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Eating Right When Money’s Tight. Presented by: Esther Bush Worksite Specialist (213) 351-7819. Today’s Agenda. Tips to use when you are at the store, at home, or out and about Nutrition Tips: Add Health, Subtract $’s What’s in the Bag? “Find a Solution” Worksheet.

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Eating right when money s tight l.jpg

Eating Right When Money’s Tight

Presented by: Esther Bush

Worksite Specialist

(213) 351-7819

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Today’s Agenda

  • Tips to use when you are at the store, at home, or out and about

  • Nutrition Tips: Add Health, Subtract $’s

  • What’s in the Bag?

  • “Find a Solution” Worksheet

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At Home – before shopping

  • Take an inventory

  • Keep an ongoing list on the refrigerator

  • Check websites, circulars, and newspapers for sales

  • Build a weekly menu plan around sales what you already have

  • Based on your plan,

    build a shopping list

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At the Store

  • Take a list to the store – and stick to it

  • Loss leaders and sales

  • Shop the perimeter; Convenience costs more

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At the store …

  • Don’t stay too long in the store

  • Don’t pay extra for individual

    serving sizes

  • Shred your own cheese


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At the Store…

  • Look high and low

  • Stock up when non-perishable favorites are on sale, such as frozen and canned foods. Buy fresh products on season and freeze

  • Buy store Brands – National Brands spend lots on marketing – Store brands are less expensive and just as good

  • Compare the ingredient list

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At the Store…

  • Buy one, get one free

  • Buy day-old bakery items

    and freeze

  • Use loyalty cards

  • Visit local farmers’ markets

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Compare Unit Price

Which product is less expensive?

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Buyers Beware !

  • Watch for

    • Displays place at the end of aisles

    • Food items at eye level

    • Items advertised on children’s TV programs

    • Non-food household items

  • Remember ! – Store managers jobs are to get you to spend money !

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Final notes

  • Pay special attention at the check out.

  • Check your receipt!

  • Make sure all of your groceries get into your bag, your cart and into your car.

  • How did you do?

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At home – when cooking

  • Repackage food that you bought in bulk

  • Make it yourself and save

  • Cook extra and make “frozen dinners”

  • Be creative, make substitutions to recipes

  • Use a crock pot to tenderize harder (often cheaper) meat

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At home

  • Handle and store food properly to avoid waste. Know expiration dates and never allow leftovers to go bad.

  • Be creative and make substitutions to recipes.

  • Involve your family in food preparation.

  • Grow a garden.

  • Eat less 

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Out and about

  • Pack Breakfast. Pack Lunch and snacks

  • Go out for breakfast or lunch, not dinner

  • Ask for a “To go” box at the beginning

  • Share!

  • Early bird specials- between 5-6 (am or pm)

  • Order water with lemon

  • Invest in a coffee pot at work

  • Start a water club at work

  • Have a potluck to celebrate

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Health at what cost?

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams

  • A 20 ounce Coca-cola has 68 grams of sugar

  • How many teaspoons is that?

  • 17 teaspoons!

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Improve Nutrition for 0$

  • Make half your daily grain whole grains

    - Read the ingredients: WHOLE WHEAT.

    - Read the Nutrition Fact Label: 3 or more grams of fiber per serving.

  • High fiber foods =Fuller longer = Eat less food

  • Include fruits & vegetables in your diet

    - Add to box mixes, sauces, frozen pizzas.

    - Use fresh, frozen or canned.

  • Choose milk, cheeses and yogurts fat-free or low-fat

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Improve Nutrition for 0$

  • Select meat cuts and ground meats that are low in fat or rinse off fats after cooking

  • Try grilling, broiling, poaching, or roasting = no added fat

  • Use vegetable oils instead of butter or lard

  • Drink water rather than sodas or sports drinks

  • Choose and prepare foods with little salt, use

    half of seasoning packages

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What’s in the Bag?

  • Making food from scratch almost always saves money.

  • Compare the two bags of groceries

    • Cost is the same, but the food in bag 2 provides many more nutritious meals

  • Processed vs. fresh foods

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(Purchased from Albertson’s on Via Campo)

Stouffer’s Teriyaki Chicken Skillet $6.99

Tropicana Juice, ½ gallon $4.39

Hamburger Helper $2.99

Chocolate Milk, pint $0.89

Fresh Ground Beef, 1 lb. (from meat case) $3.49

Pillsbury Biscuits in a tube $2.39

Hormel Canned Chili, 15oz $2.49

Ready to Eat Chocolate Pudding, 4 pack $1.99

Progresso Canned Chicken Soup, 19 oz $3.19

Total Cost of Bag 1 $28.81

TOTAL: $28.81

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(Purchased from Albertson’s on Via Campo)

Whole Chicken $2.80

Fresh Carrots, 2 lbs $1.29

Fresh Broccoli, 1 lb $0.99

Water Chestnuts $0.69

Fresh Red Bell Pepper $1.29

Long Grain Brown Rice $2.69

Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate, 12 oz $2.00

Frozen Hamburger, 1 lb $1.99

Whole Wheat Noodles $1.67

Canned Mushroom Soup $0.79

Non-fat Milk, quart $1.69

Dry Kidney Beans $1.50

Diced tomatoes, 15 oz $0.80

Tomato Sauce, 15 oz $0.80

Low-Sodium Chili Seasoning $1.69

Jiffy Baking Mix $2.99

Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding Mix $0.69

Fresh Celery $1.69

Yellow Onion $0.87

TOTAL: $28.92

Use Market Club Cards for additional savings

Total Cost of Bag 2 $28.92

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  • What you can make with the contents of BAG 2:

    • 6 servings of chicken stir-fry

    • Orange juice: 6¢ / ounce

    • 4 puddings, 35¢ each

    • 12 servings of chicken soup

    • 12 servings of chili

    • 8 servings of hamburger/noodles

    • ~50 homemade biscuits

  • What you can make with the contents of BAG 1:

    • 2 servings of stir-fry

    • Orange juice: 13¢ / ounce

    • 4 Puddings, 49¢ each

    • 2 servings of chicken soup

    • 2 servings of chili

    • 5 servings of Hamburger Helper

    • 10 biscuits

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Eating Right When Money’s Tight

  • Don’t Look for Name Brands

  • Fresh vs. Processed

    • Fresh is healthier

    • More servings

  • Not about “Good Bag” or “Bad Bag”

    • Bag 1 – some food items seem to be healthy

    • Important to see number of servings of nutritious food

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  • Do you want more nutrition information?

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Thank you!

  • Visit USDA Websites for Tips:

    • or

    • (directly to the cookbook)

  • Visit


  • Call 211

    • For information about Food Stamps, or any other programs