10 best natural foods for your buck

Plan your menus around healthy, nutrient-packed staples that won’t give you sticker shock at the checkout

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    Eat healthy on the cheap Make the most of your grocery budget by stocking up on these versatile natural foods that are good for your health and wallet.
    Charles Schiller, Food Styling: Lynn Miller
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    Peanut butter 
    Why it’s a 10 Best: This popular pantry item offers protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Use it in: Snacks, sandwiches, sauces and baked goods Cost: About 20¢ for 2 tablespoons
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    Eggs 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 Related: 4 Secrets to No-Stress Healthy Family Meals
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    Oats Why they’re a 10 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  
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    Apples 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
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    Spinach 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
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    Beans 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: Salads and stews Cost: About 35¢ per ½-cup serving (canned)
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    Frozen vegetables 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
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    Sweet potatoes 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 Related: Shop Healthy at the Grocery Store: Our Aisle-by-Aisle Guide
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    Brown rice 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)
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    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 Related: Can Do! 9 Easy Canned Tuna Recipes
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