News You Can Use: Stretch those food dollars at home with these tips

Shelly Barnes • Jun 27, 2017 at 10:47 PM

Grocery shopping can be a real challenge, especially if you are on a limited budget.  Use the tips to stretch food dollars at home before you think about the store. 

To prevent food waste:

• Cut down on the amount of food you throw away; freeze leftovers or use them in recipes like soups or casseroles. Instead of thinking “leftovers,” think “planned overs.” Have a plan to use excess food from one meal, whether by using it within a few days or freezing it for the future.

• Take leftovers for lunch instead of eating out. Store properly to keep foods safe to eat.

• Before buying an unfamiliar food, be sure you know how to prepare it.

• Buy only the amount of food you can store and use before it spoils.

To plan ahead:

• Plan meals for a week using foods on hand and grocery store specials.

• Clip and use coupons if the coupons are for items you usually use and the cost with the coupon is lower than other brands for similar products.

• Cook large batches when possible; divide into portions and freeze.

Some general money-saving tips include:

• Cut down on expensive ready‐to‐eat salty and sweet snacks.

• Enjoy seasonal or dried fruit, vegetables, whole-grain crackers, or low‐fat yogurt for nutritious snacks.

• Limit pre‐made meals and fast foods.

• Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water. Refrigerate overnight and keep it with you during the day.

• Avoid excess soda, expensive energy drinks, and coffee shop drinks.

Aug. 30 is the last day for Farmers’ Market Fresh at the Lebanon Farmers’ Market at 143 S. Maple St. in Lebanon. Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers at the farmers’ market. UT Extension will also be there sharing information about how to pick, prepare and store your produce. Make your dollars go further at your local farmers’ market.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

For more information on this or other family and consumer sciences related topics, contact Shelly Barnes, family and consumer sciences Extension agent for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes may be reached at [email protected] or 615-444-9584.

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