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bryan west south entrance

Bryan Bariatric Advantage
Bryan West Campus
2300 S. 16th St.
Lincoln, NE 68502
Use Medical Center Entrance
402-481-5454

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How to Save Money at the Store and Still Eat Well

With a little know-how and advance planning, you can enjoy nutritious foods while sticking to a tight budget. Here are some tips:

Plan Around Sales

The key to smart, budget-friendly grocery shopping is planning ahead. Plan meals around fresh produce, lean protein foods and low-fat dairy items that are on sale and in season to save money while eating healthy. Also:

  • Check store sale flyers and coupons offered on the same items for additional savings.
  • Compare national brands and private store labels for the lowest price.
  • Once you've identified sale items, incorporate them into simple meals — baked, grilled or broiled lean meats or fish served with vegetables and whole grains are delicious and healthy with few added ingredients. 
  • Remember to use the unit price to compare cost between different sized packages of the same product.

Create a Shopping List

Use your weekly eating plan to create a master grocery list and stick to it. Prioritize your food dollars for nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein foods and whole grains. To keep your grocery list from growing too long, prepare meals that include similar ingredients throughout the week.

In the Produce Section

When it comes to fresh vegetables and fruits, shop seasonally. Local, seasonal produce is at its peak flavor and is generally more abundant, so it's often sold at a lower price.

Frozen or Canned Alternatives

If the produce item you want isn't in season or doesn’t fit in your budget, consider purchasing it frozen or canned. Fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruits and vegetables can be good for you. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peak freshness and can be just as nutritious as fresh foods because canning and freezing preserves many nutrients. Canned and frozen foods offer an alternative to fresh and may be more budget friendly. Be sure to check the ingredients list to avoid items with added sugars or salt.

At the Meat Counter

Consider buying a larger quantity of meat that is on sale and preparing enough for two or more meals. Enjoy leftovers later in the week or freeze for future use. Because meat is often the highest dollar ingredient in a recipe, plan meatless meals a few nights each week, or try replacing half the meat in dishes such as chili, meatloaf or burger patties with beans, finely minced mushrooms or chopped vegetables. Non-meat proteins, including beans, nuts and eggs can be cost-effective, nutritious and delicious.

Whole Grains and Dry Goods

Whole grains and dried beans are generally inexpensive and are an easy way to get more nutrition for your buck. Stock up on these nonperishable items when on sale or take advantage of the bulk bin and buy only the amount you need. Dried beans, peas and lentils are great to keep on hand. You can buy in bulk, prepare ahead of time and then freeze so you always have protein and fiber-rich foods at the ready.

Reduce Waste

Once you've done your shopping, make the most of your food spending by cutting down on waste. Use highly perishable items — such as fish and seafood, salad greens, berries and fresh herbs — early in the week, and save more hearty items for later in the week. Enjoy leftovers for lunch or create new meals from leftover ingredients. Cooked meat and vegetables can be revamped as a filling for a casserole, frittata or soup.

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