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Cut Costs, Not Nutrition: Part One

In this time of economic hardships, it's getting harder and harder to put healthy foods on the table every day. It's tempting to just hit the dollar menu at your local fast food stop, but there are simple ways that you can cut costs and still eat healthy. Reuters has consulted with Holly Scherer, a registered dietician at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, for a few ways to cut costs but not nutrition. Here are highlights:

  • Eating in season is one key way to cut your food bill.
  • Local co-operatives where you trade money or labor in order to reap the benefits of a larger community garden or local farm are another option for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • You can save money by planting your own produce and herbs.
  • When fresh options are too expensive or unavailable, consider frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.

What about the most expensive part of your grocery bill? Protein. There are ways to cut costs there too so


  • Try simply eating less meat with your meals.
  • Though the price of eggs has increased, they are still a cheaper source of protein than meat. Beans are another option for adding protein to meals at a low cost.
  • Less expensive cuts are often less tender, which makes them good choices for meals like stews and casseroles.
  • Watch for sales so you can purchase preferred cuts at a discount and freeze them for later use.
  • Buying chicken breasts with the bone and skin on and filleting and skinning them yourself will also save money because the price per pound is lower.


insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
I don't often grocery shop at Super Target unless I need lots of toiletries or other household items. I know I'd wind up spending an extra $50 on clothes or lawn ornaments.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I actually haven't noticed my food bills going up that much since last year. Mostly because I eat a lot of unprocessed foods...we've noticed that the processed/snack foods have gone up more than say, a bag of beans or eggs or vegetables. We shop at the discount grocery store where they only have one brand of everything (generic) and it suits us pretty well...rice is rice, no matter what brand it is.
IKindaHeartU IKindaHeartU 9 years
Hmm, I will have to look at Target. I really have been working on eating right and (though totally worth it) it cost so much money.
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
I buy my stuff at Target, too, except for produce. Sometimes things are $1 cheaper!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I'm a vegetarian to but I've been cutting down on the fake meat anyway since I want more of less processed protein sources. And now I want a super Target.
FoxyJo FoxyJo 9 years
Zabrow I'm with you!! I couldn't believe how much cheaper Target's groceries were. I SOOO wish I had a Super Target near me...I hear they have produce :)
MandeeLei MandeeLei 9 years
I'm a vegetarian and the most expensive stuff I buy is meat replacements. I love Morning Star and Boca especially. I'm interested in making my own veggie meat if it would be cheaper.
zabrow zabrow 9 years
i buy a lot of my food at target. it's sooo much cheaper than the grocery store. the only thing they don't have at my target is produce, so i still hit up the grocery store for fruits & vegetables.
chicagojlo chicagojlo 9 years
I got a big-box store membership and save a ton on my fresh produce. I also use it to buy laundry detergent etc, and have definitely saved more than the membership cost, despite only buying for my husband and I and our 4 year old. They're not just for big families!
marydaz marydaz 9 years
Buying in bulk is helping me tons: nuts, quinoa, oats, dried fruit, etc...
ibiteback ibiteback 9 years
I clip coupons like a manic! It takes some time but the money I save is worth it
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Yeah veggies don't grow as well when you don't have a garden at all. But I do love my cheap grocery store.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I'm trying to grow my own veggies, but it's hard here. They don't grow so well in the deserts 110+ weather. As for protein, I could go with less meat, but my boyfriend is a BIG meat guy. He needs like steak and potatoes. I could do with a salad. But we've been buying frozen berries a lot, they're great in cottage cheese!
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
good tips. This as I bought a $5 loaf of Ezekiel 4:9 raisin bread instead of the $1.50 Wonderbread brand...I'm terrible!
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