Dietitian's Top Tips for Shopping on a Budget

By Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian on Monday, August 29, 2022

Hy-Vee Meal Planning

Sticking to the budget is top of mind for many shoppers but can be challenging when planning family meals! This National Family Meals Month, with help from your Hy-Vee registered dietitian team, we hope to show you how shopping with health in mind does not have to break the bank. Skip the fast food and eat healthier to stick to your budget and health goals as a whole family! 

Eating at home can be a healthier and less costly option when you follow these dietitian-approved tips:  

MAKE MEAL PLANNING A PRIORITY: Planning meals in advance helps pinpoint the ingredients needed and makes shopping more efficient. Decide what you want to eat and buy just the ingredients called for in the recipes (after checking your pantry to make sure you don’t double up on ingredients you already have); that way you are not tempted to add in extra calories. Explore healthy recipes at The searchable database has hundreds of recipes listed according to category (appetizer, main dish, one dish, dessert, etc.). You also can search under special dietary considerations such as vegan, vegetarian, low-carb and diabetes-friendly. 

GROCERY SHOPPING: Use Hy-Vee’s grocery delivery or pick-up to stop impulse buys and stick to your grocery list. You can ensure you are getting just what you need and sticking to your budget! 

SHOP IN SEASON: Fresh fruits and veggies that are in season often taste better and are a cost-effective way to get more plants into your diet! Enjoy these while they are readily available and then switch to frozen in their off-season or canned unsweetened fruit and no-salt-added canned vegetables. Canned and frozen options are nutritiously dense, budget-friendly and perfect for keeping your pantry/freezer stocked with better-for-you sides and snacks! 

SHOP HY-VEE’S EXCLUSIVE VALUE BRAND That’s Smart! Stock your pantry with Hy-Vee’s exclusive value brand and save an average of 15-20% over national name brands! Using Hy-Vee’s That’s Smart! for pantry staples, canned goods, frozen items dairy and snacks is a great way to cook with quality ingredients without spending a fortune!  

FOCUS ON NUTRIENT-RICH FOODS: Stock up on foods that offer a nutritional punch without knocking out your budget. Eggs, oatmeal, beans, brown rice, nonfat Greek yogurt, whole-wheat bread and multigrain pasta are just some examples of inexpensive, nutrient-dense foods you can plan satisfying meals around.