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Eat Well

Eating well is everything. We are here to help you bring delicious healthy meals to your table.

Plan

Treat your kitchen as if it is your own family restaurant. Make the most of your budget and ensure your family eats well by planning your meals for the week. Start with finding recipes your family will enjoy. Then, get the kids involved by having them help you select recipes and plan the shopping list.

Make a shopping list to help you focus on what you need at the moment, save money and waste less. If you like to write your list on paper, take a picture of it with your smartphone in the event you leave your paper list at home. Or, start a habit of entering your shopping list in your smartphone so you have it whenever you go out.

Create

  • Start by looking to see what you already have on hand and use that as the starting point to build your menu
  • Think of your plate as you plan meals. Keep in mind that half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables.
  • Think about what dishes make for great leftovers and make extra to save time and money.
  • Consider lower cost plant-based protein sources, such as legumes (beans, lentils and dried peas),  tofu and nut butters that offer great taste at a good price.

Budget

Figuring out how to budget for groceries is different for everyone. Try Iowa State University’s Grocery Budget Calculator as a way compare current spending with results that are based on the latest prices from the USDA’s Low-Cost Food Plan.

Save

  • Think about your family’s favorite meals and stock up on those ingredients, especially when they go on sale.
  • Look through the coupon mailers and websites, and grocery store apps for deals. Plan your meals around foods that you can pick up on sale. Use coupons only for items that you know you’ll use.
  • Join your store’s loyalty program so you can get members only special offers and discounts.
  • Fruit and veggies are usually cheaper when they’re in season. When fresh fruits and veggies are out of season, buy frozen or canned instead. To find out what’s in season, visit the Michigan Grown, Michigan Great  website.
  • Choose store brands. Most stores offer their own brand of products that often cost less than name brands.

Shop

  • Bring your shopping list with you.
  • Shop after you eat, so you aren’t tempted to make unhealthy choices and buy foods you don’t need.
  • Save money by comparing unit prices of similar items to get the best deal. We like this free app Spend Smart. Eat Smart. for quick comparisons when shopping.

Pantries

Michigan Food Pantries have nourishing food, and they are open to everyone. There are about 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, and places around Michigan ready to help.

FoodPantries.org (links to new window) provides listings of pantries, food closets, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

FreeFood.org (links to new window) is about helping people connect with food pantries, and food coupon resources, in their communities.

HSD Food Resources (links to new window) is a directory of resources across America, with a special focus for those who are living in emergency shelters, transitional housing or are experiencing homelessness.

Note: Food banks do not directly serve people in need, they supply food to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, etc.

Cook

Once you’ve brought your groceries home, the fun begins. You don’t need fancy tools or equipment to make a great meal. If you are new to cooking and looking for ways to get more comfortable in the kitchen, Nutrition.gov has Meal Prep and Cooking Tips to help you learn methods and skills.

We have put together a list of recipe websites that are filled with easy, affordable, delicious and healthy recipes that don’t require a ton of ingredients or advanced skills. Click here for our favorite recipe websites.