You want to be healthy, not broke — Read on for 5 tasty tips on how…

We have all been there right? You've got the gym membership, but are trying to get the diet right to slim down your body and not your wallet. The only problem is that it seems that you are spending a lot of money on groceries that go bad, before you can use them. This topic is very important to me because although, now I am the chef & owner behind the company: Moon Meals, that makes the prepared meat, vegan and gluten-free meals approved by a nutritionist for your lunch that goes in Whole Foods. I grew up fat and poor on the Southside of Chicago and had to teach myself how to shop & cook to drop the weight so I could fulfill my goal of running marathons.

These are the 5 tips I use to eat healthy on a budget:

Buy generic, frozen veggies and fruit

I buy most of my fruits and veggies frozen, in bulk and organic and save a ton! I found out the veggies and fruits in the freezer aisle at Costco and Sam's Club were my best friend because I could throw the fruit in smoothies and I could sauté or steam the veggies for a variety of meals. Furthermore, a little known fact is that frozen veggies and fruit can be fresher for you, because they are flash frozen from the time they are picked– which prevents the nutrients from decaying as fast as supposed to them just being refrigerated or at room temperature.

Focus on nutrient dense foods

When putting together your basket, try to grab items that pack a lot of nutrients and fiber per bite instead of calories. For instance you can grab a can of dry steel cut oats which is packed with fiber/ low in calories and cook it overnight. You then just top it how ever you want, like this  

Buy small packs  of pre-washed/cut veggies that can be used in a week

If you are going to buy fresh vegetables, please stop trying to convince yourself that you are going to eat that whole family size or "value size" pack of lettuce you bought from the store before it goes bad. If you can only use 1/2 of the pack before it goes bad, then it might be best to just buy the smaller container that you can actually go through in a week.

Buy ingredients you can use in multiple dishes like low sodium beans

One way to do a lot with a little is to buy base ingredients that can be used in a lot types of dishes. For instance, if you buy rice or black beans, you could make anything from stir fries to chili to a taco salad! (For extra credit you can use that lettuce I mentioned before in the taco salad)

Buy healthy prepared foods, like Moon Meals, from grocery stores instead of meals from gas stations or restaurants 

Restaurants, airports or gas stations charge a lot of money for their meals because they have you there as a captive audience and they know you won't be paying as much attention to the bill or the calories, but the experience. Try just going the bare bones approach and buying a prepared meal item from your local grocery store. Look for items that don't have preservatives and use healthy ingredients. For example, my company Moon Meals provides some great meals for vegans, meat eaters and gluten-free folks for all under $7 and can even be bought on SNAP at select Whole Foods Markets, Jewel-Oscos (Albertsons) and Mariano's (Kroger) in the Chicagoland area. Check out what the deli area of a grocery store looks like here and read more about @moonmeals or me @laforcebaker if you are are curious here.

Happy Shopping and Saving!