Food needs: Basic food choices that are needed for health.
Food wants: Foods you’d like to have, but could survive without them—often convenience foods.
Get more for your food dollars:
- Plan meals and make your shopping list.
- Think about your food needs first, then make choices from your food wants list if you have enough funds to purchase them.
Example—Food needs: Fruits and vegetables in season, whole chicken and oatmeal.
Example—Food wants: Pre-made fruit smoothies, meat that is pre-cut or instant oatmeal in individual packages.
- Limit food wants that are low in nutrients but high in fat and calories. These are “once-in-a-while” foods.
- Try to limit convenience foods when planning meals.
Source: University of Maryland Extension