Q: I've been spending too much on groceries lately. Any ideas on how I can save money and still serve up good meals?
A: It's a common myth that healthy foods come with a high price tag. Here are 10 foods overflowing with nutrients that won't bust your grocery bill.
1. Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt has a thicker texture and tangier flavor than regular yogurt, and that's a good thing!
2. Whole-grain pasta
Every cook has pasta in the cupboard for quick weeknight meals. Whole-grain versions have the same calories as refined "white" pasta, but more fiber, protein and vitamins.
You can't beat a healthy snack that costs less than 50 cents. A medium banana has about 100 calories, 3 grams of fiber as well as potassium and vitamin B6.
4. Brown rice
Like whole-grain pastas, brown rice has the same calories but more nutrients than the white variety, and you can take advantage of that for only a small price difference (about $0.03 more per ounce). A little goes a long way cup dry rice cooks up to 1 cup.
5. Frozen peas
Peas are nutrient-rich legumes. One cup has 6 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein and more than half a day's worth of vitamin A all for only 100 calories.
Nuts may have a reputation for being pricey, but as you can see, they are actually very budget-friendly, especially when you consider that 1 ounce is a proper portion for a snack (that's about 22 almonds).
Eggs are not only a terrific source of protein; they also contain omega-3 fats and vitamin B-12 for energy production. Whip up omelets, quiche or frittatas for easy, affordable weeknight dinners.
8. Sweet potatoes
Did you know that a medium baked sweet potato has almost 40 percent of your daily vitamin C needs and more than 400 percent of your daily vitamin A?
9. Canned beans
Beans are not only nutritious, they're also affordable, convenient and last in your pantry for up to a year.
One cup of broccoli has only 30 calories and more vitamin C than an orange. Raw, steamed, stir-fried or roasted, broccoli takes on very different flavors.
(For more information, visit www.foodnetwork.com or write Ask Food Network c/o Viewer Services Culinary Department, Scripps Networks, PO Box 50970, Knoxville, TN 37950.)