Eating Right when the Budget Is Tight

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(NAPSA) Eating right doesn't have to cost a lot of money. According to a recent Impulse Research Corporation survey, the majority of people consider convenience to be the biggest factor in selecting a meal. However, in this economy, many people are also looking for ways to eat healthfully for less.

"A healthy meal doesn't have to be a big, expensive production," says registered dietitian Bethany Thayer. "With just a little bit of planning, meals can be convenient, healthy and inexpensive."

Thayer suggests ways to save money and still maintain a healthy diet. Even small amounts of advance planning pay off. "Search online for easy one-pot recipes," says Thayer. "Many recipe Web sites offer nutrition information and grocery lists for their meals. You can find dinner options that can last for more than one night. Use coupons. Only half of those surveyed said they clip grocery coupons and look for price specials. Clipping coupons or printing them from Web sites can save you 10 percent to 15 percent on your grocery bill. Also consider joining the supermarket's shopper's club for price specials."

Follow portions for protein: Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they were limiting the amount of meat purchased to save on grocery expenses. Remember that a portion of meat is the size of a deck of cards. A pound of chicken breasts could last for two meals if you follow portion control.

Make a meatless meal: Beans are an excellent source of protein and are also an inexpensive way to create a healthy meal.

Think outside the crisper: Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables will last longer than fresh versions from the produce department and are equally nutritious.

Don't throw money away: Keep leftovers safe by refrigerating them quickly, use before they go bad and you can stretch one meal into a few. Rice and pasta can help stretch out a small amount of leftovers. Leftover chicken can be mixed with rice for a stir-fry or mixed with a pasta sauce over spaghetti.

The American Dietetic Association is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. You can find more facts and tips at the organization's Web site:

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