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RISMEDIA, March 13, 2010—(MCT)—Nutritious foods can be expensive, but dietitians say there are ways to go healthy without going broke. The following tips will help you maintain your healthy eating routine while keeping money in the bank.

Plan ahead. Write out a weekly menu after looking at coupons and advertisements from grocery stores. Use leftovers for additional meals; extra vegetables and meats can go into bagged lunches, soups, stews, casseroles and salads.

Save on unhealthy extras. You can hold on to a lot of money by avoiding chips, soda and prepackaged baked goods.

Look for cheaper proteins. Beans, lentils and eggs are all nutritious alternatives to meat. If you can’t bear to go without meat, eat it in smaller portions.

Know your top 10. Make a list of the healthy foods you buy the most and comparison shop at local groceries, health food shops and warehouse stores. Aim to stock up on those staples at the lowest prices.

Buy produce in season. It will be much cheaper; remember that farmer’s markets often have great deals.

Go beyond fresh. Canned, frozen and dried foods—fruits, vegetables and meats—are healthy but often less pricey alternatives to fresh foods, especially if you buy generic versions. Just watch sugar and salt content.

Think in bulk. Buy big packages of meat and divide them into meal-sized portions for freezing, and store whole-grain rice and cereal in airtight containers. You also can cook large amounts of meals such as stew and freeze smaller portions for easy preparation.

Plant a garden. Grow your favorite fruits and vegetables right in your backyard.

Take the long view. A bag of apples may be more expensive than a bag of cookies, but consider this: you’re not likely to eat more than one apple in a single sitting.

(c) 2010, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.