1. Plan Ahead
Plan a menu for the week. Take inventory of what you have on hand. Create a
detailed shopping list based on your menu and needs. Take into account
Planning meals around what is on sale can lower your grocery bill especially if
you use coupons. Make sure they are items you would purchase anyway.
2. Savvy Shopping
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where you will find the fresh foods like
fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and fish.
Choose “real” foods such as 100% whole grain items with little processing and
Avoid foods that have more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients or
ingredients that you can not pronounce.
If you do not want to eat unhealthy foods, do not have them in the house.
3. Make Healthy Choices
Choosing healthier foods will be less expensive in the long run.
The ideal food is nutrient dense not calorie dense.
4. Buy Produce in Season
You can usually get better prices on fresh seasonal produce. Shop your local
Farmers’ market to get deals on local produce.
Spend most of your time in the
Purchase a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to optimize
vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content.
5. Breads, Cereals, and Pasta
Choose whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, bulger, barley, stone ground
whole wheat bread, sprouted breads, or whole wheat pita or wraps.
Choose the least processed foods that are made from whole grains. Choose
whole grains with 4 or more grams of fiber per serving and less sugar.
Making lunch and taking it with you can save a great deal of money and is an
excellent way to use leftovers. Packing your own lunch also allows you to control
the ingredients so they are healthier. Use freezer pack and containers to keep
foods at proper temperature, unless you have access to a refrigerator
7. Think Frozen or Dried
Frozen or dried foods can be less expense and can save time. With frozen foods
you can use the amount you need, reseal the package and return it to the
freezer. Dried fruits can add a burst of flavor to your recipes.
8. Save on Protein Foods
When possible, substitute less expensive vegetarian sources such as beans,
tofu, lentils, split peas or eggs for more expensive meat, fish or poultry. Eating
vegetarian meals two or more times a week can increase your consumption of
healthy plant foods. You could also use smaller portions of meat, fish or poultry
and extend the dish with whole grains, beans, vegetables, tofu or eggs. The
American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish per week. Canned
salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
9. Waste Not, Want Not
Before purchasing perishable food, think about exactly how much you are going
to use. Use leftover vegetable, whole grains, meat, and poultry in soups, stews,
casseroles and salads. Be creative!
10. Go Generic
Consider purchasing store brand rather than pricier national brands. Read the
ingredients on the label to see that you are getting the most for your money.
Ingredients are listed in order by weight.
Buy Prepackaged only if you need it
Unless you have a coupon or the item is on sale, buying prepackaged washed,
or sliced products cost more.
11. Buy and Cook in Bulk
Bulk purchases can save money as long as they get used. Bulk cooking can
save both time and money. Preparing food in bulk can be made into other meals
or frozen for later use.
12. Remember the Calcium Sources
Dairy foods are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D. There are plenty of
lowfat and nonfat dairy choices. If you like high fat cheeses just keep the