Eat Right When Money’s tight

USDA’s Nutrition Assistance Program: Eat Right When Money’s Tight. This PDF gives good tips on how to budget your food planning.

Some tips:

  • Know how much money you have to spend on food
  • Make a shopping list based on the money you have to spend
  • Buy only amounts of fresh foods you can use before they spoil
  • Consider frozen or shelf stable items that last longer
  • Before going to the grocery store, check what foods you have already: What meals and recipes can you make with the foods on hand already?

Before shopping:

  • Make a shopping list to help you stay within budget
  • Plan your meals– use leftovers if you have to!
  • Look for coupons, sales, specials
  • Sign up for the stores discount card

During shopping:

  • Don’t shop when you are hungry
  • Try store brand items– they usually cost less
  • Compare products for the best deal
  • Check the selling dates and choose the freshest possible

After shopping:

  • Store food right away
  • Freeze any frozen food to prevent spoiling
  • Use foods with the earliest expiration date first!

Breads and Grains :

  • Look for bargains on day old bread, it costs less but is still nutritious
  • Buy regular rice and oatmeal instead of instant to save on money, sugar and calories

Vegetables and Salad:

  • Buy large bags of frozen vegetables
  • Avoid pre-bagged salads. They are usually more expensive and spoil faster


  • The cheapest fruits are the ones that are in season
  • Frozen and canned fruits are a good choice all year

Low fat dairy:

  • Buy in the largest size that can be used before spoiling. The bigger, the cheapest

Meat and Beans:

  • Dried beans and peas are a good source of fiber and last a long time
  • Chuck or bottom round roast has less fat and cheaper than sirloin
  • Buy meat on sale for big savings

For more information:




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