10 Frugal Items to Save Money on Groceries
My favorite frugal groceries are versatile and delicious
I’ve never been one to spend much on groceries. Even to this day, when I’m in line and the person ahead of me has a bill for over $200, I gasp at the idea of spending that much.
When I moved into my first place with my wife, I would usually spend about $35 for the week on groceries. Now that our household has grown by another person, I’m usually in the $50-$60 range.
There are certain items I’ve grown accustomed to which give you a lot of bang for your buck and can be used in a variety of ways. I tend to get these items week after week because they are filling and light on the wallet.
Here’s a look at some of my regular frugal supermarket purchases. Referenced prices will be based on my supermarket's curbside pickup prices, which are slightly more than what you’d pay in-store.
A giant 42oz. container is only $3.49. This will last quite a while and is a very healthy breakfast option. It’s also quick to prepare, taking only two minutes in the microwave. Some people might say that it’s a boring option, but I like to mix up the added ingredients every time — today, it was apples, raisins, and cinnamon.
Three dozen large eggs can be purchased in a family pack for $4.59. Is there anything better than eggs, toast, and coffee in the morning? We always have eggs in the fridge, so you’d think I’d get sick of them, but it hasn’t happened yet. They’re great scrambled or sunny side up, but also have numerous other baking and cooking applications, making them an inexpensive, yet versatile staple.
An 18oz. jar of peanut butter will only cost you $1.79. I wonder how much money I’ve saved over the years packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch? It’s one of my favorite ingredients to add to oatmeal, and sometimes I’ll just grab a spoonful for a quick snack before heading out the door.
While I’ve definitely seen it cheaper at other supermarkets, $12.69 for a 32oz. family pack of tilapia is still pretty good when you consider that it will provide multiple meals. Also, it’s much less than some of the pricier seafood like salmon. We usually make ours with lemon pepper seasoning, and it is one of my favorite dishes.
You can have your boneless/skinless. I’m perfectly satisfied paying only $5.36 for a 4.5lb. family package of chicken thighs. My wife didn’t believe me last week when I told her to look for these; she said there’s no way that you’d get that much food for that price. Well, you do. I could buy this every single week without getting sick of it because there are so many different ways to cook it.
A 5lb. bag of brown rice will only cost you $3.49. This is another versatile item that can be used in numerous ways, and this inexpensive purchase will last weeks. We often mix up the types of sauces that accompany our rice dishes, which helps add variety to our meals.
There are so many different types of beans, all of which are very budget-friendly. A 29oz. can of black beans is $2.29 and can be used in soups, tacos, and salads. I love having a variety of canned beans in the cupboard because it makes it really easy to whip up a meal. Sure, beans aren’t the splashiest of foods, but they are high in fiber and protein and are a great way to fill up on a meal if you don’t have meat or are on a budget.
Who says that eating healthy fruits and vegetables has to be expensive? This is our go-to fruit by default because, at $0.24 a banana, you can grab a bunch of them for under $2. I pack a lunch every day and will almost always have a banana tossed in unless I’m having a peanut butter and banana sandwich — a favorite of mine since childhood. Bananas also make a great addition to oatmeal.
A giant 22oz. bag of bread is only $0.89. White bread has a bad reputation for its carbs and lack of nutrition, but it’s cheap and delicious. Additionally, 100% whole wheat bread is not that much more at $1.79. Whichever you choose, you’re getting a lot of slices for your money for toast, sandwiches, or to butter with pasta.
Pasta is easy to prepare and can be kept in the cupboard for years. A 16oz. box of ziti, which will provide multiple meals, is only $0.89. A 24oz. jar of pasta sauce is also very affordable at $1.19, but sometimes we just mix in olive oil and either mushrooms or spinach with it.
You might have noticed that a lot of these items can be combined or complement each other. This is just another way of saving money because it helps ensure that everything purchased is used.
Taking a page from a minimalist’s wardrobe, it creates a capsule cupboard and makes pairing things together easier.
By purchasing groceries that are inexpensive, versatile, and long-lasting, you’ll be sure to make your hard-earned dollars stretch further at the supermarket.