Making the Most of Your Food Dollar

A few months ago I attended a session called “Making the Most of Your Food Dollar” which was put on by a group of health care providers that have formed Community Health Teams in the city.

Here are five tips from that session that you may find helpful:

  1. Use flyers to make your grocery list.  If you are like me, you toss out flyers as soon as you pull them from the mailbox. In the session, we talked about actually looking at flyers for sales on items that are part of your family’s diet. You might even see something on sale that you’ve been wanting to try have haven’t; kale for instance.  When I bring flyers home, they end up sitting on the table for a few days before going into recycling but now I will make it a point to start a quick list as I browse the flyers and then get rid of them when I’m done.  If I’m going for groceries anyway, I might as well shop on sale and have a plan. This will save me time and hopefully a few bucks.

 2. Coupons but only for things you would already buy. The tricky thing about coupons is that they are advertisements- just like flyers are.  They are not often for essential items  so even though one might save you three dollars off a particular lotion, you might not ever use that lotion. Before you pull off all the coupons from the rack at the entrance of the grocery store, make sure they are saving you money on items that you normally buy or had planned to purchase anyway.

most of food dollar 2.jpg
Shopping the rainbow in Peru!


3.  Keep your grocery money on a gift certificate. I really liked this tip. It’s a smart way to make sure you don’t go over budget and also don’t use your grocery money on other things like that impulse Beaver Tail from the waterfront or a new TV.

4.  Portion food and keep in freezer. This one is good if you’re like me and don’t like cooking very much or have time to do it every day. It takes some planning and one bigger chunk of time but once you are done and have your containers all ready to go, it’s so easy to just take out a couple of meals from the fridge or freezer and have a tasty, homemade meal in minutes.

5.  Look at the price per weight or unit. Has anyone looked at this before? So let’s say a large bottle of dish soap is on sale and the smaller bottle next to it is regular price. Should you buy two small or the one big one?  Are you really saving if you buy the big bottle? Well, apparently on every price tag, there is the cost per weight or unit written in small print so that you can actually compare the true cost without having to figure out the math yourself.  Check it out next time you see a sale tag or when comparing to different size items of the same thing.

Hopefully you find these tips useful in saving money and a bit of time in meal planning and shopping.

How do you make the most of your food dollar?

By the way, want to “make your life healthier for free”? Visit the Community Health Teams site here:




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