Spending Less, Eating Better – A Shopper’s Guide

Spending less, eating better is an admirable goal. To do so, it would most likely be helpful to commit to habits that help us all spend less and eat better.  For the next few weeks, I will provide a four part series on how to eat healthy while saving money on a budget.  The four articles featured will be as follows:

Before You Go To The Store

What to Buy

At The Store

When You Get Home

You may already do many of the tips suggested but if you are trying to create new or additional habits to help you stick to a budget, stay tuned in.  Creating a new habit takes focus and practice.

I suggest you pick three tips that you will put into action this week.  Then add on other tips you find useful in the following weeks.  Keep practicing the tips you find useful until they become habits.


Part 1:  Before You Go To The Store

  1. Divide grocery money into equal weekly amounts. Try not to borrow from the next week’s allowance.
  2. Watch for newspaper ads and coupons. Remember to bring your coupons and shopping list with you when you shop. Be sure your family will use a “bargain”, if they won’t  it’s no savings.  Buy extra staples when the price is low and it fits within your budget.


Fresh & Natural Foods has a monthly specials flyer (available in store and online).  In addition, there are 10% off store-wide sales twice a month on Saturdays as well as a Student discount on Sundays ( 5%), Fitness Club member discount on Tuesdays (5% off) and Senior discount on Wednesdays (5% off).  We also offer a loyalty rewards punch card that you can get double rewards punches with on Thursdays.  Many ways to save.  


  1. PLAN AHEAD! Plan ahead for main foods you will cook for the next week. Collect recipe ideas from cookbooks, friends, etc. before you shop to save you an an extra trip for missed ingredients.
  2.  If possible, write menus for the upcoming week and try to plan around store specials.
  3. Check your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards for foods and supplies you have at home to help you make a list of needed items.
  4. When making your shopping list, make it and stick to it.
  5. Do most of your shopping once a week to save time and not spend as much money on ” extras”.
  6. Plan to shop by yourself. If possible, don’t bring children with you. If they need to join you, give them rules to shop by.
  7. If possible, don’t shop when you are hungry and tired. Everything will look good and there goes your budget!


Good luck with implementing Part 1: Before You Go To The Store Tips

Check back next week for Part 2:  At The Store


Author: Michelle Hanson

Michelle Hanson, MA, RD, LD is Fresh & Natural Food’s Registered Dietitian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics with a minor in Community Health from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is a registered dietitian and current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle has been a nutrition consultant for numerous years as well as a nutrition research director at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Michelle is passionate about food and nutrition and believes in helping people find simple, realistic ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle.
If you are interested in meeting Michelle or have questions for her, you can email her at: michelle@fnfoods.com. She will look forward to meeting you!