Food Wants and Needs: There is a Difference!

 
Keeping food costs down can be tough.  We have so many choices to make when shopping for food these days.  Deciding between foods you need and foods you want can help lower food costs.

So, what is the difference between a need and a want?  Think of it this way:  A need is something that we must have to survive; a want is something that will make that survival nicer.  When making meals, we need to decide what our food needs and wants are.  If we are trying to save money, we should look for ways to make healthy meals at home and cut back on eating out or buying foods that are already made (and cost more). 

Foods that are less healthy, and are high in fat and calories, should be "once-in-a-while" foods.  Use MyPlate to plan your family's meals.  Pick lean meats, whole grains, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.

Once your basic food needs are met and if you have extra food dollars to spend, you can pick some of your food wants. 

Every family has different food needs and wants.  What is a need for one family might not be a need for another.  Your food needs and wants change with time and family situations.  It can be hard to decide.  Make the most of your food dollars.  Pick healthy foods for family meals and snacks!

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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more about Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (SNAP), contact the Maryland Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or apply online at https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall