Plan your shopping trip
Before you shop:
- Make a shopping list. This will help you stick to your budget!
- Plan out your meals, including how you will use your leftovers.
- Remember to give yourself days off from cooking. Leftovers are great for this!
- Look for coupons, sales, and store specials.
While you shop:
- Don't shop while you're hungry. You'll end up buying things you don't need.
- Store brands are a great way to get the same food for less money, as they usually cost less.
- Check "sell by" dates. Make sure you buy the freshest food possible so it will last longer.
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Many Farmers Markets now accept SNAP food benefits. They are a great option to get local, in season produce at an affordable price! For a list of Oklahoma farmers markets that accept SNAP, click here.
- Buy "in season" produce. They are usually less expensive and taste even better. To see what's in season now, click here.
- Make sure to only buy what you can use before it spoils.
- Try buying canned, but choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with "low-sodium" or "no salt added" on the label.
- If you have freezer space, buy frozen vegetables without added sauces or butter.
Breads, Pastas, and Cereals:
- Make half your grains whole grains, which include whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, buckwheet oatmeal, whole-grain cornmeal, whole oats and whole rye.
- Rice and pasta are great budget-friendly options.
- Choose hot cereals like plain oatmeal or whole grain cereal.
Meat and Beans:
- To lower meat costs, buy the family-sized or value pack and freeze what you don't use
- Choose lean meats like chicken or turkey. When choosing ground beef, the leaner the meat (for example 92% lean 8% fat) the better.
- Seafood doesn't have to be expensive. Try buying canned tuna, salmon or sardines -- they store well and are a low cost option.
- Dried beans and peas are a good source of protein and fiber and last a long time.
Milk and Dairy:
- Choose low-fat or fat-free milk. They provide just as much calcium but fewer calories.
- Always check the "sell by" date to make sure you're buying the freshest dairy products
- When it comes to cheese, look for "reduced fat" or "low-fat" on the label.