Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy doesn’t always mean you’ll see a spike in your grocery bill.

Dr. Tori Asbury of Novant Health Oceanside Family Medicine in Leland, North Carolina, offered some tips for eating healthy on a budget.

1. Plan your meals for the week. 

“The key to healthy eating on a budget is planning,” Asbury said. “For most people, weekly planning is most effective for making healthy choices and saving money. The easiest way to shop and save is to plan your meals around weekly sales and coupons.”

Asbury said it’s easier for people to buy fast food when they don’t plan their meals. Although fast food options can seem cheap at the time, it can actually be more expensive than healthier options in the long run.

2. Buy produce that’s in season. 

“Buying your produce seasonally is your least expensive option when it comes to fresh produce,” Asbury said. “But there is also a lot of value in buying frozen produce. It’s available year-round, and you get more quantity for your money.”

3. Compare unit prices and store brands. 

Asbury said many times store brands will have a better value than some of the brand name items. Buying in bulk may also end up saving you money in the long run. If the store lists the unit price near the barcode, pay attention and compare unit prices between quantities.

4. Purchase pantry staples and mix up your meals. 

“Brown rice is healthy and inexpensive,” Asbury said. “It’s really versatile, and you can use it in a lot of different meals. Eggs are a cheap protein you can cook in a lot of ways. I also recommend picking which lean meats to buy based on what is on sale.”

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