Dieting can be a difficult task regardless of the average income of one’s household. Maintaining a busy life with work, family, and personal time is oftentimes overwhelming, and finding the time and financial means necessary to consistently eat healthy is typically seen as an added difficulty. However, there are ways you can purchase fresh, healthy foods without breaking the bank.

Buy locally

Supporting local farmers can not only boost your community’s economy, but buying in-season foods this way allows for fresher, more nutrient-heavy products. Additionally, prices tend to be on the lower side at local farmers markets, providing you with more foods for less cost. Pay attention to which foods flourish during certain seasons though. For example, asparagus tends to peak in the spring, and strawberries are ripest throughout the summer.

Don’t skip breakfast

Though this may seem like another reason to buy more food, skipping the first meal of the day leads to stronger feelings of hunger, and an increased chance of buying unhealthier foods to fill the void. Simply buying farm fresh eggs can offer you a healthy meal in the morning without having to spend a lot before lunch. Another great substitute is protein shakes. Both healthy and filling, meal replacement shakes can contribute to weight loss overtime, and even reduce one’s risk of weight-related health conditions.

Buy frozen foods

If shelf life is an important factor when grocery shopping, buying frozen foods can provide you with months’ worth of meat, vegetables, fruit, and more. Purchasing fresh produce, while healthy, forces you to use the products quickly before their expiration dates. Stocking up on frozen foods can save money overtime, as well as give you large amounts of items that last much longer.

Plan ahead

Whether you’re trying to decide what to have for lunch, what to make for dinner, or what to have the next day, planning ahead saves you time and stress. Meal prepping is a great way to have a week’s worth of food prepared beforehand, which also gives you option to prepare healthier servings. If you’re expecting a late night at work, having the ingredients for dinner that night already prepared is strongly suggested. Many people are tempted to order take-out after a late night, but sticking to your routine can save you money, and calories.

Eat more fiber

Fiber is not only filling, but it balances blood sugar, and delays gastric emptying which curbs your appetite and helps you feel fuller longer. Most high-fiber foods are relatively inexpensive. For optimal health, aim for two to three of these per meal. These can be anything from avocados and leafy greens, to nuts, legumes, or seeds. Salads with added vegetables and nuts are great for this course of action.

Pay attention to prices

Though this may seem obvious, many grocery stores take advantage of the convenience of certain items. That is, pre-cut vegetables and frozen dinners tend to be much more expensive than simply buying fresh produce or ingredients. While some may see this as more time consuming, making your own meals from scratch can save you money, as well as offer a fairly therapeutic tool.