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Budget-conscious food options

A budget-friendly, healthy dinner meal plan to save you time and money this week. According to the U. Department of Agriculture USDA , Americans are spending, on average, Thankfully, meal planning and cooking at home can help you save some serious cash.

Combine this meal plan with budget-friendly breakfast and lunch recipes to save even more during the week. Get the Printable Shopping List Here. Pictured Recipe: Tomato Bun Tuna Melt.

Budget Tip: Budget-friendly canned fish, like tuna and wild salmon, are convenient options for fast and healthy dinners on a budget.

At a fraction of the price of fresh or frozen fish, you'll get the same health benefits from canned options, like healthy omega-3 fats and protein. You can still plan to check out the fish counter when you do your grocery shopping to see what fresh seafood options are on sale.

Frozen fish may be the better option as it's often less expensive, and you can defrost it when you're ready to use it so you know it's fresh. Pictured Recipe: Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna.

Budget Tip: Going meatless a few times a week is good for your health, good for your wallet and good for the environment. This vegetarian spaghetti squash lasagna, with 18 grams of satisfying protein and 7 g of filling fiber , is a great budget recipe you'll turn to time and time again.

Pictured Recipe: Easy Chicken Fried Rice. Budget Tip: Fried rice with plenty of vegetables and a little meat is an obvious choice when you want to make a quick and healthy dinner that's easy on your wallet.

Feel free to throw in whatever veggie odds and ends you have in your fridge. Being versatile and using what you have on hand helps you save money and minimize food waste. Pictured Recipe: Roasted Buffalo Chickpea Wraps.

Budget Tip: Canned beans are an affordable, healthy and convenient ingredient that add satisfying protein and fiber to your meals. You may be surprised how many foods with different flavors go well together. For example, try making a large green salad and adding cooked whole grains and veggies on the top, as well as pieces of meat from another meal.

If you live in a dorm, bachelor apartment, hotel room, or other type of housing without a full kitchen, you may have limited space to store perishables and leftovers and minimal kitchen equipment for cooking your own meals.

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Most of us crave sweets from time to time. But instead of expensive, processed desserts packed with sugar, such as cakes, cookies, and muffins, there are healthier ways to satisfy a sweet tooth.

If you don't have a Popsicle tray, use an ice-cube tray with plastic spoons as handles. Home-baked items. Oatmeal cookies with rolled oats are a good example of a healthier, home-baked dessert. Try reducing the amount of sugar any recipe calls for—many desserts taste just as good. Buy a large container of plain yogurt and make each serving unique by adding seasonal fruit.

Frozen treats. Try freezing grapes or berries or cutting bananas or peaches into pieces and then freezing. For an amazing dessert pour dark chocolate sauce over the fruit. Dark chocolate. Many of us have chocolate cravings—and dark chocolate is actually quite high in antioxidants.

Eat Well Guide or Local Harvest. How focusing on the experience of eating can improve your diet. This diet can help fight heart disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, and more. How choosing healthier carbs can improve your health and waistline.

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The challenge of eating well on a budget. Healthy Eating Eating Well on a Budget Today, many of us are living on a budget and looking for ways to reduce food expenses.

Copy Link Link copied! Download PDF. By Lawrence Robinson and Melinda Smith, M. The challenge of eating well on a budget Eating healthy for less is about more than just the cost of food Eat healthy for less tip 1: Plan ahead Tip 2: Make smart food choices Tip 3: Shop wisely Tip 4: Find cheaper protein options Tip 5: Stretch your money when you cook Tip 6: Make sweet treats healthy and affordable.

Reviewed by Tami Best, MS, RDN, CDN, IFNCP , a Certified Registered Dietitian at Top Nutrition Coaching specializing in gastrointestinal issues and mental health modifications The challenge of eating well on a budget Eating a healthy diet is crucial to your mental and emotional health as well as your physical wellbeing.

Eating healthy for less is about more than just the cost of food The pleasure of eating even the simplest of meals increases when you share it with other people.

Eat healthy for less tip 1: Plan ahead Saving money on food involves revising your shopping habits, eliminating waste, and focusing on healthier choices—and that can require a little planning ahead. Tip 2: Make smart food choices Try to eliminate unhealthy foods from your list, such as soda, cookies, crackers, prepackaged meals, and processed foods.

Can you eat organic on a budget? However, there can still be ways to enjoy the higher quality and stay within your budget: Opt for locally grown food. Tip 3: Shop wisely The neighborhood grocery store is not the only place to shop. Shopping tips Wherever you choose to shop, these tips can help you stick within your budget.

Join a grocery store savings club for more discounts and savings. Tip 4: Find cheaper protein options Your body relies on protein for many of its functions. Tip 5: Stretch your money when you cook Preparing large portions of food to use over multiple meals can save you time and energy as well as money.

Make new meals from old ones Instead of throwing away leftovers or forgetting about them at the back of the fridge, get creative and use them to make new meals.

Cooking without a proper kitchen If you live in a dorm, bachelor apartment, hotel room, or other type of housing without a full kitchen, you may have limited space to store perishables and leftovers and minimal kitchen equipment for cooking your own meals. Try looking for bagged vegetables that can be cooked in a microwave and topped with oil, spices, or cheese for an affordable meal or side.

While you can invest in an inexpensive appliance such as a steamer, toaster oven, or hot plate to quickly and easily prepare meals, your best option may be a slow cooker or crock-pot. A slow cooker can easily create healthy, one pot meals like soup, stew, and chili, with minimal clean up after.

When slow cooked, even cheaper cuts of meat can taste delicious. A slow cooker also uses less energy than a conventional oven and won't overheat your living space in the summer.

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More Information Helpful links. Spend Smart. Eat Smart - Tips on planning, shopping, and preparing healthy meals on a tight budget. Iowa State University Healthy Eating on a Budget - How to plan, shop for, and cook low-cost, healthy meals, including sample meal plans and recipes.

USDA Sample Shopping List - Includes a variety of healthy foods to look for. gov 10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget - Tips for older adults on eating well on the cheap.

National Institute on Aging. Carbohydrates American Heart Association. Three months into the year is a good time to recalculate if you've been slacking on your resolution to eat healthy.

And if you'll be leaving home base or school soon and foraging for yourself plus or minus roommates , it's a great time to learn about healthy, low-cost choices for your grocery list. A healthy diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes beans or lentils , whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.

Trying to fill your cart with all of those goodies can feel overwhelming. But just think in terms of twos. Oliveira also recommends getting two foods in each of these categories on your weekly shopping trip:.

Missing Apples. Bananas. Beans. Brown rice. Chicken. Corn tortillas. Eggs. Flour. Frozen blueberries. Frozen vegetables. Ground beef or ground chuck Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a filling and nutritious breakfast option that is also budget-friendly. · Brown rice and beans: Brown rice and beans are a

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HEALTHY FOODS ON A BUDGET!: 10 Great Foods that Won't Break the Bank!

Budget-conscious food options - 4. Russet potatoes Russet potatoes are an excellent source of nutrients and typically available for a reasonable price. On average, they cost about $ per Missing Apples. Bananas. Beans. Brown rice. Chicken. Corn tortillas. Eggs. Flour. Frozen blueberries. Frozen vegetables. Ground beef or ground chuck Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a filling and nutritious breakfast option that is also budget-friendly. · Brown rice and beans: Brown rice and beans are a

Turn budget-friendly shaved cooked ham into a delicacy by serving it on mashed sweet potatoes and topping it with cranberry sauce. This healthy dinner recipe on a budget offers a taste of Thanksgiving any time of year. Not into ham or craving more holiday spirit?

Try this with sliced smoked turkey instead. Your favorite Tuscan-inspired restaurant may not be the first place you'd head to get inspiration for healthy meals on the cheap.

But much of this Italian region's cuisine is humble and healthy. Tuscan cooks are fond of using cannellini beans. Here the beans partner with other great Mediterranean diet -friendly ingredients for a true-to-Italy dish that won't break the bank or your nutrition goals.

When coming up with cheap, healthy meals, consider cooking with whitefish. The affordable and lean protein is mild enough to please even picky eaters. Enjoy it on these crowd-pleasing tostadas perfectly seasoned with chili powder, garlic, and lime. On the hunt for affordable, healthy meals that work for dinner or brunch?

Get cracking—eggs, that is. Here protein-rich, budget-friendly eggs pair with other pantry staples for a cheap and easy recipe under calories per serving. Save even more money when you substitute dried herbs you have on hand for the fresh herbs.

Start planning your next chili night now. This low-cost slow cooker chili recipe can be prepped in 25 minutes. Stir everything together in the slow cooker early in the day and come home to a healthy dinner loaded with veggies and 14 grams of protein.

Sticking to healthy meals on a budget often means driving past your favorite eatery and straight home. But with nutritious restaurant remakes like this, you can don't have to miss out on take-out flavor while saving money, sodium, and calories. Not only does this well-balanced pasta recipe clock in at under calories per serving, but it also takes only 20 minutes to prepare.

Comforting chili flavors, pasta, and cheese make this meal a family favorite. Oh yes, and it all comes together in one pan. Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness; in this recipe, they're spiced and seasoned to give the fajitas extra flavor. Bonus: If you grill no matter the season , this dish belongs in your regular rotation of budget-friendly healthy dinner recipes because you can find these veggies any time of year.

Burger night just earned itself a healthy vegetarian upgrade. Here we blend fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas with warm spices, sear them to crisp perfection, then serve with crunchy, good-for-you veggies.

Whole wheat noodles, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, and shrimp make this delicious meal surprisingly low-cal and nutritious. Use frozen shrimp instead of fresh to cut the cost of the seafood. Just don't skip the pinch of crushed red pepper flakes—they give this healthy meal on a budget just enough kick.

How many cheap, healthy meals can you make without chopping anything? This is one of the rare few. It's a no-knife-needed, "dump and done" slow cooker recipe for when you have no more than 10 minutes of hands-on prep time to spare.

This slow cooker dump dinner might be the easiest of all: It requires no chopping or measuring. How easy is that? Six ingredients, 10 minutes of prep time, and great flavor combine to make this a cheap, healthy dinner idea for any night of the week.

Since they're often loaded with affordable rice, canned veggies, and ground meat, stuffed peppers are one of the best dinner ideas to keep your wallet stuffed too.

Thanks to Cuban elements like briny olives, earthy almonds, and sweet raisins, this recipe is wildly flavorful. We know that combo might sound different from what you'd usually pair with beef and brown rice, but we bet you and your dinner companions will be blown away. Easy, cheap, healthy meals don't get fresher or more flavorful than this.

The minute recipe features favorites from the Mediterranean diet, including chicken , feta cheese, olives , and tomatoes, for a meal bursting with flavor that still feels light. We'll never say no to pasta dinners , but sometimes, we're more in the mood for potatoes.

On those nights, we turn to gnocchi, a traditional potato-based Italian dumpling. This healthy dinner brings together sweet corn , arugula, and a plethora of seasonings to make one delicious dinner that you'd never guess is budget-friendly.

The veggies amp up the nutrients, too. It's a great choice when you're looking for low-sodium recipes too. Turn a classic pork chop into a tangy, tropical meal.

Orange marmalade creates a simple yet mouthwatering glaze and becomes a refreshing topping when mixed with yogurt. Choose light tuna like skipjack for less mercury , and opt for tuna packed in water instead of oil.

How to use: mix a can of tuna with mayonnaise, greek yogurt, celery, red onion, and lemon juice for a quick tuna salad sandwich or dip. Have you ever tried sardines? This salty tinned fish is rich in nutrients like omega-3 fats, zinc, and magnesium. Peanuts and peanut butter are mainly a source of healthy fats, but they do contain some protein and fiber too.

How to use: melt tablespoons of peanut butter and drizzle on top of greek yogurt and berries, or try the viral magic shell yogurt. Peanuts contain health-promoting mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and plenty of important micronutrients like copper, vitamin E, and folate.

How to use: add a handful of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts and chocolate chips to popcorn for a high fiber and heart-healthy snack. I know, I know… canned chicken seems a little scary.

How to use: add drained canned chicken, rinsed black beans, and shredded cheese to a tortilla and heat on the stove for a quick weeknight quesadilla. Cottage cheese is having a moment right now, and for good reason.

Cottage cheese is a great food for weight loss and fitness goals. How to use: try this high protein cottage cheese queso for a flavor-packed protein dip. Sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and protein to help support your immunity, heart health, brain health, and more.

How to use: sprinkle sunflower seeds on salads for an extra boost of healthy fats and fiber. Chicken thighs are a lot cheaper than chicken breasts, and a bit more tasty too.

Chicken thighs contain important nutrients like iron, niacin, and zinc. Using this list of 52 affordable foods can help you save money on groceries. Use this list of 52 nourishing foods to build your next healthy grocery list on a budget.

And consider other tips from this article like cooking at home, shopping your cupboards, and eating more plant proteins to save extra money too. Your email address will not be published.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Also, the government derived pyramid was designed to keep the medical and pharmaceutical industries rich and thriving.

It creates mucus and is the basis of inflammatory disease. Peanuts have a mold in them and should never be consumed. Peanuts create pancreatic cancer. Look it up. I could go on and on. Please do your research. Privacy Policy Design by Purr. Mobile Menu Trigger. Home » Nutrition » Healthy Eating » Healthy Grocery List on a Budget: 52 Affordable Foods.

by Miranda Galati, MHSc, RD on July 7, Grocery shopping has never been more expensive. Inexpensive fruits and vegetables Frozen berries Berries are an incredibly nutrient-dense food that help prevent and fight disease. Bananas Nothing beats bananas in the inexpensive fruit department.

Broccoli Broccoli is loaded with health-promoting micronutrients, bioactive compounds, and fiber. Frozen cauliflower Like broccoli, cauliflower is a nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetable that can help your body fight disease and inflammation. Frozen peas A serving of peas contains lots of fiber, a little bit of protein, and a long list of micronutrients to support your health like vitamin A, vitamin K, thiamine, and folate.

Canned corn Corn is another overlooked veggie or is it a grain? Apples Apples are high in fiber, super filling, and easy to fit into any budget.

Cabbage Cabbage is impressive for so many reasons. Frozen mixed vegetables Yes, frozen vegetables still count. Onions Onions have health benefits too! Sauerkraut Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage product that comes with a sour flavor and potential gut-health benefits.

Raisins Raisins are delicious dried grapes that offer energizing carbs, gut-friendly fiber, and calcium. Green beans Green beans are among the most underrated vegetables around.

Frozen spinach You might be surprised to learn that frozen spinach contains even more nutrition than fresh! Cucumber Cucumber is a crunchy and hydrating veggie, and an affordable way to up your intake of health-promoting foods.

Frozen brussels sprouts Frozen brussels sprouts are the hidden gems of the freezer aisle. Prunes Prunes might be one of my all-time favorite fruits. Sweet potatoes Regular potatoes are great, but sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense and inexpensive choice too.

Rice Did you know that brown and white rice are both healthy choices? Oats If superfoods were real, oats would be one of them. Popcorn kernels Did you expect corn to make this list twice?! Whole wheat bread This high-fiber, nourishing staple is one of the cheapest and easiest options you can find at the store.

Canned chickpeas Chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans are an awesome source of high fiber carbohydrates with a big boost of protein too. Canned black beans Canned beans are another inexpensive and versatile bean with plenty of filling fiber and protein.

Tofu There are lots of incorrect claims about soy being bad for your health and hormones. Eggs Eggs are a quick and nutrient-rich staple with protein, vitamin D, folate, and selenium. Frozen edamame Edamame are young soybeans and another great protein- and fiber-rich option on a budget.

Plain yogurt Plain yogurt is a filling and protein-rich food that can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Cheddar cheese You might not think of cheese as a health-food, but it is actually a nutrient-dense option that can support your health… when eaten in moderation.

Ground beef Lean ground beef is a nutritious and inexpensive staple. Ground turkey or chicken Poultry is a great alternative to beef if you want a lower fat option with high quality protein.

Canned tuna Canned tuna is a great low-calorie protein source, and a quick way to make any meal a whole lot more filling. Sardines Have you ever tried sardines? Peanut butter Peanuts and peanut butter are mainly a source of healthy fats, but they do contain some protein and fiber too.

Canned chicken I know, I know… canned chicken seems a little scary. Cottage cheese Cottage cheese is having a moment right now, and for good reason. Chicken thighs Chicken thighs are a lot cheaper than chicken breasts, and a bit more tasty too.

More tips to save money on healthy foods Using this list of 52 affordable foods can help you save money on groceries. Try these additional tips to save money on food: Plan your meals and snacks at the start of each week.

This will help you spend and waste less. Make a grocery list before shopping. Avoid buying unnecessary extras by making and sticking to your list. Shop your cupboards first. A healthy diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes beans or lentils , whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.

Trying to fill your cart with all of those goodies can feel overwhelming. But just think in terms of twos. Oliveira also recommends getting two foods in each of these categories on your weekly shopping trip:. Organic produce is grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which are linked to many health problems.

While US scientists debate whether foods grown with organic fertilizers such as animal waste are safer for your health, other countries, including European Union nations, have banned or phased out synthetic pesticides still used in the United States.

Easy ways to shop for healthful, cost-conscious foods

Budget-conscious food options - 4. Russet potatoes Russet potatoes are an excellent source of nutrients and typically available for a reasonable price. On average, they cost about $ per Missing Apples. Bananas. Beans. Brown rice. Chicken. Corn tortillas. Eggs. Flour. Frozen blueberries. Frozen vegetables. Ground beef or ground chuck Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a filling and nutritious breakfast option that is also budget-friendly. · Brown rice and beans: Brown rice and beans are a

Use this tool to find cost-saving opportunities in your local area and discover new ways to prepare budget-friendly foods. Open Shop Simple with MyPlate on your phone, tablet, or computer. Open Shop Simple with MyPlate. Plan Meals and Save More. Explore Shopping Tips.

Get Time-Saving Tips. Find savings in your area and discover new ways to prepare budget-friendly foods. For a more balanced meal, order a side salad with your pizza to get in some filling fiber and essential vitamins, says Golub. It would be cruel and unusual if I told you to go to the International House of Pancakes and NOT order pancakes—so I am not going to do that.

Add on a side of multigrain or whole wheat toast and fresh fruit for fiber and vitamins. Classics are a classic for a reason. Swap out the white bread for a more fiber-rich option like the wheat or seeded Italian bread to stay fuller longer and get in those extra vitamins and minerals.

Plus, the fiber aids digestion, says Golub. Load up on all the veggies or top with avocado for some heart healthy fat. Just swap out the bread and add avocado for a healthy sammie on-the-run packed with vegetables. If Popeyes gets the stamp of approval from Megan Thee Stallion, then all the more reason for me to hit up the drive thru when I'm craving chicken, right?!

What the blackened chicken tenders lack in breading, they make up for in flavor. Complete your hot girl meal with a side of green beans, rice and beans, or their famous coleslaw, says Golub.

Ask for the light basil cream sauce on the side and this is just about as good-for-you as it gets. Zucchini, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, and mushrooms give you plenty of veg—and adding shrimp or chicken gives the dish the protein it needs to actually fill you up. Just stick with sides like the house salad, garlicky green beans, steamed broccoli, fire-roasted veggies, or garlic mashed potatoes.

This often-overlooked wrap is the low-key healthy dark horse of Chick-fil-A. Yeah, the chicken and cheese pack some protein and they even squeeze some lettuce in there, but the real winner hear is the flaxseed flour flat bread.

Thanks to that, the wrap has a straight-up shocking 13 grams of fiber. Not only is this wrap is served hot, but it contains whole grains, a great mix of protein, fats, and carbs, six grams of filling fiber, and sneaks in some veggies too.

For a heartier meal, just order two. The stats on the sandwich are very reasonable without modifying any of the toppings: It has a respectable eight grams of fat and 35 grams of protein.

To fill out your meal, add a small chili, which delivers iron, extra protein, and fiber. Like many registered dietitians who are all, "Burrito bowl or bust! Between the chicken, beans, and veggies in the combo above, there's plenty of protein, fiber, and nutrients.

Go ahead and splurge on the side of guac for some healthy fat, too. The Egg White Delight McMuffin is the best option on this menu any time of day — even if you need two to fill up. You get Canadian bacon and melted cheese — which already makes the option a billion times more appealing than a lousy salad.

What this sandwich lacks in fruits and vegetables, it makes up for in protein. To compensate, just go heavy on the produce at your next meal. When eating at CPK, it's a crime not to order the pizza.

The good news: A half pizza which is plenty of food makes a perfectly reasonable meal. Fear's pizza pick contains lots of veggies with added chicken to amp up the protein.

Even though whole grain crust is available, it adds 10 grams of fat without tons more fiber, so just stick with the original.

If you're going to Chili's, this is the dish Fear recommends—she loves the taste. She swaps the rice for steamed broccoli to get some green stuff and extra nutrients into the mix. Sirloin steak is Ruby Tuesday's leanest cut of meat, and the dish has even less fat when you ask for it to be prepared without the seasoned butter that's typically used.

Grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli, green beans, or roasted spaghetti squash all make nutritious sides. Two veggies or one veggie and a starchy side such as rice pilaf make for a well-rounded meal.

You can only eat grilled chicken so many ways, so this crunchy-coated baked option is extra-interesting. It comes with two sides: A baked sweet potato and steamed veggies—how delish does that sound?

The Lemon-Herb Parmesan Chicken is a must order for anyone looking to eat healthy at a place that is known for their sweet desserts. Eating right for your meal will help you to not feel as guilty for inhaling a creamy cheesecake later.

We get it. We all get those midnight cravings, especially after a night out drinking with friends. Taco Bell might seem like an unhealthy option, but if you count your calories right and work around the menu, you could find something to satisfy your cravings as well as eating on a calorie deficit.

Order the Crunchy Taco for some spice in your life. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and they're absolutely right. The great thing about popcorn is that it's very versatile. You can add toppings such as sea salt and cheese for a savory treat, or cinnamon and sugar for a delicious sweet treat.

It can be expensive to buy pre-popped popcorn in bags or microwaveable pouches, so purchasing kernels helps make this nutritious snack more affordable.

You can pop the kernels yourself in the microwave with just a brown bag. Frozen berries are easy to keep on hand and can be very cost-effective when compared to fresh fruit. A couple of great choices to keep on hand are frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries. Check the bags and buy berries without added sugar.

Blueberries may be small in size, but they are rich in nutrients and are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. Blueberries have been linked to improved cardiovascular health and can contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.

Strawberries are also high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as folate. They are also rich in antioxidants. A review in Nutrients of studies done with strawberries and blueberries found they helped reduce inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity and helped keep blood pressure in check, among other benefits.

Add frozen berries to your favorite smoothie recipe or make a yogurt parfait with them. Frozen berries can be used to make jams, pies and other desserts. Tuna is a smart choice for those wanting to increase their fish intake while still keeping their groceries affordable.

Tuna is a great source of protein, and it also contains some omega-3 fatty acids , which are important for brain health and reducing inflammation. Tuna also provides a fair amount of the minerals selenium, phosphorus and potassium.

Choose canned tuna for salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes. Eggs are a staple item in most homes. They're extremely nutritious and typically cost less than 20 cents per egg. A whole large egg contains 6 grams of protein and delivers some vitamin D as well.

Eggs also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health and decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration. We often think of eggs for breakfast, but they can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Look to eggs to make a savory dinner quiche, vegetable-packed fried rice or egg salad sandwiches.

Now that we've got a list of healthy, budget-friendly foods to keep on hand, let's explore a few more ways to help you save even more money on your grocery bill. Most people don't realize this, but the ingredients in store-brand products are usually similar to brand-name products.

So, instead of paying extra money for well-known brands, look for generic or store-brand products instead. Before you head to the grocery store, take inventory of everything that you have on hand. You may be surprised to find a few extra cans of chickpeas, or some leftover broccoli that may be on the verge of going bad.

To help avoid food waste and save a little money, try to make recipes with these items first. Get creative with what you have.

Nonperishable items, such as grains, rice, nuts and beans, are typically cheaper when purchased in bulk or larger containers. Even though a larger container of rice will be more expensive, look for the unit price when you shop.

That will tell you how much you're paying per pound or ounce so you can compare packages and get the best deal. When you bring bulk items home, distribute them into smaller portions to help with storage, then use them as needed.

Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season can help keep the price down. Sometimes, but not always, shopping for local produce at your farmers' market can be more affordable. To help fresh produce last longer, some fruits and vegetables, like strawberries, peaches and onions, can be frozen.

You can try washing and storing them in a freezer bag, and placing them in the freezer until you're ready to use them. When fruits and veggies aren't in season, stock up on nutritious frozen produce.

Meal prepping is a great way to save money. Planning your meals can help prevent those unnecessary grocery trips during the week. Meal prepping doesn't have to be hard.

Develop and improve services. Budget-conscious food options A vegetarian ophions cooked to perfection with a Budget-conscioua of Budget-conscious food options broccoli. on purpose. Budget-conscioua cheese You might not think of cheese Budget-clnscious a health-food, Budget-conscious food options Affordable essentials is actually a nutrient-dense option that can support your health… when eaten in moderation. Frozen fish may be the better option as it's often less expensive, and you can defrost it when you're ready to use it so you know it's fresh. If you are heading there for lunch, order the Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos which come with a side of rice and beans.

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