When it comes to balancing the budget, your weekly food shop is one area where you can find significant savings if you follow some quick and simple ideas. As partners of the Together Counts™ program for healthy, active living, we know it’s important to make sure the food shop is nutritious as well as budget friendly. Here are some quick and easy ideas you can try:
- Plan meals and snacks for the week according to an established budget.
- Find quick and easy recipes online.
- Include meals that will “stretch” expensive food items (stews, casseroles, stir-fried dishes).
- Make a grocery list.
- Buy groceries when you are not hungry and when you are not too rushed.
- Stick to the grocery list and stay out of the aisles that don’t contain items on your list.
- Buy store brands if cheaper.
- Find and compare unit prices listed on shelves to get the best price.
- Purchase some items in bulk or as family packs which usually cost less.
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables in season; buy canned vegetables with less salt.
- Pre-cut fruits and vegetables, individual cups of yogurt, and instant rice and hot cereal are convenient, but usually cost more than those that require a bit more prep time.
- Good low-cost items available all year include:
- Protein – beans (garbanzo, black, cannellini)
- Vegetable – carrots, greens, potatoes
- Fruit – apples, bananas
- Some meal items can be prepared in advance; pre-cook on days when you have time.
- Double or triple up on recipes and freeze meal-sized containers of soups and casseroles or divide into individual portions.
- Try a few meatless meals by substituting with beans and peas or try “no-cook” meals like salads.
- Incorporate leftovers into a subsequent meal.
- Be creative with a fruit or vegetable and use it in different ways during the week.
Meredith McGrath RD, LDN is the Corporate Dietitian at Redner’s Warehouse Markets. Her mission is to help people to enjoy food, but eat less and move more! See more at: www.rednersmarkets.com
For more ideas to encourage healthy eating, check out these reads from Together Counts: