Healthier Foods Save Dough! Shopping Healthy On A Budget

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Here is a compelling slide from our new show Healthy Shopping on A Budget. With every MyPlate food group (grains, vegetables, fruits, meat/beans, milk), we found that the least processed foods were the least expensive foods. While most people assume healthy foods are more expensive because chicken breasts and fat-free cookies are more expensive than their regular counterparts, we found that this assumption is a narrow-minded approach and that frugality and healthy shopping require a broader scope. Take a look at the vegetable chart above - you can see that fresh vegetables are the least expensive (and might even be less than this when they are in season or from a farmer's market) compared to more processed ones like frozen potatoes (mashed, French fries) and potato chips.  Clearly, healthy shopping on a budget means buying less processed foods, not fat-free processed foods!

This slide was another of our favorites:

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Cooking from scratch at home does save money! And our healthy lasagna is a lot lower in fat and sodium, too! If you compare to a restaurant meal of lasagna you save either way:

Scratch Lasagna - .80 per serving

Frozen Lasagna - $2.95 per serving

Restaurant Lasagna - $12.95 per serving

We looked up the nutrition facts for a restaurant portion of lasagna and we were shocked. In addition to spending a lot more money you get a lot more fat (47 grams), calories (850) and sodium (1280 mg)!

Here is a list of inexpensive healthful foods you should have in your meals and on your weekly shopping list:

• Fruits and veggies in season
• Dried beans/legumes
• Rice, pasta, oatmeal, barley, grits -  (grains that you cook save you the most money and you can omit a lot of the sodium from your diet this way, too!)
• Frozen produce on sale
• Potatoes
•Lean protein on sale
•Skim milk, yogurt

We like to shop our freezer and pantry first - to use up what we have on hand - and then we take a look at store specials - did you know most grocery stores have weekly flyers online?

Here is the info about our show - with a flash edition for preview. 

And our best tips - to help you save more:

•Right ingredients on hand means less eating out
•Serve less meat per person
•Apples and carrots for snacks
•Pack grapes to go for eating on the run
•Potatoes are underused
•Shop in your freezer and pantry first!
And here is that Light Lasagna Recipe:

 

Light Lasagna
8 ounce box lasagna noodles
2  26-ounce jars pasta sauce
32 ounces fat free ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ricotta and Italian seasoning in a food processor and blend on high speed.
2. Layer lasagna in this order in a 9 by 12 inch pan:
- sauce - noodles - ricotta filling -
End with sauce on top then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for one hour in the oven or until lasagna is heated through and noodles are tender. There is no need to cook the noodles.
3. Allow lasagna to stand for 5 minutes then cut into 10 cubes and serve hot.
Recipe from Cooking Demo 2.
Download the Free Healthy Shopping List Handout: Budget Healthy Shopping List
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