5 ways to save some dough on your food bill


By ACSET Community Action Agency

Households in the U.S. reported spending about 12% of total income on food in 2015. That’s nearly $600/month spent on groceries and eating out. For the many Americans who live paycheck-to-paycheck, saving on their monthly grocery bill could make a big difference.  The extra cash could be used to start an emergency fund or pay off debt. Here are five ways to get started:

Eat at home. Sitting down for a meal can be difficult for busy families. Eating out is much more convenient, but it comes at a price. Try to plan and prep meals ahead of time to make eating at home easier. You’ll save money and probably make healthier choices, too.
Plan your shopping trips. Avoid multiple, small trips to the grocery store. They can add up quickly! Instead, do all your shopping for the week at one time. Make a list based on your meal plan and stick to the list to avoid unnecessary purchases.

Check out the weekly ads. When you plan your grocery trip, check your weekly ads before you go. See if any of the items you need are on sale. If you have more than one store near you, compare prices to see where you can save the most money.

Look for the best deal. Grocery stores tend to put the most expensive items at eye-level, where you will see them first. Look to the top and bottom of the shelves to find less expensive options. Taking a few extra seconds to compare prices at the shelf can save you a lot at checkout.

Consider generic brands. Many generic brands are nearly identical to their brand-name counterparts but cost much less. Check the ingredient labels to ensure you are getting the same product and save a lot when you switch to generic brands.

If you or someone you know is having trouble putting enough healthy food on the table, ACSET Community Action Agency (CAA) can help. ACSET CAA works with community partners around Kent County to provide food assistance to low-income households. To learn more about qualifications, distribution dates and locations, visit CAA’s website.

Upcoming distribution locations and dates:


SECOM Resource Center
1545 Buchanan Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or while supplies last

North Kent Community Services
1075 Northland Dr NE, Rockford, MI
Thursday, April 13, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or while supplies last

Kent County Human Service Complex
121 Franklin St SE, Suite 110, Grand Rapids, MI
Thursday, April 13, 2017
1:00 to 7:00 p.m. or while supplies last