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frugal foodsDry Goods – These are great items to buy in bulk. Not only will you get these items dirt cheap that way, but they also have a long shelf life and will last you all year. If you don’t have a membership to Sam’s Club or Costco, you can get them on Amazon for around the same price. You can even save an extra 15% if you subscribe and get it mailed to you automatically the next time you need it. I have included a couple links to some good bulk deals on Amazon for your convenience.

  1. Oats
  2. Grits
  3. Rice – brown or white
  4. Lentils
  5. Pasta
  6. Mac and cheese ($0.39 cents a box at ALDI)
  7. Beans (especially black beans, great northern beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans)
  8. Cornmeal (for cornbread)
  9. Breadcrumbs
  10. Saltine crackers

Bakery

  1. Bagels ($1.29 at ALDI)
  2. Tortillas ($1 at Dollar Tree)
  3. English Muffins ($0.99 a pack at ALDI)
  4. Bread ($0.49-$0.85 at ALDI)

Canned/Jar foods

  1. Pasta sauce
  2. Tuna
  3. Salmon
  4. PB&J
  5. Chickpeas
  6. Corn
  7. Tomatoes (puree or diced)
  8. Canned fruits
  9. Canned pumpkin

Dairy

  1. Eggs
  2. Powdered milk
  3. Yogurt ($0.37 at ALDI)
  4. Cheese singles

Produce (View this guide for the cheapest produce month-by-month)

  1. Potatoes
  2. Bananas
  3. Apples
  4. Watermelon
  5. Corn
  6. Oranges
  7. Celery
  8. Green peppers
  9. Frozen Veggies ($1 per bag at ALDI)
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Carrots
  12. Onions
  13. Seasonal veggies and fruits
  14. Greens (collard and mustard)
  15. Cabbage
  16. Zucchini

Baking goods

  1. Flour
  2. Sugar
  3. Baking powder
  4. Cake mix

Meats

  1. Whole chicken
  2. Chicken legs
  3. Chicken thighs
  4. Turkey bacon ($1.79 at ALDI)
  5. Ground beef (especially the stuff in the tubes)
  6. Ground turkey
  7. Pepperoni
  8. Pork shoulder and bone-in pork chops
  9. Turkey polish kielbasa ($1.50 at ALDI)
  10. Pork Boston Butt
  11. Tofu (not a meat, but it can act like a meat in a dish to save money)

Snacks

  1. Popcorn
  2. Peanuts
  3. Pumpkin seeds
  4. Edamame
  5. Pretzels
  6. Hazelnut Spread
  7. Almonds

Seasonings
You can get most seasonings for under $1.50 at ALDI, Big Lots, & Dollar Tree


Some sample frugal meals made with these cheap ingredients

Breakfast Under $1 Per Serving

  1. homemade oat & honey granola bars
  2. cinnamon oatmeal
  3. eggs with toast
  4. yogurt with granola
  5. turkey bacon and grits
  6. breakfast sandwich
  7. bagel and cream cheese
  8. fruit salad
  9. biscuits with gravy
  10. omelets
  11. pancakes
  12. waffles
  13. hard boiled egg and toast
  14. french toast
  15. tofu scramble
  16. breakfast burrito
  17. potato and egg hash
  18. peanut butter toast
  19. sliced banana and hazelnut spread on toast
  20. pumpkin oatmeal

Lunch Under $1 Per Serving

  1. homemade hummus with celery or carrots
  2. chicken salad sandwich
  3. tuna salad sandwich
  4. pasta salad with veggies
  5. peanut butter and banana sandwich
  6. peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread
  7. PB&J
  8. potato soup
  9. tomato soup
  10. caesar chicken wrap
  11. BLTs with turkey bacon
  12. grilled cheese
  13. hazelnut spread and banana roll up
  14. cucumber sandwich
  15. tuna melt
  16. thai peanut noodles
  17. apple and peanut butter wrap
  18. chicken burrito with salsa
  19. bean and cheese burrito
  20. black bean and corn quesadilla
  21. egg salad sandwich
  22. tuna salad with crackers
  23. chicken salad with crackers
  24. mac and cheese
  25. pasta salad
  26. mini pizzas

Dinner Under $1 Per Serving

  1. grilled chicken
  2. chili and cornbread
  3. lemon or garlic roasted chicken
  4. tacos
  5. spaghetti with meat sauce
  6. tuna casserole
  7. shepards pie
  8. salmon patties
  9. beef stew
  10. chicken stir fry
  11. chicken and broccoli casserole
  12. taco salad
  13. cobb salad
  14. tuna cakes
  15. sausage with green peppers and onions
  16. fiesta black beans and rice
  17. beef and bean burritos
  18. bean soup
  19. stuffed bell peppers
  20. yellow rice and black beans
  21. chicken quesadillas
  22. rice burrito bowl
  23. chicken pot pie
  24. baked chicken
  25. red beans and white rice
  26. chicken tenders
  27. homemade pizza
  28. english muffin / texas toast pizzas
  29. Italian breaded pork chops
  30. black bean burger
  31. bean and vegetable curry
  32. white beans and sausage
  33. beans and weiners
  34. chicken and dumplings
  35. pork carnitas
  36. pulled pork sandwiches (slow cooker version)
  37. black bean soup
  38. pasta carbonara
  39. egg fried rice
  40. salisbury steak with caramelized onion gravy
  41. salsa chicken
  42. chicken parmesan
  43. chicken noodle casserole
  44. stir fry with tofu
  45. chicken enchiladas
  46. homemade calzones
  47. chicken and rice casserole
  48. loaded baked potato
  49. hamburger casserole
  50. chicken fried rice (or lo-mein)
  51. honey mustard chicken
  52. paprika chicken & rice bake
  53. bbq chicken
  54. chicken fajitas
  55. chicken and dumplings
  56. spagetti pie
  57. chicken alfredo
  58. brown sugar glazed pork chops

Sides Under $1 Per Serving

  1. baked potato
  2. corn on the cob
  3. mashed potatoes
  4. pinto beans
  5. cornbread
  6. black beans
  7. collard greens
  8. creamed spinach
  9. refried beans
  10. broccoli with cheese sauce
  11. green beans
  12. side salad
  13. baked beans
  14. pan fried potatoes and onions
  15. homemade rolls
  16. scalloped potatoes
  17. mac and cheese
  18. green bean casserole
  19. spanish rice
  20. fried cabbage

Desserts Under $1 Per Serving

  1. peanut butter cookies
  2. basic muffins
  3. rice pudding
  4. baked oat-stuffed apples
  5. banana bread
  6. oatmeal cookies
  7. banana pudding
  8. peach cobbler
  9. snickerdoodles
  10. banana pudding
  11. apple crisp
  12. peanut butter oat bites
  13. frozen yogurt pops

For more frugal & healthy meal ideas, check out my other posts:

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