Packing your food lineup with nutritious choices doesn’t mean you have to go to the store with a big wallet. With a little strategy, you can eat right even when your budget is tight. In fact, here is a selection of tips to empower you to eat right, while still keeping an eye on your budget.
- Choose in-season produce to buy fresh. Out-of-season items tend to be more expensive. Opt for frozen on those.
- Look for meat sales. Most grocery stores run specials. By watching out for these, you can cut down much of your meat costs.
- Clip coupons. A $1.50 Sunday paper could save you a lot more than that during your weekly grocery trip. Plan your meals around what is on sale.
- Freeze. If you think your fruits, vegetables, herbs or meats could go bad before you have time to eat them all, freeze them. Frozen fruits make great smoothies or compotes, and frozen vegetables are great for cooking.
Make Your Own
- Cook your own sauces and soups rather than buying canned. It can be less expensive and healthier, because you have more control over the ingredients.
- Shred your own cheese, which is typically less expensive than buying pre-shredded cheese.
- Wash and cut your own lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc., rather than buying the pre-washed and bagged versions.
Buy Store Brands
- Buy store brands instead of name brands. Check out the ingredients label. They’re usually almost identical.
- Check the unit price (the price per oz/lb/gm) on the price tag of a certain item and compare across brands and item sizes.
Buy in Bulk
- Buy in bulk and separate. Get the big bag of rice or pasta and separate.
- Avoid single serving items, if possible. Buy the bigger item and split into bags or cup-size servings.
Make Things Last
- Stretch your meats and cheeses. These items are usually the more expensive items in your basket. Think of them more as a garnish or side item than a main dish.