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Published: Thursday, 11/13/2008

Grocery Costs Spur Consumers to Seek More Nutrition for their Dollars

(ARA) - Skyrocketing gas prices and escalating grocery costs have put getting more for a dollar top-of-mind for many consumers. Many Americans are tailoring their grocery shopping lists to ensure they get more bang for their buck. That means purchasing items that provide the best nutritional punch for their value.

Luxury items like prepackaged or single serve meals are giving way to items that can stretch the food dollar and function as more than one meal. Hard-working staples such as bread, pasta and eggs are moving to the top of the grocery list.

Budget-conscious families know that when shopping for food, they need items that provide value in both cost and nutrition. For about 17 cents, one egg provides varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, contains the highest-quality protein of any food, and has 72 calories.

A dozen eggs costs approximately $2 and can be served morning, noon or night. For a family of four, a dozen eggs can turn into a protein source for two or three meals. Eggs also have a long shelf life. In fact, eggs can be kept refrigerated for up to four weeks after purchase.

Here's a price/nutrition comparison of common protein foods:

Eggs:

* Cost per serving -- 17 cents

* Calories per serving -- 72

2 Percent Milk:

* Cost per serving -- 24 cents

* Calories per serving -- 122

Skinless Chicken Breast:

* Cost per serving -- 45 cents

* Calories per serving -- 94

90 Percent Lean Ground Beef

* Cost per serving -- 55 cents

* Calories per serving -- 150

Boneless Pork Chop

* Cost per serving -- 68 cents

* Calories per serving -- 179

Beef Round Roast (USDA Choice, Boneless)

* Cost per serving -- 70 cents

* Calories per serving -- 168

Try this value-conscious recipe that will still leave you with six eggs that you can serve another day -- as breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Frugal MacDougall's Quiche

Makes: Six servings

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup shredded carrots (about 5 ounces)

2/3 cup sliced celery

1 teaspoon instant minced onion

6 eggs, divided

2 cups cooked mashed potatoes, cooled

3/4cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1 cup skim or low-fat milk

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 inch water to a boil. Add carrots, celery and onion. Cover and cook until celery is tender, about seven to eight minutes. Drain well. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat one egg. Stir in potatoes until well blended. Spread on bottom and up sides of lightly greased 9-inch pie plate to form crust. Sprinkle reserved drained vegetables and cheese into crust.

Beat together remaining eggs, milk and salt (if desired) until well blended. Pour over vegetables and cheese. Bake in preheated 375 F oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Courtesy of ARAcontent



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