It’s estimated that about 1 in 10 households in the U.S. are not getting enough food or nutrients they need. The COVID-19 pandemic increased awareness of the problem and its disproportionate impact on under-resourced communities.
Some people living in disproportionately affected communities may live in areas without convenient access to a grocery store, so they have to take multiple buses to go to the nearest grocery store. This makes eating healthy extremely inconvenient, if not impossible.
Food security means having enough food and not having to choose between food and other basic needs. Nutrition security builds on that. It means getting enough healthy food consistently and putting that food to best use — not only what to eat, but where to find it and how to prepare it.
The American Heart Association believes in the right to healthy food for all people to live their best lives. Nutrition security is our priority.
The American Heart Association is fighting alongside our heroes so that everyone can eat healthy no matter where they live or the circumstances they’re in. We are working with community and industry leaders, empowering consumers through science-based tools and resources and advocating for nutrition policies to ensure everyone has equal access to healthy foods.
Tips for Shopping Smart on a Budget
As food prices keep rising, smart shopping (for good nutrition on a budget) becomes more challenging. When people struggle with making their food dollar stretch further, they may have to sacrifice quality or variety or even skip meals to make ends meet.
Poor nutrition can lead to poor health. The results can be devastating, with increased risk of:
Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer
Trouble in school for children and teens
Increased stress and poor mental health
Smart shopping means knowing what to buy and when. The good news is that healthy eating can actually cost less. The key is knowing the basics before you go grocery shopping.
In honor of National Nutrition Month in March, the American Heart Association has some tips to help you stick to a budget when buying heart healthy food for yourself and your family. Keep reading to learn how to bring delicious nutritious foods to the table, even when dollars are tight.
To shop smarter, start with your family’s food basics and build a budget. Assess your current spending.
How much do you spend on food each week? Make sure to include nonperishable foods and other
items you need when cooking, like paper and cleaning products. If you eat meals out, include that
cost to calculate your total spending on food. Subtract any food assistance you get. Multiply
by 4 to find your monthly food budget. Your family size and the age of family members will affect your budget.
If you’re not sure what your household food budget is, estimate it using this:
Consider how much you spend on food and compare this to your other expenses. Set
spending priorities to keep your food costs in balance with other expenses. Try to stick to your food budget when you shop.
Plan meals each week before you head to the store.
Make a shopping list and stick to it.
Save with seasonal produce. Bonus tip: Freeze seasonal fruits and vegetables and you can use them year-round.
Track your spending each week. Write down everything to help you budget more accurately.
Your goal is to choose affordable, nutritious foods that will help keep your family healthy. By creating a food budget, planning menus and shopping wisely, you can save money and enjoy delicious, nutritious meals!