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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

Eating Right When Money’s Tight

Presented by: Esther Bush

Worksite Specialist

(213) 351-7819

today s agenda
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
at home before shopping
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

at the store
At the Store
  • Take a list to the store – and stick to it
  • Loss leaders and sales
  • Shop the perimeter; Convenience costs more
at the store5
At the store …
  • Don’t stay too long in the store
  • Don’t pay extra for individual

serving sizes

  • Shred your own cheese


at the store6
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
at the store7
At the Store…
  • Buy one, get one free
  • Buy day-old bakery items

and freeze

  • Use loyalty cards
  • Visit local farmers’ markets
compare unit price
Compare Unit Price

Which product is less expensive?

buyers beware
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 !
final notes
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?
at home when cooking
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
at home
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 
out and about
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
health at what cost17
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!
improve nutrition for 0
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
improve nutrition for 019
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


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


(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



(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


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

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
  • Do you want more nutrition information?

Thank you!

  • Visit USDA Websites for Tips:
    • or
    • (directly to the cookbook)
  • Visit
  • Call 211
    • For information about Food Stamps, or any other programs