USDA’s Nutrition Assistance Program: Eat Right When Money’s Tight. This PDF gives good tips on how to budget your food planning.
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- 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: http://www.nal.usda.gov/snap/EatRightWhenMoneysTight.pdf