1. Brown rice--The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are some of the benefits, but one of the biggest pluses may be that the high amount of fiber in brown rice helps slow digestion and fill you up for a long time.
2. Beans—Buying in bulk can save a lot of money. Dry beans can cost about $1 per pound and expand to three times their volume when cooked, turning three to four cups of dry beans into nine cups when cooked. Beans are also a very healthy choice. They are high in fiber and protein, low in fat and sodium and have minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc, along with vitamins such as folic acid, thiamin, niacin and B6.
3. Potatoes--These vegetables can be added to casseroles and used in a variety of ways, and they're every bit as nutritious as colored vegetables. They contain 45 percent of the recommended daily nutritional intake of vitamin C, 18 percent of fiber and 18 percent of potassium. They've been found to have the lowest cost source of dietary potassium. The average potato is virtually fat free, with a high water and fiber content to make it ideal for weight-loss at 200 calories for an average baked potato.
4. Green vegetables--Any leafy greens like broccoli, spinach and kale have lots of nutrients per calorie and help protect against inflammation and disease. Some lettuces can be bitter, but can be offset in a salad with carrots, beets and other sweet vegetables.
5. Frozen vegetables--Buying fresh vegetables in season is an inexpensive way to get them, but frozen vegetables are a good option too. They're picked at the peak of their flavor and aren't nutritionally inferior to fresh ones. The downside of fresh vegetables is they might be picked before their height of ripeness and travel many miles to a grocery store.
6. Peanut butter--This is another good source of protein, rich in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Peanuts contain resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine.
7. Protein bars--You may not want to make them the only part of your diet, but they have protein in them and cost about $2 each.