Before You Go to the Store
- Plan your menu and write your shopping list ahead of time. This will help you buy only the foods you need, and prevent food from going to waste.
- Eat something before you go. Shopping while you're hungry will tempt you to buy things you don't need.
- Learn how to make the most of your trip to the grocery store.
At the Store
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetable in season.
- Look for store ads and coupons and join your store's discount card program.
- Join a Community Food Co-Op and share the cost and food with a friend.
- Buy canned or frozen fruits on sale. Make sure fruits are packed in water or 100% juice, and that there's no added sugar.
- Buy canned or frozen veggies on sale. Before cooking canned veggies, rinse them in water to cut down the salt.
- Try the store bands- they are just as good as brand names, and can be a lot cheaper.
- Use your food budget wisely. For the price of a party-size bag of chips and a box of cookies, you can buy a variety of healthier items such as apples, bananas, carrots, peppers, etc.
When You Get Home
- Do "batch cooking" when you have the extra money and time. You can cook a large amount of soup, chili or spaghetti sauce, divide it into smaller portions, label and date it, and freeze them to eat later in the month.
- Take advantage of leftovers to save food dollars. For example, prepare a roast, serve half of it, and freeze the remaining half. Use later with vegetables for a quick soup, on tortillas, in stir fry or in hash.
- When you put leftovers into the refrigerator, make sure to put them somewhere you'll see them. You might forget the leftovers are in there if you place them somewhere towards the back.
Find Out If You Can Get Assistance
- If you are pregnant or have a child under the age of 5, contact WIC to see if they can help you with nutrition counseling, food vouchers, breastfeeding support and referrals to other services and programs.
- Contact your local school to find out if your children qualify for a reduced or free lunch and breakfast.
- Contact your local town about elderly food assistance programs.
- Ask if your church has a food pantry.
- You might also want to look into SNAP: Food Assistance or contact Project Bread to find out about other resources in your area.
- Join a community garden group and learn to grow your own veggies.