If you are eating on a tight budget here are some of the foods that I think give you the best value for your money. I’ve divided them into healthy and not-so-healthy but some of them could have gone in either category.
– Whole chicken (as low as $0.39-0.69 / lb on sale)
– Dried beans
– Frozen peas
– 5 – 10 lb bags of potatoes
– oatmeal (the big tubes, not the individual flavored packets.)
– iceberg lettuce
– Romaine lettuce
– Frozen mixes like the $0.98 Asian veggie mixes at Wal-Mart (I get Peking or Mandarin)each bag is around 4-5 servings
– Check farmers markets and Asian markets for good deals on unusual veggies. Basically, if it is cheap, leafy and green and not a lettuce, you can stir fry it.
Misc. Useful Stuff:
– 1 can of non-stick cooking spray (Wal-mart store brand is only $1)
– 1 can multipurpose Creole seasoning (Tony Lachere brand I think only $1.50 or so)
– Sam’s Choice brand salsas (Wal-mart, $1.50)
Credit for the healthy foods goes to Maggie Wang who provided this list to me.
Bread-This is really cheap if you get it at a bakery outlet store.
Tortillas-also very cheap. The corn ones are cheapest but I only like the flour tortillas.
Peanut butter-a little peanut butter spread on a tortilla makes a tasty and filling snack. And a PB&J is the classic cheap lunch.
Pasta-you can get a large box of pasta and a can of sauce for less than a dollar each making for many cheap meals.
Ramen-It might not be very healthy but you can’t get a much cheaper meal.
Mac and Cheese-This is probably my favorite cheap food. I’d eat it even if it weren’t cheap.
Soup-Many varieties of soup are very cheap and it is very filling.
Hot Dogs-You might not know what is in them but if you want meat this is one of your few frugal choices.
I’m sure there are a lot more frugal foods I didn’t list. If you have any suggestions to add you can leave a comment about them.