Nutrition for Older Adults: Shopping Tips
Published Apr. 2017|Id: T-3185
By Janice Hermann
Many older adults have reduced income which can lower diet quality. Reduced income may result in:
- Less money for food.
- Less money for transportation to shop.
- Moving into housing with poorer facilities for storing and preparing foods.
Grocery Shopping Tips:
- Plan meals in advance.
- Plan meals to use foods before they spoil.
- Check food ads for weekly specials when you plan meals.
- Keep a list in the kitchen to write down food items as supplies run low.
- Check food supplies for what you need and don’t need before you shop.
- Check coupons for items you normally use.
- Write a grocery list.
- Organize your grocery list with the store layout.
- Pick grocery stores with the best prices and services.
- Avoid shopping when tired, hungry or rushed.
- Avoid crowds by going shopping early in the day and early in the week.
At the store
- Stick to your grocery list.
- Compare prices – unit pricing can help you know which brand or package size costs less. However, only buy the amount you can use and store safely.
- Generic or store brands are usually less expensive.
- Sale items may not be less expensive than generic or store brands.
- Purchase only the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you will use before they go bad.
- Try buying larger amounts of produce with family or friends and splitting the cost and produce.
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season.
- Buying frozen vegetables in bags allows you to use small amounts at a time.
- If meat or produce are too large, ask to have them repacked.
- Check “sell by” and “use by” dates.
- Resist impulse purchases.
- Handle and store food properly to reduce waste.
- Larger packages of meat can be divided into smaller portions and frozen.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help income eligible people buy groceries.
- Senior meal sites provide meals with no income eligibility. Many programs provide transportation and other services.
- Many community centers and churches also provide meals or food banks.
Extension Nutrition Specialist