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Smart Grocery Shopping

It can be a challenge to make healthy food choices and stay within your food budget. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your grocery budget:

  • Take an inventory of the food you already have in your home. Plan your meals for the week, keeping in mind what you already have in your pantry.
  • Make a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Compare unit prices (cost per ounce or pound) to determmine if you are getting the best deal.
  • Buy the generic store brand versions of foods.
  • Take advantage of store loyalty savings programs, as well as clipping coupons and online discounts. Remember that stores retain your purchase habits. Make sure you are protecting your privacy and know your rights.
  • Only take advantage of the deal if you know you will eat the discounted item. It’s not a deal if the food goes to waste.
  • Shop the perimeter of the store for nutrient dense foods. Processed and packaged foods tend to be more expensive.
  • Visit your local farmer’s market to find fresh produce. Arrive early to get the best selection or late to get the best deals. Fresh food spoils quickly so don’t buy more than you can eat or freeze. Find your local farmers market.
  • Shop for foods that are in season. When the supply is plentiful, the prices tend to be lower.
  • Some stores offer discounts to customers for bringing their own bags.

For more grocery shopping tips visit eXtension.org and choosemyplate.gov.