15 Foods To Buy When You’re Broke

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When money is tight, yet you need to feed your family, it’s essential to know what to buy. You can get specific foods to make different meals for yourself and your loved ones at low prices without breaking the bank. So if you’re ready to save money without worrying about going hungry, check out these 15 foods to buy when you’re broke.

15 Foods To Buy When You’re Broke

15 Foods To Buy When You're Broke

1. Frozen Vegetables

You can’t go wrong with frozen vegetables! While fresh vegetables aren’t always affordable, you can get generic brand frozen vegetables for a dollar per bag or less. These bags of vegetables provide enough servings to feed a small family. Some of the veggies worth buying and adding to your freezer include broccoli, broccoli with cauliflower and carrots, spinach, and peas!

2. Bread

If you have bread at home, you can do a lot with it. Not only is a loaf of bread cheap when you buy the generic brand at the grocery store, but it’s also good to have for making different meal options, including toast with butter, sandwiches, homemade stuffing, and more. While you can buy traditional white bread for cheap, whole wheat bread is an even better option because it’s a complex carb that offers numerous health benefits.

3. Eggs

Grab eggs when they’re at their lowest price and store them in the fridge. Depending on where you live and where you shop, you can get a dozen eggs in a carton for 99 cents or less, which is quite the steal. It’s good to have eggs because you can scramble them, fry them, boil them, use them as a base for breading chicken, and more. So, not only are eggs good for you, but they’re also cheap, tasty, and versatile enough to use in different meals. Remember that brown eggs tend to cost more, so you’re better off financially sticking with white eggs.

4. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein. You don’t need to buy the brand-name stuff, either! Instead, get yourself a small container of generic creamy or crunchy peanut butter and enjoy it on bread or toast. You can also use it as a dip for fruit and veggies, including apple slices, celery sticks, and carrots. Besides its flavor, the other good thing about peanut butter is that it tends to go a long way, depending on how thick you spread it or dip it.

Read More of My Articles  Food Prices Will Be Going Up

5. Pasta

Be sure to grab pasta while it’s on sale. Most grocery stores will have deals where you can even get the popular brands at low prices from time to time. It’s good to have pasta because you can make different things with it, including spaghetti with sauce, chicken alfredo, macaroni and beef, and even pasta salad. In addition, it’s the kind of food that can fill you up fast. So when you don’t have a lot of money but want to make sure you and your loved ones don’t go hungry, pasta is an excellent choice.

6. Beans

Buy cans of beans for less than a dollar and make different meals with them, such as hot dogs with baked beans, homemade chili, or even bean burritos. If you’re not the biggest fan of beans, there are ways to use them in different recipes to keep you feeling full while adding more flavor.

7. Pasta Sauce

If you’re going to buy pasta, be sure to get pasta sauce too. While you can make it yourself from scratch with different ingredients, it often requires more work and costs more money. Save yourself time and money by purchasing pasta sauce while it’s on sale to get the best deal.

8. Canned Chicken

Don’t hesitate to get some canned chicken while you’re at the grocery store. Although it might sound strange, canned chicken is excellent for chicken salad, chicken tacos, and homemade soup. It’s pre-cooked for you to save you some time, and it’s an affordable way to add a bit of meat to different meals.

9. Canned Tuna

Not only can you benefit from buying canned chicken, but you should also get canned tuna. It’s good for you, contains nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, and is a versatile ingredient. Prepare tuna noodle casserole, tuna salad, tuna sandwiches, and more.

10. Hot Dogs

Okay, they’re not the healthiest food on the planet, but hot dogs are cheap and can come in handy when you’re sticking to a budget. You can eat them on hot dog buns or bread, slice them up and fry them, or eat them with baked beans to have a flavorful meal that leaves you feeling full. They’re also a real favorite with the kids.

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11. Chicken/Beef/Vegetable Broth

Grab some chicken, beef, or vegetable broth to have at home. You can use it to make homemade soups with ease, adding a bit of pasta, frozen vegetables, and some seasonings to the mixture before serving it to your loved ones.

12. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is great to have for breakfast because it’s good for you and can keep you feeling full. Instead of buying the costly oatmeal packages, get yourself some oats and make oatmeal using warm water or milk, along with your favorite spices, such as cinnamon sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and more.

13. Bananas

When you want something sweet yet affordable, get bananas. They taste good and are very healthy for you, but you can also get them at low prices. Mark enjoys a banana with his breakfast cereal each morning. He’s seen them for a low as $.39 per pound up to $.69 per pound. If they start to become overripe, you can make banana bread with them! In case you missed this post, The Best Banana Bread & Muffins

14. Potatoes

You can get a large bag of potatoes for a low price at the grocery store. Once you have the potatoes, you can prepare twice-baked potatoes, make homemade mashed potatoes, or even slice them up and fry them. With many ways to prepare them, you can’t go wrong with buying potatoes and having plenty of them at home. This is the time of year to look for some great deals as the potatoes are being harvested and are in good supply. In case you missed this post, Cheesy Potato Casserole (Funeral Potatoes)

15. Rice

Buy a large bag of rice, and it should last you a while. Rice stretches and isn’t as tricky to cook as some people might think. It’s even easier if you already have a rice cooker at home. You can do so much with rice, from adding it to soups, serving it as a side dish with soy sauce on top, or even eating it with beans. Rice can keep you feeling full, too. In case you missed this post, How to Cook Rice.

Final Word 

These are the top 15 foods to buy when you’re broke. If you want to feed your family and save money, be sure to add these foods to your grocery list. We all know food prices are going up, so please add to your food inventory now. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Various types of Pasta Depositphotos_41609615_S

12 thoughts on “15 Foods To Buy When You’re Broke

  • October 2, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for all the great suggestions here, Linda! With rising prices and inflation now our family of seven is already hunkering down and doing all we can to stretch out the food budget with a hot dog night every week, and a can or two of ready made chili pairs well with that and stretches it out as well. We also have a taco/nacho night as all the ingredients for that are still cheap. Another inexpensive meal we do every week is our “rice mix” meal–three boxes of Zatarain’s rice mixes, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, and sliced up kielbasa or bratwursts. The mixes are in a variety of flavors and it fills up our family for cheap with some left over. Another flavorful cheap base for other mix-ins is ramen, a favorite of our youngest. He likes his with a sliced up boiled egg and a few slices of folded lunch meat laid on top. This time of year is also great for storage of winter squash and pumpkins for eating over the winter. They’re super cheap at orchards and produce stands, last several months if stored right, and are very filling. There are many other ways to stretch the budget right now, but I so appreciate you doing these posts as they always give me other ideas. God bless you and your family!

    • October 2, 2021 at 9:35 am

      Hi Tracy, thank you for your kind words. I really do not know how families can feed themselves with the rising prices. It helps if they can cook from scratch like you. I remember raising my girls and we had tacos every Friday, ground beef with hashbrowns or ground beef with rice. It would stretch the meat in the tacos. Great tip on the winter squash!! I like all of your tips and so will others, thank you for sharing. Thank goodness for Zatarain’s rice mixes and ramen! I used to make a dish with ground beef, frozen peas, and ramen, our family loved it! Life is so good when we know how to feed our family with less money. Good job, Linda

      • October 2, 2021 at 4:14 pm

        Linda, this list will be very helpful to so many people in need of saving money on their food budget. Thank you!!!
        I would add lentils and wheat. We like lentil tacos, lentils n’ egg, lentil soup, lentil apple cake, chocolate lentil cake. Homemade wheat bread, wheat patties (even my meat loving guys like these), wheat chili (we call it chuckwagon chili), blender wheat pancakes, wheat muffins, we put part whole wheat flour in mist of our desserts/cookies, etc.

        • October 2, 2021 at 5:18 pm

          Hi Janet, oh my gosh, You taught me about lentils I need to address that in my next list. Wheat and lentils can stretch so many meals and make delicious ones at the same time!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your reminder about them! Thank you, Linda

    • October 2, 2021 at 4:25 pm

      Not sure if your family would like this but we use to eat it growing up and my brother and I both still eat it
      when we can’t think of anything else. Spaghetti or Macaroni and tomato juice. Just cook the pasta then drain in
      the same pan add tomato juice or diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, butter and sugar. bring to a low boil till butter is melted
      then add pasta. If you want add a can of mushrooms or whatever you like. You can eat meat on the side if you’d like.
      Also another is Breaded tomatoes. Take canned tomatoes, pour in a pan, again add salt, pepper, butter and sugar when it
      is hot tear up bread and put in the tomatoes. let simmer only a few minutes. Then eat. You can make it thicker or thinner
      depends on how much bread per tomatoes you use. I had one person I worked with cll it a treat. I asked her if she grew up poor and she said no. Didn’t think so.

      • October 2, 2021 at 5:20 pm

        Hi June, great comment! I grew up poor and didn’t know I was poor. But I was never hungry. You have some great tips, Linda

  • October 2, 2021 at 3:30 pm


    After I got out of the Navy and started college many of my friends lived on boxed mac and cheese. I was married and the house we were in didn’t have a freezer. But I had had been raised to be prepared. Ft. Collins, Colorado, where we were going to school. had a community meat locker and the annual rent was really cheap. So I went to the local livestock auction and bought half a beef, had it dressed out into steaks, roasts and burger and stored it in the meat locker. When hunting season came around I got an elk and did the same thing. We bought a large bag of rice from the local co-op (again cheap since we volunteered there). Between that and fishing and gardening we ate really well.

    I no longer hunt, but I still buy 1/2 a beef annually from a local rancher and have it processed. The price comes to between $5 & $7 per pound–expensive for hamburger (or at least it used to be–but cheap for good steaks and roasts, plus you always end up with some decent stew meat, bones for broth or your dogs. And if you don’t like organ meat like heart and liver, it’s the best possible raw food for your dogs.

    What I’m saying is buying direct from a local beef or hog rancher, getting some fishing tackle and hunting gear and local licenses can go a long way to keeping people fed (if they know how to fish and hunt). And with current meat prices the tackle, hunting gear and licenses are cheap.

    I do love pasta and have it stored in jars with O2 absorbers and desiccant packs to keep it from getting buggy. I store some white rice the same way and more in mylar bags with O2 absorbers and desiccant packs. I have self-canned green beans and dry beans like pintos in my pantry and we never have less than 20 lbs of dry pintos stored in either jars or mylar as above. I also like Ramen noodles, Rice a Roni, Pasta Roni and those are usually cheap–though I do repackage any of them as above when I’m putting them in long term storage. I do the same with flour and pancake mix. As far as I’m concerned weevils are just extra protein but my wife has a very strong different opinion–thus all the O2 absorbers.

    I agree that canned meats when you can get them on sale or at warehouse places like Costco are a really good deal. But canned fruit, like sliced peaches, can be had cheap too. You just have to keep your eyes open for the sales. Our local Smith’s (a Kroger subsidiary) has case lot sales at least twice a year.

    I’m not LDS but when we lived in Las Vegas there was an LDS store there where you could buy cheap, canned goods, or even bring in your own food and jars and can it on site. Let me tell you, those LDS folks know a thing or two about the right way to store food long term.

    • October 2, 2021 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Ray, oh your comment brings back great memories for me. We used to buy 1/2 beef and it would last a whole year for my family. Isn’t it wonderful that we were raised to survive and take care of ourselves? It’s actually a blessing because we also learned to cook from scratch. I forgot you live close to the case lot sales, like me!! SQUEAL! I love the savings! I love the feeling of having canned goods stocked, there is no better feeling than knowing we are self-reliant. I love your comment as always, Linda

  • October 2, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    I really enjoyed this post!

    I know what I’m about to share will sound strange to some but please keep in mind that I grew up very country.

    Growing up anytime any of us killed a rattlesnake, copperhead, or cottonmouth we would never let it go to waste as we (I still do it now as an adult…old habits) would clean it, skin it, then eat it. Any recipe that calls for chicken can be replaced with a rattlesnake. I was raised to look at the above-mentioned snakes as 100% free as no money is needed to get that protein put on the table plus no hunting or fishing license is needed and if that isn’t enough you are making your area safer by harvesting them. My favorite recipe to use for this is “Chicken” & Dumplings.

    As always I lean so much from your posts and the comments from others. This service you provide is priceless!

    • October 3, 2021 at 4:17 am

      Hi Ravenna, oh how I love your comment! I have never skinned a snake of any kind. Isn’t it wonderful how you were taught this skill! I never really thought about the fact that o license was needed for snakes! Great comment! It tastes like chicken, oh my gosh, chicken and dumplings, you rock, my friend! Thank you for your kind words, I love our forum here as well! Linda

  • October 3, 2021 at 12:32 am

    Vegetables and fruits are esssential. Canned or dried rather than frozen might fit a given situation (e.g., no electricity or extended period). Don’t try to do without them.

    • October 3, 2021 at 4:10 am

      Hi Jim, great comment, it’s so true. We need vegetables and fruits, canned or dried work for sure! Linda


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