How to shop on a budget during National Nutrition Month

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The month of March is dedicated to eating your fruits and vegetables. Becky Holcomb, a dietitian at Mercy in Springfield, explained why this year's theme is "Go Further with Food. "No matter who you are, or what you're involved in, or what your health status is, food is going to make a difference," said Holcomb. "Finding that right fit for you, what the right food choices are for you, it's going to help you go further in life."

That includes people on a tight budget. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website gives tips to help you save a couple dollars. Those tips include planning around sales, making a shopping list, shopping for seasonal produce, and reducing food waste.

Holcomb also said it's especially important to understand that everyone's nutrition needs are different, even within the same family. She said some people will need to eat more or less to maintain a healthy weight, while others will require specific nutrients being increased or decreased.

"It really is about that overall balanced diet approach," said Holcomb. "What you do in the long term is going to matter more than what you do in the next three months to loose weight."

Holcomb said that "balanced diet" also includes the occasional dessert. "We definitely promote a balanced diet so that does include desserts, so that does include a slice of pie every so often," said Holcomb. March 14 also happens to be Pi Day, as in the mathematical number. Holcomb said if you find yourself want pie more often, there are several ways to make it healthier. She said people can change out ingredients and bump up the fiber or nutritional content in recipes. She also described how pie fillings aren't that unhealthy. "It's a good opportunity to get some fruit in if you're doing that fruit pie or if you're doing a savory pie get some vegetables in."

For more tips on eating healthy and shopping on a budget, head to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.