anyway Gas prices are Lower now than in months, inflation continues to send price Grocery store higher than it has been in 43 yearsmaking it even more difficult for many Americans to provide the food they need.
The food-at-home index is up 13.5% since last year, according to The latest consumer price index data.
Here’s a snapshot of how much the prices of some staples have gone up over the past 12 months:
- Cereals and their products (17.4%)
- Dairy and dairy products (16.2%)
- Fruits and vegetables (9.4%).
Buying groceries, especially those rich in nutrients, is harder than it has been since 1979, but there are still ways to get the healthy foods you need if you’re on a tight budget.
Usually, when shopping on a budget, the common tip is to use coupons, says Felicia Porrazza, a registered dietitian based in Pennsylvania.
While coupons can be helpful, sometimes using them can encourage people to buy things they don’t need or don’t use, she says.
“I usually suggest using coupons for things you usually buy, not for things you like ‘Oh, I have a coupon for it,’ which can also add to your grocery bill,” says Porrazza.
And while methods like shopping in season and buying groceries locally are effective, it’s not the only way to save money.
1. Meal preparation
Shop with intent by thinking about the meals you plan to cook throughout the week before you enter the grocery store, says Porrazza.
“It can get very sticky when people buy fresh produce and have no plan for it, so it gets put in the fridge and unfortunately ends up unused,” Borazza notes. “It is basically money that is wasted.”
When planning meals, you should also look in your pantry to see what shelf-stable foods you already have and inventory everything in the fridge and freezer, she says.
2. Buy frozen and canned foods
Consider buying frozen or canned foods instead of some of the fresh foods you usually buy, says Porrazza. These foods tend to be less expensive and will last longer than fresh foods, she says.
“There is a lot of variety in terms of everything from green beans to chickpeas, and these foods are rich in nutrients,” says Porrazza. “The only thing to really look for with canned items is the sodium aspect.”
For vegetables, look for Options that say “no salt added” or are low in sodium while shopping, she says. You can also dry and rinse canned vegetables to reduce the sodium content.
For canned fruits, the concern is the sugar content. You should aim for selections with no added sugar or those canned in 100 percent juice or water, Porrazza notes.
3. Try protein alternatives
Meat and fish are more expensive than most foods these days, and even if you don’t follow a vegan diet, using different protein sources as a main base for one or two meals throughout the week can lower your groceries price, Poraza says.
Some of the alternatives she suggests are:
- Bean-based recipes like chili
- Complex vegetable protein
“Just change up that protein source. You’re still getting a protein source, but it doesn’t necessarily increase the cost,” says Porrazza.
You may need to narrow down your shopping list to save money. In these cases, these top 10 nutrients should always be on your grocery list, according to Porrazza:
- protein (two components)
- Grains/Carbohydrates (2 ingredients)
- Fruits (two varieties)
- Vegetables (one starchy and one non-starchy).
- Add-ons (2 items)
You can compile your nutritional list of grocery items using the chart below:
Nutrient-rich foods should be prioritized, even if your budget is limited
Try to get two different items from each category. For vegetables, get one starchy and one non-starchy.
Complex vegetable protein (soy meat)
fish (rich in omega-3s like salmon or rainbow trout)
chicken (no protection)
Pregnancy (roast or leg)
pork meat Tenderloin *
Low fat beef* (98% lean or sirloin)
🍚 Grains + carbohydrates
🍎 the fruit
• An apple
• Legumes (beans)
• sweet potato
• let down
🥜 extra jobs
• Peanut Butter
• Other fun additions