Stretching Resource Dollars: How to Achieve More with Less

The key to success in today’s economy is making the most of the resources you have.
Whether you’re running a business, managing a non-profit, a student or just trying to
make ends meet, finding ways to stretch your resource dollars can help you achieve your
goals without breaking the bank.

What are resource dollars you ask?

Your resource dollars can be the cold hard cash you work so hard for or it can also be
CalFresh, known federally as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
Making both work harder for your household is what this July Edition is all about.

How to stretch your resource dollars.

  1. Assess Your Needs: Before you spend a dime, assess your needs. What do you truly need
    to feed yourself and your family for the week? Can you find ways to shop more efficiently
    with what you already have? By identifying what you already have on hand, you can avoid
    wasting money on unnecessary items.
  2. Prioritize Your Spending: Once you know what you need, prioritize your spending based
    on what’s most important. Make a list before you go to the store, and allocate your
    resources accordingly. This will help you avoid overspending on less important items and
    ensure that you’re getting the most value for your money.
  3. Look for Deals and Discounts: Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deals and
    Whether you’re food, or buying school supplies, there are often ways to save
    money if you’re willing to do a little research. Look for online coupons, bulk discounts, and
    other special promotions that can help you stretch your dollars. Be mindful of the bulk
    buys when it comes to your perishables. Bigger is not always better so shop smart. I love a
    good bargain as much as the next person but I will not buy something in excess just
    because the bulk sizer is cheaper per pound if that means it will end up in the landfills
    wasting precious resources and wasting food.
  4. Consider Alternative Resources: Sometimes, the best way to stretch your resource
    is to think outside the box. Are there alternative resources you can use to achieve
    your goals? For example, remember the bulk buys I cautioned you to not get sucked in by?
    What if you got creative? I have bought things in bulk after talking to friends and
    neighbors to see if they could use that item. It has worked for me on numerous occasions.
    For example, remember the EGGpocalypse, ya see what I did there, from a few months
    ago? Eggs were at almost $8 per dozen in some places which is utterly ridiculous. It just so
    happens that I love eggs so I reached out to friends and neighbors and we split the egg flat
    from Costco. That was smart shopping and saved us all a ton of money. By considering
    alternative resources, you may be able to achieve the same results for a fraction of the
  5. Do not go to the store hungry! This might be one of the most important tips. You could
    throw away all of your planning by going to the store hungry. Just like you plan your trips
    to the store, plan to eat before. You can be guaranteed to go out of budget and will
    definitely eat something void of nutrition as well. Don’t end up like the hangry bear!

Remember Planning is Key when stretching resource dollars while reducing food waste
and being good to our planet and by following these tips, you can achieve more with less
and reach your goals without overspending. Remember, it’s not about how much you
spend, but how effectively you use the resources you have available.

Kelly Alarcon, Student at California State University, Long Beach with a concentration in
Nutrition and Nutritional Science has a passion for showing others the path to wellness through
nutrition while reducing hunger and food waste.