How Do I Save Money at the Grocery Store? Ask A Nutritionist.

Categories: Ask a Nutritionist, Blog

Trying to Save Money at the Grocery Store? Here’s a Few Helpful Tips!

Grocery prices are getting higher and higher each time you go food shopping. Here are a few ways you can reduce your monthly grocery bill.

1. Plan you meals. This tip is most important. Plan meals and/or recipes for the week that use some of the same ingredients. Example: roast a chicken on Monday, use leftover chicken for stir fry on Wednesday.
2. Make a shopping list.  Take stock of what is in your refrigerator and pantry. Use these foods to plan your meals so you don’t spend money on what you already have. And stick by your list!
3. Stock up on sales and bulk foods ONLY If you will use these foods and not forget about them. Sales and bulk buys are no bargains when you don’t use them and the food spoils. It’s best to stock up on the foods you know you use regularly. Be sure to check the labels on processed foods to optimize nutrients.
4. Skip the prepared food sections. It will save you money to make the same food yourself. Plus you can control the amount of salt, sugar and fat that is used to prepare the food. And skip the produce that is already pre-cut and in containers- another expensive convenience that you can do yourself.
5. Don’t shop foods at eye level- they tend to be the most expensive version. Look up or down on the shelf. Generic brands are just as nutritious and cheaper.
6. Shop alone if you can. You are more likely to buy less. Kids or others with you may try to convince you to buy food you don’t need.
7. Don’t shop hungry. You may be tempted to buy food you don’t need.
8. Shop in season. Fruits and vegetables will be cheaper.  Or buy produce that is frozen. It can save you money and is just as nutritious as fresh. If you buy canned fruits and vegetables, buy fruit in its own juice. Look for lower sodium vegetables.
9. Store food properly. Don’t let food spoil and waste your money. Put the most recent refrigerated foods in the back and older foods up front so you will use them first.
10. Try Meatless Mondays.  There are loads of delicious vegetarian recipes online that can save you money. Here’s one to try:   “Grilled Quesadilla with Vegetables” You can find this recipe and more here!

Joanne M. Gallivan, M.S., R.D.N. is a registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She served as the Director of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) in the Office of Communication and Public Liaison for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1997-2016.  Previously, Ms. Gallivan has served as project manager for NIDDK’s Weight-Control Information Network (WIN), a national source of information on weight control, obesity, and weight-related nutritional disorders for health professionals and the public; as Contract Manager for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Cholesterol Education Program and Obesity Education Initiative, and as Director of the Prince George’s County Health Department Nutrition Division located in Maryland.

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is a free clinic in Charleston, SC, that provides free medical care to uninsured adults. The Free Clinic serves adults with no health insurance living at or below 299 % of the Federal poverty level who live or work on Johns, James, & Wadmalaw Island or Folly Beach, or serve the Hospitality Industry of Downtown Charleston. You can sign up for our monthly e-news updates, or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.