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 A variety of fresh vegetables and fruits
A wicker basket overflowing with a colorful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables

Nutrition on a Budget

Having enough food for the entire month can be a challenge, especially when money is limited. The SNAP program, designed to supplement an individual's food budget, can help. If you are not currently receiving SNAP benefits, call the Food Bank at 361-578-0591. If you are a SNAP recipient and need ideas to stretch your food dollars so you can get the most food and nutrition for your money,  here are some tips to get you started.

  • Take an inventory ~ making a list of the food you already have on hand and use those foods as a starting point for planning your meals. You might be surprised at what you already have in your pantry!

  • Plan your meals ~ knowing what you are going to prepare for meals and snacks can help you make your shopping list - and stick to it!

  • Study grocery store ads before shopping ~  knowing what is on sale before you go to the store, helps you plan your meals to get the most out of your food dollar.

  • Stick to the list ~ a written list of what you need can help you stay focused at the store - and steer clear of prepackaged, unhealthy food items that may appeal to you while you're there!

  • Compare prices with unit pricing ~ unit price is the cost of an item per unit such as per ounce, slice, pound, etc. By looking at the unit price, you can compare costs of similar items that may be packaged in different size containers.

  • Bend, stoop and stretch your way to lower food costs ~ store brands are often found on the lowest shelves but they are often equal in quality and taste to the more popular (and expensive) national brands.

  • Don't shop when you are hungry ~ the old adage is true - shopping when you are hungry increases impulse buying - and it is often for foods that are not the most healthful.

  • Use convenience foods wisely ~ in general, the more someone else prepares your food, the more you are going to pay for it.

  • Cut back on food with little or no nutrition ~ (i.e. soda, chips, cookies, candy). Eating these foods less often means more money for healthier foods.

  • Use coupons wisely ~ even with a coupon, the store brand of a food item may be cheaper.

For information on FREE nutrition and wellness classes, contact Anna Celum, SNAP Programs Director, at 361-578-0591 or

This material was funded in whole or part by USDA's SNAP program. In accordance with Federal Law and USDA policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C., 20250-9410 or call (800)795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

What is a Healthy Diet?
A balanced diet and regular physical activity are the building blocks of good health. Poor eating habits and too little physical activity can lead to obesity and a plethora of obesity-related health problems. By eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying active, you can stay at or reach a healthy weight. Do it for yourself and your family!

Food Handling Resources & Literature

Get help with your food safety questions through the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, the Ask Karen knowledge base, fact sheets, videos, and a visit to the Food Safety Discovery Zone. Click here to learn more.

The image features the "ChooseMyPlate" logo for more information.

Food Safety 101

Courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture

 The image displays a hygiene reminder on a blue background, stating: "Clean.
A person washing hands at a kitchen sink.
The image features a food safety message on a yellow background, which reads, "Separate.
A person cutting raw meat on a white cutting board with vegetables in the background.
The image features a bold message on a red background that reads, "Cook.
A food thermometer reading 165°F, indicating safe poultry cooking temperature.
The image has a light blue background with text that reads, "Chill.
 A hand holding a refrigerator thermometer with a dial indicating a safe temperature zone.
The image is a logo with the slogan "be food safe" in blue and yellow text on a dark blue background.

The BE FOOD SAFE campaign is designed to educate consumers about preventing foodborne illness through the four easy lessons of Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

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