What to do when money for food is limited

  • Use the community resources available to you! Most cities have multiple organizations that provide hot meals and/or deliver meals to homes. Check with your local AIDS service organization for what’s available.

  • Many churches and ministry organizations also have food/clothes pantries at which you can get items for free or at a discount. Don't underestimate the impact that these services can have on your nutritional intake—they can make the difference between staying healthy, and being sick.

  • Find out which services you're eligible for, and call before going to verify location, availability, and requirements. If you're unable to eat, or need liquid supplements, some organizations also provide these. For people with HIV, food is as important as medicine. Inform your doctor if you do not have access to food.

  • Eat frozen or canned fruits and vegetables and try canned meats. Usually these items are cheaper than fresh.

  • Remember that protein is critical, so meats are worth the extra money. Try boiling a dozen eggs and keep them refrigerated—eat them as snacks and toppings for extra high-quality protein. Add dry milk powder to foods and drinks for a cheap protein source.

  • When you're able, make foods from the basic ingredients. For instance, a can of bean soup may cost a dollar, but if you make it yourself from dried beans, it costs a few pennies per serving.

  • Add a multivitamin/mineral supplements to your daily intake. Generic vitamin/mineral supplements from pharmacy can be low in cost, so compare prices in your neighborhood. Vitamin/mineral supplements can make a big difference in your overall intake of these critical nutrients, even when you're eating well.

  • Focus on plant based protein like beans, lentils, and peanut butter. These items are high in protein and dietary fiber and usually cost less than animal protein.

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