Grocery Shopping on a Budget

  1. Shop in season: Not only are fruits and vegetables more affordable when they're in season, but they're easier to get a hold of and have better flavor! Click the banner below to find out what is in season in our area!
  2. Look for coupons: Check out the local newspaper, online and in stores for coupons to save money on food. Even if one coupon is only going to save you a couple of dollars the savings will really add up over time! Just be careful that you aren't using coupons just to use them. There's no point in spending money if it's not on something you really want!
  3. Make a grocery list and stick to it: Make a list before you go to the grocery store so you are only buying what you need. You'll spend way more money if you go into the store with no game plan. Also don't shop when you're hungry. Instead, go after a meal so you're not tempted to buy snack foods that you don't need!
  4. Consider buying canned and frozen fruits and vegetables: Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can sometimes be cheaper than buying fresh. Compare the price and number of servings of fresh food to frozen or canned before purchasing. If you do buy canned or frozen look for fruit in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with "low sodium"; and "no salt added"; on the label.
  5. Buy small amounts of food more frequently: There's no point in buying a ton of fresh produce if half of it is going to go bad before you get the chance to eat it.
  6. Save money by buying store brand products: Store brand products are the same or similar product as name brand for a cheaper price. Almost all grocery stores sell their own product. If they have a store card sign up for that too for even more savings.
  7. Keep it simple: Avoid buying fruits or vegetables that are pre-cut, pre-washed, or ready-to-eat. You pay more for something that could have taken you a minute to do at home. Save money by buying things in their simplest form.
  8. Plant a garden: There are tons of tutorials online about how to get your own garden started, even if you don't have a big backyard. Imagine having cherry tomatoes all summer long for the price of a packet of seeds, a little soil, and a pot!
  9. Buy fewer "empty-calorie"; foods: Empty calories are calories from solid fats and added sugars that are found in many foods and beverages. They add to your total calories for the day but offer you no nutritional value. Try to avoid buying soda, chips, cookies, and candy. It's understandable to have a bag of chips for your family every now and then, but avoid filling your pantry with foods that aren't going to benefit your family's health.
  10. Get protein from sources other than meat: Meat can be an expensive protein source. However, beans and eggs are very affordable and full of great nutrients! A lot of kids are apprehensive about trying beans so try introducing black beans in a simple rice dish and work up from there!

Finally, click here for some healthy 100 calorie snack ideas to try at home!