Grocery shopping is one of the essential things that everyone does once or every other week to ensure that their cupboards are full. Some people even stock up for a month so they don’t have to go back and forth to the grocery store every now and then. But for some who don’t have a one month budget to do grocery shopping in one go, it can become an issue.
I have struggled with my grocery shopping as well during those times where my budget is really tight. I sometimes pick one that I don’t really want just because it is cheaper than the one that I like. This can be frustrating and somewhat saddening. With that, I came up with brilliant ideas on how to do grocery shopping when I am on a budget and I am going to share that with you.
In this article, I will be discussing the tips that I have learned about how I can go to the grocery without ruining the budget that I have. Follow the tips below and you will be surprised at how easy it is to shop while on a budget.
List Of Groceries On A Budget
One of the foods that will always be perfect for any budget are ramen noodles. But you can do little tweaks to make it a healthier one, by adding little chicken cubes and vegetables. Of course, you can also eat ramen alone if you feel like it. This is the cheapest food and in fact, there are a lot of dorm students who are living with ramen sometimes just so they can save up.
2. Macaroni and Cheese
Another cheap option that you can have are the macaroni and cheese. There are now expensive variants, but there are still brands that are affordable, like the store brands. To make your macaroni and cheese more nutritious or to have variants, you can start adding green peppers or onions. I personally add some hotdogs in my Mac and cheese as it makes them more delicious. Of course, adding more vegetables is ideal because of nutritional content.
There are different types of hotdogs and some are not really healthy. The good news is that there are now healthier hotdogs that you can get, and what’s amazing is that they are inexpensive. You can eat the hotdog as it is, or you can put them on a slide of bread and add some mayonnaise or ketchup. You don’t have to worry about anything because all these will still suit your budget.
4. Tuna Fish
Back in the day, tuna fish is one of the most inexpensive fish, but now, it became expensive and nobody knows why. Fortunately, there are still tuna fish in the market that can be affordable than other fishes. Tuna fish can be mixed with salad sandwiches, instead of having peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
You can also make a tuna sandwich by adding a little mayonnaise and use it as a spread to your bread. You can do this yourself which will make it easier. Remember that a homemade sandwich is way cheaper than the ones in the restaurants.
5. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is not only affordable but it has a good nutritional value. It is high in protein, which means that it is also good for your health by filling you up or when you’re bulking up. The best peanut butter is the one that is made of natural peanut or one that has less to no sugar at all. From one jar you can already make a lot of sandwiches and will help save you more money.
Based on the research that I did, one 40 ounce jar can produce 80 to 90 tablespoon of peanut butter. This means that if you are going to stick with the serving size, you can make 35 to 40 sandwiches from just one jar. Both bread and peanut butter are affordable so there’s nothing to worry about.
6. Frozen Vegetables
One economical option when it comes to the grocery is frozen vegetables, especially if there are some vegetables that are not available during the season. But take note that frozen vegetables lose some of their nutritional values when frozen, but still has some so there’s really no need to worry. You can use frozen vegetables to make omelets, stews, soups, and casseroles.
If you are making a grocery list on a tight budget, peppers are great options, especially if they are in season. But if they are not, you can choose cabbage, lettuce, and other vegetables. They are a lot of affordable vegetables that will surely fit your budget.
Spinach comes inexpensive prices, but there are some that are inexpensive, which will fit your budget. You don’t have to buy a lot of spinach since you can add a little in quesadillas, pasta dishes, stir fry dishes, salad, sandwiches, meat, and egg omelets.
9. Green Salad
If you are going to make your own salad, you will definitely be able to save up. The majority of the ingredients of a green salad are inexpensive so you don’t need to worry about anything. Some of the vegetables that you can add in your salad are cauliflower, chopped carrots, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and spinach. You may opt to not use dressings because it’s not only expensive but is also not healthy.
10. Ground Turkey
The majority of the time, ground turkeys are for sale and they have better prices compared to ground beef. What’s good about ground turkeys is that they are not only affordable but definitely healthier than beef. You can purchase a few pounds and freeze it so you can use it in making different dishes.
When you’re on a tight budget, another economical food is chicken. If you notice, chicken meat is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of meat. You can purchase boneless chicken, chicken breasts, and skinless. Also, chicken can be grounded and it can be added into different dishes just like ground beef.
You can save more with chicken thighs since they are more inexpensive compared to chicken breasts. Kids love chicken thighs and if you have one, then this is a good option. The reason behind this is because they are tender and moist compared to breasts. Of course, you can also purchase one whole chicken as you can also save with it.
There is broccoli that is expensive and usually, it is because of the crown. You can also try using stalk since it can be added to some dishes if needed. Now, if you can stick with the stalk, the broccoli head will become affordable that you think.
Onions are vegetables and you can add this to whatever dish that you are planning to cook. You can get several pounds of onion at a good price which means that you can save a lot here. Onions can help enhance the dishes’ flavors, which makes it a great staple in the kitchen.
Zucchini is similar to a squash but more affordable. The best time to get and buy zucchini is during the fall season. You can add this to your dish and can be eaten alone.
During the fall, you can also purchase squash at affordable prices, especially if there are people in the neighborhood who are growing them. You can talk to them and ask as to how much they can sell the squash. You will definitely save money on this.
16. Canned Tomatoes
There are a lot of fresh tomatoes in the market, but the price can fluctuate depending on the season. If you want to save up and stick with your budget, the best thing that you can do is to purchase canned tomatoes. This is a great alternative and definitely not so expensive.
Carrots are one of the most inexpensive groceries that you can purchase. The best way to purchase carrots is in bulk and in full-sized. You can also opt for baby carrots if you want as they also come at good prices.
18. Sweet Potatoes
I know a lot of people who love sweet potatoes simply because they are healthier than baked potatoes. Sweet potatoes, as the name says, are naturally sweet. You can eat them alone, to add a little sugar or cinnamon to add sweetness or taste.
Potatoes are also healthy and are good at giving your body the energy that it needs since it is considered as carbs. There are grocery stores that offer them for a dollar for several pounds per bag. You can cook potatoes in any way that you please and still make an affordable dish. You can also top it to salsa instead of topping cheese, ranch, or salsa. Some people prefer frying them up like hash browns or some use it to create creamy potato soup. As it is not only affordable but definitely very filling.
Pasta is relatively cheap, but of course, there are some that are quite pricey. You can create different dishes with pasta, from spaghetti, pasta carbonara, broccoli Alfredo, and homemade macaroni and cheese. If you have kids, they will surely love these!
Rice is another affordable staple that almost everyone has. It is not only very filling, but is very versatile. White rice is not really considered as healthy, but if you want something healthy, brown rice would be better. There are a lot of dishes that you can incorporate with rice and honestly, you will never run out.
For those of you who don’t know, lentils are very affordable. If you need more protein, lentils are your best option without actually breaking the bank. The good thing about this is that you can incorporate a lot of recipes with it, from stir fry lentils to lentil soups.
You can save a lot of money from buying beans since it is considered as one of the cheapest staple in the market. You can purchase one bag and prepare them in different ways. You can prepare them using a slow cooker, or by soaking them overnight. Some of the best beans today are chickpeas, red kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans.
You may also opt to purchase canned beans since they are still cheap. With the canned beans, you can enjoy meatless taco soup or taco soup. Chili beans are also a nice touch to every food if you are into spicy foods.
A great substitute for junk foods are apples because besides the fact that they are cheap, they are also very healthy. There are different types of apples and choose the best ones, including Granny Smith and Gala, which would be ideal since they are the cheapest variety. You can eat apples as a snack or even incorporate them with your salad if you want to.
Another fruit that is not only affordable but as well as healthy is bananas. This is readily available the entire year, which means that you can purchase it any time you please. It is also rich in protein which is perfect especially if you are working out. Eating rich in protein foods is ideal instead of purchasing protein powders as they can be very expensive.
Cereals are a great staple in every cupboard and is often eaten for breakfast. But whether you are eating them during breakfast or any time of the day, then buying cereals is great especially that they are affordable. They are also rich in fiber, which is good for digestion and such. You may opt to eat cereals that are plain and add fruits or choose ones that are a little sweet but it can be expensive not unless they are on sale.
With the list above, you will surely be able to shop for your groceries even if you are on a budget. The majority of the foods above are healthy so it will be perfect if you are on a diet or eating healthy.