Making our money stretch is more important then ever. Food is one of the biggest expenses for any household. People find ways to save on groceries from shopping local, clipping coupons or even going to the dollar store. There are many ways to shop for groceries when you are on a budget. We’ve compiled a list of ways to do just that from our friends at Let’s Move! The key is in the 3 P’s: plan, purchase, prepare.
- Plan meals and snacks for the week according to an established budget
- Find quick and easy recipes online.
- Include meals that will “stretch” expensive food items (stews, casseroles, stir‐fried dishes).
- 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.
- Buy groceries when you are not hungry and when you are not too rushed.
- Stick to the grocery list and stay out of the aisles that don’t contain items on your list.
- Buy store brands if cheaper.
- Find and compare unit prices listed on shelves to get the best price.
- 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 than those that require a bit more prep time.
- Good low‐cost items available all year include:
- Protein — beans (garbanzo, black, cannellini)
- Vegetables — carrots, greens, potatoes
- Fruit — apples, bananas
- Some meal items can be prepared in advance; pre‐cook 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.
- Try a few meatless meals by substituting with beans and peas or try “no‐cook” meals like salads.
- Incorporate leftovers into a subsequent meal.
- Be creative with a fruit or vegetable and use it in different ways during the week.