With Every Heartbeat Is Life:  A Community Health Worker's Manual for African Americans

Session 9
Eat in a Heart Healthy Way—Even When Time or Money Is Tight


Contents



Objectives

By the end of this session, group members will learn:

  • Quick and easy food preparation and mealtime tips
  • How to eat out in a heart healthy way
  • How to save money on food bills

Materials and Supplies

To conduct this session, you will need:

  • "With Every Heartbeat Is Life" manual and picture cards
  • Examples of advertisements from magazines*
  • Blackboard and chalk or several large pieces of paper, markers, and tape
  • Pencils

* Prepare before the session.

Handouts

Give each group member these handouts during this session:

Session Outline

Introducing the Session

  1. Welcome
  2. Review of Last Week's Session
  3. About This Session

Conducting the Session

  1. Eat in a Heart Healthy Way Even When There Is Little Time
    1. Busy Times
    2. Quick and Easy Meal Tips
    3. Eating Out
  2. Save Money on Your Food Bill
    1. Food Budget
    2. Money-Saving Tips
    3. Food Advertising Activity
    4. Soul Food Makeover—Catfish Stew and Rice Recipe

Review of Today's Key Points

Weekly Pledge

Closing


Introducing the Session

  1. Welcome
    • Welcome group members to the session.
  2. Review of Last Week's Session
    • Say:
      During the last session, we talked about how to make traditional African American dishes in a heart healthy way.
    • Ask:
    • What is heart healthy about the traditional African American diet?
      • The traditional African American diet provides a variety of foods that are lower in fat and sodium, such as bread, peas, greens, rice, vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish, and milk products.
      What are some foods that we should eat less often?
      • We should limit foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugar, and calories, including:
        • High-fat foods, such as fried fish, fried chicken, fatty meats, and high-fat cheeses
        • Salty foods, such as potato chips and cured meats
        • High-fat and high-sugar foods, such as pastries, pies, honey buns, cookies, and chocolate
        • Sugary foods, such as candy and soft drinks
      How can the heart healthy eating plan be used to choose foods that are heart healthy?
      • Use the heart healthy eating plan to choose foods that are lower in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar from each of the five food groups. The eating plan also shows you the number of servings that you need from each group every day.
      Why is it helpful to know how much you need to eat from each food group each day?
      • When you know the amount of food you need to eat every day, it can help you get the right amount of calories you need.
    • Ask:
      How are you doing on your pledges to include a variety of heart healthy foods in your diet? What went well? What kinds of problems did you have (such as family not liking the change or showing a lack of interest)? What did you do to solve these problems?
    • Note: Allow about 4 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Say:
      Has anyone completed the family health history?
    • Note: Give a prize to group members who have completed the family health history.
    • Ask:
      Does anyone want to share what you have learned about your family health history?
    • Note: Allow 5 minutes for group members to respond.
  3. About This Session
    • Say:
      Juanita Green, a community health worker from Baltimore, Maryland, said that, based on her community health education experience, "If people learn something better, they will do better."
    • Ask:
      What does this quote mean to you?
    • Note: Allow 2 to 3 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Say:
      Today you will learn how to eat in a heart healthy way—even when you have very little time and are on a tight budget. During this session, you will learn:
      • Quick and easy ways to prepare heart healthy meals
      • How to eat right when eating out
      • How to make smart food-buying choices that meet your family's needs and budget
      • How advertising can cause us to buy things that cost more or things that we don't need

Conducting the Session

  1. Eat in a Heart Healthy Way Even When There Is Little Time
    1. Busy Times
      • Say:
        Many people have little time to shop, prepare food, and clean up after meals. This session will help you eat in a heart healthy way, even when you are in a rush.
      • Say:
        Busy people may think they don't have time to eat in a heart healthy way. These people may:
        • Skip breakfast and lunch, and eat one big meal in the evening.
        • Eat out several times per week.
        • Buy boxed, instant, or already-prepared foods.
        • Buy food from vending machines.
      • Ask:
        What foods do you eat when you don't have time to cook?
      • Note: Allow about 5 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        Eating on the run often means that we are eating foods that are higher in fat, sodium, and calories. For example, we eat snacks and candies from vending machines or high-fat hotdogs and french fries from fast food restaurants.
      • Say:
        People often eat these foods because they are easy to buy or quick to prepare. When people are in a hurry, they often don't think about what kinds of foods are heart healthy.
      • Say:
        They may also eat bigger portions of foods that are higher in fat and calories when there is no time to prepare healthy side dishes such as salad, vegetables, or rice.
    2. Quick and Easy Meal Tips
      • Note: This part of the session will help group members to think about ways to prepare meals in less time.
      • Give each group member the "Tips for Busy Families" handout.
      • Show picture card 9.1 while you review the "Plan Your Meals" and "Use a Shopping List" sections of the handout.
      • Say:
        People often find that they are too tired to prepare the kinds of meals they would like their families to eat. Today, we will learn some ways to save time and make meal preparation easier. Some tips include:
        • Plan weekly meals based on your family's schedule.
        • Save money and time by making only one trip to the store.
        • Make and use a shopping list.
        • Teach your family how to shop for groceries.
      • Show picture card 9.2 when you review the "Cook in Advance" section.
      • Say:
        There are some things families can do to enjoy heart healthy meals when time is limited. Some tips include:
        • Prepare some foods in advance, such as spaghetti sauce. Use these foods for quick meals. For example, you can add chicken or turkey to the sauce and serve it over spaghetti or rice with vegetables.
        • Prepare part of a meal the night before. For example, marinate chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
        • Pack your lunch the night before.
        • Cook two or three dishes on your day off, then freeze them.
      • Ask for volunteers to read the tips aloud, one at a time. Allow group members to comment as the tips are read.
      • Ask:
        Would you find any of these tips difficult to do?
      • Note: Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond.

      Group Activity

      • Note:This activity will help group members think about creative ways a family can enjoy heart healthy meals even when time is limited.
      • Divide participants into groups of three or four people. Give group members the"Jill's Dilemma——A Real-Life Story" handout.
      • Say:
        I am going to read a real-life situation, while you follow the story on the handout. Think about how Jill can solve her problem.

      Jill's Dilemma——A Real-Life Story

      Jill is a friend of the Harris family. She has two daughters, Tamika (age 3) and Shandra (age 10 months). She is also raising her two nephews, 8-year-old Devon and 10-year-old Jamar. Jill's aunt, Ms. Connie, watches the younger children from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while Jill works part-time and goes to a job training program. Jill receives food assistance monthly and needs to watch her budget.

      After picking up the kids, Jill doesn't feel like making dinners that require a lot of preparation and cooking time. She usually feeds the kids prepackaged noodle mixes or spaghetti from a can. Sometimes she picks up fast food, such as fried chicken or hamburgers.

      Jill has to ride a bus to shop at a supermarket with a large selection of foods. It's hard to carry the heavy bags of groceries home from the bus stop. So she often buys her groceries from neighborhood stores that are more costly and carry fewer healthy foods.

      • Ask each small group to discuss ways that Jill can make sure that her family eats in a heart healthy way and write down their answers.
      • Note: Allow about 5 minutes for the groups to come up with suggestions.
      • Ask one person from each group to present his or her group's suggestions to the entire group.
      • Add these ideas if they are not mentioned:
        • Jill could cook two or three meals over the weekend and store them in the freezer.
        • She could make meals in a slow cooker, which saves time during the evenings. Meals cook during the day and are ready when the family gets home.
        • Jill could bring her nephews with her to the supermarket to help carry the grocery bags home.
        • Jill's family could help her by putting casseroles (from the freezer or made the night before) into the oven before she gets home.
        • Several families could get together and share meals.
        • Jill's family could help her by setting the table and doing the dishes.
        • Jill could buy roasted chicken instead of fried chicken or hamburgers.
        • Jill could make heart healthy homemade spaghetti and meat sauce (with turkey or lean beef) instead of canned spaghetti. She could save time by preparing the sauce a day earlier.
    3. Eating Out
      • Note: This activity will teach group members how to make heart healthy choices at fast food restaurants.
      • Ask:
        Where do you eat when you eat out?
      • Note: Allow about 3 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        Many people eat at fast food restaurants because:
        • The food is served quickly.
        • The food tastes good.
        • The food is less expensive than food at sitdown restaurants.
        • Special food and toys appeal to children.
        • There may be a playground for children.
      • Show picture card 9.3. Keep it on display while you review the handout.
      • Say:
        Many fast foods can be higher in saturated fat, sodium, and calories, but you can choose healthier foods from the menu. Some tips include:
        • Ordering small, plain hamburgers instead of deluxe sandwiches.
        • Choosing grilled chicken sandwiches instead of breaded chicken sandwiches.
        • Sharing a small order of french fries instead of eating a large order by yourself.
        • Ordering a green vegetable or salad instead of two or more starches, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, and cornbread.
        • Choosing water instead of a soft drink or milkshake.
      • Give each group member the "Tips for Eating Out the Heart Healthy Way" handout.
      • Ask for volunteers to read the suggestions on the handout aloud.
      • Say:
        Do you have other ideas for making heart healthy choices at restaurants?
      • Note: Allow 2 or 3 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        Let's talk briefly about buffet-style and "all-you-can-eat" restaurants. They may seem like moneysaving restaurant choices that allow you to enjoy your favorite dishes at one time. But you may be tempted to overeat at these restaurants in order to get "the most" for your money. Try choosing buffet and "all-you-can-eat" restaurants less often.
      • Say:
        If you do go to a buffet-style restaurant, make heart healthy choices, such as baked, broiled, and grilled lean meats and fish and steamed or sauteed vegetables without sauces. Also, watch your portions. It isn't a good deal to overeat because eventually you may pay a price with your health.
  2. Save Money on Your Food Bill
    1. Food Budget
      • Ask:
        How many of you have trouble stretching a limited food budget until your next paycheck or until the end of the month? What kinds of problems do you face?
      • Note: Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond.
      • Say:
        The first step to healthy eating with limited food dollars is to make a monthly food budget. A budget is a plan for the amount of money you can afford to spend on certain items.
      • Give each group member the "Jill's Monthly Food Budget" handout (pages 302—303).
      • Say:
        Let's see how Jill made her monthly food budget.
      • Ask a group member to read the handout aloud.
      • Ask:
        Does anyone have other tips to help plan a monthly food budget?
      • Note: Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond. Write their tips on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
    2. Money-Saving Tips
      • Ask:
        What do you do to save money on food?
      • Note: Allow about 5 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        There are things you can do to save money on your food bill. Let's go over a list of ideas.
      • Give each group member the "Money-Saving Tips" handout. Ask for volunteers to read the tips aloud.
      • Give each group member the "Shopping List" handout.
      • Say:
        You can use this shopping list when you go to the store. Just check off or write on the blank lines what you want to buy.
  3. Food Advertising Activity
    • Note: This section will help group members become more aware of how advertising plays into their food-buying decisions.
    • Say:
      Food advertising is big business.
      • Advertisements try to get adults and children to buy a certain product.
      • Advertising costs money. Billions of dollars are spent on food advertising. The people buying the food—the consumers—pay for this.
      • Nationally advertised items usually cost more than store brands and local brands.
      • Most people are more likely to buy items with fancy, eye-catching packaging.
      • People, especially African Americans, can be very loyal to certain brands. They will often buy these products even if they cost more.
    • Ask group members to describe advertisements that have prompted them to buy certain products.
    • Note: Allow about 3 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Review different advertising themes that are used to get people to buy food products. (Show or describe an example of the following advertising themes. Prepare these examples before the session.)
    • Note: As you discuss the six themes, write them on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall. You will need these themes for the group activities.
    • Say:
      Popular advertising themes often focus on family, health, sex appeal, humor, appearance, or famous people.
      • Family
        Advertisers try to get you to use their product based on your love for your family. This works well with African Americans because the family plays an important role in their lives. Advertisements with a family theme often target African American women because of their role as family caregivers.
      • Health
        Some advertisements focus on the positive health effects of using certain products. This works because people care about their health.
      • Sex appeal
        Sex appeal sells products. Many people want to believe that they also will be beautiful and sexy if they use the advertised product.
      • Humor
        A funny advertisement often helps people remember a product.
      • Appearance
        Food advertisers show food that may look better than the real thing. This makes people want to try the product.
      • Famous people
        Famous people are used to sell products. Advertisers also can have a celebrity use a product in a television show or movie.
    Group Activity
    • Note: This activity will help group members think about how advertising affects how we buy food.
    • Divide group members into smaller groups of three or four people. Give each group two to three advertisements that you have collected.
    • Say:
      I have given you real advertisements. Discuss with your group which themes are used in the ads.
    • Note: Allow about 5 minutes for the groups to come up with their ideas.
    • Ask one person from each group to present his or her group's ideas to the others.
    • Say:
      Advertising can be helpful, because it tells people about different products they can buy. But ads also can get people to buy products that they do not need or cannot afford or products that appear better than they really are.
    • Ask:
      What can you ask yourself when you are trying to decide what brand to buy?
    • Note: Allow 4 to 5 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Add the following questions if they are not mentioned.
      • Do I really need it?
      • Is there a less expensive product that serves the same purpose?
      • Have I compared the product's nutrition label with an item that costs less?
      • Am I buying the product because it comes in a nice package?
      • Am I buying the product because the advertisement says it will make me look better or help me lose weight?
      • Am I buying it because I have a coupon or because it's on sale?
      • Can I afford it, even with a coupon?
      • Can I wait until it goes on sale?
    • Say:
      Even if you want to buy name brands, you can still save money by buying the products when they are on sale.
  4. Soul Food Makeover—Catfish Stew and Rice Recipe
    • Give group members the "Soul Food Makeover—Catfish Stew and Rice Recipe" handout. Ask them to try this dish sometime this week.
    • Ask:
      How can this dish help us eat in a heart healthy way when we have little time?
    • Add these answers if they are not mentioned:
      • This dish can be prepared in advance and frozen, so that you can save time.
      • It includes a lot of vegetables.
      • It is lower in fat and sodium because it is cooked with moist heat, low- or reduced-sodium canned products are used, and no additional salt or oil is added.

Review of Today's Key Points

  • Say:
    Let's review what we learned today.
  • What can you do to save time in meal preparation?
    • Get help from your family members.
    • Cook several dishes at one time and freeze part of them to eat later.
    • Make larger quantities and use the leftovers for lunch.
    • Pack lunches the night before.
    • Learn simple, fast recipes.
    • Use a slow cooker.
  • What can you do to eat healthier when eating out?
    • Order sandwiches without mayonnaise or sauces (or with low-fat mayonnaise or sauces).
    • Order small, plain hamburgers, or try lean roast beef, roasted chicken, or turkey sandwiches instead of deluxe sandwiches.
    • Ask for low-fat salad dressing or bring your own.
    • Choose water, 100 percent fruit juice, unsweetened iced tea, or fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk instead of a soft drink or a milkshake.
    • Order smaller portion sizes.
    • Choose baked or grilled foods instead of fried foods.
    • Remove the skin from chicken, and do not eat it.
    • Choose vegetarian pizza, and ask for less cheese.
    • Order a green vegetable or salad instead of two or more starches (such as rice, a potato, pasta, bread, and corn).
  • What can you do to stretch a limited food budget and still eat healthy?
    • Make a monthly food budget.
    • Plan healthy meals in advance.
  • What can you do to save money when shopping?
    • Plan weekly meals, and make a shopping list of what you need to buy for the week.
    • Check the food sale ads.
    • Choose prepared foods less often.
    • Buy only the amount of food that your family needs.
    • Try not to shop when you are hungry.
    • Check your receipt for errors at the cash register.
    • Try not to shop at convenience stores.
    • Try store brands, and use them as often as possible.

Weekly Pledge

  • Say:
    You have learned a lot today about eating in a heart healthy way even when you are on a tight budget and have little time. As today's quote states, "If people learn something better, they will do better." Now let's think about how you can apply what you have learned. Please think of one change you can make in your everyday life to eat in a heart healthy way while sticking to your budget. This will be your pledge for the week.
  • Say:
    Be specific about what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, and when you will start. Here are some examples:
    • I will use a shopping list the next time I go to the grocery store.
    • I will try a store-brand product the next time I go grocery shopping to see if my family likes it.
    • I will choose a restaurant that is not buffet style the next time I go out to eat.
    • I will plan my dinners for the next week, so that I do not eat fast food.
  • Note: Allow 5 minutes for group members to think of a pledge.
  • Ask:
    Would anyone like to share his or her pledge with the group?
  • Note: Write down pledge ideas on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
  • (Optional) Say:
    Keeping a personal value in mind can help you eat in a heart healthy way when you are on a tight budget or have little time. Remember that a personal value is a quality that you consider important.
    Today's value is gratitude. Gratitude can help you appreciate all of your own efforts to change, no matter how small they may be. Gratitude helps you to be thankful for those who help you change old habits and show you how to have a healthier lifestyle.
  • Ask:
    How could you use gratitude or another value to help you keep your pledge?
  • Note: Allow 3 minutes for group members to share their thoughts.
  • Say:
    We will discuss the results of your pledges next week. Don't forget to work on your pledges to be more physically active; to cut back on salt and sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol; to reach and keep a healthy weight; to prevent or control diabetes; and to make heart healthy eating a part of your family life.

Closing

  • Say:
    Thank you for coming today. What did you think of today's session?
  • Note: Allow a moment for group members to respond.
  • Say:
    I am looking forward to seeing you at the next session. The next session will be on living smoke free.
    Please continue to work on your family health history.
  • Note:Think about today's session. What worked and what didn't work? Have you decided to make any changes in your own life that were covered in today's session?

Handouts

Tips for Busy Families

Plan Your Meals

  • Plan weekly meals based on your family's schedule.

Use a Shopping List

  • Save money and time by making only one trip to the store. Make and use a shopping list.

Share Meal Preparation Tasks

  • Teach your family how to shop for groceries.
  • Include children and other members of your family in preparing meals and cleaning up.
  • Clean up as you cook—you will have less to clean up after you finish cooking.
  • Share cooking duties with other family members or neighbors. For example, your family can cook enough food to share with another family.

Cook in Advance

  • Prepare some foods in advance (such as spaghetti sauce). Use these foods for quick meals. You can add chicken or turkey to the sauce and serve it over spaghetti or rice.
  • Prepare parts of a meal the night before (for example, marinate chicken in the refrigerator overnight).
  • Pack your lunch the night before.
  • Cut and wash vegetables, and make enough salad for 2 days. Do not add dressing until serving time.
  • Cook two or three dishes on your day off, and freeze some of them. Use the frozen dishes on the days when you don't have time to cook.
  • Prepare for recipes the night before by cutting and trimming meats.
  • Prepare meals in a slow cooker.

Cook Simply

  • Steam vegetables, and serve them without sauces.
  • Use frozen vegetables without sauces.
  • Broil, grill, bake, or roast meats.
  • Make one-pot meals, such as stews and casseroles.
  • Use frozen chopped vegetables (such as carrots, peas, and broccoli).
  • Use the microwave for cooking or defrosting.
  • Learn simple recipes that can be made in less than 30 minutes.

Use Herbs and Spices

  • Chop fresh herbs and place in ice cube trays. Fill trays with water and freeze. Store the frozen cubes in a plastic bag. Use when you need fresh herbs.
  • Grow oregano, basil, or thyme on a sunny windowsill.
  • Keep dried herbs on hand. One teaspoon of dried herbs is equal to 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs.

Keep Quick Snacks on Hand

  • Try these healthy snacks:
    • Fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Whole-grain, ready-to-eat, dry cereal
    • Fat-free and low-fat yogurt
    • Fat-free and low-fat cheese
    • Whole-grain breads

Jill's Dilemma——A Real-Life Story

Jill is a friend of the Harris family. She has two daughters, Tamika (age 3) and Shandra (age 10 months). She is also raising her two nephews, 8-year-old Devon and 10-year-old Jamar. Jill's aunt, Ms. Connie, watches the younger children from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while Jill works part-time and goes to a job training program. Jill receives food assistance monthly and needs to watch her budget.

After picking up the kids, Jill doesn't feel like making dinners that require a lot of preparation and cooking time. She usually feeds the kids prepackaged noodle mixes or spaghetti from a can. Sometimes she picks up fast food, such as fried chicken or hamburgers.

Jill has to ride a bus to shop at a supermarket with a large selection of foods. It's hard to carry the heavy bags of groceries home from the bus stop. So she often buys her groceries from neighborhood stores that are more costly and carry fewer healthy foods.*

What can Jill do to make sure that her family eats in a heart healthy way?


*Adapted from an original story created by Maxine Vance, community health worker, CHW Advisory Group (2002).

Tips for Eating Out the Heart Healthy Way

You don't have to give up eating fast foods to eat right.
Here are some tips on how to make heart healthy choices at fast food restaurants.

Sandwiches

  • Order sandwiches without mayonnaise, tartar sauce, or special sauces. Or try mustard or low-fat mayonnaise. Ask for vegetables to be added to your sandwich.
  • Order small, plain hamburgers instead of deluxe sandwiches.
  • Order sandwiches made with lean roast beef or turkey. Chicken salad and tuna salad made with regular mayonnaise are high in fat.
  • Choose grilled chicken sandwiches instead of breaded chicken sandwiches.

Main dishes

  • Choose rotisserie-style chicken rather than fried chicken. Always remove the skin.
  • Order pizza with vegetable toppings, such as peppers, mushrooms, or onions. Ask for half the usual amount of cheese.
  • Choose grilled, steamed, or baked fish instead of deep-fried fish.
  • Leave off all butter, gravy, and sauces.

Side dishes

  • Share a small order of french fries instead of eating a large order by yourself.
  • Ask that no salt be added to your serving.
  • Order a baked potato instead of fries.
    • Try salsa or vegetables as a potato topping.
    • Ask that high-fat toppings be served on the side, and use fewer toppings.
  • Use low-calorie, low-fat salad dressing on salad. Bring your own if the restaurant does not offer a low-fat dressing. You can buy packets at some stores. Ask that dressings be served on the side, and use less.
  • Order a green vegetable or salad instead of two or more starches, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, and corn.
  • Ask for low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream.

Beverages

  • Choose water, 100 percent fruit juice, unsweetened iced tea, or fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk rather than a soft drink or a milkshake.
  • If you really want to have a soft drink, order a small one.

Desserts

  • Buy the smallest size of fat-free frozen yogurt, low-fat ice cream, or sherbet instead of cakes or pies.

Jill's Monthly Food Budget

Jill needs to plan how much money she can spend on food each month to feed her family of five. Follow Jill's steps as she makes her first monthly food budget.

Step 1. Jill figures out how much she can spend on food each month.

  • Jill receives $255 in food stamps each month.
  • Jill also can put $145 aside each month for food from her part-time job earnings.
  • In total, Jill can spend $400 each month for food. For example, $255 + $145 = $400 per month.

Step 2. Jill writes down what she spends on food and keeps all her receipts.

Jill writes down how much she spends at the grocery store and at restaurants in her Food Money Log. She keeps the log clipped to an envelope where she keeps all her receipts.

Step 3. Jill checks her expenses each week to make sure she sticks to her monthly food budget.

Jill adds up her food expenses each week. Then she adds up what she has spent during the month so far and compares the amount with her total monthly food budget.

Now that you know how Jill planned her monthly food budget, let's plan your monthly food budget. First, determine your food budget for the month. Second, list the cost of each item in the Week 1 column, add the costs together, and put the total on the Weekly Total Spent line. Second, put your monthly food budget on the Monthly Budget line and subtract the amount spent from Week 1 to get your Remaining Monthly Budget. Third, copy the remaining amount from Week 1 to Week 2 Remaining Monthly Budget line. Fourth, repeat the steps.

Note: Try to plan for the entire month, so you don't run out of money. You have a good plan if you spend less or do not go over your monthly food budget.

Food Money Log

Month_______________ Monthly Food Budget $______

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Cost of each item














Cost of each item














Cost of each item














Cost of each item
















Subtract amount spent from Week 1


Subtract amount spent from Week 2


Subtract amount spent from Week 3


Subtract amount spent from Week 4

Money-Saving Tips

You can save money on groceries. Follow these simple suggestions.

Before Going to the Store

  • Plan weekly meals. Your family can help you plan the menu.
  • Make a shopping list based on your meal plan.
  • Check the food sale ads.
  • Use coupons. Check the Sunday newspaper, and clip coupons for foods you normally buy or need. Ask your children or another family member to help you. Remember—coupons do not save you money if you buy products that you don't need. Always compare the price of the item with the coupon with the price of other items on the shelf.
  • Make fresh foods at home instead of using prepared items such as frozen entrees, bakery cakes, or salads.

Choosing a Store

  • Shop at the store that has the lowest prices for the items you need. That may be a different store every week.
  • Remember that convenience stores have higher prices and less variety than supermarkets.

At the Store

  • Buy what is on your list. You are more likely to buy too much or to buy items that you do not need when you do not use a list.
  • Convenience can cost more. Some examples include:
    • Canned beans
    • Boneless chicken breasts
    • Precut vegetables
  • Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season.
  • Buy only the amount of food your family can use, even if a larger size costs less.
  • Shop alone when possible. Family members or friends may try to get you to buy items you do not need.
  • Do not shop when you are hungry.
  • Watch for errors at the cash register. Sometimes sale items do not ring up on sale. Some stores give customers free items if they are charged the wrong amount.
  • Look for cheaper store brands of products. They usually are just as nutritious as more expensive name brands.

Shopping List

Make a shopping list. Include the items you need for your menus and any basic items you need to restock in your kitchen.

Produce



Milk Products**











Canned Fruits, Vegetables, Beans, and Soups
















Whole-Grain Breads, Muffins, and Rolls







Meats



(salmon, catfish, whiting, flounder)



(turkey, chicken, and lean roast beef)*




Fats and Oils


Cereals, Rice, Crackers, Pasta, and Noodles











Baking Items







Frozen

(sherbet)

Other

* Use the nutrition label to choose foods lowest in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories.
**Or lactose-free milk and milk products, such as low-fat or fat-free soy milk

Soul Food Makeover—Catfish Stew and Rice Recipe

2 medium potatoes
1 can (14½ ounces) tomatoes (reduced- or low-sodium), sliced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup clam juice or water
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ head cabbage (coarsely chopped)
1 pound catfish fillets
1 ½ tablespoons Hot 'N Spicy Seasoning (recipe below)
1 sliced green onion for garnish (optional)
2 cups hot cooked rice (brown or white)

  1. Peel potatoes, and cut into quarters.
  2. In a large pot, combine potatoes, tomatoes and juice from can, onion, clam juice, water, and garlic.
  3. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat.
  4. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Add cabbage. Return to boiling. Reduce heat; cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Meanwhile, cut fillets into 2-inch lengths. Coat fillets with Hot 'N Spicy Seasoning.
  7. Add fish to vegetables. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  8. Ladle stew over hot cooked rice in soup plates and garnish with green onion.

Hot 'N Spicy Seasoning

¼ cup paprika
2 tablespoons dried oregano, crushed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
½ teaspoon dry mustard

Preparation Instructions:
Mix together all seasoning ingredients. Store in airtight container. Makes about 1/3 cup of seasoning.

Makes: 4 servings
Each serving provides:
Calories: 363
Total fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 87 mg
Sodium: 355 mg
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Potassium: 1,079 mg
Carbohydrates: 44 g
Protein: 28 g
Potassium: 1,079 mg

The Makeover

In the past, the Harris family prepared battered and deep-fried catfish. This Soul Food Makeover makes use of moist heat cooking; a great spicy, no-salt seasoning; and no added oil or fat. Try it in place of a fish fry! You won't miss the frying, and cleanup will be a snap!


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Last Updated December 2010




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