University of Illinois Extension

Spend Smart, Save Smart Tips

Ten Tips for Buying Food

  • Cook enough for only one meal if family members won’t eat leftovers.
  • Use coupons or buy foods on sale only if your family will eat the food.
  • Learn how to garden. Food is fresher and the exercise is an additional benefit.
  • Know your grocery stores. Know when the sales start, when items are marked down and when coupons double.
  • Cook once a week; freeze and package meals for easy ‘heat and eat’ dinners.
  • Shop your nearest farmer’s market. Produce will cost less and will be fresher.
  • Look for manager’s specials early in the morning and late in the day.
  • Buy frequently used items in bulk. Separate, repackage and store.
  • Beware of advertising that pushes more instead of better. Quality is more important than quantity.
  • Buy foods with more nutrients. A good price plus valuable nutrients is a winning combination.