Many countries are headed into a recession; with inflation, food prices, and rent rising, many of us are feeling the pressure on our wallets.
But fret not, for there is always a way to relieve yourself from some of the financial stress. These are the best cheap foods you can buy from the grocery store that will put the least amount of hurt on your wallet.
Both dried and canned beans are affordable and nutritious as they are high in fiber, protein, and B Vitamins.
With a can of beans costing less than $1.00, they should be a staple in your kitchen! Their versatility in meals is a major benefit – you can substitute them for expensive meat products or add them to meals like tacos, burritos, chili, hummus, rice, salads, and soups.
While meat prices rise, buying chicken is still affordable, and, if planned right, you can use a whole chicken for a week of meals.
“How can you do that?” you might ask! On the first night, you roast a whole chicken, saving the drippings to make gravy; the leftovers can be used in sandwiches, wraps, or salads. Then use the leftover carcass to make chicken stock for soups!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, apples are a very affordable fruit, rich in fiber and vitamin C, that you can buy year round!
Enjoy an apple by itself, or in a salad, or in a baked good! Personally, I always enjoy spreading peanut butter over my apple slices; it’s a match made in heaven!
A vegetable that is affordable and versatile – potatoes contain many nutrients like vitamin C, carbohydrates, and potassium.
Potatoes can be enjoyed in a variety of ways; loaded baked potatoes, potato soup, mashed potatoes, hash browns, french fries, in a shepherd’s pie, and you can make gnocchi from scratch as well!
Rice has a rich history of being the staple for affordable food. Thousands of dishes use rice as the main ingredient and span many countries and cultures.
Create classic meals like risotto, fried rice, stirfry, soup, beans, and rice. Or enjoy it in a burrito, or use it as a bed for your butter chicken.
An excellent source of protein and B vitamins, eggs are another versatile and affordable food that should be a staple in your kitchen.
Eggs can be enjoyed by themselves – scrambled, boiled, fried, or in an omelet; or be used for pasta, baked goods, sauces, fried rice, stir-fries, and egg salads.
Instead of buying a box of cereal, try buying oats instead! Oats are high in minerals, vitamins, and fiber – and are one of the most affordable grains in a grocery store!
Oats can be used on their own, as overnight oats, in baked goods, broken down into oat flour, and blended into oat milk!
Pasta is one of the cheapest items to buy in a grocery store, and the sauces you would use with it – alfredo, tomato, or rose – are just as affordable!
But if you want to be more frugal with your money, try making pasta! All you need is flour and eggs and a pasta machine.
Whether you make it from scratch or buy a jar from your local grocery store, peanut butter is affordable and a good protein source.
Peanut butter is best known for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But it also pairs well with fruits and overnight oats and can be used in several sauces.
Tomatoes are nutritious and versatile. Moreover, canned tomatoes are a very affordable pantry staple used in many meals.
Tomatoes are enjoyable by themselves or can be dried for homemade sundried tomatoes; or used in salads, omelets, and pasta dishes. Canned tomatoes can be used in pasta sauces, shakshouka, tomato soups, salsas, and chili.
If beans aren’t your thing, try lentils! Lentils are affordable and full of potassium, fiber, and zinc. Moreover, like beans, lentils are a good substitute for meats!
You can grind lentils into lentil flour to make lentil pasta. But typically, lentils are used in soups, stews, salads, vegan/vegetarian lentil burgers, and pasta sauce.
Frozen Fruits & Veggies
Frozen produce is healthy and affordable – arguably more healthy and affordable than their organic counterparts! They are versatile for quick vegetable sides or meals, or the fruit for yogurt or oatmeal.
You can incorporate frozen vegetables into soups, side dishes, or pasta sauces. At the same time, you can use frozen fruit for jams, smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods.
Buy onions in bulk for an affordable way to enjoy this cheap, versatile, flavorful, and nutritious vegetable.
You can enjoy onions raw: sliced in a salad or sandwich; or diced and cooked in a mirepoix for soups, stocks, and pasta sauces. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can pickle some onions for a flavor boost to your burger, sandwich, or wrap.
Spinach is a nutritious, affordable, and versatile leafy green. Adding spinach to a meal will benefit you with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, manganese, iron, riboflavin, and magnesium!
You can eat spinach raw in a salad, add it to an omelet, put it in a quesadilla, or enjoy it on a sandwich or in a wrap!
Corn is a vegetable that can be bought in various ways – frozen, canned, and on the cob. It is rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and other nutrients.
Canned and frozen corn is suitable as a side dish or in a shepherd’s pie. In addition, corn on the cob is enjoyed barbecued and buttered for maximum flavor.
Carrots are affordable, versatile, and nutritious! And we’re talking large, whole carrots – baby carrots are expensive and a rip-off!
Enjoy carrots raw in a salad or wrap. You can cook carrots for side dishes; or dice them to add to a mirepoix for soup, stock, and pasta sauce. And don’t throw away the green tops! They are edible and can be cooked or made into pesto.
Sometimes you need to go back to the basics to save money, and what better way to do that than with flour! The versatility and affordability of flour make it a necessity in a kitchen pantry!
Sure, practice makes perfect, but when you understand how to use flour, you can use it in different ways like; making bread, pasta, pancakes, muffins, baked goods, gravy, and other sauces, and as a coating for fried foods!
Ending our mirepoix trio, celery is an affordable and nutritious vegetable with an enormous fiber source and a low-calorie count.
You can enjoy celery raw with carrot sticks or other vegetables and a dip. You can also dice it and add it to a mirepoix for soups, stocks, and pasta sauce.
We thought we’d add a snack and take a break from all the amazing fruits and vegetables. Buying popcorn kernels in a jar is inexpensive at the grocery store.
Then when you’re at home, all you have to do is cook them in a popcorn maker, in your microwave, or on the stovetop, and enjoy!
Bananas are a cheap fruit that can be bought year-round. Bananas contain vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Enjoy bananas as a snack on their own, or add some peanut butter or Nutella for more protein. You can use bananas for smoothies and yogurts or bake them into bread and baked goods.