Smart Habits Mean Savings

Onions on store shelf

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. While we can’t do much about food prices, we can learn to shop smarter and make our food dollars stretch further.

Meal planning will allow you to spend less time in the grocery store and save you money. Create your shopping list and stick to it. Start by finding meals you would like to prepare, add ingredients you already have on hand (fridge, freezer, pantry), and look for special buys.

Purchase fresh produce in season or “less-than-perfect” produce at a reduced price. Avoid prewashed and precut produce, which is priced higher.

For meats, buy the whole piece or bulk packages and cut up or divide it at home. Stretch your ground meats by adding bread crumbs, herbs, eggs, or plant protein (tofu or textured vegetable protein).

Take advantage of weekly sales and deals. Don’t overlook in-store promotions or the store’s website. Track prices on the products you buy frequently. After a while, you will be able to spot a good price and stock up. Go to Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/plan/shopping-tools/, for more money-saving tips.

Sources:
NCOA, go.iastate.edu/LFSA2J
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension, go.iastate.edu/KV3KLK

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