Health Watch - Budget Nutrition: Meal Strategies

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about cutting your food budget without losing nutrition. One way to eat better with less money is to be strategic about meal planning.

Dr. Jo Ann Carson, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can save a lot of money by cooking from scratch instead of using convenience foods. You can stretch expensive meats by mixing them with other foods or using them to season foods instead of letting meat be the star of the meal. Cook a whole chicken instead of buying more expensive parts, and then use the meat to make other meals. A cheap food like ramen noodles becomes a good meal when you mix in some frozen vegetables and leftover meat and use only half the seasoning packet. Make your own soups using leftover vegetables. You can create your own frozen entrees by putting leftovers up in freezer- and microwave-safe containers.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


May 2009

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