More than half of women say the cost of food keeps them from eating healthy, according to a recent poll from the publisher of Consumer Reports.
The Consumer Reports National Research Center asked more than 1,000 women about their eating habits in a phone survey in March 2011. The results were published in the June 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine.
Almost all of the women surveyed said they are trying to make healthier choices. More than 70 percent look at nutrition labels and 53 percent say they have consciously been trying to buy healthier foods in the past year. Fifty-five percent say they have even tried to get their family members to eat healthier. But cost remained the biggest deterrent, with 57 percent of women citing it as the biggest barrier to nutritious grub.
But healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, according to a new study from the Agriculture Department, it doesn’t, if you compare foods by weight and portion sizes. Previous research -- and numerous thrifty shoppers -- have compared food costs based on the price per calorie, a practice that makes high-calorie fast food seem like a bargain when compared to veggies and fruit, the AP reported. The problem with that method is that “Using price per calorie doesn't tell you how much food you're going to get or how full you are going to feel," Andrea Carlson, scientist at the USDA's Economic Research Service and an author of the study, told the AP.
Nutritionists and savvy shoppers have been making this point for years, highlighting strategies to make healthy eating even more budget-friendly. Some good rules of thumb: Buy fruit and veggies frozen or only what's in season. Buying in bulk can often cut down on cost, as can opting for a store-brand over a name brand. There are also a great number of ways to make homemade, healthier versions of your favorite store-bought eats -- including things like bread, granola bars and pasta sauce.
You've probably heard of most of those money-saving techniques -- and perhaps even tried a few yourself. But there are other, less well-known ways to get more healthy bite for your buck. Click through the slideshow below, then tell us your top tip for savvier healthy shopping in the comments.
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