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40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and delicious! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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    2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

    We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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      3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

      Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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        4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

        Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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          5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

          Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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            6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

            We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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              7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

              This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                  9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                  If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                    10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                    Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                      11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                      Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                        12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                        Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                          13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                          You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                            14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                            With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                              15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                              Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                  17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                  The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                    18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                    If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                      19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                      Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                        20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                        I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                          21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                          Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                            22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                            You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                              23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                              Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                                24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                  25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                  Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                    26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                    If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                      27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                      Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                        28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                        A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

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                                                          29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                          You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

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                                                            30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                            Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                              31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                              Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                  33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                  Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                    34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                    If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                      35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                      Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                        36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                        Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                          37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                          You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                            38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                            Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                              39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                              Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

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                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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                                                                                  Sarah Anton

                                                                                  Editor and founder of The Fitrepreneur, aspires to improve people's living style.

                                                                                  20 All-Time Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business Successful This Is Why The Rich Look Poor 20 Amazing Novels You Should Read Before You Watch The Movies Based on Them 7 Effective Ways to Get Amazing Sleep 40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

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                                                                                  Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                                                                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                                                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                                                  Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                                                                                  In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                                                                                  5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                                                                                  Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                                                                                  1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                                                                                  Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                                                                                  It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                                                                                  Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                                                                                  2. Keep Them Realistic

                                                                                  It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                                                                                  It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                                                                                  3. Account for Inflation

                                                                                  Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                                                                                  Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                                                                                  For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                                                                                  4. Short Term vs Long Term

                                                                                  Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                                                                                  As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                                                                                  More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                                                                                  5. To Each to His Own

                                                                                  The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                                                                                  It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                                                                                  By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                                                                                  11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                                                                                  Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                                                                                  • Ensuring healthy savings
                                                                                  • Making smart investments

                                                                                  You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                                                                                  Ensuring Healthy Savings

                                                                                  Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                                                                                  This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                                                                                  1. Track Expenses

                                                                                  The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                                                                                  Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                                                                                  2. Pay Yourself First

                                                                                  Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                                                                                  Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                                                                                  The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                                                                                  Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                                                                                  3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                                                                                  Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                                                                                  Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                                                                                  At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                                                                                  Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                                                                                  You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                                                                                  4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                                                                                  Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                                                                                  If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                                                                                  Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                                                                                  All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                                                                                  5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                                                                                  In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                                                                                  Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                                                                                  Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                                                                                  If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                                                                                  If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                                                                                  So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                                                                                  6. Talk About It

                                                                                  Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                                                                                  Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                                                                                  7. Maintain a Journal

                                                                                  For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                                                                                  So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                                                                                  Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                                                                                  When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                                                                                  At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                                                                                  Making Smart Investments

                                                                                  Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                                                                                  8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                                                                                  Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                                                                                  Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                                                                                  9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                                                                                  Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                                                                                  Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                                                                                  Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                                                                                  It is here where that classification will help.

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                                                                                  So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                                                                                  10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                                                                                  Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                                                                                  Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                                                                                  So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                                                                                  Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                                                                                  11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                                                                                  All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                                                                                  If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                                                                                  If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                                                                                  Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                                                                                  The Bottom Line

                                                                                  This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                                                                                  As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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                                                                                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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