Create a list of foods you and your family like to eat

  • Consider your family’s budget and food preferences.
  • Keep the list in a convenient place such as your kitchen.
  • Over time, continue to add new recipes or foods you and your family like.

Don't forget to involve your family in the planning and cooking process to make it a fun activity far everyone!

Plan for the amount and types of meals and snacks needed until your next grocery trip

  • How many meals and snacks do you and your family members prefer each day?
  • How many meals or snacks will you be eating at home, eating on the go, or eating out? Plan for on-the-go snacks such as whole fruit and nuts if needed.
  • How many servings do you want for each meal or snack? How many leftover or freezer meals do you want?

Eating home-prepared meals instead of take-out or dine-in restaurant meals can help yousave a lot of money every month!

Take note of what is already available

  • What items do you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry that you can use? Dried pasta for a noodle dish? Salad dressing for a veggie salad?
  • If you have foods that need to be eaten soon before spoiling, plan to use those items first.
  • Look for sale or discounted items through store flyers or websites.

Make a menu

  • It can be for a 1, 2, or 4-week cycle.
  • Plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
  • Keep it balanced and incorporate the 5 MyPlate food groups each day.
  • Ensure there is variety over time and keep it simple.

Make a shopping list

  • Write down the ingredients you need and the quantities.
  • Keep a list of items you regularly purchase in a convenient place so that you have a starting point each time you make your list.
  • Check out our Saving Money on Groceries resource to learn how to save money when grocery shopping.

Featured Recipes

Make Ahead Breakfast Parfaits

In a bowl, combine yogurt, oats, and milk. Stir to combine.Layer half of mixture in a wide-mouth mason jar or other glass container. Add half the berries, then layer in remaining yogurt mixture and berries.Refrigerate overnight and up to 3 days. Enjoy cold.

make ahead

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Mix all ingredients together in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5hours.
Serve hot with whole grain crackers or bread.