We all need to eat, but the grocery bill is an expense that can get really out of hand.
When you’re broke, finding cheap food can be a huge help.
We all want to feed our family healthy meals that won’t break the bank. Luckily, there are lots of ways that you can find cheaper foods.
In this article, we will look at the best cheap foods to buy when you’re broke.
You can feed your family well, even when you’re on a tight budget. Let’s look at some of the cheapest foods to buy:
Why You Should Buy Cheap Food At The Grocery Store
There are many good reasons you should buy cheap food at the grocery store – let’s look at the top 2 reasons you should buy inexpensive food:
It Will Help You Stay Within Your Food Budget
You may want to go back to how you have been buying your food before, and that’s perfectly fine.
If you are going through a rough patch or trying to live cheaply temporarily, you only need to do this to get you back on track.
When you’ve made a budget, you will know how much you have to spend on your food budget, and you’ll want to do your best to stick to this.
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It Will Keep You From Spending More Money Than You Have
It’s going to be tough to stick to a tight budget, especially if you aren’t used to doing so.
You aren’t going to want to go over budget, and thankfully you don’t have to if you know what foods are the cheapest foods. Buying cheap foods at the grocery store will help you stick to your budget.
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My Favorite App to Score the Cheapest Foods
A great way to save money on your food is to use an app that is specifically for this.
My favorite app is perfect for this! The best app to score the cheapest foods, in my opinion, is Ibotta.
Ibotta is an app that helps you save money by giving you cash back on items you purchase. Best of all it’s free!!
All you have to do is select the items that you are going to buy on the app, then buy them, and then upload the receipt to Ibotta.
The amount that you’re able to save will depend on what you buy and where from. It will usually be from a few cents to several dollars.
Using Ibotta has saved us almost $400!
Make sure to give Ibotta a try if you haven’t already, and let me know what you think of it.
Related article: Ibotta App Review 2020 (Is Ibotta Legit Or A Scam)
How To Buy Cheap Foods When Broke
When you want to buy cheap food when you’re broke, it can be confusing to know where exactly to start.
If you’ve never had to do this before, then it may seem overwhelming, but it’s easier than you think.
Let’s take a look:
Don’t Buy Name Brands – Go With Generic
Something that a lot of us are guilty of is heading straight for those name-branded items.
It’s a marketing tactic whereby we think that the ‘better’ brands are the ones that are the most expensive.
However, that’s not the case, and you may even find that you prefer generic brands.
A lot of the time, they are made in the same factory but with different packaging. That’s it!
Buying generic brands will help you to save money because you won’t be paying for the branding. If you want to score the best food for cheap, always grab the generic brand.
Shop At Discount Grocery Stores
One of the things that will give you an instant boost in your savings is shopping at a discount grocery store. By taking advantage of discount grocery stores, you will find the cheapest food to buy on a budget.
Some of the cheapest grocery stores where you can score the cheapest foods include Winco, Walmart, Aldi, Grocery Outlet, H-E-B, Food4Less, Lidl, Publix, and more.
Our favorite is Aldi, not only do they have great cheap food options but their quality is really good.
Shop Clearance Section if Your Grocery Store Has One
If your grocery store has a clearance section, you can get the food you are going to buy for much cheaper.
Usually, they will mark down the price of the products when they are getting close to expiring. The clearance section is usually located in a small corner in the back of the grocery store. Most times you’ll walk right past it if you don’t know it exists.
Compare Prices at Different Grocery Stores
This one will take a bit more work, but it will be worth it for the savings. Sometimes in order to find the best budget foods, you are going to have to shop at compare prices.
The same product in one store may be much cheaper in another. You may have to do some searching online or go from store to store to check. This may take more of your time but it will pay off if in return you get cheaper food.
Where to Buy Cheap Food Near Me
It’s important to look at the places near you where you can buy cheap food options. It’s so easy to continue shopping at your favorite grocery store. Try stepping out of your comfort zone and trying someplace new.
Have a look in your local area for cheap grocery stores or discount grocery stores. You won’t be disappointed.
Cheapest Foods To Buy
We will now take a look at the cheapest foods that you can buy when broke. Also here are 85 frugal meals you must try when your budget is tight.
Carbohydrates are a good thing to add to your grocery shop when broke because they will keep you full and give you energy. They are also one of my go-to’s when looking for a cheap food option.
1.) Old Fashioned Oats
Oats are one of the cheapest things that you’ll find for your grocery shop.
You can use it to make oatmeal, to use in recipes such as oatmeal cookies, or to pad out your meals to make them stretch a bit further.
2.) Cream of Wheat
This is similar to oatmeal, and you can get it cheap if you buy it in a box.
Bread is something that you can make yourself or buy really cheaply at the store.
It’s versatile and can be used as part of a meal, such as breakfast or a snack.
We love cereal in this house, and it’s possible to get it cheaper if you ignore all of the big brands.
Good old rice and beans! Rice needs to be a staple because it’s so cheap and versatile.
Rice is perfect for lunch and evening meals, but you can use it for a lot of different things.
Pasta is one of our favorites because it’s delicious and so cheap. There are so many different dishes that you can make for the whole family.
Proteins are an essential part of your diet, and it’s possible to get cheap versions of them. Here are a few of the cheapest proteins you’ll find.
Lentils are something that you want to have as a staple because they can help meals be padded out.
When it comes to cheap foods to buy when broke, beans are right up there.
You can buy them bagged or canned, and they have a large variety of uses such as soups, chili, stews, and more.
9.) Ground Turkey
Meat can be one of the most expensive things on your grocery list, and it’s always good to look at the deals.
If you see ground turkey discounted then pick it up as it’s healthier than red meat.
Although meatless meals can be the cheapest option, when you want some meat, chicken is a good one to go for.
You can select different parts of the meat as well to make it cheaper such as the thighs.
11.) Frozen Meat
For those who could never turn vegan, cheap food to buy when broke is frozen meat.
Fresh meat is very expensive, and buying it frozen is one of the best ways to reduce this cost.
Eggs can be used for so many different things! You can use them for baking, e.g. in cakes or muffins.
You can also use them for meals such as omelets – they are an awesome cheap food to buy when broke.
Tuna isn’t one of the cheapest things in the world that you can buy, but it can be a cheaper addition to a meal than other meats.
14.) Peanut Butter
You may be surprised to see peanut butter on the list, but if you use it wisely, it can go far.
After all, what kid doesn’t love PB&J sandwiches?!
When you are trying to be healthy but still eat cheap food, vegetables have to be high on the list.
Let’s look at some cheap vegetables that you should include in your grocery shop.
Broccoli is a versatile vegetable that can be used in pretty much every meal that you have.
That’s because you can have it as a side dish for a variety of meals, soups, etc.
16.) Canned Tomatoes
This is such a staple in our house and something that we always recommend to have in your pantry.
It’s perfect for adding to pasta dishes, chili, bolognese, and more.
Buying carrots in bulk is a great way to go, and it may even be worth looking at local farmer’s markets.
You can use carrots as a side or as a main ingredient for things like soups.
Sometimes meals can start to taste a bit bland when you are trying to keep the costs down.
Garlic is a good ingredient to have in your pantry to add some much need flavor to a meal.
19.) Canned Pumpkin
We tend to think about pumpkins in the fall, but you can have them all year round.
To make it a cheaper option, look into purchasing them canned.
Kale is something that many people in the fitness industry talk about, and for a good reason – it’s super healthy.
You can pick it up quite cheaply at your local grocery store.
Peppers have a lot of health benefits and can be enjoyed both raw or cooked.
It’s best to buy them when they are in season. You can either give them to the kids for a snack or pop them into a recipe. We love them in chili!
It’s worth looking for squash in season (the fall) because it will be cheaper then.
Squash can be an ingredient in so many cheap meals such as soup or risotto.
When you are trying to be healthy on a budget, then the salad is always a go-to.
You can make it easier by making them yourselves by chopping up vegetables and creating your own dressing.
When you are creating cheap recipes, you’re going to want to find ways to make them healthy.
Adding something like spinach to a cheap meal can give it the health boost that you need.
Potatoes are a fantastic cheap food to buy when broke because they are so versatile.
You can use them to bulk out meals, e.g.s hotpots or stews. They can be side dishes or salads or a meal on their own such as baked potatoes.
26.) Sweet Potatoes
You can use sweet potatoes in the same way as regular potatoes, but they are a healthy alternative with a really nice taste.
Zucchini is a healthy ingredient that you can add to many dishes and get cheaply when they are in season.
Onions are a vegetable that you can get for cheap and add a strong flavor to your food.
29.) Frozen Veggies
If you haven’t bought frozen veggies before then, you may find a bit of resistance here.
You’ll be pleased to know that frozen vegetables have around the same amount of nutrition as fresh.
They are great for any time that you need to use veggies in a meal, or you could use them specifically for things like vegetable soups or stews.
Fruit is another thing that’s likely to be on the top of your list, especially when it comes to feeding a family.
Eating cheaply doesn’t mean that you need to eat unhealthy food – you can still eat well even when you’re broke.
Look out for deals on cantaloupe to keep the costs down. It’s nice to eat either on its own or in a fruit salad.
31.) Canned Fruit
When things are really tight, there’s nothing wrong with buying canned fruit. Or at any time!
You can get a large variety of canned fruit – our favorite is peaches.
We love bananas in our house because they’re one of the fruits that don’t go moldy straight away! They’re also surprisingly filling.
Apples are another good fruit to get because, like bananas, they don’t go moldy quickly.
Grapes are one of the cheapest fruits that you can add to your list, and they tend to get eaten pretty quickly too!
Looking for a good snack for your kids? Or yourself? Kiwis are lovely to eat and budget-friendly as well.
Melon is one of my favorite things to eat as a healthy snack and easy on the wallet.
We love this as well as melon but do advise that you get watermelon when it’s in season to keep costs down.
38.) Frozen Berries
Frozen berries are the perfect alternative to fresh berries, which can go off quite quickly.
Oranges deliver a punch of much-needed vitamins and also keep well.
They are great as a snack, or you could even use them to make fresh orange juice. Delicious!
Dairy products get used up pretty quickly in most households, so it’s important to look at ways to get it cheaper.
Luckily milk isn’t that expensive, and it is very versatile. You can, of course, drink milk, but it doesn’t tend to be used just for that.
You can use it in cereal (the main way that we use it) and in meals, pancakes, waffles, smoothies, protein shakes, and more!
Yogurt is a healthy item for you to put on your grocery list – and if you get certain ones, then it’s perfect for your gut.
Look for the generic brands and check how much you are getting for the size of the pot you buy.
We love cheese! It’s delicious and can be a vital part of a lot of meals.
There are expensive types of cheese which we would advise you to avoid when you are broke. That doesn’t mean you can’t have it, though!
Try and pick up the cheaper cheeses, such as cheddar. It’s perfect as a snack for kids as well as a meal supplement.
You better believe chocolate made it onto the list! Cheap chocolate isn’t the best if you’re eating it as a snack, but it’s excellent for baking.
Do you have kids? There are so many things that you can bake with chocolate added in such as cookies or muffins.
Summary On Cheapest Foods To Buy
Hopefully, this list of the cheapest foods at grocery stores will have helped you out.
When you are broke, it’s important to look at the cheap foods to buy when broke. You want to eat well still and fill yourself up but do so on a budget.
The cheapest food to eat doesn’t need to be tasteless or boring. You can still cook and eat well when you don’t have a lot of money.
There are certain hacks that you can do to make it cheaper, and particular food items that are best to choose.
What are your best tips for cheap foods to buy when broke?
If you love these ideas, make sure to save this post for later and come join us over on Pinterest!
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