Stretch Your Grocery Budget – 7 Foods That Will Help

Stretch Your Grocery Budget.

Stretch Your Grocery Budget

These 7 foods can save you money and help stretch your grocery budget. There are many ways to save money on food, including purchasing only sale items, using coupons and preparing food in bulk for the freezer.

To ensure that you are saving the most amount of money possible on your food items, try to always keep the following budget friendly foods on hand.

1. Oats

A fantastic alternative to over-priced (usually) cereal, oats make a great breakfast option. A nice hot bowl of oatmeal is very satisfying on cold days (and even warm days if you are able to enjoy the luxury of air conditioning).

Avoid the individual packets at the store and buy oats in bulk. If you like having the packets for convenience, try making your own. It’s easy!

2. Beans

Beans can be used in just about every lunch and dinner meal. Eat them on their own, mixed in with chilli’s & soups, or substitute for meat in some dishes (such as tacos or burgers).

If you don’t want to give up all of the meat in your meal, try using a combination of half beans/half meat. You will hardly notice a difference in taste.

3. Rice

Rice is very inexpensive and extremely versatile. Use it for stir-fry, in soups, stuffed peppers, or on it’s own. You can even make desserts with rice that are very yummy.

4. Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most economical foods available. It’s not uncommon for 10 pound bags of potatoes to go on sale for less then $2.

Since potatoes are a produce item, they are cheaper at certain times of the year (July-March). When stored in a cold, dark area of your home, they can last for weeks.

5. In-Season Produce

You should always buy produce that’s in season if you’re looking to save money on your grocery bill. Check out our in-season produce guide to know the best time to buy a variety of different produce.

Once in season, buy produce in bulk and freeze, so those items will last you well into the seasons that they are not at their cheapest/freshest.

6. Pasta

We often have a pasta meal every week, because we know how much money it saves us to eat that type of meal.

Pasta is a very inexpensive (even more so if you buy it on sale and with a coupon) alternative to a big meat-heavy meal.

7. Eggs

Eggs are an inexpensive protein that can be used for many meatless meals such as omelettes, boiled eggs, and other ‘breakfast for dinner’ type meals.

Eggs often last about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, so stock up when you see a great sale.

All of these foods are inexpensive and can really help to stretch your grocery budget further.

Watch for sales and stock up for as long as you can (be sure that you will be able to consume the items before their expiration date).

I recommend checking out The Bulk Barn for most of your bulk food purchases (we buy our oats, spices, and more from there). They are usually much cheaper than the grocery stores and often have great money saving coupons available as well.

Are there any other foods you would add to this list?

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  1. Betty says:

    all good choices. I’d like to add one more staple: PEANUT BUTTER if no one is allergic. It seems that whenever we don’t know what to eat, or we’re in a hurry, or whatever, peanut butter on toast seems to be out answer (with a nice cold glass of milk). (either that or it’s toasted tomato sandwiches).

  2. Jessica says:

    Does anyone know any store that would be the equivalent of Bulk Barn here in Lower Mainland, BC?

  3. christel says:

    FYI, all grains are treated for critters. Problems with them can and DO occur ANYWHERE, not just Bulk Barn. Grain being open and exposed can cause quicker spreading of an infestation, but bugs are determined and will eat through all paper and plastic type packaging. The larvae is always there in the grain, and given enough time, it will eventually hatch, even if it’s treated. The important thing to remember is to check purchased items when you buy from a shelf (package date), and if you’re buying from Bulk Barn, make sure it’s an item that’s very popular. I would be leery of purchasing flour there, because I’m not sure if they use a FIFO (first in first out) process or if they just dump new product on the top, and there may be larvae in some of the more unpopular items.

  4. Miranda says:

    We store potatoes from our garden and they stay good all winter long!

  5. Abbie says:

    Evaporated & powered milk. Regular milk just doesn’t last in my home and when I want it for cooking or baking, its not there. A can of evap milk lasts a week and I can put it in anything, a splash in my tea, the kids cocoa, etc…

  6. Abigail says:

    Good ideas. We incorporate most of them, but so glad to have this website to help me stay on track.

    On a related note, I am looking for instructions on how to store different fruits and veggies. I know tomatoes are better if not in the fridge, but what if I have half of one left? Should I store my bananas away from other fruit on the counter? (I heard that somewhere). And what prep do different fruits and veggies need before they can go in the freezer? And I am really confused about the best use of ‘crisper’ drawers in my fridge. It seems like some things like more humidity and some don’t. I HATE to waste things and it would be great to find all this info in one place. Can someone help? Thanks!

  7. Mrs January says:

    Abigail: Always store cut tomatoes in the fridge so they last longer. Yes, keep your bananas away from CERTAIN foods, especially bread, or the banana flavour will seep into it. Keeping bananas near other fruit is okay. As for prep for the freezer, most fruits just be cut (if necessary) and popped into a freezer bag. Most vegetables (like carrots and broccoli) will need to be blanched before freezing.

  8. eric says:

    Mrs. January, where do you get your coupons for the Bulk Barn?

  9. Mrs January says:

    eric: On the Bulk Barn website. There are not currently any coupons available though. Hopefully soon!

  10. Nicole says:

    I love everything about Mrs. January and this post but I do not eat a lot of these staples (grains/white potatoes/beans) because I try to practice a paleo lifestyle. I also find that a lot of coupons are for processed food or food with additives. It’s so hard to find coupons for fresh produce and meat 🙁 Keep up the good work.

  11. kaylie says:

    just title it “foods for prison”

  12. Jorina says:

    I try to limit white grains/pasta and processed foods. Any idea where we can get coupons for natural foods, or fresh produce and meat?
    Also, what is it about Bulk Barn that screams “Made in China – stay away!”? Am I the only one who is very leery about their products?

  13. Nicole W says:

    At this time of year, I find that many of my friends & neighbours are complaining that they have too many apples or zucchinis in their yards & gardens. I always offer take them & in return bake something nice to give back and freeze the rest of my baking for the winter. Many people don’t seem to bother canning or freezing their garden veggies. Don’t be afraid to ask!

  14. Sally H. says:

    As far as the Bulk Barn goes, Bulk Food Warehouse on Plains road in Burlinton, ON is much cheaper. The owner is very knowledgeable. I comparison shopped one day as she is not open Sunday. I ‘needed’ some things so went to the BB.
    When comparing, if I had bought all my items, about 12, I would have paid about $15.00 as opposed to $23.00 ! ! !

  15. Chris says:

    You can add to the list canned or frozen vegetables such as corn and peas.

    And if you need some tomato sauce for the pasta, passata di pomodoro (strained tomatoes) often sells tax-free for CAD <1.00/720-mL bottle.

    Also: don't forget the pulses (legumes)!

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