Proper nutrition is essential in preventing diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Adults and children should have balanced diets to promote energy and concentration while at work or school. It can be difficult for some to keep a good diet when finances are lowered due to underemployment or unemployment. There are various methods to save money and still be able to have a balanced diet. Devising a shopping trip plan and using coupons along with any government resources like the Summer Feeding Program for Children and is a good way to start saving. Find recipes that the whole family will enjoy and will require common ingredients used for multiple recipes. Find other helpful tips and tricks for satisfying both the pocket and the tummy in the following sections:

  • Texas MyPlate Meal Planning
  • Planning a Shopping Trip in Texas
  • Texas Smart Shopping

Texas MyPlate Meal Planning

The MyPlate standard shows the essential nutrients individuals should consume every day. This includes protein, vegetables, fruits, dairy and grains. Individuals should also avoid foods with high-fat and high sugar contents. Fruits and vegetables low on sugar and fat are a great alternative to sweets and other high sugar foods. Vegetables include lettuce, carrots, and potatoes. Fruits include apples, grapes, watermelons, blueberries and peaches. Grains have three categories of foods: whole grains, refined grains and pastas. Whole grains are considered foods like brown rice, oatmeal, bread and popcorn. Refined grains are white bread, white rice, pretzels and grits. Spaghetti, macaroni, linguine, and bow ties are some pastas that can be included in a balanced diet. Dairy consists of milk, cheese and yogurt. Protein that can be included in a balanced diet is lean meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. All of these food groups should be included in meals throughout the day and do not have to be stuffed into one meal.

Planning a Shopping Trip in Texas

Prior to arriving at the grocery store, make an accurate list of all the items needed and do not defer from the list. Search for the best deals using store ads which will often include coupons to use in store. Store brands are often less expensive and are just as tasty. Comparing various brands for the best deal will get you the most amount of food for the least amount of money. Buy foods with a later ‘sell by’ date as they will stay fresh longer.

Texas Smart Shopping

The key to shopping smart is getting products in bigger sizes and with later ‘sell by’ dates to have food supplies for longer. Frozen bags of vegetables and heads of lettuce stay fresher longer opposed to pre-bagged salad mixes. Canned fruits or fresh fruits at a farmer’s market are often less expensive and have a longer shelf life. Dairy products should be bought in large sizes that will be realistically used in the household prior to the expiration date. Meats should be bought when on sale and if possible in large quantities and should be frozen to preserve freshness. Instead of instant rice ad oatmeal look for regular rice and oatmeal which are known to have less calories and sugar and will also cost less.