Finding and preparing health food when you have a tight budget can be a real challenge.

Consider food purchases very carefully, and select highly nutritious foods. High-protein foods like chicken and beans keep you satisfied longer than starchy foods like bread, rice or pasta. You may save money if you cut down on the amount of meat, soda, prepared foods, and snacks you buy. It can also help to plan meals that produce leftovers.

Make some “grab and go” snacks and lunches when you have time so that you don’t buy lunch just because you are in a rush.

Use the Internet as a resource (most libraries have free access if you do not have a computer). Go online and search for “Thrifty Meals.” Many other people are also thinking about how to save. Use their experience to spark ideas.

Use coupons and look for store specials. 

Have potluck dinners with friends and family instead of going out.

Research local farmers markets, food co-ops and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms where you can get vegetables inexpensively.

Join the SHARE Food Network. SHARE is a buying collective that allows anyone, regardless of income, to get a package of food at about half of the retail value. Call 800.217.4273 or visit SHARE Food Network.