If you've been suffering sticker shock in the meat or produce aisle you're not alone.

P.E.I. registered dietician Roxanne Lauchlin said food costs are expected to jump again this year, but you can still eat healthy without breaking the bank.

Here are some tips and tricks Laughlin offered Island Morning listeners on Thursday. 

1. Try a pulse 

Chickpeas, lentils, beans — any dried seed is called a pulse, packed with protein and cheaper than meat. Laughlin said it's perfect alternative for meat in stir fries, soups and casseroles.

"They are very versatile, you can use them in a lot different dishes," said Laughlin. "They are very filling and they are 
very nutricious."

2. Get protein from eggs

A dozen eggs go a long way and answer the body's need for protein.

"And it's not not just for breakfast doing a frittata or an omelette — a really big omelette for supper is a great meal as well," added Laughlin.

3. Use the 'F' word — frozen

"I like to tell people that frozen is not a bad word," Laughlin said with a smile.  

Research does show some of vitamins sensitive to cold may disappear during the freezing process, but for the most part, Laughlin said frozen is a solid choice. 

"The minerals and the fibre stay in tact. If anything you lose nutrients as produce is being shipped."  

4. Be cautious about cans

Lauchlin said of some fruit or veggies packaged syrups or salt-laden liquid.

"The problem with canned food would be what it is usually packaged in," she said.

She suggests buying fruit that is packed in water — and says shoppers can rinse veggies like corn or beans to get rid of some of the salty brine. 

5. Check the flyers and stick with a plan

Lauglin advises clients to make plan for the week ahead of the trip to the grocery store, and then stick with it.  
She said they can also save some money by basing menus around what's on sale during the week.  

"A lot of the time we spend all that money on impulse purchases and a lot of times they are also not the healthiest things we buy too," said Laughlin. "It's a win, win if you go with a list and stick with that."