Healthy Eating on a Budget

By EatingWell Editors, March/April 2009

Six nutritious low cost foods to toss in your shopping cart.

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Most Americans are looking for ways to lower their grocery bill, so we asked Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, to tell us what foods he thinks are affordable and nutritious. “Go back to the basics,” he recommends. “The things that we’ve always known but forgot as we were chasing after the latest baby vegetable or exotic fruit.” Here are six nutritious money savers to toss in your shopping cart.

Beans: 52¢ per 1/2-cup serving

One serving of beans has 7 grams of fiber, about a quarter the daily recommendation, and 7 grams of protein.
Save money with these healthy bean recipes.

Eggs: 23¢ per large egg

A source of high-quality protein, eggs also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help keep eyes healthy.
Save money with these healthy egg recipes.

Banana: 40¢ per banana

A large banana fulfills one of your daily fruit servings (the recommendation is 1 1/2 to 2 servings a day). Plus, it’s a good source of potassium and fiber and a great source of vitamins C and B6.

Potatoes: 31¢ per russet potato

Potatoes are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
Save money with these healthy potato recipes.

Yogurt: 49¢ per 8-ounce serving

Yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein. You’ll pay more (and create more waste) if you buy it in single-serving containers. Save your change—buy it in bulk and dish out your own portions.

Ground beef: $1.02 per 3-ounce serving of 93%-lean ground beef

Lean beef is a low-fat source of protein and iron. Plus, it’s easy to cook so you can whip it up quicker than the time it takes for takeout delivery.
Save money with these healthy ground beef recipes.

SOURCE:, Prices as of January 2009.

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