Healthy, nutritious foods don’t have to be expense. Use these tips to help lower your grocery bill while still making good food choices.
Shop with a list. If you shop with a list and stick to it, you won’t run up your bill with impulse buys. Create your grocery list while meal planning for the week. By shopping intentionally, you will also avoid extra trips to the store for more ingredients to make a meal. To help create your grocery lists, you can
- Download the LLS Health ManagerTM app. With LLS Health ManagerTM, you can now use your phone to manage your daily health by tracking side effects, medication, food and hydration, questions for the doctor, grocery lists and more. You can also set up reminders to take medications and to eat/drink throughout the day.
- Use the Grocery List Worksheet.
Use coupons. Look online and in the newspaper for coupons. Check to see if your grocery store offers a loyalty program or coupons through a mobile app. Some brand-name specialty products can be pricey so visit the product’s website for coupons or contact the manufacturer.
Ask for a rain check. Items on sale may sell out quickly. If this happens to you, ask for a rain check. Some stores will allow you to purchase the item at the sale price once it is back in stock, even if the promotion has ended.
Shop for seasonal produce. Seasonal produce provides great nutrition and is typically more budget-friendly than foods that are not in season. Learn more about seasonal eating in our blog post Spring Into Local, Seasonal Eating.
Consider canned and frozen produce. For fruits and vegetables that are not in season, choose budget-friendly canned or frozen produce. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh foods because they are picked and preserved at peak freshness. When purchasing canned foods, look for low-sodium options. For canned fruits, choose those canned in water or in 100% percent fruit juice, not syrup.
Swap meat and poultry for plant-based proteins. Not only is plant-based eating healthy, it can also help reduce your grocery expenses. Meat tends to be some of the more expensive items on a grocery list. Dried and canned beans, peas and lentils are inexpensive. When purchasing canned foods, look for low-sodium options.
Compare grocery stores in your area. You may be surprised to find how much prices can differ from store to store. For example, spices tend to be much less expensive at international markets than at traditional grocery stores.
Check out food delivery and pickup services. Many grocery stores now offer pickup or delivery services. You send a list to the store ahead of time. A store employee then puts together your grocery order. Once your groceries are ready, you go to the store, and an employee loads them into your car. Some online retailers also offer food delivery services. Although you may pay a small fee for pickup or delivery depending on the store, you will be less likely to buy extra items on impulse if you order ahead.
Visit a farmers market. For local, fresh fruits, vegetables and other products, visit a farmers market. Visit Local Harvest to find a farmers market in your area.
Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. A CSA program gives you the opportunity to pay a local farm for your share of produce ahead of time and then the farm supplies you with your share (a box of fruits and vegetables) at a set interval, usually weekly. Visit Local Harvest to find a CSA in your area.
See if you may eligible for SNAP benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, provides nutrition assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) work with state agencies to facilitate the program. Visit the SNAP website to learn more about eligibility and how to apply.
COVID-19 Disclaimer: The information on this page is general in nature for cancer patients and their families. It is not specific to the coronavirus (COVID-19).