Spend Smart. Eat Smart. is a Web site developed by Iowa State University Extension to offer information that can help families stretch food dollars and provide nutritious meals. The Web site focuses on three areas: Planning to Shop, Shopping the Store, and Preparing Meals. Each category has recipes, shopping tips, everyday tips, and interactive learning experiences. Visitors can calculate their family's food dollars using the USDA's low-cost food
- Pilot Tested
Materials were piloted with EFNEP staff and families in Iowa.
This resource takes its users step by step through a range of activities from “planning to shop” to “shopping at the store” and “preparing meals.”
The “Planning to Shop” section provides several links including a tool that allows users to plug in specific information about themselves and their families, which then is factored into the final estimated food dollar amount. Prices for this tool are based on the USDA Low Cost Food Plan, which utilizes current market prices.
The “Shopping the Store” section features an interactive grocery game with a focus on smart shopping. “Shopping the Store” also offers an aisle by aisle shopping guide teaching users what to look for and what to avoid in each aisle of the grocery store. Other information includes understanding unit pricing, reading nutrition facts labels, and avoiding paying premium prices for convenience foods.
The “Preparing Meals” section encourages users to think about and plan meals ahead of time to avoid eating out every day, and tips for making better choices when eating out. This section also includes information about preparing meals and snacks, and what to do with leftovers and food waste.