ShopSmart Shines Spotlight on Healthy-food Bargains

Mindful that many consumers wish to eat more healthfully without going bankrupt, a guide in the March 2011 issue of ShopSmart offers a list of 25 foods and beverages that balances health and financial concerns.

"It's true — you can eat healthy and save money!" said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of the Yonkers, N.Y.-based magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports. "And you don't necessarily have to completely overhaul your fridge and pantry. Sometimes all it takes is a few tweaks to your shopping list. For example, just grabbing black beans over white ones or canned tomatoes instead of fresh can make a difference."

The feature, "Get the Most Nutrition for Your Money," provides better-for-you food bargains organized by nutrient to simplify meal planning, preparation tips, six seasonings to add pep to meals, and storage advice to enable consumers to stretch their dollars even further.

Among the publication’s picks:


  • Cabbage (16 cents per serving; $2.50 for a medium head) features vitamins A and C.
  • Canned unsweetened pumpkin (38 cents per serving; $1.32 per 15-ounce can) offers high levels of beta carotene, which might help protect vision.


  • Nonfat dry milk powder (17 cents per reconstituted cup; $5.99 per 26-ounce container) equals the calcium and protein of regular milk for about 10 cents less a serving.
  • Plain yogurt (70 cents per serving; $8.39 per case of 12) is a quick and handy way to get calcium, and is also packed with protein and good bacteria that aid digestion.


  • Quinoa (50 cents per serving; $3.99 per 12-ounce package) has almost 50 percent more fiber than brown rice, along with protein.
  • Popcorn (12 cents per serving; $1.89 per 28-ounce bag) provides about 22 percent more fiber to snackers than non-popcorn eaters get.


  • Dried black beans (24 cents per serving; $1.45 for 16-ounce bag), like all beans, are good sources of protein, fiber and potassium, but dark varieties contain more nutrients.
  • Peanuts in the shell (12 cents per serving; $1.99 for 16 ounces) are not only an inexpensive protein fix, they also provide more than 30 essential nutrients.


  • Frozen shrimp ($1.36; $14.99 per 2-pound bag): is a low-calorie and relatively cheap way to get omega-3s.
  • Flaxseed (11 cents per serving; $1.79 per 16-ounce bag) has omega-3s and other fatty acids linked to immune-system strength, cardiovascular health and cancer prevention.

ShopSmart publishes 10 times a year.

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