Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheap Ingredients

Times are tight financially for many of us and for stay at home moms its really not anything new.  Lately, though, my husband I are really feeling the economy.  Our home value has gone down about a third of its value in the last three years and I'm sure it will continue to sink until the economy turns around.  This gives us extra pressure to pay extra on our mortgage.  So in an attempt to save money we are cutting our grocery bill down considerably.  Here are some ways we are doing this:

1) We are buying the least expensive food items.  This is also the healthier choice. That means no processed foods, less salty/sweet snacks, and more "ingredients" rather than "prepared" foods.

2) We are doing as much self preparation of the meals ourselves as possible.

3) I will be planning and searching for meals with these less costly ingredients to try to maintain variety in our foods.  Just because we are using inexpensive foods doesn't mean our table has to look the same every night.

So prior to throwing together my meal plan and shopping list I decided to sit down and compile a list of the least expensive foods to help build my meals around.  

1) dry beans - I am currently on a quest to find crockpot recipes that include dry beans/lentils
2) lentils
3) whole wheat pasta (or make your own. I haven't gotten to that point yet though!)
4) Rice (We scored a 25 lbs bag at Sam's club for $15)
5) Potatoes
6) Bread flour instead of bread (I recommend buying a bread maker at a thrift store (make sure it has its owners manual)  and make your own bread. It's not hard to dump some ingredients in and push a button)
7) Cabbage
8) Carrots
9) Celery
10) Onion
11) Canned tomatoes (I recommend canning your own rather than using store bought canned. It is much healthier, but I am sure I will resort to using canned at some point when my canned tomato stash is gone.)

12) Eggs This is especially inexpensive when you have family with chickens! Buying them from a farm in the country is also an inexpensive choice if they are not too far out in the country.
13) Bulk cheddar cheese -  Sam's Club sells large block of cheese from around $10-$13.  If you don't have a Sam's membership GFS is another excellent choice. Otherwise any other bulk food store should have large cheese blocks as an option.
14)  Frozen veggies such as peas, broccoli, spinach, corn
15) Bananas (Packed with nutrients.)
16) Seasonal Fruits (The prices are going to vary depending on where you live. Check your local grocery ad for the best deals.)
17) Seasonal Veggies

That's all I can find for now, but I may update this post as I locate good inexpensive foods or if any of you have ideas for me.


  1. Hi I wanted to say that dry beans cook much more quickly in a pressure cooker. I use mine all the time for lentils and beans it takes around 30 minutes to cook them this way.

  2. hmm, I don't have a pressure cooker. Maybe I can borrow one or find one at a thrift store. Thanks for the tip!