Foods to buy when your budget is tight! Whether you’re on a tight budget, living pay-check-to-paycheck or trying to save as much as you can for retirement, you can minimize your grocery bill by going back to the basics with the foods you purchase. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of groceries you can buy on a budget.
These staple grocery items are found in most grocery stores and are inexpensive. Every item on this list can be found for around $2 or less per pound.
If you live near a discount grocery store like Aldi’s, Grocery Outlet, or Winco, you can save money on your grocery bill, while still purchasing healthy groceries on a budget.
- Pork Loins
- Discount Bacon (ask your deli, they often have mismatched bacon pieces that they can’t sell at regular price – and don’t forget to filter and save your bacon grease to cook with).
- Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Legs
- Whole Chicken
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Chicken
- Day old deli meat
You can also shop the reduced priced meats. Typically, meats are marked down when they are close to their “purchase by” date. You freeze meats until you are ready to cook them. If you see a meat close to its “purchase by” date, and it’s not marked down, ask the deli manager to mark it down for you.
Grains, Beans, Legumes, and Starches:
- Oats (old fashion and quick) – If you purchase old fashioned oats and you need quick oats, five them a quick pulse in the food processor.
- Dry Lentils
- Dry Beans
- Pasta (gluten free if you eat gluten free)
- Day old bakery items
- Cereal in Bulk
Pantry staples, Canned Goods:
- Tomato Sauce
- Canned Tomatoes
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Bouillon Powder (Chicken, Veggie, and Beef)
- Flour (if gluten free, shop gf flours in bulk)
- Baking Soda
- Peanut Butter
- Jar Salsa
- Hot Sauce (we like Tapatio)
- Seasonings, Salt, and Pepper
- Oil (purchase in larger containers for a better price per ounce)
- Bell Pepper
- Fresh Herbs like Cilantro and Parsley
Make sure to also shop in season fruits and vegetables for the best prices.
- Frozen Vegetables
- Frozen Fruit
- Stir Fry Mixes (a lot of frozen stir fry mixes include vegetables, rice, and a sauce and they tend to be inexpensive)