Plan your menus around healthy, nutrient-packed staples that won’t give you sticker shock at the checkout.
Make the most of your grocery budget by stocking up on these versatile natural foods that are good for your health and wallet.
Why it’s a 10 best:This popular pantry item offers protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
Use it it: Snacks, sandwiches, sauces, and baking goods.
Cost: About 20¢ for 2 tablespoons
Why they’re a 10 best: Eggs are a good source of lean protein, and also contain vitamin B12, riboflavin and phosphorus.
Use them in: Omelets, frittatas and salads
Cost: About 13¢ per large egg
Why they’re a 20 best: This grain helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Use them in: Baked goods, breakfast and to stretch ground-meat dishes
Cost: About 17¢ per ½ cup for quick-cooking oats
Why they’re a 10 best: This fruit is a good source of vitamin C and is full of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Use them in: Salads and baked goods; as a snack
Cost: About 60¢ each, depending on variety and season
Why it’s a 10 best: This leafy green is loaded with vitamins (A, C, K and folic acid) and manganese.
Use it in: Salads, pasta dishes, casseroles, soups and stews
Cost: About $1 for 5 ounces of fresh spinach
Why they’re a 10 best: This tasty staple provides lean protein that’s full of fiber, calcium, folic acid and iron and other minerals.
Use them in: Salad and stews
Cost: About 35¢ per ½-cup serving (canned)
Why they’re a 10 best: They provide fiber and an array of nutrients, depending on which veggies you buy.
Use them in: Sides and casseroles
Cost: About 40¢ per serving
Why they’re a 10 best: These spuds are very filling (because they contain fiber) and a source of vitamins A and B6.
Use them in: Main and side dishes
Cost: About $1 each
Why it’s a 10 best: Brown rice is a whole grain and a source of vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, zinc and manganese.
Use it in: Soups, salads and side dishes
Cost: About 37¢ per ½ cup (cooked)
Canned tuna fish
Why it’s a 10 Best: This fish is a healthful lean protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Use it in: Sandwiches, casseroles and salads
Cost: About 75¢ for 3 ounces