Living On A Budget: Tips For Buying Cheap Groceries

When you just don't know how you'll make ends meet, cut back where you can; learn to eat for a week with these cheap grocery items

Going grocery shopping when you're on a tight budget can be a nerve wracking affair. You might even have to bring along your calculator, adding up every dollar and cent to make sure you don't go over your weekly budget. If this is you, then you may want to consider some of the following options as additions to your grocery list. There are many filling, healthful meal options that can help you stick to your budget and still have a meal that sticks to your ribs. If you get creative, you can go beyond ramen and still have a little cash left over at the end of the week.

First, stock up on dry goods in bulk such as rice, pasta, and beans. Whole wheat or whole grain versions of the rice and pasta are readily available in many stores, and make much more healthy options. Pick up a variety of beans such as pinto, kidney, and navy beans. These can be cooked together to make a delicious three bean salad or a thick and creamy bean stew. Also, any of the varieties of beans can be seasoned with cumin, chili powder, garlic and other inexpensive spices and served over warm rice for a cheap and filling meal. For the pasta, pick up a few inexpensive jars of your favorite ready to eat pasta sauce. For an even cheaper alternative, just buy a few cans of plain tomato sauce (one of the cheapest pantry staples you can keep on hand) and jazz it up with spices you may already have, such as basil, oregano, and garlic. Serve over the pasta.

Another wonderful idea for cheap meals is Mexican food staples like burritos, nachos and quesadillas. Burritos and nachos allow you to make two meals from the same batch of ingredients: refried beans, shredded cheese, sour cream, canned black olives, inexpensive salsa, green onion, and any other toppings you desire or can afford. For burritos, just wrap the ingredients up in a tortilla (a very inexpensive bread alternative) and heat, and for nachos, bake tortilla wedges in the oven until crisp and top with the ingredients. For quesadillas (a quick and easy Mexican version of the grilled cheese) butter a tortilla. Place it buttered side down in a skillet on medium heat. Top with shredded cheese and other fillings, then top with another buttered tortilla, buttered side up. When the cheese has melted, flip and brown the other side. Serve with salsa and sour cream.



For another inexpensive meal, try purchasing bulk bags of frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts along with a few bags of frozen vegetables. These items alone can make for meals for a week or more. Just season each chicken breast with your favorite spices, top it with leftover shredded cheese, or eat it on bread or a hamburger bun for a fun sandwich. Jazz up the frozen veggies with spices, butter or some shredded cheese.

Buying in bulk can save you lots of time and money. These staples will help you eat well until the next paycheck rolls around.

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