Cheap Grocery List: Spend Less on a Tight Budget

You are budgeting for the month and decide to cut back on your grocery spending. You realize you only eat takeout and do not know how to eat cheaply. You will miss Pad Thai Tuesdays but will get through it once you learn how to successfully shop for cheap and healthy food. Grocery shopping while on a budget is not easy, it requires planning. We are gonna give you insight on how to spend less, the cheap items, and where to find the best deals on food. Maybe you are someone who lives on to-go orders, or you are constantly shopping and spending money but never have the grocery essentials. Either way, we got you! Say au revoir to the days of obscene amounts of takeout and overpaying for the essentials, and hello to savings!
Cheap Grocery List: Spend Less on a Tight Budget

Cheap Grocery Items

Sometimes the saying “you get what you pay for” holds, but this is not the case with groceries. We have listed some of the best cheap foods to buy.


It happens to be a versatile food, and it is full of probiotics! Yogurt is a cheap and healthy food that can be used in sauces, desserts, or eaten alone.


Every cuisine has it, and lucky for us it tends to be one of the cheapest foods. The basic loaves are cost-effective but steer clear of the artisanal stuff.


Another versatile food, which is a good source of protein for vegetarians and meat-eaters. Eggs are used for baking and breakfast, plus they are cheap!


They are almost always in-season, so they are cost-effective! Potatoes are also great because they last a long time.


Whether you intend to make porridge, stir-fry, or pudding, rice is a pantry staple. It is one of the cheapest, and honestly, most delicious foods out there. 

Beans and Lentils

These are some more dry good staples, that are cheap and provide lots of nutrients. Although beans and rice are delicious, consider buying a can of garbanzo beans and making hummus; cheap and healthy groceries do not have to be bland!

Beans and Lentils


We all know that pasta is delicious, but it also has a hefty shelf life. It is another good food for families because one pound can feed at least four people.

Frozen Vegetables

These are great because you need to get your veggies in, but sometimes fresh ones rot before you can use them. With frozen, you do not have to worry about food waste!

Peanut Butter

It goes great with everything, seriously. From pb&j sandwiches to peanut butter oatmeal, this nut spread is a must for families and college students alike. It is a vegetarian favorite because it is a cheap and healthy protein!


For when you want some surf but you can not quite shell out the money for salmon. Tuna is a really cheap food that makes the perfect sandwiches for a picnic!

Chicken (Tofu)

We listed the cheapest protein options for meat-eaters, as well as vegetarians. Of course, you can splurge and get a more expensive choice, but we recommend these options for daily use.

Sweet Potatoes

We already mentioned potatoes, but their sweet counterpart is so fantastic it had to be listed separately. Sweet potatoes are trendy, but they do not break your bank!


They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but they fail to mention how cheap they are! Apples are one of the cheapest fruits out there, and they tend to be locally grown.


They are delicious, healthy, and cheap, but we want to let you in on a little secret. If you blend frozen bananas with a bit of milk it tastes just like ice cream, but cheaper and healthier!

You can swap foods that are in a similar price range to suit your needs!


Example of a Cheap Grocery List

A specific and good cheap grocery list is one of the best tools in the arsenal for saving money. We know that it can sometimes be difficult to put a complete cheap grocery list. So we are going to help you out.

The Example of Weekly Cheap Shopping List for One Person:

You can reference the foods listed above, but we will list the categories of foods you should pick up. The main source of protein, healthy carbs, fruit, frozen vegetables, dry goods, and dairy

Example of a Cheap Healthy Weekly Grocery List For Two People:

For two people, we recommend the same as for one person, but a larger quantity. Also, if you are buying for more than one person, feel free to incorporate more fresh veggies or greens, like spinach, as they are more likely to be eaten before they go bad. 

To make planning easy, we suggest you download the grocery list template from one of our other articles, so you can have your grocery food list organized categorically. 

It is important to remember that your low-budget grocery list is not going to be the same every week. Also, remember these lists are just examples, maybe you do not like something listed, adapt the list to your preferences.

Tips for Making Your Own Cheap Grocery List 

When it comes to cutting costs at the grocery stores, everyone has their methods, but there are general guidelines. Below, we have included some of the cheapest ways to buy groceries. 

Write a Super Cheap Grocery List

One of the most common tips is one we have already touched on, which is to go into the store with an organized and complete grocery list. When you go in knowing exactly what you need, you are less likely to make extraneous purchases. How many times have you gone in the store, got distracted, and left with a bunch of things you didn't need and nothing you did? Well, the best cure for this is a well-structured list of budget-friendly groceries.

Buy Store Brands

We know that it can be tempting to get lost in the sea of brand name snacks and cereals, but this is where it is easy to splurge. If you are planning on creating a cheap eating grocery list, then you must know that the store brands are as good as the name brands. There are of course exceptions to this, but try the shop brand before buying overpriced products. 

Shop Weekly

Like we have said before, it is not your grocery list that breaks the bank, but the impulse buys. We recommend going to the store weekly, limiting the number of trips you take to the grocery reduces the risk of buying unnecessary things. Plus, this way, it will be easier to adhere to your cheap grocery list for the week.

Tips for Making Your Own Cheap Grocery List

Tips for Students:

One of the best parts of being at university is taking advantage of exclusive discounts. One of the simplest ways to buy the cheapest groceries is to find stores that offer student discounts. If you do not know if they are available, ask. You can also search for a cheap grocery list for college students and see if it yields promising results, for discounts, or a helpful shopping list. 

Tips for Families:

Buying in bulk is an investment, but if you can, it will save in the long run. Foods are cheapest in large quantities. Now, of course, the caveat is that certain items can not be purchased this way.

If you are looking for more effective tips for saving money on food, make sure to check out our blog posts.

Where to Buy Cheap Groceries?

We have talked about sample budget grocery lists, the cheapest items, some general tips, but now we need to talk about where you should be buying your groceries. Below is a list of cost-effective grocers.

These are not the only budget-friendly stores, so research to find the cheapest grocery stores is in your area, or check out our other article. If you have time to do so, you can also research the cheapest foods at each store.

Where to Buy Cheap Groceries


Grocery shopping is always more stressful than anticipated, but it gets easier over time. Eventually, you will get into a rhythm and develop your budget grocery list methods. There is no mathematical equation for finding cheap and healthy groceries, but with our tips, you should be in good shape! Also, do not forget to treat yourself with a little takeout now and then!