By Amanda Seguin, Dietetic Intern
As an intern of a DI with no stipend and working only one night a week as a waitress, money is scarce and there are times it is difficult to eat healthy on such a small budget. As I’m sure many of you know tips about shopping on a budget, such as not shopping while hungry, looking for sales, or using coupons, but there are numerous other ways to save money and eat healthy.
AND the USDA has suggestions for every food group!
- Breads and Grains:
- Look for bargains on day old bread because it costs less, but is still nutritious.
- Buy regular rice, oatmeal, and grits instead of ‘instant’ to save on sugar, calories, and money!
- Vegetables and Salad:
- Purchase large bags of frozen vegetables and seal them tightly in the freezer between uses to lengthen shelf life.
- Avoid pre-bagged salad mixes because they are generally more expensive and spoil faster.
- Buy fresh fruits that are in season because they usually cost less.
- Frozen and canned fruits are smart choices all year round.
- Low-Fat Milk Products:
- Ultra-pasteurized milk has a longer expiration date and won’t spoil as quickly.
- Buy fresh, low-fat milk in the largest size that can be used before spoiling because larger containers cost less than smaller sizes.
- Meat and Beans:
- Chuck or bottom round roast is cheaper than sirloin.
- Dried beans and peas are a good source of protein and fiber; and they last a long time without spoiling.
- Look for specials at the meat counter. You’ll save big with sales!
- Buy meat in bulk packages to save money and freeze portions you may not use right away to prevent spoiling.
These are some suggestions that I had never thought of, but now I think I’ll review them whenever I’m headed to the store! Checking local newspapers, online, and at the store for sales, coupons, and any specials will definitely cut the cost when you’re checking out. There are times when I don’t completely stick to my list either, so I’ll have to step up my game and buy only the things I write down. Another easy way to increase your savings is purchasing store brands; you’ll get a similar product for a cheaper price! As a kid, my parents would get the frozen 100% fruit juice concentrate and I loved stirring it up. I’ll start buying those to save on the cost of bottled fruit juices.