Preparing food at home can increase food buying power, according to a Kansas State University nutrition educator.

"When you eat out or buy processed food, you also are buying the cost of the 'labor' and packaging to produce and prepare your food," said Kathy Walsten, who is part of K-State Research and Extension's Family Nutrition Program. For example, buying a quarter-pound hamburger, french fries and large shake costs about $5.50 a person. The price tag for the same food made at home is about $1.25, Walsten said.

Individually wrapped granola bars cost at least 50 cents each at the store. Similar chewy oat bars made "from scratch" only cost about 16 cents each.

"Plan ahead and make a list of ingredients you need to buy at the store and try preparing some simple recipes. Kids will enjoy helping, and together you can save money and share memories," Walsten suggested.


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