Forget that 99 cent bag of Fritos or dirty water dog.
Stroll smart down the grocery aisle and choose feel-good foods that are
great for the body and even better for our budget. Here's our list of
44 tasty, healthy(!) foods, all for under a buck per serving.
*Prices may vary depending on location and store; we averaged price based on multiple sources.
1. Oats, $0.13 per serving, about $1 per pound (in bulk)
Take a tip from Mr. Ed. Oats are high in fiber, low in fat, and may even help lower cholesterol. Whats not to love? Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal, substitute for flour in cookies, or even use as breadcrumbs.
2. Eggs, $0.19 per egg, about $2 per dozen
When in need for some protein, eggs are quick, delicious, fix. Scramble with veggies for a filling breakfast, add to homemade fried brown rice, or make a frittata!
3. Almonds, $0.60 for a 1oz serving (20-25 nuts), about $5 per 8oz bag
Rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber, these super-nuts could reduce the risk of diabetes and decrease body weight. (Sorry, Almond Joys dont count.) Munch on em during the day, or add to a bowl of cereal or oatmeal for extra healthy fats and protein.
4. Peanuts, $0.50 for a 1oz serving (25-30 nuts), about $4 per 8oz bag
Take me out to the ball game on the cheap. Sure, peanut butter might be a dangerfood,
but in their natural form, these legumes are a healthy treat. When
eating in moderation, peanuts supply a dose of healthy fats and can
reduce the risk of heart disease. When add to any chicken and veggie dish, they add a great Asian-inspired flare!
5. Garbanzo beans, $0.30 per cup serving, about $1 per can
These little beans pack a serious amount of fiber. Add to a salad, roast them with curry powder, or make your own hummus.
6. Lentils, $0.12 per cup serving, about $1 per pound (dry, in bulk)
With more protein per pound than beef, lentils are a filling food rich with antioxidants (and quite tasty, too).
7. Black beans, $0.30 cents per cup serving, about $1 per can
These unassuming beans pack a ton of fiber and have a solid amount of calcium, fiber, potassium, and folic acid. Pro-tip: Buy the dry
beans for an even better nutritious and money deal boiling beans at
home may preserve more of their cancer-fighting antioxidants. Cook up some black bean soup, or make a healthy black-bean dip.
8. Pinto beans, $0.30 cents per cup serving, about $1 per can
The health factor of refried beans at a Mexican restaurant may be questionable, so mash them up at home. These beans are full of protein and fiber and are a delicious addition to any homemade burrito breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
9. Tofu, $0.50 cents per a 4 oz serving, about $2 per pound High in protein and low in fat, tofu is a delicious source of protein for vegetarians and meat-eaters
alike. Plus, soy in moderation may help reduce cholesterol and the risk
of breast cancer. Pan fry tofu with veggies in the next stir-fry, or even add the silken variety to a fruit smoothie.
10. Pumpkin Seeds, $0.50 per 1oz serving, about $5 per pound.
Move over birds, these seeds are for us humans (and not just on Halloween)! Filled with essential vitamins and minerals, along with protein and iron, sprinkle
these in a salad or roast with spices for a healthy, crunchy treat.
11. Chicken Breasts, $0.75 per 4 oz serving, about $2.99 per pound
Forgo the McChicken on the dollar menu fresh chicken breasts are about two quarters and are filled with protein. Grill em, bake em, or enjoy sliced in a whole-wheat wrap with veggies.
12. Canned Salmon, $0.75 per serving, about $1.50 per can
No need to splurge on a salmon filet to enjoy this omega-3 packed seafood. Grab the canned version for some protein powder without dishing out the big bucks. Whip up some homemade salmon burgers or chowder with a twist.
13. Canned Tuna, $0.75 cents, about $1.50 per can
Not only is tuna fish cheap, but its an easy way to get omega-3's (which could make us brilliant). Mix with Greek yogurt and chopped veggies for a healthier tuna salad.
14. Whey Protein, $0.75 cents per scoop, about $40 per 3 lb container
Need an extra dose of protein? Add whey protein to a smoothie, bowl of oatmeal, or sneak it into the next batch of brownies.
15. Low-fat Milk, $0.25 cents per cup, about $4 per gallon
Got milk? One calcium-filled glass can help keep teeth strong and even help keep off those excess pounds. Add a splash to a fruit smoothie, or enjoy in a bowl of oats or cereal.
16. Low-fat Yogurt, about $1 per 6 oz cup
Skip the bagel and pick up a quick treat thats filled with protein and calcium! Enjoy for breakfast with some granola, or as a post-workout snack. Just beware of flavors loaded with extra sugar. Extra points for choosing superfood Greek yogurt though it can be more expensive, so waiting for it to go on sale is a smart move!
17. Low-fat Cottage cheese, $0.88 per 1/2 cup serving, about $3.50 per 16 oz container
Its time to put looks aside. This clumpy, mild cheese is surprisingly high in protein,
and tastes great in both sweet and savory dishes. Top with sliced
pineapple and berries for a sweet protein-packed treat, or make it
savory in a low-fat creamy pasta sauce.
18. Wholegrain Pasta, $0.37 cents per cup serving, about $3 per box.
Move over white-stuff; the whole wheat version of pasta is full of fiber, antioxidants, and protein, and may help lower risk of heart disease. Enjoy its nutty flavor with stir-fried veggies and hearty marinara sauce.
19. Brown Rice, $0.18 per cup serving, about $2 per pound
Listen to our manifesto: Choose brown rice over white (especially at Chipotle). The whole-grain version is full o fiber and may cut the risk of diabetes.
20. Popcorn, $0.30 per cup serving, about $1 per pound for plain kernels
Snack attack? Pick a low calorie snack thats also a good source of fiber. Pop kernels in the kitchen and add spices. Movie theater popcorn aint got nothin on this!
21. Quinoa, $0.60 per cup serving, about $4 per box
It may be hard to pronounce (thats keen-wah), but its easy to prepare and packs a nutritious punch. Filled with protein and fiber, this superfood also contains nine essential amino acids our bodies cant produce on their own.
22. Grapes, $0.75 per 1 cup serving, about $1.50 per pound
These sweet little treats are high in antioxidants, which may help reduce cholesterol. Theyre a perfect snack when that sweet tooth rolls in; freeze them for a fresh alternative for popsicles!
23. Apples, about $0.50 to $0.75 per apple (depending on variety)
Itll keep the doctor away, so grab this superfood for a serving of vitamin c and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Snack with almond butter or add to a sandwich.
24. Bananas, $0.20 to $0.50 per banana, about $0.60 per pound or $2 per bunch
Its time to go bananas for bananas. Filled with fiber and potassium, these 100-calorie snack-packs may even help with that hangover. Enjoy sliced with peanut butter, or impress friends with banana ice-cream!
25. Kiwi, about $0.40 per kiwi
Fun fact: Kiwis are actually berries and are filled with vitamin c and fiber. Slice it up in that next fruit salad or enjoy straight up with a spoon.
26. Cantaloupe, $0.50 per cup serving, about $3 per small melon
C is for cantaloupe and vitamin C. Filled with antioxidants,
cantaloupe is cheap and makes a perfect spring or summer treat! Feeling
creative? Freeze chunks of this sweet fruit for an extra-special warm
27. Watermelon, $0.30 per 1 cup serving, $5 per melon
This feisty superfood may have Viagra-like effects, but its also guaranteed to be filled with vitamin C a cancer fighting antioxidant that helps strengthen immunity and promote bone health. Slice em up and enjoy (or make a watermelon daiquiri).
28. Pears, $0.85 each, about $1.75 per pound (depending on variety)
Its not just an apple a day that may keep the doc away; white fleshy pears may help prevent strokes. Theyre also full o' fiber. Keep things mixed up and try the Barlett, Bosc, and Anjou varieties.
29. Oranges, $0.50 each, about $1 per pound (in family-sized pack)
Oranges arent just about their vitamin C. This citrus fruit is also filled with fiber, folate, and potassium. Skip the glass and go with the whole fruit to surpass the excess sugar and get a healthy dose of antioxidants.
30. Canned Tomatoes (Diced), $0.50 per cup serving, about $1.80 per 14.8 oz can
To really get a bang for that buck, go the canned route. Canned tomatoes are perfect for homemade sauces and stews. Tomatoes also contain exceptional amounts of the antioxidant lycopene that remains in the flesh even after cooking and canning. Just keep on the lookout for cans with no sodium added.
31. Canned Pumpkin, $0.75 per cup serving, about $2.50 per 15oz can
No need to go pickin to reap the benefits of the pumpkin patch. A pumpkins orange color is thanks to carotenoids, a plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties. Head to the kitchen and whip up some pumpkin pasta sauce or even pumpkin hummus.
32. Garlic, about $0.30 per bulb
It doesnt only put a stink to our breath. Garlic has some smarty-pants benefits, helping enhance memory. Its also full of antioxidants to promote heart health and reduce the risk of cancer and Alzheimers. Add to a pan of veggies or tomato sauce to spice up the flavor, or roast it in the oven for a sweeter flavor.
33. Onions, $0.18 each, about $0.59 per pound
Quit crying onions pack a surprising nutritious punch, including a hefty dose of antioxidants. Sautée and add to an omelet, or stack on a sandwich for extra flavor.
34. Sweet Potatoes, $0.50 each, about $1 per pound
The white ones may be a dangerfood, but this time around, the sweet stuff is the way to go. It tips the scale with its high levels of vitamin A, contains beta-carotene (which may help prevent cancer and protect us from the sun) and also helps keep that skin silky smooth.
35. Winter Squash (Acorn, Butternut, etc.), $0.50 per cup serving, about $1.50 a pound
Squash isnt only an awesome racquet sport. Its also a versatile veggie filled with vitamins, fiber, and potassium. Skip the bowl and roast a squash and fill with other hearty goodness!
36. Kale, $0.50 per cup (raw, chopped), about $2 per bunch
Popeye was missing out. Kale is the antioxidant king among all fruits and veggies, and contains vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium (phew!). Need another reason to eat them? Kale chips.
37. Broccoli, $0.50 per cup serving, $2 per bunch
Need another reason to go green? Broccoli has remarkably high levels of folate and vitamin C, which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
38. Beets, $0.35 each, about $1 per pound
These purple gems are filled with betalains, which may help prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases. They are also packed with folate, fiber, and vitamins galore, making them one of the best health bargains around. Chop em, roast em, or add to a berry smoothie!
39. Spinach, $0.50 per cup (raw), about $2 per bunch
These unassuming greens are unbeleafable. Theyre nutrient dense with vitamin A, K, and calcium. Try sauteing them with mushrooms or subbing for iceberg in the next lunchtime salad.
40. Carrots, $0.50 each, about $2 per pound
Those rabbits are on to something. Carrots provide a nutritious crunch with their fill of vitamin A. Theyre perfect for dipping into hummus, or taste great roasted with other root veggies and a drizzle of olive oil.
41. Edamame, $0.50 per cup serving, $3 per 10oz package (frozen)
This star legume is filled with fiber and protein and makes a great afternoon snack. Skip the chips and enjoy with a touch of salt for a quick, nutritious treat.
42. Coffee, $0.40 per 16 oz cup (brewed), about $10 per pound
Not only is it amazing for you, but brewing coffee at home can save some real dolla dolla bills. This morning pick-me-up also contains antioxidants to help protect the heart, and is a great pre-workout fuel to help
43. Tea, $0.10 per tea bag, about $5 a box (varies based on type)
The varying health benefits of tea are a-plenty, ranging from their antioxidant powers to helping maintain a healthy weight. Skip the sugary stuff and try brewing iced-tea at home, and opt for green if looking to maximize antioxidant intake.
44. Water, free. (Well, kind of.)
Head to the nearest faucet our bodies depend on it. Water keeps us hydrated (shocking), flushes out toxins in the body, and helps when trying to lose a few pesky pounds.