Have you noticed that every trip to the grocery store is becoming more expensive?

There are a number of taxes placed on your groceries, which ultimately increase the prices of your favorite foods. Even with imposed taxes, there are still ways to save on your groceries and put that money towards your future goals! Let’s take a look at each department in the grocery store and discover some affordable, filling, and healthy food tips.

Grains: Grains are great for filling up and can go a long way, ultimately saving you an extra buck or two. Some convenient and cost effective options include rice, quinoa and multigrain pasta. All can be made by just adding water and tossing in your favorite seasonings. Other ready-made options include breads, cereals, and rice cakes. Consider steering clear of the super sugary cereals; the extra sugar is not great for your overall health!

Dairy: Inexpensive and nutritious options include greek yogurt, low-fat milk and cheese (in moderation of course). All of these can be easily thrown in the fridge and combined with other foods to make a quick and delicious meal.

Living dairy-free or lactose-intolerant? No problem! Almond milk, soy milk and coconut yogurt are other choices that can still provide similar benefits. Also, make sure to check out ice cream and cheeses that are made lactose-free!

Protein: Protein is necessary to keep your brain going all day long. Meats are the best source of protein. Although meat can be pricey at times, you can find deals if you look hard enough. Always check out your frozen section first as frozen chicken breasts are usually available at an affordable price. Also be mindful of local grocery stores meat sales throughout the year. Many grocery stores have specials throughout the week that allow you to save a couple of dollars per pound.

Vegetarian? You still need to make sure you are consuming enough protein to keep your body running. Beans, spinach, nuts, and eggs are healthy and cheap protein sources, that often need very little prep time. Adding a side of beans or spinach can be a healthier alternative to your favorite French fries or onion ring side dishes.

Vegetables: It’s always hard to make sure those leafy greens are in your diet. But vegetables are really important for your body. Broccoli or sweet potatoes provide great nutrients and can even be cooked in the microwave. Top them with whatever you like for a quick and yummy meal! Although fresh veggies are the best option, check out the frozen section and scour for bags of steamed vegetables. These bags of veggies cook in just a couple minutes and have the same nutritional value as fresh vegetables and can often be found at a cheaper price. Remember to also check out your local farmer’s market for some steals, or even think about growing your veggies right at home!

Fruits: Fruit is convenient to have around the house, especially when you’re on the go. Stock up on apples, bananas, or oranges to get a great deal. Frozen fruit is also a great choice;  you can find everything from strawberries to mango to pineapple in the frozen foods section. A healthy way to incorporate fruits into a meal is to add yogurt, fresh/frozen veggies, and a little bit of milk for a morning smoothie.

Desserts: We all love dessert and even though they may not be the best for us, there are some healthy, inexpensive options for an occasional treat. Think about picking up popsicles, pudding or even some fresh berries with whipped cream!

Its tough to find healthy foods while living on a budget. While you may not have complete control of the taxes affecting your food prices, you can take control of your finances by considering some of these tips when making healthy food decisions on your next grocery store visit.