Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Cut Your Food Costs

Kathy Graves, MS, RD, LD

Everyone wants to save money when it comes to food…but how do we do that?  Saving money on food takes practice, time and even changing some habits. Here are some of the best tips I’ve tried that will not only save you money, but will also be beneficial to your health.

Plan out your meals. Meal planning can help you stay on a budget, save time during the week and eat healthier.

Make a list before going to the grocery store. A list will keep you from buying extra items or more items you already have at home. A list will also keep you organized so you are not wandering through the store buying random items.

Tips while at the store:

  • Buy produce that is in season. Buy frozen produce if the fresh items often spoil before you can use them.
  • Don't be brand loyal. Consider the store brands, if cheaper.
  • Don't go to the store hungry! You might make more impulse purchases.
  • Take advantage of grocery store membership cards for cost savings.
  • Look for coupons and weekly specials. Grocery stores typically have a weekly ad with specials listed. There are also apps available that offer coupons to various grocery stores like Ibotta, Flipp, Coupons and Kroger.
  • Keep eating out to a minimum, such as once a week or for special occasions. Eating out can be expensive, and most people only get one meal. Also, you are not able to control what goes into your food so this can mean more calories, fat and sodium.

When eating out:

  • Split a meal with someone, or take half of your meal home. You get two meals for the price of one!
  • Instead of asking for soda, tea, coffee or alcohol, choose water.  Not only is water our body’s best source of hydration, this simple change can help save $2 or more when eating out and adds up over time!
  • Look for coupons to restaurants, like Groupon, or look for early-bird specials. Early-bird specials are menu items offered at a designated time at a lower price.

Healthier is wealthier! Research shows that when people live a healthy lifestyle, less days are spent sick, and less money is spent on medical expenses. Make one small change at a time to save your health and even money!

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