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Budget-savvy shopping tips that keep health in mind:

February 8, 2012 - Carla Tracy

At Maui grocery stores, savvy shoppers are always on the hunt for deals. In fact, one often must shop at two or three stores to get the best bargains. Buy papayas at a farmers market, say, and hamburger mix at a supermarket.

Here are some healthful tips by registered dietician Ariceli Vasquez.

Take a lap - Many of the most nutrient-rich foods can be found around the outside of the grocery story, including produce, low-fat dairy, eggs and lean meats. Choosing these foods in their natural state and doing the chopping, seasoning and cooking yourself can save cash and give you more control over added fat, sodium and sugar.

Plan your plate - Planning the week's meals and making a list of needed items helps avoid buying extras that could go to waste (or waistline!) or forgetting essential ingredients for a nutritious meal.

Don't shop hungry - Cruising through the aisles with a grumbling stomach encourages impulse buys that add less healthy choices to your cart and blow the budget. Grab a snack . . . to keep hunger pangs at bay.

Aim for a colorful cart - The MyPlate program recommends half the plate be filled with fruits and vegetables, so there should be a decent array of color in your shopping cart each week. If the palette of your cart is too beige, course correct to the produce department.


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