Now that you know which food and ingredients are nutritious choices, here are few tips to get them for the best value:
- Shop with a list. You'll be more likely to shop for only what you need and less tempted to make impulse purchases.
- Eat seasonally. Seasonal fruits and veggies are available ripe and ready to be eaten -- and also priced less when their supply is higher -- so you'll ultimately benefit from buying these foods first.
- Use coupons -- and you don't need a newspaper to get them anymore. Sites like Coupons.com and SmartSource.com are free and have the same coupons that you'll find in the Sunday paper. Additionally, pay attention to your local grocery stores’ sales and when they put out marked-down foods. Many of these bargains don't require coupons at all.
- Don’t shop hungry. Everything will be appetizing, and you'll find that items you neither want nor need will make their way into your cart. Another guideline is to shop the perimeter of the supermarket and avoid the interior aisles. Meat, dairy, bread and fresh produce are always located in the outermost areas of the store.
- Cook from scratch. When you make homemade dishes, you control the quality of the food by selecting the ingredients, seasonings and cooking method. You'll also be pleasantly surprised at how much money you can save by making certain foods at home instead of buying them ready-made. Cooking casseroles and soups and freezing them will help you avoid takeout or fast food when you're in a pinch for dinner.
- Have an occasional potluck with family and friends. Everyone shares a meal together and can take home the leftovers.
- CBS News. "Eating Healthy on a Budget." Nov. 6, 2009. (Nov. 3, 2011) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/18/earlyshow/health/main4613172.shtml
- Clauson, Annette. "Despite Higher Food Prices, Percent of U.S. Income Spent on Food Remains Constant." U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/September08/Findings/PercentofIncome.htm
- Coupon Mom. (Nov. 2, 2011) http://www.couponmom.com/
- Coupons. (Nov. 2, 2011) http://www.coupons.com/
- Fernstrom, Madelyn. "Eat Healthy on a Budget." MSNBC. Feb. 12, 2007. (Nov. 3, 2011) http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/17113255/ns/today-today_health/t/eat-healthy-budget/#.TrqvR79g0b1
- Harvard School of Public Health. "Protein: Moving Closer to Center Stage." (Nov. 11, 2011) http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein-full-story/index.html#protein_package
- Local Harvest. "Food Coops." (Nov. 10, 2011) http://www.localharvest.org/food-coops/
- Meatless Monday. "A Campaign Becomes a Movement." (Nov. 9, 2011) http://www.meatlessmonday.com/history/
- Openshaw, Jennifer. "Rising food prices take a bigger paycheck bite." Marketwatch. June 13, 2007. (Nov. 10, 2011) http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-rising-food-prices-are-eating-more-of-your-paycheck?pagenumber=1
- Publix Supermarket. Atlanta, Ga. Prices recorded by author. Nov. 9, 2011.
- Shapley, Dan. "The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic." The Daily Green. (Nov. 10, 2011) http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/dirty-dozen-foods#fbIndex1
- SmartSource. (Nov. 2, 2011) http://smartsource.com/
- TLC. "Cooking Large, Saving Cash: Cheap Large Meals Quiz." (Nov. 10, 2011) https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/cheap-large-meals-quiz12.htm?answerId=140574
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Center. "Food CPI and Expenditures: CPI for Food Forecasts." Oct. 25, 2011. (Nov. 17, 2011) http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/CPIFoodAndExpenditures/Data/cpiforecasts.htm
- Vigeland, Tess. "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter." Marketplace Money. Oct. 13, 2011. (Nov. 3, 2011). http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/big-book/make-bread-buy-butter