Money is often seen as a hurdle to eating healthy for many. The United States Department of Agriculture has recognized the need for affordable healthy eating tips and guidelines for the public, which is why “Healthy Eating on Budget” was born. The webpage is designed to help families find better deals while shopping, provide time-saving ideas, and encourage kitchen cooking and reinventing of leftovers.

“Most of us need to increase our intake of whole fruit, dark-green and orange vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy,” according to the USDA’s website.

According to the USDA Healthy Eating Index, many Americans are struggling to meet the recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines and often substitute our hunger or lack of resources for less healthy and nutritionally satisfying meals.

“Cost is often considered a barrier to eating healthier and the new resource will help consumers overcome this perception,” said the site.

The USDA has also produced a “Healthy Eating on a Budget” cookbook along with easy-to-read tip sheets. The cookbook’s recipes are featured in a two-week sample menu based on a 2,000-calorie diet. There is also an additional grocery and pantry list to help households plan their purchases as effectively as possible in order to optimize their budget.

Tips To Save:

  1. Look for brand name coupons in the Sunday paper inserts every week. Some stores will even double the value of brand name coupons on certain days.
  2. Stay organized with your coupons and develop a system that’s easiest for quick and hassle-free finding. The use of three-ring binders, accordion-style organizers, or even plain envelopes are some of the most widely used.
  3. Write out a well thought out grocery list and stick to it. This will decrease the chance of being swayed by snacks or easy-made food.
  4. Keep foods organized and give them their own place in your kitchen. This will prevent repeat purchases and unnecessary food substitutes.
  5. Join your store’s loyalty program in order to receive free savings and electronic coupons straight to your email.
  6. Make it simple and straightforward. Simple meals are usually inexpensive and easy to make, which should be a priority throughout the week.

The importance of learning how to stretch your dollar when you have children, is to provide them with as much nutritionally satisfying meals as possible each day. When children are saved from becoming overweight or obese, they decrease the risk of leading an unhealthy adult life in the future.

Today’s children have grown up eating more processed, packaged, and nutrient-empty foods than any other generation to date, giving birth to a new kind of solution seeking. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a building trend that begs for new solutions. A child who is obese has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult, according to the CDC.