Best Foods To Buy To Stretch Your Budget

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Whether it's an unexpected emergency expense, loss of income or ongoing struggles to get ahead--- many of us will at one time or another find our pantries getting as empty as our bank accounts! There's always the 'ramen diet' to fall back on... but we all want something a little more substantial and better for us, right? Today,I am sharing some inexpensive foods for when we really need--- or want-- to pinch those pennies.
  • Beans. Beans can be a great source of protein and are very inexpensive. Bagged beans are generally cheaper than your canned beans, but do take a little more work. Not only can these be used as a meat substitute, they can also be added in to help stretch your meat-- and therefore your budget--- much further.
  • Oats (Plain). Now if you start looking into instant oatmeal flavored packets, you'll find your costs rising, but a basic oat is generally very inexpensive and has many uses. It's a great breakfast food that can be personalized to your tastes, but serves many other purposes in the kitchen as well- baking, breading meat, even meatloaf to again help stretch that meat! They are high in fiber and keep you feeling full longer. In addition, oats can be used in many homemade beauty treatments saving you money not just on food, but on your self care routine too. 
  • Eggs. There is so much that can be done with eggs, isn't there!? Scrambled up with some fresh veggies, on a sandwich, hard boiled, egg salad, fried over potatoes and onions... the options are limitless! Eggs are generally very inexpensive, and can be a great source of protein too! 
  • Bananas. When it comes to fruit, nothing can quite beat the price of bananas! And what kiddo doesn't love bananas anyway! Eat them on their own, or take your PB sandwich to the next level and add them in! 
  • Potatoes. Another great versatile and inexpensive food--- potatoes! Fried, mashed, baked, homemade fries, in a soup, you name it! They can be quite filling and the perfect inexpensive side to any meal. I like to create one skillet meals with veggies and meat... always a hit! 
  • Frozen Vegetables. Now, we all know that canned veggies are generally cheaper, BUT frozen don't cost too much more (depending on brands and where you shop, they can actually be about the same or cheaper) and are healthier too! 
  • Rice. Rice is very inexpensive and a great source of fiber. It is ideal for bulking up meals, in casseroles, soups, as a side, etc... it's also a great inexpensive breakfast, just add in a hint of sugar and cinnamon! Yum! 
  • Green Onions. Not only do these add a flavorful topping to baked potatoes, soups, etc... they are also very inexpensive. A bundle is generally less than $1 in my area! Not only that, but when you use what you need, you can place them in water and it will actually regrow, so you can always have some on hand without the need to buy over and over! 
  • Peanut Butter. (Almost) every kid loves peanut butter, right? It's very inexpensive so PB sandwiches are a great, thrifty lunch options, but it's ideal for snacking too--- throw it on some saltines or on some celery for a nice protein filled snack.
  • Celery. Celery is a very inexpensive vegetable option. It's great in a roast or soup, but in our home, it's mostly for snacking. Peanut butter or ranch dressing... my family loves it either way! 
  • Popcorn. Speaking of snacks, when you skip the bagged and super buttered versions, it can actually be a very budget friendly and healthy treat. A bag of kernels generally costs $1-3 and lasts for a long while.Simply pop over the stove top with a little bit of oil. (Popcorn oil might give it a little more flavor, BUT can be pricier... we simply use our regular cooking oil and shake some salt on after!)

These are just a few of the great foods that can help stretch your budget when you're running out of pennies to pinch. What are your favorite budget friendly foods? 

Stay tuned for more great tips to stretch your grocery budget! 

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