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Iowa State University Extension


Extension helps Iowans save money and eat healthy

Spend Smart Eat Smart

Ever-rising food prices are forcing Iowans to make purchasing changes — in the food they buy and where they eat. ISU Extension can help them make good decisions about those changes, said Peggy Martin, ISU Extension nutrition program coordinator. “Our new Spend Smart Eat Smart website offers consumers information that builds the skills and knowledge necessary to affordably make or buy healthy meals.”

The Spend Smart Eat Smart website is one way ISU Extension is helping families eat nutritiously and manage finances. The interactive website offers weekly smart tips; game-like activities about planning, shopping and preparing meals; and a blog for conversations with ISU Extension nutrition specialists.

One tip from the website that Martin shares is to analyze your resources. In order to buy the most food for the least money, she says to consider your money, time and knowledge and skills.

“Ask yourself three questions,” Martin said. “How much money do I have to spend? How much time do I have that I can use for planning, shopping and preparing food that will result in less money spent at the grocery store? What knowledge and skills do I have — or need — to make the most of what I can afford to buy?

“Balancing these three — dollars, time and knowledge and skills — can solve your food budget challenges,” said Martin. “With fewer dollars available for buying food, families need to invest some time into planning to shop, shopping and preparing meals. ISU Extension’s Spend Smart Eat Smart website will help people build knowledge and skills to do just that.”

For more tips and information on buying and eating nutritious food, visit the Spend Smart Eat Smart website.

This article appeared in February 2009 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter