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"Is Your Pantry Suffering From Sticker Shock?"

Alexandria, VA (March 31, 2008) - Prices for food staples such as wheat, eggs, milk and rice have increased substantially in the last year, leaving many to wonder how to affordably plan their next shopping trip.  If you or a loved one has diabetes, you know the importance of stocking a well-balanced pantry and eating healthy foods to maintain good diabetes control.

So how do you plan healthy menus for you and your family without breaking the bank?  According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it is a common misconception that a healthy diabetes meal plan must be costly and consist of high-priced specialty foods.

"Eating well and spending less are not mutually exclusive," commented Ann Albright, PhD, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association.  "In fact, healthier foods can actually save you money by reducing portion sizes and buying fewer high-calorie, high-priced foods."

The ADA offers these tips to save money and help cost-conscious consumers navigate the grocery store shelves:

  • Boneless cuts are often better buys, since you are not paying for the weight of the bone.  Think of cost per edible serving rather than cost per pound.  Turkey has 46% edible meat per pound, while chicken has 41%.
  • There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs.  Choose white eggs since they cost less.
  • Vegetables frozen in butter sauce cost twice as much as plain frozen vegetables - and they have more calories.
  • Instead of buying small containers of yogurt, buy a quart and separate it into 1-cup servings yourself.
  • Avoid individually packaged snacks.  Reap significant savings with a do-it-yourself approach.
  • Price fruits with an eye on the cost per edible serving.  If you are paying by the pound, you will be paying for the inedible seeds and rinds.
  • If fresh fruit is too expensive, buy frozen or canned fruit packed in water.  If you buy fruit canned in syrup, rinse it before eating.
  • Use nonfat dry milk for drinking, cooking and baking.  It is inexpensive and has a long shelf life.
  • Make your own cooking spray by putting vegetable oil in a spray bottle.
  • Cook your own hot cereal to save money.  Regular or quick-cooking oats are much less expensive than instant oats.
  • Dry beans triple in volume when they are soaked and cooked.  A 1-pound bag will make six 1-cup servings.
  • When buying fresh greens by weight, be sure to shake off the excess water before you put them in your cart.  It is amazing how much water can be hidden in between the leaves.
  • The costs of special "dietetic or diabetic" foods are high and not necessary.

For more tips and recipes, visit the American Diabetes Association website or call 1-800-DIABETES.

The following recipe can help make the most of precious resources: health, wealth, and time.

Grilled Asian Pork Kabobs - Cost per serving $0.98 (From Diabetes Meals on $7 a Day or Less, Second Edition)

Kabobs can be assembled ahead and refrigerated until cooking time.  Serve grilled kabobs with hot brown rice.

2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp cold water

4 8-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
8 oz raw lean pork, cut into eight 1 ½ inch cubes
4 pineapple rings canned in juice, each cut into 4 equal-size pieces
1 small red onion (approximately 3 oz), cut into 4 pieces
4 cherry tomatoes (or 1 small tomato cut into 4 pieces)
4 mushrooms

  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients.  Set aside.
  3. Push onto each skewer in the following order: 1 pork cube, 4 sliced pineapple, ¼ onion, 1 pork cube, 1 tomato, and 1 mushroom.
  4. Brush kabobs with half sauce.
  5. Grill covered over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until pork is cooked through and no longer pink (turn kabobs to allow for even cooking); baste with remaining sauce halfway through.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Grilling time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 4 (1 kabob)

Exchanges/Choices 1 ½ carbohydrate, 1 lean meat; Calories 147, calories from fat 16; Total fat 2 g, saturated fat <1 g, trans fat 0 g; Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 491 mg; Carbohydrate 21 g, dietary fiber 1 g, sugars 16 g; Protein 13 g.

Copyright © 2007 American Diabetes Association From Diabetes Meals on $7 a Day or Less Second Edition.  Reprinted with permission from the American Diabetes Association. To order this book, please call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at

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