How to Cook Healthy on a Budget: The Great American Milk Drive

How to Cook Healthy on a Budget

Disclosure: I was compensated to write this post about The Great American Milk Drive funded by the National Dairy Council and MilkPEP in partnership with Feeding America. I am a former employee of the National Dairy Council. I am donating part of this compensation to the Feeding America cause.

While I’ve been fortunate to always have a roof over my head and food on my family’s table, we’ve hit some rough patches financially over the past few years. Being in medical/pharmaceutical sales, my husband has been through a few layoffs (one lasting over 7 months) and with rising food costs, I’ve certainly employed some penny pinching when it comes to food shopping, like stocking up on the following foods:

Whole Grains

  • Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice or popcorn are more affordable when bought in bulk or large containers (store brand when available.)
  • Both brown rice and oatmeal can be swapped in for more expensive grains in most recipes (oatmeal is delicious in savory dishes!)

Dried or Canned Beans

  • Beans are a super cheap source of protein and are also high in fiber but low in fat.
  • Beans are so versatile – they can be added to salads, pasta/whole grains dishes, soups or wraps.
  • Dried beans are the cheapest with canned beans coming in close second (look for low sodium versions.)

 Fruits & Veggie Options

  • Freezer and canned fruits/vegetables can be less expensive but just as nutritious as fresh (look for no salt added, no sauces, etc.)
  • If you do buy fresh produce on sale, eat “stem to root” meaning, use all parts like:

Canned Fish 

Peanut Butter

Real Food Real Deals is one of my favorite blogs for money saving tips, budget recipes and healthy, delicious eats – check it out!

And for when money is really really tight, food banks are an essential resource to many, which is why I am supporting The Great American Milk Drive:

Great American Milk Drive |

One of the charities we at The Recipe ReDux regularly contribute to is Feeding America. Feeding America’s mission is simple: To feed America’s hungry.

So, when I saw they had partnered with National Dairy Council (a non-profit organization committed to nutrition education, founded by American dairy farmers – and my former employer!) and MilkPEP (American milk processors), to get more milk donation into food banks, I wanted to learn more about this milk drive.

Unfortunately, food insecurity is too common in this great country of ours. Some sobering facts:

  • Hunger impacts 1 in 6 Americans
  • Hunger impacts ALL communities (Map The Meal Gap shows how it impacts EVERY county in America.)
  • Feeding American serves 37 million Americans each year through their network of food banks.
  • Compared to 4 years ago, one million MORE people are seeking emergency food assistance from Feeding America’s network EACH WEEK!
  • Nutritious meals are harder to come by when you are food insecure. Milk, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, is one of the top three items most requested by food bank clients, yet there is a nationwide shortage at food banks because it is rarely donated.

Great American Milk Drive |

The Great American Milk Drive was created to assist to help with this milk shortage as it’s a source of high-quality protein, and it offers three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

OK, so how can you help? To contribute The Great American Milk Drive:

  • Click on
  • By entering your zip code, nutrient-rich milk will be donated from a farm a local food bank
  • Through May 25, donations will be matched gallon-for-gallon by the nation’s milk companies and dairy farmers.

Thanks in advance for your support! So, do you have tips for additional cooking/eating healthy on a tight budget?


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by!

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