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Grocery Budget Basics: 35 Cheapest Groceries to Buy When You Are on a Tight Budget

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Think of cooking as an art form; you’re coming up with recipes that create a masterpiece. And what makes it better is that not everything you put together has to have the restaurant pricing, as it can all come from budget-friendly ingredients. The same goes with purchasing necessary, every-day items. This is the ultimate cheap grocery list perfect if you're on a tight budget. It will help you to reduce your grocery spending and keep your everyday lifestyle going. 

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the perfect source for protein and fiber, so you can get in a healthy meal for a cheaper price. Average oatmeal prices in most stores starts at $2.50. According to Lidl, their current oatmeal price starts at $2.49. 

2. Pasta Sauce

Different types and brands of pasta sauce can be costly. Right now, Food City is selling Hunts sauce and Vallarta is selling Del Monte for 99 cents. 

3. Pasta

Dried pasta will last for 1-2 years beyond its “best by” date, so feel free to stock up while you can. Right now, pasta discounts starts as low as $0.89 per package, which makes it the perfect on-budget pantry staple.

4. Cheese

Cheese goes great with anything, and there are tons to choose from. While the cheese prices have gone up a bit during the pandemic, the prices are still quite acceptable if you look for the right discount.

5. Eggs

Eggs are common everyday groceries that can be used for a lot of recipes. Find out where to buy eggs on sale here.

6. Beans

Canned beans are easy to store, cook, and eat, making them great foods to buy on a budget. Right now, the cheapest beans are available at Food Lion, starting at $0.50. 

7. Frozen Vegetables

Something that can last for what seems like an eternity, frozen vegetables are perfect to store for future uses. Grab bags for as low as 99 cents at Kroger right now.

8. Frozen Fruit

Perfect for adding to smoothies and other recipes, you can store frozen fruit away and always have it as an extra food item. Get frozen fruit today for $7.99 at King Soopers.

9. Bananas

Bananas are one of the cheapest fruit in grocery stores and most importantly, they’re available basically all year round. Since they don’t cost that much money and kids love them, they are the perfect staple for any on-a-budget-home pantry. Plus, who doesn’t love a slice of banana bread, right?

10. Sour Cream

A great topping or thickener for sauces and other recipes, sour cream can get pricey, as it’s a perishable item. If you look for the right discount, you can get it for 89 cents in these stores.

Grocery Shopping on a Budget Canva

11. Lunch Meat

Typically, one of the cheapest groceries, lunch meat is the perfect lunch item. You can buy pre-packaged lunch meat now for $2.99 at King Soopers and other stores.

12. Peanut Butter

A spread that can go good with essentially everything, peanut butter is great to stock up on. Find peanut butter on sale and save even more.

13. Purified Water

With a great shelf-life, purified water can be used for cooking, drinking, and bathing. Get a case of it at Pick’n Save for only $2.79.

14. Ground Beef

Per pound, ground beef tends to not be a cheap grocery, as it can range from almost $4 or higher. Most of the time, however, you'll find some great sale on ground beef when you can pick it up for as low as $1.99.

15. Potatoes

A very popular vegetable, you can eat the potato in many different ways. Today, you get potatoes for only $1.49 at most stores, which makes it a perfect staple.

16. Sweet Potatoes

If you’re not a fan of classic potatoes, sweet potatoes are a perfect way to diversify your diet and play around with your recipes. Price-wise, they might be more expensive than the standard potatoes you’re used to buying but they’re still quite budget-friendly and open a whole new chapter in your cooking endeavours. 

17. Apples

This versatile fruit is nice to have for its nutritional value and delicious taste. Bushels and bags can get expensive, but you can buy apples now for 99 cents at Food Bazaar. 

18. Squash

Although squash is a pretty seasonal item, the most common types, such as butternut squash or spaghetti squash are available at great prices in fall. If you need some kitchen inspiration, here’s a little tip on how to use squash in the kitchen.

19. Soup

This may not seem important, but it’s always ideal to have soup around the house if you need a quick and cheap meal. In stores like Dillons, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Kroger, or Food Lion, you can always find some great deals on soup and buy this staple for as little as $0.99. 

20. Mackerel Fish

If you love seafood but feel like you can’t afford it, there’s a trick to it. While tuna and halibut are very popular types of fish, they’re also pricey. If you’re looking for the perfect tuna replacement, try mackerel. It’s delicious, full of vitamins, and the price is comparably lower.

21. Rolls (Bread)

Bread doesn’t have a great shelf life, as it can go bad quickly, leaving you to repurchase and waste money. The average price of rolls in stores starts at 79 cents and you can get fresh ones in basically any store for a great price.

22. Meat Hot Dogs

A quick cook time and great for cheap food recipes, you can now get meat hot dogs for $1.49 at Ralphs

23. K Cups

Get your caffeine fix with K cups on sale at Ralphs for $5.49, which on average can cost you up to $400 a year!

How to Budget Groceries Canva

24. Dog Food

You can’t forget about your pets! Dog food can be pricey by the pound but if you know where to look for the best offer, you win. Looking for dog food on sale? Try Petco or IGA.

25. Cat Food

Similar to dog food, cat food can get expensive, as an average wet cat food can is around $1 or more. If you look for cat food sale near you, try here.

26. Facial Tissue

With flu and allergy seasons approaching, these may be essential in your household. In need of facial tissue? Dollar General is selling boxes for $1.50.

27. Pain Relief

This item is what you need in the house when you least expect it. However, pain relief isn’t part of the budget grocery list. Get it now at Walgreens for only $6.49.

28. Bath Tissue

Especially this year, there has been limited supply on bath tissue, and prices have surged. You can pick up deals at Stop and Shop starting at $7.49.

29. Hand Sanitizer

We are living in a world of need to use hand sanitizer, so pick it up for 99 cents at Rural King.

30. Vitamins

A crucial part to your health, vitamins may typically not be one of the cheapest groceries. However, you can purchase $5.00 vitamins at Family Dollar today. 

31. Feminine Products

Ladies, you need to take care of your bodies. Get protection without the cost, as Ralphs is selling feminine products for $5.99.

32. Laundry Detergent

While laundry detergent can cost loads of money, it's the essential part of our homes. Most detergent sales, however, start as low as around $3.00, all you need to do is to watch out for your favorite brand.

33. Batteries

Packs of batteries can be a pretty pricey penny, but are needed for a lot of home products (like a TV remote). Currently you can buy Energizer batteries for $3.89 at Napa Auto Parts.

34. Toothpaste

An important part of your everyday hygiene, you can now find the best deals on toothpaste at many stores. Pick the location near you and buy this staple at the best possible price.

35. Shampoo/Conditioner

Don't forget about your hair. Taking care of body shouldn’t have to be expensive. Many stores, such as Ralphs, Food Lion, Fred Meyer or others put shampoos and conditioners on sale pretty regularly. Find the brand that suits your needs and save on this staple in stores near you.

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