Food & Nutrition, Get Healthy!, Healthy Living

Shopping on a Budget

If you are like most people, food costs are an expensive part of your budget. With rising food costs, our dollars are just not buying as much as they used to. With a little thought plus some shopping know-how, you can cut food cost. Use these helpful tips to increase the quality and quantity of your groceries and decrease your bill while shopping for your favorite foods.

Read cost/item labels on the store shelves

Most grocery stores have a label on the shelf detailing the cost per ounce or per container. Use that information to compare different brands and sizes for the best buy.

Buy only the most necessary convenience foods

Prepare as many foods from scratch as possible. Convenience foods are the most expensive part of your grocery bill. This is also a healthy approach to meal planning. You will typically save on fat and calories by preparing foods yourself from scratch.

Choose store brands of foods, rather than national brands

Store brands are usually significantly cheaper and are just as tasty and similar in quantity as the national brands.

Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season

When fruits or vegetables or out of season, they cost more. Tailor your purchases to seasonal produce. For example, buy peaches, strawberries, corn, tomatoes and melons in the summer. Buy apples, pears and broccoli in the fall and winter. Try not to buy precut, prewashed and prepackaged fruits and vegetables as they tend to be more expensive than whole fruits and vegetables that require you to wash and chop yourself. Frozen fruits and vegetables can also be a great low-cost option when fresh is not available.

Beware of coupons

Coupons are usually for the more expensive national brands. Be sure to check the price of another brand of the same item. Many times, it is still cheaper than if you used a coupon.

Buy large serving sizes rather than individually packaged servings, but only when convenient and practical.

For example, a 32oz container of vanilla yogurt is cheaper per ounce than a 6 oz. size. If you mainly eat yogurt at home, then the larger container is a better buy. If you tend to carry the yogurt with you in your lunch or for breakfast on the go and don’t feel like putting it in single serving containers everyday then the smaller serving sizes are more practical for you.

Budget Friendly Bean Burritos

  • 1 can (16oz) refried or refried black beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package burrito seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 green pepper (chopped)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 package Whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cup shredded lettuce
  1. Heat refried beans, water and seasoning packet in a saucepan over medium heat. Spoon 1/2 cup beans, 1/2 cup shredded cheese into each tortilla. Roll all tortillas, bake at 35 degrees for 10 minutes. Top with pepper, tomato, lettuce, sour cream and salsa

This recipe is super budget friendly and can be made for around $1.06 per person.

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