Planning ahead can save you time and money at the grocery store.
- Write some weekly meal plans with your schedule in mind. Choose some meals using recipes that are quick and easy to prepare for busy days. Click here for a sample meal planner.
- Review store ads and online and paper coupons to help plan your meals to save money.
- Use the What’s Cooking website to find healthy recipes.
- Know your food budget. Meal planning and cooking at home is less expensive than eating out. Meals prepared at home are often healthier, especially if you are preparing recipes low in fat and sodium. Track your food dollars to see how much you are spending and saving.
- Plan to use leftovers. Make double batches of soups and stews setting aside some to freeze for use later. Freeze leftovers in single portions to use for lunch or your own ready-to-eat freezer meals to use throughout the week.
- Pack your meals with fruits and vegetables. Plan ahead to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Add low-cost options to your meal plan such as brown rice, beans or lentils. These foods are full of nutrients and fiber, which will help to keep you full for a longer period of time.
- Use your meal plans to create your shopping list and stick to it. Remember to check the foods you may already have on hand. A list helps you organize the items you need to buy and helps you avoid impulse buys or unneeded items that can add to your food costs.
- Cook and freeze in large batches. This can help you save money by cooking more at home and having meals ready to heat from the freezer.
- Have a family? Get input from your kids on what they want to eat for the week. Working as a team to come up with meals will encourage them to think about healthy foods, and they will be more likely to eat what you cook that week.