10 More Healthy Foods Under $3


By: , – Toby Amidor, Food Network
  :  18 comments   :  23,392 Views

Our original top 10 list was so popular, Healthy Eats readers asked for more. Here are 10 more healthy foods that won’t break the bank.

#1: Carrots
Cost: $0.89 per 1 pound bag (about 9 carrots)
The benefits of carrots, “They give you healthy eyes, mom” they always tell me. But beta-carotene has more benefits than meets the eyes. It also helps promote healthy bones, skin and hair. Make carrot soup, add to a stir-fry, or slice into strips for an easy kids snack.

#2: Low fat cottage cheese
Cost: $2.75 per 16-ounce container
This perfect combo of protein, carbs and fat will help keep you satisfied. It’ll also give you a boost of calcium with 10% of your daily recommended dosage in every ½ cup serving. If you’ve been passing this underappreciated food in your dairy aisle, check out more reasons why we love it. 

#3: Canned Tuna
Cost: $1.00 per 5 -ounce can
Buying in bulk or on sale will save even more on this popular protein. If you’re a tuna salad lover, don’t make the common mistake of drowning it in artery clogging fat! Instead, try our tips to lighten it up. Not sure which type of tuna is healthiest? Read up on how to choose the right canned variety.

#4: Apples
 $0.79 each
This easy-to-tote snack is one of the most budget-friendly fruits around. But there’s so much more to do with these babies— give any of these 31 healthy apple recipes a try.

#5: Natural Peanut Butter
Cost: 2.48 per 15-ounce jar
Portion control is key with peanut butter. Use the recommended 2 tablespoon serving and you’ll get 13 servings out of each 15-ounce jar. That’s 17 cents per portion. For snacks, 1 tablespoon is recommended– so you’ll get 26 servings (or 8.5 cents per portion). Talk about hitting the budget-friendly jackpot! There are so many ways to love it—here are our top 10.  You can also check out how your favorite brand stacked up in our peanut butter taste test.

Click here for more healthy foods under $3.
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What great deals have you found on healthy foods? 

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  • 18
    I'll read these articles anytime. Some times I've already read similar ones but I can use the reminder and their might be something new!
    - 3/2/2015   11:33:36 PM
  • 17
    I want to thank all of you nice ladies for your comments. I have most of these items, but the added bits of wisdom are priceless. - 9/16/2014   9:05:02 PM
  • YAKMAN125
    Good advice - 9/16/2014   6:54:34 AM
  • 15
    I definitely agree with what ARCHIMEDESII said below about their experience shopping in Asian markets! A lot of the time you can get produce a lot cheaper and fresher from "ethnic" shops.

    I buy my plain yogurt from a local Arabic shop that sells the Phoenicia brand and that way I get a large tub of yogurt for $2.30 rather than shilling out 5 dollars for pectin filled fancy "organic" yogurt at the supermarket or health food store.

    Another good thing is to get your grains, beans, etc in bulk from these places. You can get huge bags of fragrant rice from Indian or Chinese shops, couscous much cheaper from Arab/Greek places, etc. Honestly a lot of the fad health foods these days are foods that immigrant communities are still eating (and that Americans/Canadians used to eat before everything got brightly prepackaged and mechanized). - 11/21/2013   1:50:59 PM
  • 14
    Many members will be wishing that prices where they live would be so kind! And I'm one of them.
    However, careful shopping does help.
    And yes, I know not everyone can give time to do really careful shopping, especially not going between stores to get the best prices. But sometimes, going grocery shopping several times a week *does* work out cheaper than doing a weekly or even a monthly shopping.
    If you have a menu plan of some sort, but still be flexible, then several grocery store visits in a week will give you the best bargains, really fresh produce, and a happy family! - 5/24/2012   3:54:02 PM
  • 13
    I eat some of these. Not a big fan of cottage cheese or tuna, though. - 5/24/2012   12:12:50 PM
  • 12
    I live in northwest British Columbia and we can get organic for close to the same price as regular produce and sometimes even cheaper if it's on sale. I follow a lot of Dr Mercola's recommendations with a focus on no-wheat/grain-free eating so I hardly ever eat apples or other fruit b/c of how they spike blood sugar.

    I don't understand the fear of fat factor! Low fat dairy is not healthier. We need the fat to access the calcium. - 5/24/2012   10:21:32 AM
  • 11
    At a local Asian market, I can buy Japanese yams for $.99 a pound. regular sweet potatoes are $.49 a pound. My regular supermarket sells sweet potatoes for $1.49 a pound. That's why I've been shopping at Asian markets for my produce. the prices are better.
    - 5/24/2012   9:32:41 AM
  • 10
    Great post - let's remember that you may get an entire fast food meal for $3 (or less!) but you get a lot more nutrition from whole foods: cheap calories are NOT equivalent to good nutrition! - 5/24/2012   7:48:24 AM
  • 9
    I keep these on hand at all times. I always turn to cottage cheese when I don't have an appetite for anything else. Also use it in place of ricotta at times. My low sodium albacore tune cost way more than a dollar, more like $1.65. But it's the best so I don't care. Have to have carrots , but save money buy regular size ones instead of baby or special package. Should list eggs. package of 18 under $2.00. - 5/24/2012   6:27:50 AM
  • 8
    I find that interesting. - 5/24/2012   12:29:12 AM
    Excellent article. - 5/23/2012   10:57:54 PM
  • 6
    We always have these in the house! Great to know! :) - 5/23/2012   5:55:24 PM
    all 5 are staples in my kitchen! - 5/23/2012   5:44:43 PM
  • 4
    I am surprised that eggs weren't in the top 5. - 5/23/2012   5:28:03 PM
  • 3
    Most of these are part of my regular eating. We do buy ORGANIC apples, though, because apples are at the top of the Environmental Working Group's "dirty dozen"--foods with highest pesticide load when grown conventionally.

    And in reference to the remainder of the Food Network list, I eat lots of lentils, but they're even cheaper dried than canned. Great protein & fiber. - 5/23/2012   4:52:36 PM
  • 2
    I can't buy those foods at those prices, but tuna is my main source of protein (I can get it for .80 or less sometimes, then I buy a lot. Apples are WAY too expensive for me. I recently got 32 oz of cottage cheese on sale for $2.08. At the regular price, I don't get it. Edamame is ALWAYS excluded from the frozen foods on sale - but I do get veggies for between 50 and 80 cents per package. If you really want good prices, SEARCH for open or broken packages - and talk to the manager. Also, if something is on sale, buy all they have of that item, then get a raincheck after you have checked out so you can get the sale price when the sale is over. I ONLY buy things on sale, with coupons, near the end of their sale dates, and in broken packages. My average is that i pay about 30% of the regular retail price for food - and even that is a desperate struggle to be able to afford to eat. I have never bought anything organic - it always always always costs more - even on sale. - 5/23/2012   3:41:41 PM
  • 1
    Love carrots! I can buy 1lb of Organic Baby Carrots for 1.99 on sale & Baby Carrots for 1.25 both at my local Kroger. Thanks for all the information. - 5/23/2012   2:33:09 PM

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