Shop on a Budget

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.

Shop Smart

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.