Nutrition Strategies

25 Cheap Foods that are Good for You!

Get BIG Nutrition for Less Dough

7KSHARES

Vegetables
12. Romaine lettuce or other hearty lettuce: $1.18 per head (20 cents per serving)
Banish the iceberg and choose sturdy Romaine for your salads. It will give you more fiber and nutrients, plus a satisfying crunch.

13. Carrots: 74 cents per pound (15 cents per serving)
Mom was right. Carrots are good for your eyes, thanks to the antioxidants, including beta-carotene, in them. (That's what makes them orange!) Dip them in hummus (made from canned beans), natural peanut butter or low-fat dressings.

14. Frozen spinach: $2 for 16 ounces (50 cents per serving)
Thaw and drain this good-for-your green, then toss it in omelets, soups, stir-fries and pasta sauces. Spinach is full of vitamins A, C, K, plus fiber and even calcium.

15. Canned tomatoes: $1 for 14.5 ounces (28 cents per serving)
Choose low-sodium varieties and throw a can in pasta sauces and chili to stretch a meal. Puree a can with a cup of skim milk and season to taste for your own tomato soup. You'll get a dose of vitamins A, B and C and lycopene, an antioxidant known to prevent cancer.

16. Garlic: 50 cents per head (5 cents per serving)
Ditch the bottled and powdered stuff if you want to reap more of the myriad health benefits. Pungent and tasty, garlic can help lower cholesterol and blood clots, plus it can have a small effect on high blood pressure. Crush or chop it to release more of the antioxidants.

17. Sweet potatoes: 75 cents per pound (19 cents per serving)
Aside from being sweet and delicious, these bright root vegetables are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. Bake, mash or roast them--you'll forget about those other, paler potatoes.

18. Onions: 79 cents per pound (16 cents per serving)
Like garlic, this smelly vegetable is full of health benefits. Onions have been proven to lower risks for certain cancers, and they add flavor with few calories. Try roasting them to bring out their sweetness and cut their harsh edge. (If you well up while cutting them, store onions in the fridge for a tear-free chop.)

19. Broccoli: $1.99 per bunch (33 cents per serving)
Broccoli is like a toothbrush for your insides. Full of fiber, it will provide you vitamins A and C, plus fiber and a host of antioxidants. Broccoli is a superstar in the nutrition world.

Whole grains
20. Whole-grain pasta: $1.34 for 13.25 ounces (22 cents per serving)
With a nutty flavor and a subtle brown color, whole-wheat pasta perks up any meal. Start with half regular, half whole-wheat pasta, then gradually add more wheat pasta for a burst of fiber and nutrients.

21. Popcorn kernels: $2.39 for 2 pounds (30 cents per serving)
Air-popped popcorn has just 30 calories and a trace of fat. Pop a few cups, spritz with olive oil or butter spray and sprinkle on your favorite seasonings for a guilt-free treat.

22. Brown rice: $1.75 for 32 ounces (13 cents per serving)
Brown rice is a great side dish, but you can also use it to help stretch your ground meat. Mix a cup of cooked rice with 8 ounces of lean ground beef next time you make meatloaf to save 45 calories and five grams of fat (and some money) per serving.

23. Oats: $2.99 for 18 ounces (23 cents per serving)
Oatmeal is a hearty breakfast, but you can also cook sturdy steel-cut oats in chicken broth for a savory side dish. Or, mix oats with ground turkey to stretch your meatballs.

Dairy
24. Quarts of low- or fat-free yogurt: $2.49 for 32 ounces (47 cents per serving)
Buy large containers of plain or vanilla yogurt, then add real fruit. You'll save money and calories by not buying fancy single-serve yogurts.

25. Gallon of skim milk: $3.44 (22 cents per serving)
It really does a body good. Full of calcium and protein, milk can help stretch a meal. Pair an eight-ounce glass with a piece of fruit or a granola bar for a filling snack.

(Prices from Meijer.com and Kroger.com, Cincinnati area, and the U.S.D.A. Fruit and Vegetable Retail Report, June 2013)
‹ Previous Page   Page 5 of 2  
7KSHARES

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

More Great Features

Connect With SparkPeople

Subscribe to our Newsletters

About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • Obviously this is an older blog and grocery prices cannot be expected to remain static. That being said, the types of food listed are probably still fairly relative in price. I did find it interesting to follow the link given for USDA National Retail Report - Fruits and Vegetable. It gives a lot of information about CURRENT prices and also some comparisons with last year. Page 3 starts the section that compares last year and this year and takes 'simple weighted' averages. After you get thru that, page 12 starts regional comparisons for Northeast, Southeast and Midwest, then starting page 23 you get South Central, Southwest and Northwest. The site has some links at the top of the page - could probably find more current reports there. - 3/2/2015 1:29:41 PM
  • 1STCHUBBY
    I don't know where you shop, but the prices in California are way-y-y-y-y higher than the ones you cited. - 2/28/2015 1:24:28 PM
  • CEECEE417
    I only buy wild salmon, grass fed organic beef and organic chicken. After looking at the "dirty dozen" list of foods with the most pesticides, I try and buy organic, when on sale..... apples, celery, carrots, grapes, spinach, salad, kale, potatoes,, etc.. Prices here in Connecticut are very high even for foods that are not organic, unfortunately. If I don't buy organic produce, I soak everything in a white vinegar and water solution and then rinse with cold water before eating / serving. - 2/28/2015 1:16:18 PM
  • Have most of these in my pantry. remember frozen are almost as good as fresh. Just don't cook them to death,
    As far as someone mentioned iceberg lettuce, don't bother, very little nutritional value.
    Go for romaine.
    many of items with lower prices you can find in bulk store areas, or wholesale box stores. The larger quantities , better price.
    yesterday, Winco, large pork roast in the bag, #1.18 lb. medium size quanty , $1.98, small portion. #2.79. - 2/28/2015 11:04:31 AM
  • Good choices. I am not sure why you don't like iceberg lettuce I don't mind it - it is cheaper to buy a head of lettuce (any lettuce) and a tomatoe or other fixings than it is to buy one of those bagged "salads" and probably better for you. - 2/27/2015 9:33:42 PM
  • You really need to update your prices, please. This is Feb/Mar. 2015 and the prices you show are very unrealistic for here in Texas. - 2/27/2015 1:09:34 PM
  • These prices are WAAAAAAAY off! Maybe 10 years ago? The food suggestions are pretty solid. - 2/27/2015 11:40:02 AM
  • FESTIE
    I'm in Minnesota. These prices are laughable. Maybe 5 years ago on a 'lowest price ever' sale. Double or triple them for today.
























    - 2/27/2015 10:45:24 AM
  • Noticed that these prices are as of 6/2013. Maybe time to update some of the articles on Sparkpeople. - 2/27/2015 9:40:35 AM
  • sadly prices in Canada are nowhere near the ones posted, but the suggestions are still great! - 2/27/2015 8:42:17 AM
  • I can't say much about the prices as I live in Australia, but as we've just gone through a major problem with contaminated frozen berries from overseas, it might be worthwhile making sure WHERE your frozen goods are coming from and how they are grown before you save a couple of cents in a supposed cost cutting exercise. - 2/27/2015 3:42:37 AM
  • Wow. Maybe I should move to where these prices are. They're about double in my area. - 2/1/2015 11:32:26 PM
  • Thank you for this post, I learned many things I did not know!
    I agree with you regarding the grapes, they are also beneficial for weight loss. I suggest you to watch this video which answers the question: Are grapes good for weight loss?
    http://www.yout
    ube.com/watch
    ?v=6l2jaBSBiu4 - 11/27/2014 6:34:58 AM
  • In Vermont, these prices can pretty much be doubled. $6 for 3lbs of chicken is almost laughable! Try $16. Grapes that low maybe one week a year, otherwise $3.99/lb. - 9/9/2014 11:20:56 AM
  • Connecticut's prices are much higher than this as of August 2014. chris - 8/30/2014 5:29:50 AM
%>

x Lose 10 Pounds by June 7! Get a FREE Personalized Plan