15 Tips on Stretching Your Budget for Healthy Food

1. Calculate how much your food budget should be before your grocery trip. It will help you decide which foods are a better buy.

2. Make a meal plan for the week which uses similar vegetables and fruits that are prepared in different ways. This way, you can make the most out of the produce that you buy.

3. In season vegetables and fruits are fresher and cost less. Buy them at a farmer's market or at the local grocery store.

4. Look for sales and good deals at the grocery store or by using coupons. Take note to buy food on sale or use coupons only for foods that your family will eat.

5. Growing your own fruits and vegetables in pots or at your yard can also help in lessening your food costs.

6. Minimize food waste by purchasing only the amounts that your family will eat. And for the food waste that you do produce, make them into a compost to use for your food garden.

7. Cook enough food for several meals and freeze the leftovers. Use containers that can hold one meal so that defrosting and reheating will be easier. Label them clearly with the content and date when you made it so that you can keep them within a safe time frame.

8. Make a big batch of homemade soup and freeze the leftovers in small containers. Homemade soup is a tasty and healthy way to use vegetables.

9. Save money by buying whole fruits and vegetables. Cut your vegetables and fruits at home. Pre-cut ones cost more.

10. Mix the juice yourself. 100% juice from a frozen concentrate is usually less expensive than pre-bottled juice for each serving.

11. Make most fresh fruits and vegetables last longer by storing them in the freezer. But do your research and remember to freeze them according to instructions that you find.

12. Get creative with leftover fruits and vegetables. You can make salsa from tomatoes and ice pops or smoothies from fruits!

13. Purchase store-brands to help with your food budget. Many of them have the same level of nutrition and quality as branded ones.

14. When you want to try new vegetables and fruits, buy only a few at first. This way you will get to taste only a small amount and make sure you and your family like it before buying more.

15. Do not shop hungry. Before going to the grocery, eat a healthy snack. Doing this will help you avoid snack temptations along the way.