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The demands of adulthood can be troublesome to maintaining a healthy, budget-friendly diet. Your parents may no longer be cooking your meals every day—you may be away at school on a tight budget or living on your own post college with bills to pay. Whatever the case may be, it's now up to you to be in charge of your diet. You don't have to skimp on calories, fruits, or vegetables just to keep your grocery bill in check. Eating well doesn't have to break the bank. Here's how1:

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STEP 1: Start planning1

  • Make a budget for the week. Plan meals and snacks accordingly
  • Make a grocery list
  • Look up quick, easy recipes with simple ingredients
  • Make a few meals that can be used as leftovers (stews, casseroles, stir-fry dishes). This will help make the most out of expensive food items
  • Check the local paper or go online for sales and coupons
  • Check out dollar stores and low-cost grocery stores
  • Ask your grocery store about a loyalty card

STEP 2: Go shopping1

  • Buy groceries when you are not hungry and/or rushed
  • Stick to your list. Don't go in aisles that don't have items on your list
  • Buy store brands if cheaper
  • Compare unit prices listed on shelves to get the best deal
  • Purchase items that won't spoil in bulk or family packs. These usually cost less
  • Buy frozen or canned fruits and vegetables when you can. They will last longer than fresh fruits and vegetables

STEP 3: Get cooking1

  • Pre-cook on days when you have time. Some ingredients can be made ahead of time
  • Double or triple recipes, divide into equal meal-size portions, and freeze
  • Substitute meat with beans or peas in some dishes
  • Try no-cook meals like salads with lots of toppings
  • Be creative. Use leftover ingredients from the night before to make a whole new meal
Did you know you may be able to deduct part of your total food expenses as a medical expense on your federal income tax return? Federal tax law allows people to deduct a portion of the total food expenses that exceeds the amount the average person spends on food. Contact your CF care team or visit www.cff.org for more information.2

The information in this section is not intended to be financial advice. It is general in nature and not specific to your own financial situation.

References: 1. Eating on a budget—the 3 P's. United States Department of Agriculture. Choose My Plate website. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/content/plan-purchase-prepare. Accessed May 1, 2016. 2. Tax tips for food expense deductions. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. http://www.cff.org/UploadedFiles/LivingWithCF/AssistanceResources/Tax-tips-for-food-expense-deductions.pdf. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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