MANHATTAN, Kan. -- While retail ads offering bargain prices on holiday candy have been plentiful in recent weeks, shoppers are encouraged to also look for savings on traditional holiday foods, said Karen Blakeslee, Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist.
"Now is the time to start looking for specials," said Blakeslee, who reported recent sale prices on frozen turkeys, stuffing mixes, fresh and canned cranberries, potatoes, canned fruits and vegetables (including pumpkin), frozen fruits and vegetables, and baking supplies such as flour, sugar, and frozen and refrigerated pastry and pie crusts.
Consumers who buy non-perishable foods in advance will typically have more choices, said Blakeslee, who recommended choosing health-promoting holiday foods, such as:
* lean poultry and meats;
* low-sodium versions of canned vegetables, vegetable juices, soups and sauces;
* fruits canned in natural juices (rather than sweetened syrup);
* whole grain breads, crackers and rolls that add flavor -- and fiber;
* whole wheat and specialty grain flours for baking, with consideration for adding extra fiber from bran or milled flaxseed;
* lowfat dairy, including cheeses, sour cream, dips and spreads; and,
* ingredients such as lowfat or nonfat canned milk and sugar-free gelatin that add fewer calories or fat.
Buying holiday foods on pre-holiday sale prices will generate a savings, but Blakeslee cautions shoppers to consider their menu and number of guests so as not to overbuy and waste food.
"Buying early, when stores are less crowded and supplies plentiful, also usually reduces holiday stress," she said.
"It's not too soon to start baking, either," said Blakeslee, who recommended baking quick or yeast breads or rolls now and freezing them for future meals. That frees up oven time for other foods that need to be prepared prior to the meal.
More information on planning and managing family or holiday meals is available at local K-State Research and Extension offices and online at: www.ksre.ksu.edu/humannutrition and www.rrc.ksu.edu/.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Story by: Nancy Petersonnancyp@ksu.eduK-State Research & Extension News
Karen Blakeslee is at 785-532-1673