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6 Healthy Prepared Foods Worth Paying For

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Kitchen time-savers

By Karen Cicero

Whoa—$750 a month for groceries? That's the cost for some couples, according to the USDA. Bumping up those bills are containers of sliced strawberries, pre-shredded cheese and other time-savers. "Convenience ingredients typically cost 30% to 60% more," says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch.

We all need shortcuts, but which should we choose? Consider how you eat. "You could probably do without ready-to-grill kebabs, but if you're not going to serve salad unless you buy bagged lettuce, then go for it," says Karen Ansel, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Read on for the smartest options—and what to make with them.

Next: Bagged kale