VIEWS: How to Green Your Eating Habits & Cut on Costs

Dispatch from SSC Intern Jason Wirick

This year I decided to take a leap of faith and head back to school to pursue a master’s degree. I have recently moved to a new city and found a small studio to call my home. Degrees are not cheap, so I'm living on a tight budget like many other students.

Before my move I established a budget of $50 a week for food. For the first time in my life I will be shopping only for myself. Cooking for one is very hard and expensive so I thought trying to stay within my budget would be difficult. On top of a slim budget I also envisioned my move as an opportunity to start eating healthier food while exploring a new city through its local produce and markets.

In order for me to be successful, I researched what has worked for other people in my position. In Shawna Ayoub's article from, she writes about things that have worked to green her grocery shopping while maintaining her family’s food budget. Over the past two weeks I have been following a few of Shawna’s tips and advice of numerous shoppers. I’m staying within my food budget, eating healthier food, and learning where my food is coming from. Here are some tips and ideas that are working for me.

  • Buy what’s in season. Most of the time the seasonal produce is cheap, has the best flavors, and has the smallest impact on the environment.
  • Before shopping, create a weekly menu and plan your trip to the markets. Also, take a peak in your pantry and refrigerator to see what you all ready have before leaving.
  • Eat more plants, period.
  • Try to buy locally grown goods. A good website to find local farmers markets is Local
  • When you go food shopping, only bring cash. Paying with cash makes you more conscious of the priorities on your weekly menu.

What are your opinions or thoughts on trying to find reasonably priced local food or grocery shopping on a small budget?

Read the entire Grist article by clicking here.
For more info on eating local, visit