Nightly News   |  January 26, 2013

Program offers cheap cooking tips

Cooking Matters, a nonprofit with 2,500 chefs in 32 states, teaches low-income families to prepare low-cost, healthy meals. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> for some families dinner time can mean a tough choice. eat healthy or stay on budget. that's where a program called cooking matters and its team of culinary professionals comes in. nbc's miguel almaguer shows us how they're making a difference.

>> reporter: a working mother of two, married to an army staff sergeant and studying to become a nurse, these days she has a lot on her plate. she is feeding her family on a very tight budget.

>> i want to provide healthy meals for my children. it's very expensive.

>> reporter: they are among the more than 100,000 families who turn to cooking matters.

>> that's just part of eating healthy on a budget.

>> reporter: with 2500 chefs in 32 states the free, nonprofit program teaches low income families to prepare low cost , healthy meals.

>> it's really so critical with so many people struggling. we don't have money to give them but we were knowledge to share.

>> reporter: cooking matters teaches the basics -- fruits, grains, veggies are the foundation of a healthy diet .

>> we'll put everything in here.

>> reporter: the class begins in the kitchen then takes families into the grocery store . this single mother of two is learning to read labels, compare prices, and eat fresh.

>> before this class you'd think of eating healthy as being bland and nasty. you can eat healthy and still have tasteful food.

>> reporter: she says the program changed her family's life and it is saving families money, too. this couple cut their grocery bill in half, but more importantly they've learned life long lessons.

>> not only am i cooking healthier, better meals, but i'm saving a lot more money. this is something that i'm going to pass on to my kids.

>> reporter: cooking matters, giving families a recipe for success.

>> yummy.

>> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles .