19 Cheap Foods To Buy When You Are Broke

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Budget Grocery Shopping – Learn to prepare decent meals on a budget.

They say health is wealth, but with the rapidly increasing inflation all over the globe, eating healthy and enough food is becoming a real struggle, especially for minimum-wage workers and hard-working students. You cannot achieve anything on an empty stomach, therefore we made a list of cheap foods to ensure you get enough nutrition to conquer the world, or at least pass your exams successfully. Your search for “affordable restaurants near me” is in this article. 

Ways to save money eating out at restaurants

Well, if you are looking for ways to eat out daily, or cheap places to eat near me, we sadly have to inform you that this is not the case. To make sure your food is as inexpensive as possible, you should consider cooking for yourself at home using a budget shopping list with the cheapest grocery items that would make you some tasty yet cheap meals and cheap places to eat near me.

In the following list, which we collected from different food groups, you’ll explore good sources of protein, vegetables and fruits, carbs, and dairy that would make you the perfect budget-friendly grocery list.

Affordable restaurants near me, Start by buying cheap ingredients

Cheap sources of protein

Eggs, on the menu of your cheap American restaurant near me

The go-to of all students, and gym bros, eggs are affordable yet an effective source of animal protein. Although the more expensive organic eggs are much healthier, it’s very okay to settle for the normal ones.

Eggs can compose a nutritious and tasty breakfast, like French toast, fried eggs, omelets, and much more. Also, you can enhance other dishes with a boiled egg in cases like Asian food, famously, ramen, and noodles. Yes, it’s budget food, but that does not mean it’s bad.


The key element of each and every English breakfast, a can of beans, can go a long way with all varieties out there. And It’s vegan too. Beans are high in protein and can cure your crippling diarrhea with their high fiber quantities. But if you are afraid of gasses, then it’s better to avoid them before attending a meeting.

Lentils, the cheapest food near me

High on protein, and can be used in a variety of dishes including salads, soups, and or stews, lentils are yet another cheap option for all the healthy eaters out there. Also, it’s cheap making a good fit for your grocery shopping budget list, or just search for “cheap lunch near me” and eat out.


Chicken is a cheap type of meat, but you know what’s even cheaper? The unpopular cuts. It’s one of the cheapest food near me. When shopping for chicken or any type of meat generally go for unpopular cuts, it’s more likely to find chicken breast expensive compared to wings or thighs, while they both provide the same amount of protein and calories. You can also ask for leftovers from cheap places to eat near me in a halal restaurant near you. 

Also, there are many stores selling an entire cooked chicken, suitable for taco fillings, pasta, pizza, or toppings after adding a little seasoning from your side, since it’s more likely to buy a whole cooked chicken flavorless.

Ground turkey

All you need is a fridge, and you are willing to stock up your meat reserves using the Thanksgiving sale. Ground turkey is one of the healthiest poultry products, yet it’s tasty as unhealthy fast food. Other than that, one whole turkey can feed up to 3 days a whole small family with a variety of dishes. If you are broke, the ground turkey should be on your cheap grocery list for a month. 

Don’t forget that searching for “cheap dine-in restaurants near me” can help you get some good meals of ground turkey for when you have the urge to go out. 

Ground beef

Beef is the most comprehensive animal source of protein that can provide immense value to your nutritious habits. Also, you can use beef in a variety of dishes same as ground turkey. With the benefits of all the added flavor beef has when compared to chicken or other poultry products.

Cheap vegetables and fruits


It’s a fact that organic food is more expensive than junk, but Bananas manage to take the best of both sides, they are cheap and can be found almost on any cheap food shopping list, and highly nutritious. Bananas can be used in a wide range of quick meals, or eaten by themselves, after all the fiber-loaded fruit is popular among all people.


Apples can be found almost all year round, and are fairly cheap to buy making them the best item for your cheap grocery list for one person or many. As they say, one apple a day keeps the doctor at bay, you can eat them raw, or mixed with other fruits, and yogurts, or if you are fancy, you can always bake an apple pay that’s high in nutritious value.


Again, one of the versatile vegetables, and almost the favorite of all people around the world for its taste, and for cheapness making it at the top of low-budget grocery shopping.

Potatoes can be served in different ways, and on a wide range of dishes, or solely alone in mashed potatoes, French fries, and more.


Onions work in the dark like cheap dine-in restaurants near me, they might not be the highlight of your dish, but for sure they are the backbone of all tasty meals. Unless you opt for onion rings, onions are widely used in salads, traditional Asian dishes, and more. Also, they come cheap when bought in bulk, making them a great way to fill your pantry with flavors without breaking the bank.


It’s scientifically proven that eating carrots won’t make your vision better, however reading and finishing our article will enhance your vision to see cheap foods and add them to your grocery list on a budget.

Carrots can be used in a range of dishes, most significantly adding them to tomato-based pasta to upgrade its taste of it. Though baby carrots can be a bad choice to purchase, they are more expensive and processed. Not peled long carrots are the name of the game here.


When tired of searching for “affordable places to eat near me” you might consider shopping for Cabbage. It’s not the favorite food of everyone, yet it’s a feeling fiber-rich food that can be used in a variety of salads and some condiments, added to soups, pasta, and sandwiches as fillings. Cabbage can also last longer if properly wrapped in the fridge than most other vegetables.

Frozen vegetables

Although frozen vegetables and canned ones cost the same, frozen vegetables have superior benefits than the others and can be a great way to ensure you are getting enough vitamins all year long.

Also, they can be used in a variety of dishes, Rice and soup is an options but not the limit of how you can use these items from your cheap grocery items.

Cheap sources of carbs


In Japanese Rice is called Kami, Kami also means god or a supernatural spirit, which is exactly what Rice is for this list of cheap grocery items. It’s among the most eaten food items, with its basic taste and the variety of ways it can be used. Whether in salads, as a filling, or as a complimentary dish, Rice is versatile.

Also, buying large Rice bags during sales can be cheaper than their original price. Broke or rich, adding Rice to your meals will ensure you have a hearty meal always.


As an alternative to Rice, pasta comes in different shapes and forms and can be served with different dishes too or be a dish itself making it one of the best cheap grocery items. Also, pasta is a nutrient-dense food, more than noodles and in some cases, even more than Rice, therefore making it a good food for people who want to add weight or break students.


The food of Jesus is another good option to get carbs and a staple for your grocery list on a budget. Bread is used in more ways than we can mention in this article, most notably sandwiches, garlic bread as a side dish, French toast, and more.

Cheap sources of diary


Milk is not limited to kids only, it’s essential for adults too to get the daily recommended vitamin D and calcium doses. Also, it can be turned into healthy smoothies and snacks with a few items on your list of the cheapest grocery items.

Also, if you find it difficult to get whole milk, then you can switch to low-fat milk, the taste of it might be odd at first but after a few days, you’ll drink nothing but it.


Simple as it is, banana and sugar mixed with a few spoons of Yogurt can become a fast and tasty breakfast to remember. Keeping Yogurt in your pantry can ensure quick and nutritious meals, but the key to it is to purchase tubs instead of individual servings of plain yogurt. Or you can always search for “cheap good places to eat near me” to eat out if you are allergic to Yogurt. 

Block cheese

Cheese can take a 0-taste meal into a 100, and the fact that many grocery stores provide it for cheap makes it worth the hustle of trying to fit it into your cheap grocery list for one person. Additionally, you can treat yourself to a glass of wine and a few slices of cheese.

Cheap grocery items

Pantry staples

When buying pantry staples, such as salt, oil, and spices it’s better to buy them from traditional markets in your area that sell in pounds or kilos. These staples can turn any combination of your cheapest grocery items into tasty meals with little to no effort. Making the effort of purchasing pantry staples worth it. Also, you can get free spices by searching “cheap places to eat near me”, like McDonald’s and KFC. 

Finally, Make the most of your resources

To get the best out of your grocery shopping budget list, you must consider planning it in advance in regards to the highest value items nutritiously, and to buy in bulk and on sales if possible. And if you manage your grocery shopping for one on a budget, you can at least last a few weeks on a single trip to the market. Your search for “affordable restaurants near me” has been met in this article. 

Also, having the creativity and courage to try new meals with items you have can mean a tasty meal and saving money, with a  touch of having fun while cooking them. And searching for cheap dine-in restaurants near me can help a lot when going out. 

As said, it’s pointless to search for cheap foods to buy while not enjoying the process of preparing dishes and eating them. Finally, don’t forget that even a budget meal can be enjoyed with the right mindset. 

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