Eat your fruits and veggies – on a budget

Grocery shopping on a tight budget can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to eat healthy. But there are many ways to manage your food dollars and still purchase a variety of delicious and healthy foods that your family will love. The MyPlate guidelines recommend that you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Does that seem difficult to do on your current grocery budget?

These tips can help you meet the MyPlate goals without breaking the bank.

Buy fruits and vegetables in all their forms – fresh, frozen, and canned[1]

  • Fresh, frozen, and canned foods can all be nutritious options. When selecting canned items, look for fruits that are packed in water or juice instead of syrup. Select canned vegetables with little or no salt added and frozen vegetables without sauces and seasonings.
  • Buying fresh produce when it’s in season will cost less money.

 Manage the quantities that you purchase

  • Items such as grapes and cherries are often pre-bagged for your convenience. These items are usually sold by the pound, and you can easily spend more than anticipated if you place the bag in your cart without weighing it.
  • To control the cost of items that are sold by the pound, make sure that you weigh the fruits and vegetables before purchasing. For pre-bagged items, use a separate produce bag to measure out your desired quantity.

Take advantage of sales and promotions

  • Grocery stores offer different specials each week, and this is a great way to add more fruits and vegetables to your shopping cart. If frozen vegetables are 5 for $5.00, you may want to take advantage of the deal, even if it’s not on your grocery list.
  • If you have space in your kitchen and money in your budget, these promotions are a great opportunity to stock your pantry and freezer with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep in mind that you usually don’t have to buy the entire quantity listed to take advantage of the deal. If an item is listed as 5 for $5.00, you can buy 1 for $1.00. Just make sure to read the requirements because rules may vary.

We hope these tips help you fill your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables!

[1] Meeting Your MyPlate Goals On a Budget. (2013). Retrieved from