Healthy on a Budget: Meet the Affordable Superstars of the Produce Section

Healthy, nutrient-dense foods don’t have to break the budget.

Whole, fresh produce is often cheaper and provides more vitamins and nutrients than processed foods. If you’re shopping for the most value out of your dollar, here’s a list of produce section items that are rich in vitamins and highly affordable.


Bagged spinach

Leafy green spinach can reduce inflammation, is rich in vitamin K and the immune-boosting vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and manganese. A 10-ounce bag of leaf spinach typically costs about $2.


Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and folate, broccoli costs about $1.60 per pound.

Butternut squash

High in fiber and antioxidants, butternut squash can be found for about $1.30 per pound. It’s high in nutrients compared to other types of winter squash and is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C.


Carrots are an easy and highly cost-effective way to add in fresh nutrients to your diet. At an average cost of $0.74 per pound, one cup of carrots provides 428% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A – which is good for your immune system and for your eyes.

Green cabbage

Cabbage contains glucosinolates – antioxidants that protect against certain types of cancers. It’s also high in vitamins C and K, all for the approximate cost of $0.60 per pound.


Onions are an easy way to add rich flavors to your meal at the approximate cost of $1.20 per pound – with the bonus of antioxidants and small amounts of nutrients like vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6 and potassium.

Russet potatoes

When eaten with their skin, russet potatoes are a mineral-rich food that has twice the amount of potassium found in a banana. On average, they cost about $1 per pound.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a tasty vegetable and are high in beta-carotene, which your body uses to convert to vitamin A. They’re high in vitamins and minerals, at a average price of just under $1 a pound.



Regularly eating an apple may help lower inflammation in your body, which is critical to help lower your risk of chronic disease. They’re also high in fiber and have some vitamins and antioxidants, at the approximate price of $1.50 per pound for varieties like Fuji and Gala.


At an average of $0.50 per pound, bananas are full of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese, and are high in fiber.


One cup of cantaloupe provides your entire daily need of vitamin A and most of your daily need for vitamin C. It also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Cantaloupe costs about $1.50 per melon.


One medium-sized kiwi provides 117% of your daily need of vitamin C, at an average cost of about $2 a pound. These small fruits are also high in fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants.


Oranges aren’t just high in vitamin C – they’re also full of fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium and potassium. On average, they are sold for about $1 a pound.

Pricing information courtesy of Kroger.

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Photo credit: SDI Productions


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