Add this whole-grain ingredient to boost your dietary fiber. Whole grains also provide nutrients such as magnesium, selenium and potassium. Beyond an oatmeal breakfast, oats can be used in quick breads, fruit crumbles, and even homemade granola bars.
Cost: A truly inexpensive 25 cents per serving.
Offset both cost and fat content by limiting meat portion size to 2-3 oz. Then mix the meat into a recipe that includes corn, barley, brown rice or beans for a healthful, low-cost meal. Adding a vegetable, grain or legume, and consuming less meat, lowers the saturated fat in a meal. That helps you manage your cholesterol and blood sugar. It also saves you money.
Cost: dried beans (16-oz. bag), under $2; canned corn (15-oz. can), under $1.50; barley (16-oz. bag), about $1.
Cut back on cost and unhealthy fat, and maintain protein content, by switching from meat to fish a few times a week. Fish that are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids—including salmon, sardines and tuna—are available canned or fresh. Stock up on canned fish when it's on sale or when meat prices are high.
Cost: A 13-oz. can of salmon (about four servings) is about $3.
Save money on fruits and vegetables by buying fresh produce items only when they are in season. Freeze leftover fresh veggies, and use extra fruit to make preserves or syrup. To enjoy your favorites year-round, buy frozen vegetables.
Cost: per 1/4-cup serving, fresh vegetables (in season), 12 cents; canned vegetables, 17 cents; frozen veggies, 22 cents.