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Dr. Barb, the Nutrition Budgeteer

Helping families eat healthier for less

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      Are you finding it harder to feed your family nutritious foods when food prices continue to rise in these tough economic times? Are you looking for ways to eat more healthy without spending your whole paycheck on food? No matter what your income or lifestyle, Dr. Barb, the Nutrition Budgeteer, wants to help you and your family by offering practical tips and useful strategies so you can eat healthier while keeping your budget in mind.
     Which form is better - frozen, fresh or canned vegetables? What are the best buys in the meat & poultry sections of the supermarket? What's in season this week? What should I fix for dinner tonight? How can I cut down on the amount of food I throw away? Dr. Barb will address these issues and so much more.

      The DASH Diet was rated number one again by U.S. News & World Report. It won for best diet overall. DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. It is a meal plan that was developed by the National Institutes of Health and has been well tested and used by people of all ages. It's a plan the whole family can use. DASH emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lowfat or nonfat dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, fish and seafood, and healthy oils.  Click here for more information about the DASH Eating Plan.



Featured Low Cost Recipe 


17 Bean Soup



This 17 Bean Soup is perfect for cold winter days or evenings.And, it's a great way to help meet your fiber requirements. One serving provides 10 grams of fiber and costs about $1.25.






Do you usually have leftovers? Do you know how long you can keep them before they are unsafe to eat? Some new tools are available and are free.



Click here for more information.



Want some help making a shopping list? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers on online tool to help you make a shopping list based on foods recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Click here to access this tool.






Read and download a free copy of Dr. Barb's newsletters.


 Weekly Specials


Save money by planning ahead and making a list before you go to the market. Review supermarket circulars to see what's featured and on sale. If you have the storage space in your pantry or freezer, stock up on good deals, assuming you can eat them in a reasonable time before they go bad.

Below are some typical “good buys” to look for. In any category, look for BOGOs (Buy One Get One free). Also, save even more by using coupons from food manufacturers or the grocer itself. 


Meat, Fish, & Poultry

Look for boneless, skinless breasts for $1.99/lb or less. Look for chicken parts on sale or whole, roasted chickens that you roast yourself. Occasionally, you’ll see 40% off meat or chicken products by a specific, branded company. Look for lean cuts of beef and pork on sale. Check the frozen section for frozen fish fillets in “family size” packages.


Read the store circular to see which fruits and vegetables are featured for the week. At any one time, often 30% of produce items are featured. Look for produce in season. Click here to find out what's in season now.

Canned Foods

Look for specials on canned tuna in water, beans, and tomato products. Ideally, look for canned products that have no added salt or reduced amounts of salt. (Rinsing canned foods can also help reduce the sodium.)


Often there will be BOGOs for whole grain breads, English muffins, mini bagels, and other bread products. Buy extra and freeze.

Frozen Foods

Frozen vegetables are often on sale, both store brand and national brands.


Look for lowfat or nonfat dairy products on sale.


Pre-made hummus if occasionally featured. Look for sales on low sodium bulk cheese and meats.

Dry Grocery

Look for whole grain pastas, brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains on sale.

This week there was a newspaper article discussing the drought and the cost of corn for hogs. The author suggested that a year from now pork will be less available and, consequently, pork prices will be higher.  The next few months should be a good itme to stock up on fill your freezer with lean pork products.



Do You Know...                


. . .   Research shows that eating together as a family can lead to more nutritous meals and improved communication mong famly members. Click here for more information on the importance of family mealtime.. . . Half of your plate should be fruits and veggies, according to USDA”s new MyPlate graphic?  Click here to see the recently released graphic.


. . .  Ways to entice your kids to eat more health-promoting vegetables? Click here for Dr. Barb's 10 tips on how to get your kids eating more veggies.




.  .  .  Some people prefer organic foods for many reasons but they usually cost more than their non-organic counterpart. A new study just published talks about whether it is worth the cost to buy organic. Click here for the news article.


. . . Which fruits and vegetables have the lowest average cost per serving? On average, how much does it cost to eat 9 servings of vegetables and fruit each day, as recommended by USDA? Click here to learn more.


. . .  Recent research looked at the role of fish oils and omega-3s on heart health among 3300 men and women and concluded that women who ate the most omega-3 fatty acids (as much as 11.2 grams a day) had nearly 40 percent lower risk of developing heart disease than women who reported eating the least. While the study did not prove that omega-3s prevent heart disease, eating a diet rich in fish and seafood is a good idea. Click here to see a list of omega-3s in seafood.




Are beef prices hitting you hard? Click here for Dr. Barb's Money-Saving Tips for Beef.






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