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By Shelby Boyer, UT Extension Agent

During this unknown time with the coronavirus, we are worried and grow weary about what we are going to be putting on our tables.

We wonder what is available at the grocery store, or what can I do with these limited ingredients. Sometimes we do not even walk in there with a game plan. We need to have a game plan when we go to the grocery store.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I want to provide you all with some tips and tricks to follow at the grocery store.

One of the things you want to beforehand is preparing for your trip. Follow these tips and I am sure your trip will go by faster.

  • Set a budget and stick to it. If your money is tighter right now, set aside and budget what you need;
  • Download or clip coupons;
  • Check for store specials, such as five items for $10, etc.;
  • Use reward cards offered by stores or apps on your phone;
  • Write down needed items to make selected meals;
  • Stick to the list! Don’t stray and get those snack cakes!;
  • Make sure when planning dinners, they can be ones that have leftovers or can be frozen;
  • Try new and healthy items. Right now, produce is available and can be used for multiple things;
  • Shop no more than once a week; and
  • Create a separate list for other items such as detergent and things along those lines. Those should be planned aside from the food budget.

Another thing you can do, especially during this time, is to stock up on non-perishable food items or things that can make a quick and easy meal, such as canned meats, canned vegetables or things like that. Dried beans, legumes, canned vegetables, etc., are also awesome for quick and easy meals. Quit grabbing easy canned things like ravioli or ramen noodles. They won’t last long and you will find yourself looking at another grocery store trip during the week.

I hope these tips are beneficial and help in planning before you go to the store. Next time we will talk about shopping at the store and ways to save and make that easier!

Stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please email Shelby Boyer, Family and Consumer Science and 4-H Agent, at [email protected] or find us on Facebook at UT-Extension Trousdale County.