GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Today’s grocery bills likely cost more than they did this time last year as the world suffers from high inflation, but that doesn’t mean more spending means less nutritious.

“Healthy food does not have to mean more expensive,” said Registered Dietitian with Bon Secours, Joanna Smyers.

She suggests shoppers who are looking to stay healthy on a budget build off of what’s there already.

“Start by shopping your kitchen first,” Smyers told 7 News. “See what you already have on hand, and then plan your meals around that.”

Consider buying large portions of inexpensive meat to stretch over several meals.

Use spices and seasonings that can be used for every meal.

Things like rice and grains are better to buy in bulk to save money.

For produce, try shopping at a local farmers’ market.

“They are picked at their peak of freshness,” she added. “They have more flavor, and oftentimes you’ll find them marked down because there’s so much of it at that time.”

If you’re planning ahead, buying frozen or canned vegetables can last you longer than fresh vegetables.

“Frozen can be just as healthy for you. They’re very nutritious,” Smyers said. “They’re picked at their at their peak of freshness, and then they’re processed right away, so they have a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. They’re also cut and prepped and ready for a recipe, so they can save you time and money.”

According to the CDC— skip the frozen vegetables that already have butter or cream sauces.

If you’re using canned fruits, choose products that are stored in water as opposed to sugar.

“Shop those sales with those coupons and find the best things for your buck that week, because we can really make a big difference in the dollar amount that we’re spending by choosing healthier foods at home,” said Smyers.

She said store brands are usually most cost-effective than non-generic brands.

And finally, if you’ve ever wanted to get into gardening, now’s the time to start growing your own herbs and spices to add flavor to your meals.

Greenville County has a seed library in Berea, as do Pickens, Anderson and Spartanburg counties.

All you need is a library card to their library branches and you can start your garden and save your money.