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Title:Spend Smart. Eat Smart.
Pub. date: January 2008
Includes: Web site, includes activities and interactive tools.
Audience: Adults, parents
Language: English
Description: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 yet provide nutritious meals.

The Web site focuses on three areas: Planning to Shop, Shopping the Store, and Preparing Meals. Each category has tips beyond the usual available information, along with recipes and shopping tips, and interactive learning experiences.

Visitors can calculate their family's food dollars using the USDA's low-cost food plan, play the smart grocery shopping game or the Fast Food for Busy Families game.

Funding Source: Iowa State University Extension
Developer: Peggy Martin and team
Organization: Iowa State University Extension
Phone: 515-294-1511
Readability: 6th-7th grade
Assessment Method: Flesch-Kincaid
Pilot Testing: Materials were piloted with EFNEP staff and families in Iowa.
Assessment instrument Used? no
Use Restrictions: May copy for educational purposes.
Reviewers Comments: The Spend Smart. Eat Smart Web site is an excellent resource for any consumer that is interested in saving money by learning how to shop smarter at the grocery store. This interactive resource takes its users step by step through a range of activities from planning to shop to shopping at the store and preparing meals. A SNAP-Ed educator can use this resource one on one with an individual, one on one with a family or in a classroom setting. Information is broken down into three main categories of interest, Planning to Shop, Shopping the Store, and Preparing Meals. The Web site also offers their own blog featuring interesting topics, recipes and everyday tips.

The Planning to Shop section provides several compelling 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. The final food dollar amount is broken down into weekly and monthly totals specific to the user, making it easy to tailor his or her budget to what is estimated. 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. The nutrition guidelines on this Web site offers are compatible with MyPyramid recommendations and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. A wealth of information is available on smart shopping including understanding unit pricing, reading nutrition facts labels, and avoiding paying premium prices for convenience foods.

The Preparing Meals section provides the last piece of the puzzle for smart eating. This section encourages users to think about and plan meals ahead of time so they do not find themselves ordering take out food everyday. For those who may choose to eat away from home on occasion, helpful tips are provided on how to make better choices when eating out. This section also includes helpful information about preparing meals and snacks, as well as information on what to do with leftovers and food waste.

The Spend Smart. Eat Smart Web site is a great free resource for SNAP participants and also for educators who wish to utilize the Web site to compile information and distribute it to their clients. This resource uses excellent Web based tools and activities to reinforce its main objectives. The Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Web site can provide ideas and tips for anyone who is concerned with stretching their food dollar and eating smart on a budget.

View/download files: 
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Contact the Distributor:
    Distributor: Iowa State University Extension
    Contact: Hazel Peterson
    Mail: 119 Printing and Publishing, ISU
Ames, IA 50011-3171
    Phone: (515) 294-9915
    Fax: (515) 294-7767
    Avail. in Qty: No

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