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Keeping Your Food Budget in Check

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With good planning, you can keep your food costs under control by:

  • Set a food budget so that you know how much you have to spend on the foods you need.
  • Do some meal planning so that you know what’s for dinner and you aren’t tempted to buy fast food at the last minute.
  • Write a grocery list so that you don’t make impulse purchases.
  • Meal plan around the plate: make half the plate fruits and vegetables, one quarter of the plate whole grains, and the last quarter a lean protein.
  • Check out meal time tips and choosemyplate.gov for healthy options.
  • Lean proteins don’t always have to be meat: try a plant-based protein like beans, lentils, or soy.
    • Try making home made bean burgers
    • Cook frozen edamame for your protein source for dinner
  • Pick an inexpensive “go-to meal” that you enjoy once a week –like tacos with veggies and lean ground turkey with salsa, bean-veggie enchiladas or a colorful southwestern bean salad.
  • Kids often beg for treats – choose a healthy snack before you go! Then let them choose foods from the produce aisle, not the candy aisle.
  • Pack snacks for the family. Foods from snack bars or convenience stores can cost lots of money over time.

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