Healthier Food Choices Save “Dough”

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While buying “fat-free” cookies may seem more expensive than regular cookies, the overall picture is very clear that healthier whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans and other heart-healthy protein items, are the least expensive items in the store. Look at the chart below and you will see that the less-processed foods are the best buys. Most contain more fiber and less fat, trans fat, saturated fat and sodium than processed foods. Frozen foods, not listed here, are expensive, ringing in at around 25¢ to 50¢ per ounce. Frozen prepared foods often contain more fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium than healthier versions made at home.

Price per oz (prepared)

Grains:
brown rice, bulk 0.01
rice, bulk 0.01
grits 0.01
rolled oats, bulk 0.01
barley 0.02
corn meal 0.02
pancake mix 0.02
pasta 0.03
rolled oats, bulk 0.02
bread 0.03
cream of wheat 0.03

More expensive grain foods:
waffles 0.13
bagels 0.14
instant oats, bulk 0.16
packaged instant oats 0.20
boxed pasta mix 0.20
boxed rice mix 0.21
crackers 0.25
packaged cereal (average) 0.27
cereal bars 0.28
frozen rice mix 0.29

Vegetables:
cabbage 0.02
baking potato 0.02
creamer potato 0.03
romaine 0.04
cauliflower 0.04
carrots 0.04
cucumber 0.04
corn 0.04
green beans 0.05
sweet potato 0.05
frozen french fries 0.06
canned veg. (average) 0.07
broccoli 0.07
tomatoes 0.07
frozen veg. (store brand) 0.07
yellow squash 0.08

More expensive vegetables:
frozen mashed potatoes 0.10
frozen veg. (brand name) 0.12
potato chips 0.19
instant mashed potatoes 0.21
ready lettuce 0.65

Fruits:
bananas 0.03
watermelon 0.03
oranges 0.03
cantaloupe 0.05
apples 0.05
canned fruit & applesauce 0.06
grapes 0.12
strawberries 0.12
dried fruit 0.13
peaches 0.15

Dairy:
skim milk 0.04
yogurt 0.07
cottage cheese 0.13
More expensive dairy:
cheddar & hard cheeses 0.23
gourmet cheese (average) 0.50

Protein:
beans, dried (average) 0.04
eggs 0.05
whole turkey 0.08
whole chicken 0.08
peanut butter 0.09
whole chicken, cut up 0.10
ground turkey 0.12
tofu 0.14
raw turkey breast 0.16
peanuts 0.16
boneless skinless chicken
breast (store brand) 0.16
tuna, canned 0.16
More expensive protein: ground beef 0.17
bologna 0.17
pork chops 0.19
round roast, beef 0.19
beef loin steak 0.21
hot dogs 0.24
chicken breast 0.27
ham 0.29
bacon 0.30
beef stew meat 0.31
sirloin steak 0.35
fish, fresh (average) 0.44
lamb (average) 0.44
deli meat (average) 0.57

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