How to Grocery Shop on a Budget

Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Grocery shopping can be overwhelming at times. Here are some tips for buying healthy food on a budget. These tips may also help reduce stress. 

  1. Use coupons - Most grocery stores have a free flyer with coupons. These coupons can be applied at checkout. Ask an employee if you don't see a flyer with coupons by the front door. Usually, there is some sort of promotional event or item on sale. This saves you money if this item is a staple in your pantry or fridge.

  2. Apply for SNAP benefits - These benefits help people struggling with food insecurity. WIC benefits are available for those who qualify. To apply for SNAP fill out an electronic application or apply in person at your state or local government office. Learn more about SNAP

  3. Check the price per ounce - Checking the price per ounce ensures you get the best deal. The price per ounce is included on most price tags to make it easy.

  4. Stay away from GMO and organic foods - You do not need to eat non-GMO and organic foods to be healthy. When it comes to cost, avoid these products because they will be much more expensive.

  5. Buy frozen or canned produce - Frozen fruits and vegetables are often riper than the fresh options. They are also usually cheaper. The nutritional value of canned and frozen produce is pretty much the same as fresh.

  6. Buy in bulk - Often it is less expensive than buying a pre-packaged equivalent. You can measure out the exact amount you need. It is also more environmentally friendly!

  7. Buying convince cost more – Buying food items that are already chopped, peeled, or bagged will cost you more. For example, by buying a head of romaine lettuce instead of a bag of pre-washed lettuce, you could save an average of $2.25 a grocery run. Or $117 a year if doing a weekly grocery run.

  8. Check out Wholesome Wave programs - The programs help with food insecurity. They provide fruit and vegetable "prescription" programs and SNAP double value coupons. Register and see if you apply for these programs. Go to wholesomewave.org

  9. Look for healthy options at convenience stores - Healthy Corner Stores Network and The Food Trust are both groups trying to increase healthy options at convenience and corner stores. This allows those who live in food deserts to have more access to affordable produce.

  10. Check out the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program - This program helps those who are food insecure and those that can't get to a grocery store. The program began in April 2019 in New York. It is now also offered in Washington, Alabama, Iowa, Oregon, and Nebraska. Members with SNAP can to order food online from Amazon and Walmart and have it delivered to their homes. The food available is limited to what is covered by SNAP. This is a great option for people who cannot leave their homes.

Which one best describes you?

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