When visiting grocery stores it can be difficult choosing healthy foods on a limited budget. Choosing the foods you purchase carefully can help you maximize nutrition while sticking to your budget.
BREADS AND GRAINS
- Look for bargains on day-old bread and bakery products.
- Buy regular rice, oatmeal and grits instead of the instant and flavored types.
- Try whole grains like; whole grain bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, wheat tortillas, or anything made with whole wheat flour to add nutrients and variety to meals.
VEGETABLES AND SALADS
- Look for large bags of frozen vegetables. Frozen Produce may be bargains and you can cook the amount you need, close the bag tightly and freeze the rest.
- Foods at salad bars can be costly; most will cost less in the produce section. However, if you only need a small amount of a vegetables, buying at the salad bar can save money if it reduces the amount you waste.
- Buy fresh fruit that is in season. Fresh produce and seasonal produce generally cost less and taste great.
- When baking, canned fruits can be a great choice for your wallet.
- Dried fruit can be a delicious alternative to many candies. Just be careful to check how much added sugar is on the nutrition label.
- Creating smoothies can be a great way to add many of your daily nutrients in one meal, but they can quickly become costly with all the fruit required. Purchase frozen fruit to get more for your money.
- Buy fresh milk in large containers (gallon or ½ gallon). These cost less than quarts.
- Buy fat-free or low-fat milk to cut the amount of fat in your family’s diet. Note that children under 2 years of age should only be given whole milk.
MEAT AND POULTRY
- Look for specials at the meat counter. Buying cuts of meat on sale can mean big savings for you.
- Buy chuck or bottom round roast instead of sirloin. These cuts have less fat and cost less.(They need to be covered during cooking and cooked longer to make the meat tender.)
- Buy whole chickens and cut them into serving size pieces yourself.
- Ground meat, like ground beef, is a great cost saving choice when looking for a protein source.
- Canned tuna, like most canned foods, is a great choice if you are in need of a quick and easy meal to prepare, that is still a great source of protein and healthy fats. Just be careful to limit your consumption to around 2 to 3 times per week, as it does contain mercury.
DRY BEANS AND PEAS
- You can use canned beans instead of meat, poultry or fish to add variety to your diet. They cost less and provide many of the same nutrients. They are also lower in fat.
GROCERY SHOPPING GOING FORWARD
Grocery shopping for healthy food on a budget can be a challenge, but it is possible to maximize nutrition while minimizing the grocery bill with careful planning and consideration. Opting for frozen foods, day-old bread, whole grains, and seasonal produce can help cut costs without sacrificing nutrition. Additionally, purchasing larger containers of milk and buying meat on sale can help stretch your dollar further. With these tips, it is possible to create delicious and healthy recipes without breaking the bank.
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