- Plan ahead before you shop.
- Plan meals and snacks for the week according to a budget
- Find quick and easy recipes online.
- Include meals that will “stretch” expensive food items (stews, casseroles, stir-fries).
- Make a grocery list.
- Check for sales and coupons in the local paper or online and consider discount stores.
- Ask about a loyalty card at your grocery store
- Shop to get the most value out of your budget.
- Buy groceries when you are not hungry and when you are not too rushed.
- Remember to purchase refrigerated and freezer food items last and store them promptly when you get home.
- Proper refrigeration will help food last longer.
- Stick to the grocery list, and stay out of the aisles that don’t contain things on your list.
- Cut coupons from newspaper circulars or online and bring them to the store with you.
- Try to combine coupons with items on sale for more savings!
- Find and compare unit prices listed on shelves to get the best price.
- Buy store brands if cheaper
- Purchase some items in bulk or as family packs, which usually cost less.
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables in season; buy canned vegetables with less salt.
- Pre-cut fruits and vegetables, individual cups of yogurt, and instant rice and hot cereal are convenient, but usually cost more.
Good low-cost items year-round include:
- Protein: beans (garbanzo, black, kidney, northern, lima)
- Vegetables: carrots, greens, potatoes
- Fruit: apples, bananas, 100% frozen orange juice
- Grains: brown rice, oats
- Dairy: fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
- Make cost-cutting meals.
- Some meal items can be prepared in advance; precook on days when you have time.
- Double or triple up on recipes and freeze meal-sized containers of soups and casseroles or divide into individual portions and freeze.
- Try a few meatless meals by featuring beans and peas, or try “no-cook” meals like salads.
- Incorporate leftovers into a meal later in the week.