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Stay nourished and save money

fruit slices
Fruits are part of a healthy diet. Shopping sales and farmers markets can help fill your refrigerator with fresh and healthy things to enjoy throughout the day.

The price tag often associated with eating healthy can sometimes give you sticker shock. In this story, we explore ways to sustain eating habits that are healthy and budget conscious.

Shop smarter, and cheaper!

  • Keep a running grocery list. Do a quick inventory twice a week at least.
  • Organize your list into sections according to the layout of your store.
  • Stock up on nonperishables such as canned or frozen goods.
  • Shop the sales; buy meat when on sale and freeze! 
  • Reduce waste by using the perishable items early in the week (such as fish, fruits, greens, etc) and more hearty items later in the week.
  • Use the leftovers for lunch or create another meal from the leftovers!  

Weekly Shopping List

Head of lettuce


Bell pepper


Pasta sauce, jarred


Whole grain noodles


Whole grain tortillas


Shredded cheese


3 lb lean ground beef/turkey


2 lb thin sliced chicken breast


Frozen green beans


Baked potato


Frozen stir fry veggies with sauce


Canned tomatoes; diced, sauce, and paste


Canned beans 






Grand Total 


Example plan to save money:

Weekly Dinner Menu:

  • Monday: Spaghetti with meat sauce and side salad
  • Tuesday:  Beef Tacos
  • Wednesday: Chicken stir fry
  • Thursday: Chicken wraps
  • Friday: burger patty, green beans, baked potato
  • Saturday: Chicken quesadillas
  • Sunday: Crockpot chili

*focus only on evening meals when starting to meal plan as breakfast, lunch and snacks are typically the same or leftovers for people!

If you or someone you know is food insecure, there are a number of resources that can help:

  • Food bank: free grocery items and meals.
  • Meals on Wheels/Peace Meals: delivering meals to seniors in need.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): nutrition assistance for low-income individuals and families.

Andrea Brettin, MS, RDN, LDN is a dietitian at VA Illiana Health Care System.

Reach out to your dietitian for more information! Call 217-554-4676 for an appointment.

  • Andrea Brettin (MAT/SPR)
  • Andrea Eertmoed (PEO)
  • Ashley McCartney (DAN)
  • Carly Klaus (PEO)
  • Colleen Leehy (DAN)
  • Elayna Fehr (BLM)
  • Erika Belloso Gonzalez (DAN)
  • Frank Birkemeier (DAN)
  • Jackie Beem (SPR)
  • Jacquie Worthington (DAN)
  • Kaylee Astell (DAN)
  • Kim Tegenkamp (HBPC)
  • Kristy Powell (DEC)
  • Lauren Dunahee (DAN)
  • Rachel Cooper (DAN)
  • Rakeisha Robinson (DAN)