Grocery Shopping on a Budget: Learn how to become an expert shopper!

It can be difficult to find healthful options a the grocery store while on a budget. Here are some tips and tricks to help make your next grocery run a little easier.

Two individuals peruse the produce section in a grocery store
Kinzy Krafta, Dietetic Intern, 2019-2020
Monday, July 18, 2022

Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

While you may feel like fresh produce is the best choice for getting in your fruits and veggies, we often times overlook the frozen foods aisles that also contain many of the same items. Frozen produce is a GREAT option for several reasons. First, it is almost always cheaper than fresh produce and you will still be getting the same amount of nutrients! In some cases, you may even be getting more when choosing frozen over fresh. This is simply because frozen produce is often times picked and processed right away meaning little to no nutrients are lost. Fresh produce on the other hand, is often times picked prematurely which means the produce hasn't had time to reach its highest nutritional value. It is also shipped to various places which allows for more chances of spoilage & potential moisture losses. So next time you are in the grocery store, consider choosing frozen fruits & vegetables for a more budget-friendly pick!

$1.29/11oz $2.68/each

Shopping in Season

With that being said, fresh produce can be a great option without breaking the bank if you shop for produce when it's in season! In-season produce can actually have better flavor than frozen or out-of-season options. Swipe right for a list of common foods and when they are in season!

Spring Summer Fall Winter
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons/Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Melons
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Mangos
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Pears
  • Radishes
  • Yams
  • Winter Squash
  • Clementines
  • Oranges
  • Collard Greens
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Grapefruit

Plan Ahead

Plan, Plan, Plan! By having a plan in mind before heading to the grocery store, you can save yourself time and money! Think about what you're going to need and make a list. By making a list and sticking to it, you can avoid temptation of buying those things you see and decide to impulse buy. Another note, never go to the store hungry. When we are hungry, we are much more inclined to make these impulse buys!  If you're really trying to stick to a certain budget, try taking only cash to the store so you can't go budget!

Someone writes with a blue pen on a notebook

Buy in Bulk

While we may be drawn away from buying in bulk simply because we have to spend more money up front, it can actually save us money in the long run. It can also save us time as we won't have to make as many grocery runs!

For meats, as they near their sell by date they are often times put on sale. This is the perfect time to stock up on some of the ones you know you will use! Just freeze them before the sell by date and you'll have them for later when you need them!

Dried goods are another great option for buying in bulk because they can be stored in your cupboard for a very long time, up to a couple years! These are also nice to always have on hand because they can be added to almost any dish!

Other non-perishable items such as condiments or paper-based products are cheaper when bought in bulk! Most condiments are usually high in sodium which make them perfect for storing on the shelf for a long time!