Tag Archives: eating healthy on a budget

Seasonal fall produce

Fall Recipe Ideas

The cool mornings and hints of orange and yellow in the leaves mean that summer is giving way to fall. Most farmers markets are still full of summer’s tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini, but cooler weather crops like leafy greens, apples, and winter squash are starting to show up, too.

As the weather changes, so do our meal preferences. It’s not too hot to use the oven and soup is back on the menu. Kids are back in school, bringing back the morning rush and making evenings busier with activities. Sports fans enjoy tailgating almost as much as the actual game. With these fall activities in mind, here are some recipes to add to your menu this season. Continue reading

Five Tips for Shopping Smart at Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are a popular destination for fresh, healthy foods grown in the local area. As more markets accept SNAP/EBT and offer SNAP matching programs, farmers markets are growing in popularity for SNAP shoppers looking for healthy food options for their families. Farmers markets have a reputation for being expensive, but with these tips, you can shop smart and stick to a budget. Continue reading

Matthew’s SNAP Challenge Day 2

Today’s post is part of a series written by a dietetic intern working with us over the past month. As part of their internship experiences, I like to have them do a SNAP Challenge to better understand the experiences of people trying to eat smart on a tight budget. ~Austin

Waking up this morning was hard. I didn’t feel like I had much energy to get going. I wonder if some of that is due to eating less than usual because of the Challenge. My breakfast this morning was overnight oatmeal, a glass of milk, and 2 hardboiled eggs.  

Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight oatmeal


Milk and eggs breakfast

Milk and eggs







Getting closer to lunch today was not bad- the fiber from the overnight oatmeal and protein from the eggs have kept me feeling fuller. However, I am also aware that being busy at work also plays a role. Lunch was black beans, chicken and rice with olive oil and some red pepper flakes to add a little heat. Unfortunately, I had to rush through lunch and was not able to mindfully eat, again.

black beans chicken and rice  lunch

black beans chicken and rice, already half eaten







I was hungry leaving work again. When I got home, I ate a quick snack of celery with peanut butter and yogurt with berries.

celery and peanut butter afternoon snackYogurt and berries afternoon snack







Dinner tonight was rice and ratatouille, which was tasty, but not as filling as dinner last night with the beans and chicken. So tonight I had an apple with peanut butter and a glass of milk as a late night snack to fill me all the way up.

Ratatouille and rice  Dinner

Ratatouille with rice

Apples and peanut butter late snack


Again, I didn’t quite meet my calorie, grain and protein needs. Yet, I did better with the amount of grains and calories I ate today compared to yesterday. I ate less protein than yesterday, but that is probably because of my dinner not having any protein.  Even with the increase in grains, I still had a lot of vegetables. Having a lot of vegetables is a good thing, they just didn’t have a lot of calories.

calorie intake

Calories and food groups eaten today (from MyPlate.gov)

Meal Planning Help for the Busy Family

Do you struggle with meal planning? Do you prepare meals for your family or just yourself? Whether you are cooking for one or more, meal planning is a skill that takes practice be learned. Even if you know how to plan and shop in advance, it still requires something precious and costly – your time.

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Day 7 of Julie’s SNAP Challenge

Today I attended a Legislative Day in Richmond with the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It was a very long day – getting up at 4:45 am and getting home at 8:30 pm. However, I learned a lot of cool things about how our state government functions, and was very glad I went. While I was there, they gave out free breakfast and lunch! So awesome! Here is a picture of the breakfast bar I ate.

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