UNION COUNTY – Along with being the foundation of good health, good nutrition can also help save money on household bills. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County has developed a program called Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ that helps Union County residents combine both.
“The trick is to change your habits in small, easygoing steps that give you a sense of accomplishment,” said Dr. Karen Ensle, RD, a nutrition expert and head of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County.
One key strategy is simply to keep a weekly grocery shopping list. Research shows that excess money is spent when more trips to the supermarket are taken, and a pre-planned list helps cut down on those extra trips.
Households that keep grocery lists save money by:
- Using less gas.
- Taking better advantage of money-saving sales, coupons, and bulk purchases.
- Buying fewer expensive snacks and convenience foods, which are high in sugar, fat and salt.
- Buying more inexpensive staples and cooking more nutritious meals.
- Switching from name brands to cheaper store brands with the same nutritional value.
- Reserving soda and other sugary drinks for special treats rather than daily use.
- Avoiding impulse buys, especially at the checkout line (paying with cash or a debit card instead of a credit card also helps cut impulse buys).
These and many other tips are included in an easy-to-follow workbook and online challenge developed by Dr. Ensle with Dr. Barbara ONeill, an Extension financial specialist. For more information or a free copy of the workbook call 1-908-654-9854 or visit http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension is offers a variety of free programs including the popular “Enjoying a Balanced Diet on a Balanced Budget” seminar. An upcoming class in the series is “13 Fun Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies,” on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. Pre-registration is required by contacting Digna Torres at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, 1-908-654-9854 or email@example.com.
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