Follow these money saving tips when preparing meals at home:
- Plan your meals for the week ahead of time, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
- Consider meals you can easily prepare when you’re short on time. Save the ones that take longer for your days off or when other family members can help.
- Find inspiration for healthy and low-cost recipes based on items you have at home from websites like, https://www.myplate.gov/myplate-kitchen.
- Make a list of ingredients needed for these meals.
- See what you already have in the freezer, cabinets, and refrigerator and cross them off your list.
- When at the grocery store, stick to the list and avoid impulse buys.
- Look for produce on sale or download your favorite store’s application for additional coupons and discounts.
- Buy a combination of fresh, frozen, and canned/non-perishable items. Fresh produce has a short shelf-life, while frozen and canned versions may be cheaper options that won’t go bad as quickly. Just be cautious of added sugars and salt content. Look for fruits canned in their own juice and sodium-free vegetable and bean options.
- Search for the store brand versions of common food items. These are often similar in quality as the name brand options but are less expensive.
- Cook in bulk and plan to use leftovers. Think about making larger recipes with enough servings for another meal. On busy days, just heat and serve.
Written by Victoria Luera, Lone Star Circle of Care Registered Dietitian. Submitted by Ashley Wild