serving of basmati rice has around 68 carbs in it.  That's a lot of carbs, however, that is 1.5 cups of rice.  If you have half of that 3/4 of a cup, its still a decent amount of rice for your meal, with a much more reasonable amount of carbs.  You can apply the same strategy to pasta and potatoes.  It is best to get the lower gi versions if you can, but if you cannot, just watch your portions and evaluate what works for you.  

Another strategy is to plan your meals ahead. If you are needing to purchase ingredients you don't normally use for a recipe make sure you find several recipes that use that ingredient so you are not going to waste anything.  Batch cooking also helps, because then you have cheap and quick meals that you just need to heat up.  I find unstuffed cabbage rolls perfect for this.  Figure out what your cheaper meals are and make sure you repeat those often with the more expensive meals, like salmon being used less frequently.  

Snacks are a hard part of the budget for me.  Because once I was diagnosed I suddenly could only consume carbs at certain times.  My initial go-to snacks for the other times was nuts and biltong, but those are both expensive. And with the carb snacks, I was nervous about going over and so I was getting expensive protein bars as snacks.  But fruits, vegetables, popcorn, crackers and cheese, peanut butter and fruit or celery, and a fried or poached egg are all fairly inexpensive snacks.  

Gestational Diabetes is expensive, but by planning meals, you should be able to avoid spiking your grocery budget too badly.  


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