Grocery Bills Thin Out Wallets, But Not Waistlines - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Grocery Bills Thin Out Wallets, But Not Waistlines

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High grocery prices may be thinning out your wallet, but that's about all that's getting thin. In these lean economic times, many people are turning to comfort foods - foods that are typically cheap, full of fat and nutritionally bankrupt.\r\n\r\nJamie Tucker is like many women today, trying to buy healthy food for her family while on a budget.\r\n\r\n"It's just kind of discouraging because our money isn't stretching as far as it was," she said.\r\n\r\nBut some people are saving money by buying cheaper foods - the so-called "comfort foods". A whole meal of these foods equals a fatty diet, because most comfort foods are processed foods loaded with fat, sodium and calories.\r\n\r\n"Sadly, the food that tends to be high in calories and high in fat are also very cheap," Henry's Farmer's Market Nutritionist Janet Little said.\r\n\r\nLittle says processed foods include boxed foods, frozen foods, chips, cookies and candy - things people like when they feel stressed. But she says when grocery shopping, you need to be smart, not just dollar-wise, but nutritionally-wise too.\r\n\r\n"The hidden cost of eating these high-calorie, high fat foods are they nutritionally bankrupt," she said.\r\n\r\nAnd they will pack on the pounds. Jamie says sometimes it's simpler to eat at a restaurant.\r\n\r\n"It's almost easier to go out and eat, I mean you don't have leftovers," she said.\r\n\r\nLittle says serving leftovers is a way to stretch your grocery budget. It might be cheaper and easier to buy a box of macaroni and cheese, but not in the long run.\r\n\r\n"Let's just say the box was 79 cents, triple that to make your own casserole, one you're going to have enough leftovers for at least one to two other meals," she said.\r\n\r\nJamie, who's also a teacher, is concerned over the impact of processed food on children.\r\n\r\n"I just really worry about kids because there are so many overweight kids and school lunches, they're trying to cut costs," she said.\r\n\r\nThere are several reasons why processed food is less expensive: it's cheaper to produce, store and ship than fruits, vegetables, meat and fish.\r\n\r\nNutritionists across the country say it's not enough to worry about healthy food. The concern is how to make healthy food affordable.\r\n
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