Plan Ahead Before Going to the Store

Making a plan before heading to the store can help you make fewer shopping trips, buy only the items you need, and save money. 

  • Plan Your Meals: Use the Depression-Friendly Recipes to help you plan meals that are easy to cook, or the MyPlate Kitchen recipe tool for low-cost recipe ideas. Make sure to check to see what ingredients you already have so you don’t buy double. This meal planning worksheet can help with figuring out what to make.
  • Save More: Make sure you eat before you shop so you don’t impulse-buy, and use coupons, but only for items you know you’ll use. Click here for more money-saving tips.
Shop Smart in the Store
  • Know Your Food: Did you know that frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh? Or that kidney beans, lentils and split peas are a great & affordable source of protein? Click here for more helpful budget-friendly tips on shopping, broken down by food group.
Make Budget-Friendly Meals

Making meals is easier said than done when you’re feeling depressed. Try out: 

    • The MyPlate Kitchen: an interactive tool that features a searchable database of healthy, budget-friendly recipes, and options to create a cookbook and a shopping list. 
    • The Depression-Friendly Recipes on this page to find simple recipes that take little effort to make, for when depression days are particularly bad.
    • Don’t feel like coming up with a grocery list and planning meals? Use this sample 2-week menu to do the work for you. 
Apply for/Utilize Benefits

If you qualify for financial assistance for food, such as SNAP/WIC, make sure you’re receiving those benefits. 

    • If you have a lower income, you may qualify for SNAP. To apply for benefits, or get information about SNAP, contact your local SNAP office by locating it here. 
      • To find a SNAP retailer, click here.
    • If you are a woman and are pregnant and/or have a child(ren) under the age of 5, you may qualify for WIC. To apply for these benefits, contact your local office by locating it here. 
      • To find WIC-approved grocery  stores/pharmacies, click here. 
    • Many farmers’ markets accept SNAP and WIC. To locate a farmers’ market, click here

Source: Healthy Eating on a Budget