10 Cheap & Healthy Groceries to Buy When You're on a Budget

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various groceries in a pile with a piggy bank front and center

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If you're working with a tight grocery budget, shopping and cooking—especially for one person—can be really difficult. But there are some easy ways to save on your next grocery trip (without having to eat the same meal every day for a week or resorting to salt-laden frozen pizza).

Here are 10 affordable items to put on your shopping list to save time and money the next time you hit the grocery store.

Peanut Butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Pictured Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipe

Sure, almond butter is the trendy thing to buy right now, but let's be honest, nothing beats the price (and taste) of peanut butter. It's perfect for spreading on toast, smearing on an apple or just eating by the spoonful for a post-workout snack.

Dark Chocolate

Coconut-Dark Chocolate Truffles

Pictured Recipe: Coconut-Dark Chocolate Truffles

We like to stock up on dark chocolate for when we're craving something sweet, since it has proven health benefits and a lower sugar count than other store-bought bars. Plus, it's ideal for making a batch of these Cherry-Chocolate Scones.

Whole Grains

Savory Curry Cashew Oatmeal

Pictured Recipe: Savory Curry Cashew Oatmeal

From brown rice to oatmeal, whole grains are an easy and inexpensive way to bulk up your diet. Grains are filled with fiber that will keep you full for hours. Plus, they're extremely versatile—some of our favorite ways to use them include overnight oats and this single-serving Broccoli Fried Rice.

Eggs

Sous Vide Egg

Pictured Recipe: Sous Vide Eggs

From omelets to topping avocado toast, eggs are the perfect addition to your budget-friendly grocery list. This whole source of protein will ensure you're getting enough of the nutrient when your budget doesn't have room for a ton of meat.

Related: 5 Weird Signs You May Not Be Getting Enough Protein

Canned Beans

Double-Tahini Hummus

Pictured Recipe: Double-Tahini Hummus

When you think of buying healthy foods, canned goods may not immediately come to mind. But when you're on a budget, this aisle should be your BFF! Snag a few cans of beans during your weekly grocery haul to throw into your curry or sprinkle on your salad for added protein. Not to mention, making your own hummus will save you tons of money, too.

Spinach

Spinach & Cheese Breakfast Skillet

Pictured Recipe: Spinach & Cheese Breakfast Skillet

With Vitamin C, E and K, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse that deserves a spot in anyone's fridge. From putting a handful into your smoothie to using the leafy green as a base for this Vegan Buddha Bowl, having spinach on hand will make getting your daily serving of vegetables so much easier.

Onions

Vidalia Onion & Cucumber Salad

Pictured Recipe: Vidalia Onion & Cucumber Salad

Onions are (probably) the most versatile veggie ever. They're delicious in everything from stuffed peppers to kebabs to salads. Not to mention, they're a cheap way to add incredible flavor to nearly any dish (no fancy spices necessary).

Fruit

Apple

Pictured Recipe: Apple "Donuts"

Even though you're on a budget, eating fruit is important to get the nutrients your body needs. Berries can be a splurge (especially when they're out of season), but fruits like apples and bananas are really affordable. Another money-saving tip? Opt for frozen fruit—since you can reseal the bag, you can take just what you need for your smoothie or dessert.

Related: How to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Pictured Recipe: Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Although they're slightly more expensive than regular potatoes, sweet potatoes offer important nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber and manganese. Whether you're making sweet potato toast for breakfast or a stuffed sweet potato for dinner, this orange spud is the perfect base for so many balanced, single-serving meals.

Greek Yogurt

Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil Dal with Herbed Yogurt

Pictured Recipe: Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil Dal with Herbed Yogurt

From morning to night, Greek yogurt has you covered to help curb those hunger pangs. Whether you're looking for a healthy breakfast or an easy dessert, Greek yogurt should be your new go-to. It's packed with lots of satiating protein, boosts your gut health and can even be topped with fruit, granola, dark chocolate or nut butter to satisfy your cravings.

Related: Healthy Recipes for One Serving

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various groceries in a pile with a piggy bank front and center