Shopping On A Dime And Eating Healthy - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Shopping On A Dime And Eating Healthy

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WMDT 47 News – With the kids at home for the holiday break, some families that rely on schools for free and reduced lunch meals may struggle to balance their food budget.

Shopping on a dime and eating healthy is a lot easier than you think. You'd be surprised how much you can save without compromising nutrition.

"I think it's kind of a misconception. We don't like to look at the cost comparison of things like produce, because we think produce is more expensive, but we'll gladly spend the same amount of money on granola bars or some sort of snack pack. When you break down the price per little package of those snacks, you can get a bag of apples for the same price and have just as many apples, maybe more," certified nutrition coach Lynn Matava said.

She says the key is preparation. A lot of it comes down to time and convenience over costs.

Take chicken as an example. Organic chicken tenders were selling for $5.89 a pound at Giant. But a whole organic chicken was selling for just $2.09 a pound. Packaged lunch meat was going for almost $8 a pound. The healthier option -- a whole turkey, was only $1.29 a pound.

"It definitely adds up. We do a lot of whole foods cooking," shopper Jennifer Simerman said.

While that may take more time and preparation, you're still saving a lot of money.

Try to avoid buying produce that's not in season, and look for foods that can be stored for long periods of time -- like carrots.

"It's much more affordable to buy them in the big carrots and cut them down -- that's all these baby carrots actually are," Matava said.  

If you're into clipping coupons, that can save you money, but coupons are generally for packaged foods.

Most stores have your traditional sides on sale around the holidays, so it's easier to get things like potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans for a good price.

There are other options if you just can't afford a holiday meal this year. The Maryland Food Bank has more than 200 network partners for their Holiday Food Box program. One box will last about a week for a family of four. The meal includes the traditional holiday food items including turkey and sides. To get a holiday food box, you'll have to contact a network partner. For more information, visit www.mdfoodbank.org or call 410-742-00-50.

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