Health foods aren't cheap- or are they? If you eat Builder bars and Atkins-diet approved breakfast shakes, then your answer is probably "no." But did you know some of the healthiest foods at the grocery store are actually some of the cheapest? 

We've become so accustomed to a diet high in processed foods that many people grimace at spending more than 25% of their budget on produce. Although I personally spend around 80-90% of my weekly food budget on produce, I've found that I still need to supplement my diet with whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. I've compiled a list of healthy, minimally-processed foods for you to pick up at the grocery store that meet these standards, all without breaking the bank. 

Rolled Oats ($1-$2 per pound)

Oatmeal is not only one of the healthiest breakfast options out there, but there are also many uses for oats that you probably didn't know about! I pulse oats in a high-speed blender to make oat flour: a gluten-free flour substitute that can be used in many different baking recipes. If you have a bulk grocery store, you can purchase rolled oats in whatever quantity you need them. Oats don't spoil either, which makes them ideal to purchase in bulk quantities. 

Black Beans (< $1 per can)

Black beans are a staple of my homemade chili and in most of the southwestern dishes I make. They're full of healthy protein and fiber, making them a great option for anyone who is constantly on-the-go. I buy cases of black beans at my local wholesale club; it usually lasts me a couple months. 

Chickpeas (< $1 per can)

vegetable, nut, pasture, cereal, legume, hazelnut, tigernut, chickpeas
Kristine Mahan

If you're looking to add more protein to your diet, chickpeas are the way to go! I include them in curries, chickpea salad, and dips. Check out some recipe ideas from Mackenzie Laverick in this article. As with black beans, I buy them by the case! 

Frozen Blueberries ($8 per 5lbs) 

It's no surprise that fresh fruit can be expensive. But lucky for us, frozen foods have come a long way and have comparable tastes. I buy a bag of frozen blueberries at the grocery store and eat them whenever I need a snack. They're great in smoothies or as a cool-down on hot summer days. 

Peanut Butter ($3-$4 per jar)

I don't want to live in a world without peanut butter. It's creamy, filling, fatty, delicious- and wicked cheap. 

Eggs ($1-$3 per dozen)

It's been a very long time since I've bought eggs, but I figured including a non-plant based ingredient on this list might be helpful for some. Eggs are versatile and one of the best protein-per-calorie foods out there. 

Garlic ($0.40-$0.99 each)

If you eat anything in my house, chances are that it contains 3x as much garlic as the recipe calls for. There's some evidence that besides boosting the flavor profile of dishes, garlic provides immunity-boosting compounds to keep you healthy. 

Bananas ($0.40 to $0.60 per pound)

Bananas are full of potassium and healthy carbs for an active lifestyle. They're also delicious and convenient! 

banana, vegetable
Delissa Handoko

Brown Rice (<$3 per pound)

You can incorporate brown rice into a variety of recipes and cuisines from burritos to stir fries to casseroles. It's filling and contains healthy carbs to help keep you energized. 

Lentils (<$3 per pound)

Lentils are a protein-rich staple in many vegan diets. They're easily digestible and versatile across cuisines. You can make dal, soups, or use them as a side dish.