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8.7: Eat Healthy on My Budget COY

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    • How to compare the prices/nutritional values of snacks in the community and at school.

    Giveaway: Weekly ad from local grocery store or vegetable/fruit from local grocery store. Template of a grocery budget list


    • Signage and handouts (e.g. fun facts, photos of healthy budget foods, unit price comparisons, nutrition labels, recipes)
    • Tri-fold board with photos of chosen healthy and unhealthy food options, difference in nutritional value, and prices of 1 serving of each option (covered with notecard or sticky note)
    • Weekly Ad from local grocery store
    • (Optional) Pictures of affordable healthy food options with price per serving written on back
    • Feedback survey, pencils and collections box
    • Fruit/Vegetables
    • Grocery Budget List


    • Choose what food comparisons you want to highlight. Choose a popular unhealthy food(s) and alternative popular healthy food(s). Include fruits/vegetables in one or more of the chosen examples.
    • Examples:
      • Eat carrots and spicy/flavored hummus instead of Hot Cheetos or other popular chip brand.
      • Eat slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter instead of pan dulce, donut, or bagel and cream cheese.
      • Eat frozen fruit instead of popsicles
      • Eat oatmeal with banana instead of sugary cereal
      • Drink frozen banana, milk and cocoa powder smoothie instead of Starbucks Frappuccino
    • Visit your local grocery store and purchase the healthy and unhealthy food items (for price comparisons). If the school has unhealthy items in their vending machine, consider purchasing those items for this demo. If the school offers healthy snack items at the breakfast or lunch hour, consider featuring those items for this demo.
      • Items should be same sizes/quantities that students could realistically purchase for their personal use only.
      • Can print photos of the unhealthy food item if you do not wish to purchase for display.
      • Purchase healthy sample items in bulk. During the demonstration, you can show that all of these healthy foods are even cheaper if purchased in bulk!
    • Calculate the price per serving of the healthy and unhealthy samples by dividing the total package cost by the number of serving listed on the package's nutrition label.
      • Note: Try to keep consistent the approximate quantity of food when pricing out each sample. l.e. If a serving of hot cheetos is 1 cup and a serving of carrots is 1/2 cup, adjust the prices to reflect cost for equal amounts (calculate price for 1/2 cup or 1 cup of each).
    • Calculate the Unit Price (price per oz, lb, etc.) of the small healthy food package and larger healthy food package.
    • Identify key differences on the nutrition labels of the healthy and unhealthy examples. Show that not only can you spend equal or lesser amounts on healthy options, but you also get more nutritional value for your money.
    • Create Signage that will show cost comparison between the healthy options. Cover the prices with sticky notes or notecards that you could easily flip up and down to reveal.
    • (Optional) Print prictures of other healthy food items, and write the cost per serving on the back, and a local store where the item can be purchased.
      • Examples (prices shown per serving):

        Banana - 12 ₵ Black Beans - 22 ₵ Turkey Meal - 77 ₵ Broccoli - 33 ₵
        Eggs - 17 ₵ Frozen Veggies - 18 ₵ Apple - 35 ₵ Almonds - 50 ₵
        Chicken - 49 ₵ Lettuce - 20 ₵ Milk - 22 ₵ Carrots - 15 ₵
        Yogurt - 47 ₵ Peanut Butter - 42 ₵ Grapes - 37 ₵ Brown Rice - 13 ₵


    • Have participants guess how much 1 serving of the healthy and unhealthy foods cost.
    • Have the participant check the prices on each by uncovering notecard or sticky note on the demonstration board.
    • Ask: Are you surprised? Do you help your family with grocery shopping or meal preparation? How can you use what you just learned to help your family eat healthy and save money? Have students browse the weekly ad for healthy options. Students can come up with a healthy affordable meal for a raffle ticket.
    • (Optional) Have participants guess cost of 1 serving of other healthy food items using the food cutouts on the table.
    • Ask participants to complete the feedback survey.

    Talking Points:

    • Ask participants if they eat fast food for lunch or dinner with their friends or families; how many times they eat out a week; how many times a week do they grocery shopping or cook at home?
    • Explain the healthy and unhealthy options, including the ingredients; nutritional advantages to the healthy option, how to make the healthy option at home, how to get a good deal on healthy options by looking at unit prices, and which stores in the community students can find the ingredients
    • Share key term and fun facts

    Suggested Information for Board:

    Key Terms:

    • Budget: a spending and saving plan based on how much money you earn or receive each month/year, and how much money you estimate to spend each month/year.
    • Unit Price: The unit price, often found on price tags of foods at the grocery store, will tell you how much an item costs per pound, ounce, quart, etc. Looking at this price allows you to easily compare prices of items of a different brand or package size.
    • A written budget helps people manage what they are spending their money on, identify where they can spend less money in the future, and save to reach their financial goals.
    • Tips to save money when purchasing food:
      • Plan out your meals for the week can help you save money by making you less likely to eat out or buy too much food.
      • Check the weekly ads and deals before you go grocery shopping.
      • Cook (and buy!) in bulk! Make double the recipe and freeze the other half of save it for leftovers if you have a busy schedule.
      • Eat in season! Foods are going to be less expensive when they are in season.
      • Buy generic versions of store bought brand foods to save money!


    • Oxford Dictionaries. "Definition of Budget." Retrieved from:
    • "Healthy Eating on a Budget." Retrieved from:
    • "Sample 2-Week Menus." Retrieved from:
    • "Eating Healthy on a Budget: The Consumer Economics Perspective." Retrieved:


    • "Understand the Price Tag." Retrieved:

    • Hands on Banking. "Hands on Banking for Teens." Retrieved:

    • United States Department of Agriculture. "Super Tracker Nutrition Information." Retrieved:

    8.7: Eat Healthy on My Budget COY is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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