Consumer Reports recommends choosing beans, either canned or dried, if your food budget is tight. Beans are inexpensive, versatile, and a great source of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Add them to soups, pasta dishes, salads and chili to increase bulk. While canned beans are the easiest and most convenient to use, dried beans are the most economical.
Rolled OatsOats are a nutrient-rich whole grain. For the best value, buy the large, cylindrical container of old-fashioned rolled oats. Oatmeal is a hearty, carbohydrate-, protein- and fiber-rich hot breakfast. Use oats as an ingredient in meatloaf, cookies, pancakes and muffins. Oats, on their own, contain no artificial ingredients or sugars, just 100 percent whole-grain rolled oats.