As we begin a new year, it is a great time to think about your food budget and ways to eat better on a budget. There are many ways you can save money on the foods you eat. Here are a few tips to help you get the most for your food budget!
Before heading out the door to the grocery store, plan your meals for the week. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list for what you need to buy.
2.Get the best price.
Be sure to check the local papers, online and at the store for sales and coupons. Ask about a loyalty card for extra savings when you shop.
3. Compare and Contrast.
Locate the Unit Price on the shelf directly below the product. Use the Unit Price to compare different brands and different sizes of the same brand to determine which is more economical.
4. Go easy on the wallet!
Certain foods are typically low-cost options all year round. Try beans for a less expensive protein food. For vegetables, buy carrots, greens or potatoes. As for fruits apples and bananas are good economical choices.
5. Cook Once. But eat all week!
I love to cook just once by preparing a large batch of recipes on the weekend and maybe even double or triple the recipe. Then I freeze in individual containers. These are great to use throughout the week and then you do not have to spend money on take –out meals.
6. Spice up your leftovers!
Use your leftovers in new ways. Try leftover chicken in stir fry, in a tortilla wrap, in a garden salad or make a garden chili. Remember, throwing away food is throwing away money$$$$.
7. Eating out- Use Caution
Eating out can be very costly. You can save money by getting the early bird specials, going out for lunch instead of dinner or looking at the “2 for 1” deals or using a restaurant coupon. Stick to water instead of ordering other beverages, this can reduce to cost of the bill.
Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.
Source: USDA, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, DG TipSheet No. 16, December 2011