You probably can, according to a government report by the Economic Research Service (ERS). The report, which was released a year ago, estimated average prices for 153 fresh and processed fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Today’s issue of Cancer Research Update highlights the cheapest of the lot: beans. Pinto beans came in at 13 cents per cup of cooked beans. About half a cup is considered a serving.
The government recommends we eat 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables for a 2,000-calorie diet. For cancer prevention, AICR recommends that about two-thirds of every meal be fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
Vegetables are generally cheaper than fruit, but adding up the prices, it’s not hard to find a mix of these foods for under $2. The ERS site says there are 41 vegetables, including fresh romaine lettuce, baby carrots, and canned tomatoes, that cost between 30 and 59 cents per cup. In some cases, frozen and canned cost about the same or more than the fresh counterparts. A cup of asparagus, for example, costs $1.47 fresh and $1.51 frozen.
You can look at the prices of the fruits here.
Prices of the vegetables are here.
And to read about how pinto beans and other dry beans link to cancer risk, or if your just curious how to cook them, take a look at the latest AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer on Legumes.