Updated: Jul 20, 2022
f you've been to the store lately you know that prices for pretty much everything are rising and it doesn't seem to be stopping. This can feel scary and frustrating as it may change the way you shop and ultimately feed yourself and/or your family. Here are a few tips to help those food dollars stretch farther:
Cook at home: Eating out costs more than eating at home. If you're worried about your food budget this is the first place to evaluate. I'm not saying you have to cut it out all together but can you cut back?
Look at the sales before you head to the store: You can always find your local grocery store flyer online or pick one up in store. This lets you know what's on sale for the week and you can adjust your list accordingly. Maybe you wanted to use broccoli in that stir fry but eggplant is on sale--swap it out!
PLAN your meals out: If you don't have a plan you will likely end up having no food and eating out often OR you will have too much food and end up throwing it away
Make a list: Use that meal plan to make a list. When you go to the store stick to what's on the list. The exception I make with this is if a non-perishable item is on sale and in that case I'll stock up. If you don't have a list (and especially if you go hungry) you are more likely to buy things that you don't actually need
Have a leftover/clean the fridge out night: I try to do this once a week! The meal never makes sense (and I don't care because it's a night off from cooking!) but it works if you have a bunch of random leftovers in the fridge. Instead of tossing them because they're not really enough to make a meal on their own--lay them out like a buffet and save yourself some food waste.
Be OK with making short term adjustments: My kids (and me) love those Chobani drinkable yogurts as part of a quick breakfast. I frequently found them on sale for $1 a piece. About a month ago they were $2 and last week they were almost $3. I made the decision to stop buying them for the moment and instead they have yogurt (non drinkable kind) or milk if we need a quick protein source at breakfast.
Kayla Fitzgerald is a Registered Dietitian & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor located in Charleston, South Carolina. She works with clients 1:1, through small group coaching, and self guided programs. Her goal is to help you fuel your body for whatever the day has in store whether it's a 100 mile race or getting through the work day.