How To Stretch Your Grocery Dollars

Written by Iowa State Extension and Outreach | Image from Adobe Stock Images 

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Drop High-Cost Habits

  • If you’re in the habit of eating fast food or other restaurant food, you can save money by eating at home more often.
  •  When you’re shopping for food consider the store brand rather than buying name brands.
  • Avoid buying food that is already cut up or prepared in some way.
  •  Stop wasting leftovers or letting food spoil before it can be eaten.

Try Cost-Cutting Strategies 

  •  Plan meals and snacks one week at a time. First, plan to use what you have to ensure no food goes to waste. Cook larger size meals so you can work leftovers into meals later in the week. This saves time and reduces waste.
  • Use your meal plan to make a grocery list and stick to the list.
  • Be a careful shopper. Only shop in the aisles that have the groceries you need, based on your list. Remember that stocking up on foods that are on sale only saves money if the food doesn’t go to waste.
  • Move foods that go bad quickly to the front of the fridge where you can see them and plan to eat them first. Cut up veggies and fruits so they are ready to eat.

Check Helpful Resources

  • Visit a resource from ISU Extension and Outreach for recipes, planning tools, and how-to videos to get the most nutritional value for your food dollars