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Your BUDGET Grocery Store List?
Old 10-05-2019, 07:28 AM
  #1

When you're on a tight, tight budget, what items do you buy from the grocery store? I want to see everyone's lists!


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It has been a very long time since I was
Old 10-05-2019, 07:35 AM
  #2

on a tight, tight budget. But your post made me realize that I ALWAYS shop as if I am. For example, I love really good Greek yogurt, but I wait until they reduce it for quick sale, because for some reason, our local Price Chopper will sell it for half or less when the "best by" date is still two weeks away! And it lasts another month if unopened. I nearly always buy everything on sale or clearance if I can. When I used to be on a tight budget, I would buy things like brown rice, oats, a whole chicken, lots of vegetables and fruit, sunflower seeds, eggs, cheese. Back then, I made my own yogurt and bread. Probably ate a lot less than I do now!
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Some of my go tos
Old 10-05-2019, 07:35 AM
  #3

Beans
Rice
Whole roasting chicken or thighs
Apples
Canned tuna
Spaghetti
Spaghetti sauce
Frozen broccoli
Eggs
Potatoes
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:38 AM
  #4

When I am really trying to save money I make sure to buy the store brand items at the grocery store. Many of the store brand items are actually manufactured at the brand name companies facilities, but they are labeled differently.

When I buy store brand items, I also get 6% back, which saved me close to $100 last quarter.

I also only buy food at the grocery store. All other things (toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc) I buy elsewhere.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:39 AM
  #5

Well, it varies. I try to plan my list around items that are on sale. I go to only one store, which I know well and offers loyalty discounts and double coupons. I also find that if I keep a running tally as I shop, I'm more likely to wind up with a lower bill. Finally, we have meat as a main a few days a week; other times, it's a condiment, or we go veg.

Our cheap meals:
* Pasta, sauce and parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese. Bonus points if I can score cheap ground chuck or sausage to add.
* Pasta with beans and tomatoes. (Saute an onion till soft, add a drained/rinsed can of cannellini beans, a can of tomatoes, pepper, garlic powder and dried basil. You can also add fresh spinach at the end and let it wilt in.)
* Beans and rice. (Saute an onion, add one can of drained/rinsed black beans and one can of Rotel-style tomatoes, plus some frozen corn kernels, cumin, garlic powder, pepper.)
* Quesadillas. (Flour tortillas with cheese. I change up the fillings with chopped tomatoes, black beans and some chunks of Perdue Smart Cuts chicken.) We serve with beans and rice, sometimes the recipe above, other times just white rice and pintos.
* Eggs. Always cheap. Make an omelet and add a tossed salad, maybe some potatoes, bread.

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I also only buy food at the grocery store. All other things (toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc) I buy elsewhere.
I usually buy these at the grocery. Saves me time, and frankly the grocery prices are cheaper than Target and Walmart. LOTS of competition in this market.


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Cookbook to check out
Old 10-05-2019, 07:45 AM
  #6

https://cookbooks.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf

This writer earned her master's in food policy. As her capstone, she developed recipes designed for the SNAP program, which gives each person $4/day for food. Lots of ideas in here.

Also, Budget Bytes (budgetbytes.com) did a SNAP challenge a few years ago; go to the site and search for SNAP. Actually, Budget Bytes recipes are designed to be cheap.

One more source: the USDA.
https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education/recipes
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List
Old 10-05-2019, 08:05 AM
  #7

I always look for what is on sale and tend to buy the storeís brand.
My list includes:
beans (red beans, white beans, & black beans)
Brown rice
Chicken
Fresh and frozen vegetables
Fresh fruit (whatever is in season)
Tea (soda, if it is on sale)
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:27 AM
  #8

Quote:
Added:
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I also only buy food at the grocery store. All other things (toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc) I buy elsewhere.
I usually buy these at the grocery. Saves me time, and frankly the grocery prices are cheaper than Target and Walmart. LOTS of competition in this market.
That is funny! I always find them cheaper at Walmart and Target in our area. The 6 pack of toilet paper I like was $2 cheaper at Target last time I bought it. Our grocery store brand is more expensive than the Target or Walmart brand.
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Groceries on a tight budget
Old 10-05-2019, 08:58 AM
  #9

When my budget is super tight, I buy:
  • large package ground beef
  • hamburger buns
  • taco shells or tortillas
  • large bag salad
  • large bag baby carrots
  • package of lunch meat
  • package of cheese slices
  • speghetti sauce
  • speghetti noodles
  • package of drumsticks
  • rice and beans
  • Bag of apples
  • bananas

My dinner menu is:
Hamburgers and baked beans
Tacos
baked drumsticks with salad and rice
speghetti and meatballs
taco salad

For lunch I have left overs or make sandwiches, with an apples
When I was a single parent and had literally $35-40 for groceries for the week, this was my go to list and menu!
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:48 AM
  #10

Do you have a Grocery Outlet nearby? That is how I shop on a tight budget.


Yesterday I bought 3 boxes of decent (not just sugar crap) cereal for 55 cents each, some sparkling coconut water for 25 cents each (not something I'd buy on a super tight budget, but I don't buy drinks for my family unless they are super cheap), I think peanut butter was less than $2. You never know what they are going to have, but you can find ridiculously good deals.


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Old 10-05-2019, 11:18 AM
  #11

Adding to other suggestions--lentils are good and filling
Oatmeal--not the instant kind. I prefer the old-fashioned
Definitely read the food ads and buy what is on sale!
Black beans and rice
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:21 AM
  #12

Groceries are exorbitant prices these days!
Our country should be ashamed! Charging so much for food and having people go hungry!
This is the Land of Plenty!
Sorry I'll get off my soapbox now.
We always need to have the foods our teen son eats regularly on hand.
milk
chicken
apples
grapes
oranges (99 cents each!!! Outrageous!!!)
corn on the cob
cookies
pretzels
pork chops
fries
If we were in dire straits, my husband could survive on canned soup and I could survive on peanut butter and crackers.
Additional items: chuck roast, carrots, potatoes, onions, egg noodles, rigatoni, tomato sauce, hamburger meat, cheese, broccoli
Wow! We could really live on this!
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:31 AM
  #13

Our little local grocery store runs specials on meat (good quality). When it is on sale I buy larger quantities and use my food saver to package in the quantities we use for meals. I get fantastic deals on:

Ground round
Pork chops
Pork roast
Pork tenderloins
ribs
Frozen turkey breasts
Frozen chicken breasts
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:12 PM
  #14

Quote:
Groceries are exorbitant prices these days!
I just got back from the grocery. Eggs jumped $1 in the last week. Anyone else notice that? Yikes.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:39 PM
  #15

If I'm trying to save money, Mexican is typically a safe bet for eating cheaply. I'll buy a pound of ground beef, tortillas, lettuce, tomato, chips, and cheese and sour cream if needed (I often already have those on hand) and alternate between making wraps and taco salads.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:41 PM
  #16

Okay the first thing that would go for me are all the extras----cookies, soda, chips, fries, hamburger buns or any premade food.....also (TBH) things like oranges (especially if they're 99 cents each).
It might also vary according to who is in the house at the time. Adult(s)? Kid(s)?
Here's a general list and I'd add the caveat that, of course, I"d be looking at what's on sale in terms of the cheapest at the store.
*Store-brand sandwich bread (this would go well for sandwiches, grilled cheese, toast, hotdog or hamburger buns, etc.)
*Peanut butter (nutritionally dense, good for dipping stuff into and sandwhices)
*Bananas and carrots (both are relatively inexpensive at nearby grocery stores)
*Butter and milk
*Potatoes (for baking or sliced and with a bit of oil on top)
Here's a general list of meals:
Breakfast: toast; maybe cereal if there's one that's within budget
Lunch: PB sandwiches and/or leftovers with banana/carrots
Dinners:
*Spaghetti with sauce (if I could afford hamburger meat and things like onions or peppers, I'd add these to make it stretch out a bit)
*Cheese quesadillas (without anything else)
*Rice and beans
*Canned soup and grilled cheese
*Hot dogs
*Buttered noodles
*Pancakes or waffles for dinner

Of course, it'd be lovely to be able to add more to get some variety. Some things to add if possible: eggs; apples; chicken; frozen veggies; taco seasoning/refried beans.
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:48 PM
  #17

Coffee
Milk
Eggs
Flour
Rice
Sugar
Vegetables
Fruit
Pasta
Tortillas
Cheese
Tofu
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saving money
Old 10-05-2019, 02:15 PM
  #18

A thrifty way to shop is a grocery that offers bulk spices and herbs. You buy just what you need and don't have jars of herbs that go unused for months. Bulk flour, sugar and cereal will also save money.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:44 PM
  #19

Buy what's on sale, don't go over my grocery $$, and use coupons and more coupons.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:11 PM
  #20

Sometimes I just by eggs, milk, and bread and we use everything we have in the freezer and pantry. It's amazing how much food is in our house, but we say we have nothing to eat! it's an easy way to save 100 bucks AND clean out the fridge!
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:43 PM
  #21

My go-to budget meal way back when was beans, rice, taco seasoning, salsa, frozen corn, and as much chicken and/or cheese as budget allows - wrapped in a tortilla or eaten on its own.

It came to 50c-$1 a serving if you bought everything on sale.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:25 PM
  #22

We are not vegetarians, but have tried to cut back on meat. Weeks that are light on meat are so much cheaper.

Dinners

Spaghetti
Sweet potato tacos
Black bean and cheese quesadillas
Red curry lentils
Chickpea salad
Dragon noodles from budget bytes
Veg soup
Breakfast for dinner

Other meals/ snacks
Make my own bread
Peanut butter
Jelly
Oatmeal
Egg salad
Bananas
Lots of on sale fruits and vegetables
Rice and chicken broth
Milk
Cereal
Large yogurt
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:10 PM
  #23

Buy in bulk,divide,seal and freeze.Make bread in a crock pot(easy and cheap) Buy whole chicken and do the work of cutting up for your meals.
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Same as others basically
Old 10-05-2019, 06:22 PM
  #24

dried beans are super cheap

carrots

potatoes

cabbage

iceburg lettuce

onions

bananas

oatmeal

make oatmeal cookies

eggs

brown rice

buy the whole chicken to roast and use for several meals (roast chicken, chicken salad, chicken fried rice, chicken quesadillas, chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas...)

whole wheat bread

peanut butter

Make PB cookies

Make pancakes or waffles from scratch

pasta

cheese ( not already grated)

Make grilled cheese sandwiches

produce in season

ground meat- make meatloaf to stretch meat

butter

flour

baking soda

milk

pancake syrup

popcorn (not for microwave)

grits

box mac and cheese

canned tuna

cottage cheese

corn

Last edited by 1956BD; 10-05-2019 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:08 PM
  #25

I use our chest freezer quite a bit. So I buy bread at the Franz outlet and other items when they're on sale and freeze until we need them. I find we can get quite a few meals out of a batch of chili.

When we were on a really tight budget, I didn't use paper towels, or napkins and reused aluminum foil

And we really try to not waste food.
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Not wasting food
Old 10-06-2019, 09:00 AM
  #26

I have found I can use leftovers easily in omelettes, fried rice, quiche and soups.
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tight budget
Old 10-06-2019, 05:30 PM
  #27

It's been a while since mine was extremely tight, but these were regulars:

*red beans (dried)
*mac n' cheese (boxed)
*refried beans (canned)
*spaghetti sauce (canned - cheap)
*pasta (bagged - cheapest)
*cereal
*eggs
*bread (cheap)
*peanut butter (my fav)
*canned veggies (whatever was on sale)
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:51 PM
  #28

Thatís me this week! Iíve got $300 and wonít get paid until the 20th. Hoping for child support before then.

I am cleaning out the freezer and pantry. I have littles so I will just be buying fruit and veggies at the store. And a few essentials.

Meals:
Chicken and veggies
Spaghetti
Chili
Pizza
Quesadillas


Dinners will be a mash up things. Itís fine!
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:41 PM
  #29

Thanks a lot guys!

Tacos are really quick and easy and double as salad ingredients on another night.
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