Cooking Matters! Shopping Tips for Shopping Trips

Shopping Tips for Shopping Trips

To best use your family’s food dollars, try these tips for before, during, and after you shop.

Before shopping:

  • Know your budget
  • Check what you have – in your pantry, in the fridge, and in storage
    • Pro Tip: Keep an ongoing list on your fridge. Whenever you run out of something you need to purchase, add that to the list right then so you don’t forget. You can also use this as a place to write down meal ideas.
  • Clip coupons and check store specials
  • Plan meals/menus – consider using Recipe Frameworks (like this grain bowl framework, soup framework, or salad framework) to plan meals  that appeal to your family’s tastes and use up what you already have in your kitchen
  • Create a shopping list 
  • Eat something! Whenever possible, don’t shop hungry

While shopping:

  • Stick to your list
  • Compare unit prices to get the best deal
  • Buy in bulk – but only when you can store it safely and ensure it won’t go to waste
  • Shop the outside aisles of the store for fresh foods
  • Collect frozen and perishable items last
  • Buy fresh produce when in season
  • Check packages for “sell by” and “best if used by” dates

After shopping:

  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable items promptly
  • Store frozen foods in airtight containers
  • Keep freezer temperature at or below 0°F
  • Keep refrigerator temperature at or below 40°F
  • Congratulate yourself for sticking to your list and making the most of your food dollars!

The Cooking Matters campaign knows that kids need good food to grow up healthy. That’s why we’re here to help you learn to shop for and cook healthy, affordable meals for your entire family. For more information, including additional tips and recipes, visit If you are interested in more Cooking Matters resources, including FREE online lessons, head here:

Related Resources: Shopping Hack – Unit Prices

Recipes:  Soup Framework; Salad Framework; Grain Bowl Framework


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