Everyone loves a bargain. Whether at the grocery store, the local flea market, or at the neighborhood car dealership, people inherently understand the benefits of getting a great deal.

Yet despite this infatuation with bargain opportunities, it doesn't occur to many investors that buying cheap stocks is possibly the best way to squeeze a whole lot of bang out of a hard-earned buck. As Warren Buffett says, "Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down."

Our penny-pinching process
With the help of our community over at Motley Fool CAPS, I'll once again try to find some cheap stocks for all of my kindred stingy spirits.

The approach is far from complicated: We'll run a simple screen for highly rated four- or five-star stocks with enterprise value-to-EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) ratios less than 10.

Dive in the bargain bin
By running this screen, we'll zero in on statistical bargains that, according to our CAPS community, have plenty of great reasons to trade at much higher levels.

Let's dive right in this week's bargain bin:  


(Trailing 12 Months)


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Sysco (NYSE: SYY)


Food distributors


Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX)


Health-care equipment


ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)


Integrated oil and gas




Aerospace and defense




Electric utilities


Data provided by Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS.

As usual, our list isn't exactly brimming with the most exhilarating businesses. But that should be just fine with us. As sharp Fools know well, boring stories often translate into the market's best risk-adjusted returns.

For starters, Sysco and Becton Dickinson look like a couple of companies worth considering.

Food for thought
For stock pickers with more conservative tastes, Sysco is almost sure to satisfy. The world's largest food distributor has been a longtime favorite of our community. Currently, about 99% of the 399 All-Star members who've rated the stock are bullish.

For these Fools, it's all about safety. When your 400,000-plus roster of clients includes the likes of Wendy's/Arby's Group (NYSE: WEN), McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), and Kroger, it's easy to feel good about the business you own. The stock is up 8% year to date, but with ownership of about 17% of a $200 billion market, Sysco is a solid bet to post some tasty long-term returns.

The stock's 3.4% yield adds a nice little kick, too.

"They have a business plan that is understandable," CAPS member baidewei wrote last month. "They are working toward conducting business in an efficient manner. AND [Sysco] is a dividend paying stock. Dividends rule! ... [I]f it does not pay a dividend, then one has purchased a baseball card that hopefully, might, maybe will appreciate ... someday."

Left to your own devices
If food distribution is a little too stodgy for you, Becton Dickinson might be a nice compromise. The medical-device giant has maintained a five-star ranking for over six months straight, and it's not hard to figure why.

Becton's leadership in the needle and surgical-tool space has driven consistent returns on equity in excess of 20%. Going forward, our community believes the company has the products, pipeline, and a new health-reform tailwind to keep delivering for years to come. Analysts expect Becton to grow earnings at 11%, on average, over the next five years.

With a flat stock year to date, and trading at a slight discount to rivals Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) and Baxter (NYSE: BAX) on an EV/EBITDA basis, Becton seems like a reasonable value.

"Great business model, provides a product that will always be needed by the medical industry," wrote dajaydee earlier this month. "Have a great history of beating earnings estimates, and strive to steadily increase dividends for their shareholders."

A Fool's final word
As always, what we say here isn't meant to be taken as a formal recommendation; we want only to generate some possible ideas that you might find worth further research. If you'd like to scour the bargain bin for yourself, read what our CAPS community thinks, or even chime in with your own opinions, click here to get in the game.

Oh, and it's totally free -- an offer that even the deepest of value investors should never pass up.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Sysco and Duke are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Sysco is also a choice of Inside Value, and the Fool owns shares of it. The Fool's disclosure policy always pays the full price for transparency.