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4 easy ways to save money and eat healthier

Do you think that healthy eating is more expensive than unhealthy eating? I sure do!

Look at ground beef: 93% Lean ground beef is about $1.50 more per pound than 80% lean ground beef.

Apples are about $1.00 each. A package of fruit snacks is $0.25.

A loaf of cheap white bread is $1.50, and cheap whole wheat bread is $1.88.

White pasta? $0.98.

Whole wheat pasta? $1.48.

Let's not even discuss organic produce!

So yes, healthy eating is more expensive.

But not always.

Sometimes, healthy eating can be LESS expensive.

And to show you how, I will share one "Cheaper, Healthier Nutrition Choice." every week for the next 3 weeks. We will start this week off with lentils.

Cheaper, Healthier Choice #1: lentils

Lentils are a type of legume (think: bean). There are many different types of lentils (pictured above are green, french, and red!). The most common type is brown. Lentils are a staple food in many other countries.

1 bag of brown lentils costs $1.34 at Walmart. That bag makes 6 cups cooked lentils. An adult serving is about 1 cup. By doing the math you can see that one serving of lentils (1.24/6) equals


That 22 cents provides 18 grams of protein, 0 grams fat and 15 grams of fiber. This is by far the least expensive source of protein on the planet.

Compare that to a hamburger patty, which costs about $1.00 (just the patty) and has 20 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat and 0 grams of fiber. The lentils are lower in fat, higher in fiber, and have about the same amount of protein, win-win!

The problem, you may be thinking, is that you don't like lentils.

Or you don't know how to cook them.

Or you don't have time to cook them.

Or, you don't care if they cost less; you like ground beef and it's worth the cost!

I can help you with all those problems during this month's cooking class! We're cooking lentil sloppy joes. Families enrolled in DDI Vantage Early Head Start can sign up for the class by clicking this link:

If you aren't enrolled in DDI Vantage Early Head Start, you can still join the class. However, supplies will only be delivered to enrolled Early Head Start participants.

If you love ground beef, I have another idea for you: stretch your meat with lentils. Add 1/2 cup of pre-cooked lentils to 3/4 pound of ground beef and cook it like you normally would for 1 pound of beef in tacos, spaghetti sauce, or meatloaf. This will "stretch" your ground meat. If you liked it okay with 1/2 cup of lentils, try using 1 cup lentils next time with 1/2 pound of ground beef.

You could also try this lentil taco recipe. I've never met someone who didn't at least "tolerate" these tacos.

I'm not going to lie and say that they are better than meat tacos.

Lentil tacos are not better than meat tacos.

I love meat tacos.

But they are cheaper, healthier, and convenient if you want tacos but don't have ground beef.

Let me know what you link about lentils!

Healthy eating can be expensive. But it doesn't have to be.

See you next week with another way to save! Don't forget to sign up for April's cooking class, signups close April 12th

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