USDA releases meal plan guide for stretching your food budget

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Busy families can get help from the United States Department of Agriculture, which has tips for stretching your food budget and eating well when money is limited.

Buy in season: Sticking to fruits and vegetables that are in season can lower the cost and add to the freshness.

Go back to basics: Convenience foods like pre-cut fruits and vegetables and take-out meals often cost more.

Meal prep: Make a large batch of favorite recipes and freeze in individual containers. If you use them throughout the week, you can avoid spending on take-out meals.

Find deals right under your nose: That may include peel-off coupons on items, signs on aisle shelves, or coupons with your receipt.

Search for coupons: Don’t overlook your junk mail! Many stores still mail coupons and ads, or you can find them online.

Look for savings in the newspaper: Brand-name coupons are found in paper inserts every Sunday. Some stores offer double value on coupons on some days of the week.

Join your store’s loyalty program: You can receive savings and electronic coupons when you provide an email address

Find out if your store will match a competitor’s coupon: Many stores will accept coupons for the same item.

Get a coupon buddy: Swap coupons you won’t use with a friend.

Stay organized: Sort your coupons so they’re easy to find.

The USDA has sample two-week menus, recipes and a shopping list that can be used by anyone wanting a healthy diet at a modest price. The USDA created recipes using basic kitchen equipment and made lunches designed to be packable so they can be taken to work or school.

Print this article Back to Top