Combine fresh and frozen.
I was making a “fiesta-style” pasta salad. I used fresh tomatoes and peppers with frozen corn. Frozen peas are another veggie that I throw into plenty of recipes. If you’re really pinching the pennies, don’t try to do all-fresh all-the-time. Combine cheaper frozen or canned alternatives with some fresh produce. You’ll still get healthy meals, and the crispness taste that comes with fresh produce. But you’ll get to substitute in cheaper alternatives for secondary ingredients.