LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - If you shop for groceries you know food prices always seem to be on the rise, but do healthy choices cost you even more? One national study says yes, especially if you're following the latest nutritional guidelines that promote more potassium, calcium, fiber and vitamin D.
For East Texas families balancing a budget, and a healthy family are always a priority.
"Only thing I really notice is that its definitely much cheaper to feed your kids junk," said Paige Rhodes.
Rhodes has a big, blended family. She feeds nine, and says the cost of healthy is high.
"You can buy bags of chips, pop, all that - a whole lot cheaper than you can buy fruit, salad," said Rhodes.
In fact, that's what a recent study found, too. When people tried to buy foods according to the newest nutritional guidelines, they spent hundreds more at the grocery store.
However, Registered, Licensed Dietician Amy McLeod doesn't agree.
"The complaint has been with new study that they're telling people that if you have to add all these foods to what you're already buying then it's going to cost more," said McLeod.
She says if you take out all the bad stuff, and replace it with the good, it should even out.
"You really have to be a planner when you're thinking about saving money at the supermarket," said McLeod.
Shopper Chris Swango and his fiance try to plan a menu every week.
"Try to plan your meals out like a week ahead of time... So when you're in the grocery store on a Sunday you don't have to come back," said Swango.
When it comes to healthy eating on a budget, the consensus is simple: buy in bulk.
"Buy it in bulk. When you see something on sale, buy twice as much then you'll have it for next month," said McLeod.
Coupons, shopping sales, and picking cheaper options like beans and peas can all save you money on the healthy stuff.
Mom Linda Burton says teaching her girls how to eat right is more important than anything.
"I think it's important to start now because if I let them eat hot dogs now it turns into a habit later," said Burton.
Bottom line: bring a grocery list and stick to it.
"All that you can do is make the best choice possible within your budget," said Rhodes.
McLeod encourages people to eat before grocery shopping, since better choices will be made if you're not hungry.