Cooking Matters program stretches dollars, not waistlines - New York News

Cooking Matters program stretches dollars, not waistlines

Posted: Updated:
MARIETTA, Ga. -

Navigating through the isle of a grocery store can be tricky. Displays and sales can pull shoppers in hundreds of different directions at once. Not to mention the temptation of cases of full of candy bars and hundreds of snack foods.

By the time a shopper emerges from the store, their cart can be full of items which they never wanted and really did not need. A program called Cooking Matters is trying to change that.

It starts with the challenge of trying to make a meal from scratch that includes five of the food groups, feeds four people, and has to be within $10.

When Sarah Thompson goes shopping for food, she's got a lot of people to think about.

"Oh, well I have four children and of course, I am a single mother. Budget is always important to stay on a budget," said Thompson.

Sarah joined Cooking Matters to try to stretch her dollar. It is a free six week nutritional education program where you learn not just how to cook healthy, but how to be a smart shopper.

During this trip field trip to a Marietta Kroger store, their volunteer teacher Marcia Rafiq has gave them the challenge.

"You got to know what makes up a healthy meal; you need a protein a starch a vegetable. A dairy product and a fruit, those are things you need every day," said Rafiq. "Because food is fuel. If you put crappy gas in your car, that is not good, your car is going to spit and sputter and stop runny. But if you put good gas in your car, your car is going to run forever."

The class teaches how to read and compare prices. Not just the overall price, but the per-unit price which Rafiq says helps you break down exactly what your getting for your dollar.

"Like, I'm not going to pay over 88-cents a pound for chicken, okay?" said Rafig.

She says stores charge more for prepared foods. So, be willing to do it yourself, once you learn a few cooking basics such as how to peel a potato, how to use a knife, and how to make rice.

"Just learning that a little more elbow grease, a little more elbow work in the cooking and package and preparing things can save me a lot of money,"  said Thompson.
   
Another cost cutter is shopping for fruits and vegetables that are in-season. They will taste better and are a lot cheaper.

"In Georgia in July and August, you can get blueberries and you can get watermelons for pennies on the pound because they're in season, and they want to get rid of them," said Rafiq.
 
Shoppers can also go for frozen fruits and vegetables. They're less expensive, have almost the same nutritional value as fresh food, and won't go bad.

At the end of her challenge Sarah comes in under-budget. By week five, Sarah says her and her family are eating healthy at least 70% of the time and it feels different, better.

"It's better for my energy. I've seen that. Even in the just learning that eating breakfast. To where I like to have coffee, eating breakfast has begun to boost my energy, and I've got children I need to real energy, not the coffee energy, so it's been great," said Thompson.

Cooking matters offers hands-on classes like this for adults, but they also have classes for teenagers, children, and families. These programs are set up through organizations like a church or community center.

For more information on the program and where you can find a local class near you go to cookingmatters.org.

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • Cancer survivor celebrates 5 year mark with donor

    Cancer survivor celebrates 5 year mark with donor

    Monday, August 18 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-08-18 22:08:02 GMT
    If Erin Blonshine ever wondered if her perfect match was out there, now she knows. His name: Johannes Saur. Blonshine, a 29-year-old teacher, says "It's very surreal to stand next to him and know that on the inside our immune systems match."
    If Erin Blonshine ever wondered if her perfect match was out there, now she knows. His name: Johannes Saur. Blonshine, a 29-year-old teacher, says "It's very surreal to stand next to him and know that on the inside our immune systems match."
  • Report: CDC scientist kept quiet about flu blunder

    Report: CDC scientist kept quiet about flu blunder

    An investigation into a potentially dangerous blunder at a government lab found that a scientist kept silent about the accident and revealed it only after other employees noticed something fishy.
    An investigation into a potentially dangerous blunder at a government lab found that a scientist kept silent about the accident and revealed it only after other employees noticed something fishy.
  • Can you convert a bully?

    Can you convert a bully?

    Thursday, August 14 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-08-14 20:24:59 GMT
    As a child abuse prevention specialist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Amber McKeen knows bullying.
    As a child abuse prevention specialist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Amber McKeen knows bullying.
  • CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL HEROESMore>>

  • Hospital Heroes

    Hospital Heroes

    Children's Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across the United States and Canada.  Click here for more on our local heroes!
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Manhattan fire hydrant earns more than average American

    Manhattan fire hydrant earns more than average American

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:47 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:47:10 GMT
    One Manhattan fire hydrant has turned into a cash cow for the city.It's become a celebrity in revenue generator and it does not ask for sick days, gets no health benefits, and no 401(k). Yet it brings in tens of thousands of dollars for the city each year.The old hydrant is so notorious, it's got a personalized sign.. It sits across from 152 Forsyth St. and is a local legend.In just an eight month period the hydrant has caused drivers to get hundreds of tickets.The issue that catches drivers ...
    One Manhattan fire hydrant has turned into a cash cow for the city.It's become a celebrity in revenue generator and it does not ask for sick days, gets no health benefits, and no 401(k). Yet it brings in tens of thousands of dollars for the city each year.The old hydrant is so notorious, it's got a personalized sign.. It sits across from 152 Forsyth St. and is a local legend.In just an eight month period the hydrant has caused drivers to get hundreds of tickets.The issue that catches drivers ...
  • Zoo feeds roadkill to animals

    Zoo feeds roadkill to animals

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:07:23 GMT
    Roadkill is part of the menu when it's feeding time at a zoo in western New York. The Seneca Park Zoo has been feeding deer carcasses to its carnivores for years. The practice began after a zoo employee hit a deer on the way to work. The zoo gets the deer after they've been hit by vehicles on Rochester-area roadways. But it won't accept deer that have been dead for more than 10 hours. The zoo also accepts deer killed by bow hunters.
    Roadkill is part of the menu when it's feeding time at a zoo in western New York. The Seneca Park Zoo has been feeding deer carcasses to its carnivores for years. The practice began after a zoo employee hit a deer on the way to work. The zoo gets the deer after they've been hit by vehicles on Rochester-area roadways. But it won't accept deer that have been dead for more than 10 hours. The zoo also accepts deer killed by bow hunters.

  • Park Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Park Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:25 AM EDT2014-08-21 12:25:02 GMT
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices