Many people are looking for ways to stretch their food dollar without sacrificing nutrition. You can stay on a budget and eat healthy food by using a few strategies while grocery shopping.

To get more nutrition bang for your buck, remember the words “seasonal” and “perimeter.” Seasonal produce will be less expensive than out-of-season choices and the flavor is at its peak. Look for seasonal bargains in the produce department to get more nutrients for each dollar spent. Citrus fruits are a great buy during January. To illustrate that eating healthy doesn’t cost more, compare the cost of an orange to a candy bar.

Foods found in the perimeter of the store are less processed, which means less money for convenience, processing and packaging. Meat, dairy, produce and bulk grains are great buys for their nutrition. An eight-ounce serving of low-fat milk costs less than half per serving than an eight-ounce serving of soda.

Choose more of these foods to get the most nutrition for your dollar:

• Bananas.

• Oatmeal – not instant .

• Eggs.

• Potatoes.

• Carrots (whole, unpeeled).

• Canned beans – black, kidney, etc.

• Whole-grain pasta.

• Low-fat milk.

• Oranges.

• Frozen vegetables.

Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location. The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at


Fiesta Soup

Serves 4


All you need:

1 (10 oz) bag frozen Fiesta vegetable blend, thawed

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (24 oz) jar medium black bean & corn salsa

2 (14 oz each) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth

Crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)

All you do:

1. Combine Fiesta vegetable blend, beans and salsa in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chicken broth.

2. Bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

3. Garnish with chips and cheese, if desired.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 240, Fat 2 g, Sodium 1300 mg, Carbohydrate 38 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 12 g