My daughters and I have been sick all week. I can related to Tawra in this article – the last thing we want to think about is making or buying food. The tips she shares below are helpful – enjoy!

Save on Groceries When You’re Sick
by Tawra Kellam

I have been disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia for 22 years. One of the hardest parts of living with this illness is dealing with food; buying it and making it. Because of the nausea, I don’t feel like fixing food in the first place and then because of the brain fog I can’t think of what to make. Because of the sheer exhaustion, I simply don’t have the energy to shop or prepare food. This can lead to a LOT of meals of cereal and toast. Because I have a husband and four kids who also have to eat, here are some ways I’ve come up with that can help you to cope and save while you’re sick:

These suggestions are useful if you just have the flu or a bad cold or if you are chronically ill like I am.

Keep meals very simple. Write a list of 10 meals your family loves that you can make in 15 minutes or less. Here are examples of ours:
Fried Ham Slices, Baked Potatoes, Apple Salad, Peas
Lemon chicken, dinner rolls (pre-baked), broccoli and cheese, orange slices
Tacos, apple/orange slices and sliced cucumbers, peppers and carrots
Stir fry, sliced peaches

Use frozen foods. Frozen foods are very nutritionally sound so don’t be afraid to use them. You can buy bags of already chopped onions, peppers and broccoli and there is no prep work on your part aside from dumping them in your pan or steamer.

Go shopping early in the morning or late in the evening. When there are no crowds you get in and out quicker and you also get parking spot closer to the door.

Time your shopping trip for about 1-2 hours after you take your medication. This way you won’t be in as much pain and will be able to think more clearly while at the store.

Ask your husband to do the shopping. This may not work in all families but now my husband does the big Aldi shopping trip for me. It is just a few blocks from his work and he can be in and out in 20 minutes with a huge shopping cart full of groceries. It is much easier for him to do this than to deal with a wife who is dead on the couch from one shopping trip. Now, I just make short trips to the store to catch sales during the month.

Don’t feel guilty if you can’t use coupons. I’ve tried and, let me tell you, dealing with them expends more energy than just figuring out how to make our meals cheaper with other products. Because of the brain fog, I literally can’t think most days. If you’re like this, don’t feel bad if you aren’t able to shop with coupons every time (or at all).

Have kids clean up. My kids as young as three years old have always helped clean up. Each child takes his own place settings plus a certain number of items off the table (usually 4-5 additional items depending on how much is on the table). Then one child finishes clearing the last of the items on the table, one wipes the table and one loads the dishwasher. We rotate responsibilities each week. When clearing, they are required to put the things that go in the fridge or pantry back where they belong. Then all I have to do is clean the pots and pans.

Tawra Kellam is the author of Dining on a Dime Cookbook. In five years, Tawra and her husband paid off $20,000 of personal debt on an average income of $22,000 per year. You can visit her at

1 thought on “Save on Groceries When You’re Sick

  1. I was excited to see your name on the linuep for HEART this year! As for burnout avoidance sleep is the most important. You can survive many days without food, but not sleep. Next to that is water! Once these are going then it is easier to think clearly. I try to run my offers out or to be involved in something past my hubby. I am not good at gauging time and commitment, but hubby is This has helped immensely. As a Christian I need some time reading God’s Word (transforming my mind) and praying (building my relationship). In addition, I agree with Christina a plan for the day so you know where you are heading (and whether it is realistic) and something to look forward to a programme you enjoy, craft time, a special book, coffee with friends or spouse.Great topic Rachel!! We all need to regularly check ourselves in this regard. A Warrant of Fitness every term would be good to implement!

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