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Eating Healthy On A Budget

January 2, 2013, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Eating Healthy On A Budget

Many people will try to eat healthier this time of year as part of a New Year's resolution. But if you're on a budget, it can be even more difficult to meet your goal.

As a college student, Gabrielle Johnson knows what it's like to grocery shop on a budget.

"My parents buy organic milk and cage-free eggs. I didn't realize things were so expensive until I had to shop on my own," Johnson said.

But Registered Dietitian Kristin Sousek says you can buy healthy foods on a budget; pre-planning is key.

"Planning your meals and watching the ads that come out. That's the biggest thing with people on a budget," Sousek said.

But what do you buy in bulk when it's on sale? We had Sousek take us around the store to find out. First on the list: fruits and vegetables.

"In this time frame when we don't have the fresh fruits and vegetables and the prices may be a little higher, you can do frozen. A lot of the frozen comes on sale," Sousek said.

As far as grains, Sousek says look for whole wheat bread or pasta and brown rice. You can always freeze your bread. Also look for low-fat dairy and lean meats that are on sale.

"If chicken comes on sale, make sure you're getting a skinless, boneless breast. If it's ground beef, make sure you're getting an 85 percent or higher," Sousek said.

In addition to looking for sales, you should also keep in mind how you prepare your food.

Sousek says to make sure you bake, broil or steam your food instead of deep frying or cooking it in oil. Most of all though, Sousek says she can't stress enough that thinking ahead is important.

"We tend to be a fast-paced world, and we don't really think about what's for supper until supper is upon us," Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian Kristin Sousek said.

But with a little planning, people such as Johnson can save money while eating healthier.

If you need help planning your meals, Hy-Vee offers weekly menu ideas and a budget menu on its website.

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