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Smart Shopping and Eating Healthy on a Budget

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Are you looking for ways to eat healthier but aren't sure how to get started? Did you know healthy eating may be better for your budget? Many Families are concerned about the rising cost of food. The good news is that eating healthy does not need to be expensive.

Good planning can save you a lot of money at the store. Here are some smart shopping tips to help you eat better for less:

  • Plan meals and snacks for the week according to your food budget. If you receive SNAP, remember SNAP is a ‘supplemental benefit’ to help add to your food budget.
  • Make a grocery list and only buy what you need for meals for the week.
  • Check for sales and use coupons or a store loyalty card to receive discounts.
  • Use the unit price listed on the shelves to get the best price. Sometimes, the larger item has a lower unit price. For example, large bag of rice is cheaper than the small rice boxes. And a large container of oatmeal is cheaper than individual packets. They are also healthier because they do not contain added salts and sugars.
  • Buying store brands instead of name brands can save you money too.
  • Buying in bulk can save you money.
  • When buying meats, look for what is on sale. If you can afford the bulk package, you can save money by dividing the meat into smaller meal servings and freezing it for future use.
  • When buying fruits and vegetables, buy in season and look for sales in the frozen and canned sections. Frozen and canned vegetables can be just as healthy as long as you buy the kinds without added sugar and syrups.
  • Try not to buy the expensive snacks (soda, chips and cookies)—see how much you save while becoming healthier.

Below are some good low-cost foods that can be bought all year round:

  • Protein - Dried or canned beans can be made into chili and soup, added to salads. Dried lentils do not require soaking and can be made into a great soup/stew. When using canned beans, be sure to rinse off the salt. Eggs also are a great source of protein.
  • Vegetables - Carrots, green beans, green lettuces, fresh/frozen spinach, potatoes
  • Fruit - apples and bananas
  • Grains - Rice (brown is better), oats, barley
  • Drinks - fat free or low-fat milk and water are the best choices. Try not to buy sugary beverages.

Shopping for Fruits and Vegetables

Tasty fruits and veggies can fit into any budget! Follow the tips below to help you get the most out of your grocery shopping for fruits and vegetables.

  • 10 Tips for Affordable Nutrition - These tips can help you get started toward a healthy diet. Choose a change that you can make today, and move toward a healthier you.
  • Money Saving Tips - Suggestions how to save money at the grocery store by first preparing a grocery list at home and buying unprocessed foods at the store.
  • What’s in Season? - Consider buying large quantities of some fruits and vegetables and freezing them for the winter months. The farmer’s market can be a fun outing for your family! Find out what’s in season.

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Stretch your food dollars with budgeting, food selection, and low-cost recipes.

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