University of Illinois Extension

Spend Smart, Save Smart Tips

Ten Tips for Spending Less on Food

  • Decrease the amount of food waste in your household. Make plans to use all the food you purchase.
  • Mash and freeze bananas that are overripe. Use later to banana bread.
  • Take leftovers for your lunch or plan another meal for the family using them.
  • Before you go to the grocery store, check your pantry and freezer to make sure you don’t buy more than you need.
  • Plan your meals around sales at the grocery store.
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season or are on sale that week.
  • Plan a couple of meatless meals every week. Use beans to make a vegetarian chili or bean burritos.
  • Make a list of the food you put in the refrigerator and freezer and date the packages to help you remember what needs to be used first.
  • Consider buying generic foods rather than the higher priced national brands.
  • Clip coupons for items that you know you will use. Check web sites offering coupons and Be aware that some stores will not accept coupons from the internet.