Cost saving tips to save money at the grocery store

By Jane Hart

MSU Extension

Nutrition educators at Michigan State University Extension share their favorite ways to eat healthy for less.

In today’s economy, there aren’t many people who don’t have to think about what they’re spending, especially at the grocery store. Nutrition educators from Michigan State University Extension were asked about their favorite ways to save money on groceries. Some of their ideas aren’t new, but a good reminder. Others are fresh cost-cutting ideas that may help you lower your grocery bill while still eating healthy.

Effie thinks we should grow food in a garden and can, freeze or dehydrate the harvest. She mentions that plants and seeds can even be purchased with Bridge Cards. Gardening is a great physical activity too, so you can grow healthy food while getting some exercise.

Shirley likes to go through the Sunday ads to see what is on sale. Then she makes a list of what she needs and goes to a local store that price matches. She saves gas money by not having to go to more than one grocer and gets the sale price too.

Danica makes out a menu for the week using the store ads. She also tends to only shop the outer parameter of the store which doesn’t hold as much processed and expensive foods unless she needs some specific aisle items.

Winnie believes that more food in your refrigerator or pantry does not necessarily mean more meals. She gathers recipes and has a goal of trying new ones. Sometimes she manages to try a new recipe each week, and other times she tries about two each month.

Sue likes to save money, time and stress by buying in bulk when meat is on sale. She cooks three to four meals at one time for the week and freezes them. She also likes to cook with a slow cooker.

Jennie goes through her cupboards, refrigerator and freezer before shopping to see what she has on hand that isn’t expired. Then she writes what she needs in a shopping list. The key to her success is sticking to the list!

Marian tenderizes cheaper cuts of meat by cooking them in her pressure cooker. She also has one to two meatless meals per week to save dollars using beans and other healthy protein sources.

Inger makes sure to use a shopping list and doesn’t spend extra money on things she doesn’t need. She also has signed up for coupons to be sent to her e-mail address from the stores she frequents, and uses their rewards cards.

These tips came from nutrition educators who specialize in helping Michigan citizens eat healthy and stretch their food dollars. If you have questions about how to freeze, dry or can your produce, or want to learn to make nutritious and homemade meals, contact your Lake Co. office at (231) 745-3732 and ask about nutrition education programs. We are located at 915 Michigan Ave., Baldwin, MI 49304.

This article was published in the MSU Extension News. For more information from MSU Extension, visit