Healthy Eating on a Budget Ashlee Lamar Student Dietitian, KSU
Objectives • Meal Planning to Save Money • Meal Planning Basics • Waste Less • Plan around produce • Cooking • Store bought vs. Homemade (Time vs. money) • Eat at home • Frugal foods • Shopping • Lists • Unit Pricing • Buy in bulk • Stretch your dollar
Meal Planning Basics • Plan meals the week ahead • Takes less time than going back to the grocery store for forgotten item • Think about your schedule
Meal Planning Basics • Plan based on what’s in your refrigerator/pantry Ask: • What can I make with foods I have? • What needs to be used up first? • Can I mix foods together to make a meal? • Is this healthy?
Meal Planning Basics • Plan some meals that don’t have meat • Goal: Twice a week • Use beans, eggs, peanut butter • Check grocery ads • Circle foods you need • Make a list
Plan Ahead: Reduce Waste • Keep food safe • Put cold foods in cart last, refrigerate immediately • Look for older expiration date • Waste less • Use oldest first • Recreate foods that are about to spoil • Throw away spoiled food!
Plan Ahead: Leftovers • Leftovers • Eat • Freeze for another meal • Recreate • Example: Cooked ground beef, tacos, chili, meatloaf
Shopping: Plan Ahead! “The average shopper spends 40% more on impulse purchases when shopping without a list” KSU Research and Extensions
Shopping: Make a List • Make a list and stick to it! • Organize based on store layout • Keep list in a central area • Copy for future weeks • Shopping when you are hungry can cause you to buy more!
Shopping Discounts only save you money if the product is something you actually need and would normally buy!
Shopping: Compare Unit Prices • The unit price tells you the cost per ounce/pound/quart, etc… • Use to compare sizes and brands • Look on the shelf edge under the product • Example: canned pears $0.80 ÷ 12 ounces = $.07 / ounce Unit Price: $.08
Shopping: Unit Pricing Cereal
Shopping: Buy in bulk! • Take advantage of sales • Buy in bulk • Cook in bulk. Freeze leftovers for future meals. • Coupons • Ask for rain check if store is out • Caution: sometimes coupons are for store brands. Off brands may still be cheaper.
Shopping: Tips to Stretch your dollar • Purchase fruits and vegetables from produce section, not salad bar • Purchase fruits and vegetables in season • Add vegetables to costly dishes with meats
Grocery bargains: often on top and bottom shelves, and in out of the way spaces. • Most store or generic brands are cheaper • If you buy name brands- look for coupons in the paper, store ads, or online. Only use coupons for foods that are already on your list
Tips to Stretch your dollar • Lean cuts of meat provide more for your dollar. • Less tender cuts are cheaper. • Marinade or cook with liquid in a slow cooker. • Chuck, round, flank, plank, brisket • Prepare meat yourself • Hamburger patties • Kabob pieces • Cooking meat
Cooking on a Budget • The average adult purchases a meal/snack from a restaurant 5.8 times per week! • Why? • Time • Convenience • Certain foods
Cooking on a Budget • Consider eating more at home • Time factor: prepare ahead of time • Freezer meals • Pack to go meals • Purchase snacks and bag yourself • Start small: • Eat 1-2 less meals per week at restaurants to save money and a whole days worth of calories!
Cooking: Homemade or purchased? • Beware of frozen dinners (“TV dinners”) • Make your own frozen dinners • Double the recipe of main dish you’re making • Freeze in meal sized portions • Cool quickly and freeze • Discard food left out longer than 2 • Label package • Keep a list
Make the most out of boxed meals • Decrease Fat • Use half the margarine • macaroni and cheese, rice, stuffing, potatoes • Hamburger helper: Drain & rinse meat • Brownies: substitute unsweetened apple sauce for vegetable oil • Use 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg
Make the most out of boxed meals • Decrease Sodium • Use half the seasoning packet • Add vegetables • Canned soup (low sodium soup) • Pasta sauces • Add canned fruit to yogurt, jello or pudding
Frugal Foods • Eggs • Usually less than $2 / dozen • High in protein • Potatoes • High in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium • Bake, boil, roast, add to casseroles or soups • Rolled oats • ~14 cents /cup • 4 grams dietary fiber
Frugal Foods • Nonfat dried milk • Chill before drinking • Great for cooking • Beans • Usually 23 cents / serving • Peanut butter • High protein • Canned Tuna • High in protein and vitamin D • Sandwiches, salads casseroles