5 More Tips for Eating Right When Money’s Tight

In “Eating Right When Money’s Tight,” Managing Editor Kelsey Casselbury offers up strategies for saving a buck or two (or more) on your grocery bill while still eating a nutritious diet. If you’re looking for additional tips, look no further—here are five more ideas to implement:

  1. Prioritize your version of health. Some people consider eating healthfully to mean organic produce, while others put an emphasis on rather expensive whole grains, such as quinoa, or grass-fed beef. It’s hard to shell out the money for top-of-the-line items in every food category, so think about what’s most important to you and spend your dollars there. If you want high-quality meat, consider stocking up on frozen vegetables. If organic produce is your thing, stick to inexpensive brown rice as a grain.
  2. Discover new grocery stores. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city or busy suburb, you probably have a variety of grocery options available to you—but have you actually checked all of them out? Take some time to browse the web and see what stores are in surrounding communities; the extra gas money might be worth the savings at a discount grocery store the next town over. Along the same line, if you have a hefty commute, check out what the prices are like in the stores near your work—it might be less expensive.
  3. Stock up on non-perishables while on sale. Not all non-perishable food is junk and/or processed. Some foods naturally hold longer than others, such as oranges and other citrus fruit, potatoes (both sweet and regular), apples and nuts. Learn what keeps well in your kitchen, and then take advantage of the sales.
  4. Shop only once a week. When you stop by the store “just to pick up a couple items” on the way home from work, you might find yourself spending another $25—and that’s on top of your weekly grocery budget. If you planned to make a dish and forgot an ingredient, try to improvise instead of heading to the store. If you’re not in the mood for the meal you had planned, shop from your pantry and freezer to come up with another dinner rather than pick up new ingredients.
  5. Stretch your meals with beans, grains and vegetables. There’s nothing wrong with eating meat, but there’s no denying that it’s easily one of the most expensive items on your grocery bill. If a recipe calls for 5 oz. per person of meat, cut it down to 3 oz. and add additional legumes, brown rice or a hearty green such as kale, depending on the recipe, to make the meal seem just as large.

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