Eat Right When Money’s Tight
Food costs are on the rise. Read on for tips on how to stretch your food dollars by planning ahead, budgeting and making smart food choices.
- Plan your weekly meals and snacks. Preparing in advance will help you know what you need and also help you put leftovers to good use.
- Use store circulars and go online to look for coupons, sales and store specials. Only use coupons on foods you normally eat. Make sure the coupons give you the best value for your money.
- For added savings, sign up for the store discount card or bonus card at your local supermarket.
- Eat something before you go shopping. It’s easier to stick to your shopping list when you aren’t hungry.
- Try store brands. They’re the same quality and cost less.
- Compare products for the best deal. Use unit pricing and also the Nutrition Facts labels to get the best product for your money.
- Check “sell by” or “use by” dates. Buy the freshest food possible.
- Store food right away in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh and safe.
- If you buy a large amount of fresh food, like meat, poultry or fish, divide it into meal-size packages, label the food and freeze it for later use.
- Use foods with the earliest expiration dates first.
- Plan to prepare and eat foods you already have at home first.
- Know how much money you have to spend on food.
- Make a shopping list based on the money you have to spend and what foods you will need.
- Buy only the amount of food you can use before it spoils. Remember, frozen, canned or shelf-stable foods last longer!
Source: United States Department of Agriculture. www.usda.gov. Accessed Feb. 14, 2017.