Cooking a hearty and healthy meal doesn't have to break the bank.

Even as food costs rise, there are simple ways to save on meals by eating at home and using ingredients to their full potential.

"By taking advantage of all the healthy, delicious options in the freezer and pantry aisles at the supermarket you absolutely can eat well while still minding your budget," Real Simple food director Jenna Helwig told "Good Morning America." "Some of my favorite ingredients are tinned fish, canned beans [and] noodles."

"Eggs are another inexpensive star," she added. "Combine them in fun, creative ways and you'll have a meal that the whole family can get behind."

Additional tips to eat on a budget:

- Go meatless more often. Proteins like eggs, canned beans and tinned fish are generally more affordable.

- Inexpensive jarred foods like sauerkraut, salsa and even peanut butter can add big flavor.

- Remember that wasting food is the same as wasting money! Try not to overbuy, especially perishable items.

- If you have a solid meal plan for the week, you're less likely to throw up your hands and go out or order in.

Below, Helwig shared a simple recipe from her cookbook, "Bare Minimum Dinners," that could be delicious for breakfast, brunch or dinner, and jazzes up jarred salsa, eggs and a filling legume.

Spiced Beans and Eggs

PHOTO: Spiced beans and eggs plated with pickled red onions.
Linda Xiao
Spiced beans and eggs plated with pickled red onions.

Makes: 4 servings

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the eggs
2 cans black beans (15 ounces each), rinsed and drained
1 cup tomato salsa
4 large eggs
4 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
Garnish: Chopped cilantro, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)


Combine the onion, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Let sit on the countertop to make a very quick pickle while you prep the rest of the meal.

Combine the beans, salsa and a half-cup of water in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.

Crack the eggs into the bean mixture. Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Season each egg with salt.

Scoop the beans and eggs into 4 shallow bowls and top with cilantro, if using. Serve with the tortillas, pickled red onion and sour cream or yogurt, if desired.

Excerpted from BARE MINIMUM DINNERS: Recipes and Strategies for Doing Less in the Kitchen © 2021 by Jenna Helwig. Photography © 2021 by Linda Xiao. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.