(WETM) – A recent Cleveland Clinic survey found that almost half of Americans believe the biggest barrier to a healthy diet is the cost of food. 

However, Julia Zumpano, RD, registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic, said it doesn’t have to be. 

“If you’re buying fresh food like fruits and vegetables and lean meats and grains, it’s really not necessarily more costly,” Zumpano explained. “But I think when you’re looking at the whole grain, organic granola versus the box of generic crisp rice, it’s going to be vastly different.”

Zumpano said the key is to stick to whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and dairy. 

She also recommends examining your grocery list and figuring out what you might be spending too much on.

For example, are you regularly buying chips and soda?

If so, you could start to remove those things from your list to save money and buy healthier foods instead. 

Zumpano said another tip is to scan through the weekly deals at your grocery store and see what you could make from those ingredients.

Meal prepping can be beneficial as well. 

Same with buying foods that have an extended shelf life. 

“There’s an extended shelf life in a lot of things that are actually not that expensive like potatoes or boxed brown rice, or whole wheat pasta or beans, dried beans. I mean those have a very extended shelf life,” said Zumpano.

Zumpano said you can also buy meats on sale and store them in your freezer.

Finally, try to avoid using delivery services if you can.