Plan your shopping trip
Before you shop:
- Make a shopping list. This helps you stick to your budget.
- Plan your meals and how to use leftovers.
- Look for coupons, sales, and store specials.
- Sign up for store discount cards.
While you shop:
- Don’t shop when you are hungry. If you are hungry, you will likely buy things you don’t need.
- Try store brands. They usually cost less.
- Compare products for the best deal.
- Check “sell by” dates. Buy the freshest food possible so it lasts longer.
Vegetables and salad
- Buy large bags of frozen vegetables.
- Buy full heads of lettuce or spinach for salads. Avoid pre-bagged salad mixes. Uncut fresh vegetables will last longer and can cost less than bagged salad mixes.
- Buy fresh fruits in season when they often cost less. Farmer’s Markets will have fruit that is in season. (future…find a farmers’ market near you)
- Frozen and canned fruits are a smart choice all year round.
Low-fat milk products
- Buy fresh, low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese in the largest size that you can use before they go bad. The large items will save you money.
- Ultra-pasteurized milk has a longer expiration date and won’t spoil as fast.
Meat and beans
- Dried beans and peas are a good source of protein and fiber and last a long time.
- Chuck or bottom round roast has less fat and costs less than sirloin.
- Look for deals at the meat counter. Buy meat on sale to save money.
- Buy meat in large bulk packages to save money. Freeze what you might not use right away to keep it from going bad.
Breads and grains
- Look for bread that is a day old. It costs less, but is still good to eat.
- Buy regular rice, oatmeal, and grits. Instant rice, oatmeal, and grits cost more and have more sugar and calories.