50 best cheap foods to buy when broke | Life hacks for better living

50 best cheap foods to buy when broke | Life hacks for better living

Are you looking for the best cheap foods to buy when broke? Life is not always a straight line. At times, hard economic times can push you to the wall. However, that does not mean you will postpone some basic human requirements such as eating. You cannot live without food! It is the only fuel needed by the human body to keep one going. This list of cheap foods will help you when the budget is tight.

heap foods to buy when broke
Cheap foods to buy when broke. Photo: pexels.com, @conojeghuo
Source: UGC

You are counting those coins and asking yourself, how can I eat for $10 a week? Many people cannot imagine that one can survive on a 10 dollar-budget-food in a week. But, of course, it is possible if you go for the cheapest food on the menu. Check out the list below for some fantastic survival ideas as you wait for payday. They're healthy too!

Cheap foods to buy when broke

Read also

Learn everything you need to know for the perfect recipe for smoothies!

When picking the cheapest ones on the menu, it is vital to settle for the most filling meals. If you do not focus on the foods with satiety, you may end up starving or spending more than you intend. Check out this list of the cheapest foods to live on when you are broke.

1. Beans

Beans are among the most pocket-friendly meal you can add to your menu when broke. They are versatile because they can be enjoyed with many meals. Importantly, make sure you buy them dry and cook them yourself. Meals you can eat with beans include snacks, sandwiches, tacos etc.

2. Eggs

What is the cheapest food to survive on? You can try eggs. Usually, the price of a crate of eggs varies from shop to shop. However, the difference is that big. They are among the cheap, nutritious food options that will leave your stomach full the whole day.

Read also

Here is the tastiest Durban mutton curry recipe ever

3. Noodles

Noodles are not only cost-effective but also cheap to prepare. You can be sure that you will be able to save on cooking gas. Most brands come with spices, meaning you will not need to buy some from the grocery shop.

4. Rice

Besides being a price-friendly meal, rice helps one control their appetite. If possible, you can try rice with beans or some frozen vegetables. Like noodles, the method of preparation is straightforward.

5. Bananas

cheap foods to buy when broke
Eating bananas aids in weight loss. Photo: @jsalamanca
Source: UGC

Do you know that bananas have high fibre content? When you eat them, you remain full for a long time. Also, the good thing with ripe bananas is that you do not need to cook them. They are also rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. You can eat them with oat or pancakes.

6. Lettuce

Are you wondering what to buy at the grocery store when broke? It is high time you considered lettuce. It is a good source of iron, vitamin C, fibre, and folate. You can make the best salad with lettuce at home, which will keep you filled the whole day.

Read also

Here are the easiest ways to make money in South Africa

7. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a staple food in most parts of Africa and the world. These root vegetables have high fibre content. They are also energy-giving meals, meaning you will stay strong the entire day. You can eat them in the morning before going to work.

8. Yoghurt

Yoghurt may seem like a luxury meal to many, which is not always the case. Drinking yoghurt makes you full for longer hours as compared to beverages. You can opt for yoghurt instead of tea because it can be readily consumed.

9. Protein bars

Unlike chocolate bars, protein bars are relatively cheaper. They also contain many nutritional benefits to the body. They also help in weight loss. In other words, they are an excellent choice for someone looking to save. A bar goes for around $1 and $4 in most stores.

10. Oatmeal

cheapest foods to live on
Oatmeal is a rich nutritious snack that gives the body many health benefits. Photo: @keegan-evans
Source: UGC

Oatmeal is another excellent choice for someone trying to survive on a low budget. They are breakfast cereals with many health benefits. Some also argue that they are suitable for weight control. Oatmeal is among the best cheap meals for 1 at home.

Read also

Top South African snacks you must try

11. Canned tuna

Surprisingly, a pack of tuna is below $6 in most food stores, including Walmart. Usually, a pack contains 8 of them. You can imagine the amount of money you will spend in a week when you finally do it. Another thing, it does not require refrigeration.

12. Spaghetti

Spaghetti is among the most famous and eaten meals across the world. Same to noodles, they are easy to prepare. They are also rich in minerals and vitamins. If you are broke, you can buy a few packets, and you will not regret it.

13. Mushy peas

Do you love mushy meals? If yes, then you need to try out mushy peas. They are not only tasty but also pocket-friendly. You can buy those that are ready or fix some at home. This way, you will save a few coins. What to serve with mushy peas? Serve them with bread or fish fingers. However, make sure you are within the budget when picking meal options.

Read also

The best brownie recipe you must try

14. Chickpeas

Chickpeas will come in handy if you are a vegetarian. Most importantly, they are a great source of protein. The meal can boost one’s mental health and help in digestion. So, there is no reason for you not to try it.

15. Tinned/packet soup

what to buy at the grocery store when broke?
Canned soups contain vitamins and some fibre. Photo: @n-voitkevich
Source: UGC

Tinned/packet soup is an excellent option when you do not have enough money. They come in handy for someone trying to have a low-budget lunch. You can serve it with white bread. You will be amazed at how long your stomach will remain full.

16. Custard

Custard is mainly consumed as a dessert. It also comes in a variety of types. Therefore, the size of your pocket will determine the type to buy. The meal is often served with various puddings – bread, chocolate, honey or a cake.

17. Biscuits

Can one survive on biscuits? Yes. However, they are not suitable for people with blood sugar health problems. If you are out of options, you can try them with juice or tea. At the end of the day, you will save a few extra coins for another day as you wait for the payday.

Read also

30 simple and delicious dinner ideas South Africa

18. Corn flakes

Corn flakes are in the same category as oatmeal. They are easy to prepare and cost-effective when you do not have enough money. Just make sure you eat them in the morning before going to work. They are also high in fibre, meaning you will remain full for many hours.

19. Pickle onions

What food should you buy when you are broke? Pickle onions should absolutely be on the list. You cannot cook without onions; the good thing with pickled onions is that they don't go bad quickly. Use can also use them when preparing your salad.

20. Hot dogs

What is the cheapest food to survive on?
Hot dogs also are high in saturated fat and sodium. Photo: @pixabay
Source: UGC

Hot dogs are cheap and can be prepared quickly. You can prepare them in minutes, saving you time and money. One can eat them with ketchup or have them plain. In some instances, they can be used as option meals.

21. Lentils

Lentils are an excellent option for beans. However, you need to dry them for a more extended shelf period. They are rich in fibre, potassium, and zinc. How do you serve them? Serve with salads, soups, and stews.

Read also

Top Banting food list you must check out

22. Tofu

Tofu is the way to go when you do not have enough money for an expensive meal. Just season it with vegetables, and you will enjoy every bit of it. The meal is not only cheaper but also an excellent choice for proteins.

23. Ground beef

Like most canned meals, if stored properly, ground beef can save you a lot of money when you are broke. Keep it in the freezer and remove a batch every time you cook. You can serve it with vegetables, burgers, meatloaf etc.

24. Saltine crackers

Saltine crackers are healthy and inexpensive. They are made of white flour, salt, yeast, and baking soda. For health purposes, crackers are low in fat. Most people use them as a substitute for bread crumbs because they are relatively cheaper. You can also use them as toppings for various meals.

25. Milk

What food should you buy when you are broke?
Whole milk contains vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Photo: @pixabay
Source: UGC

Milk, unlike yoghurt, is affordable to many. It becomes a cheaper option for a broke person when they have a refrigerator. You can drink milk as tea or use it in other meals such as oatmeal, cereals, and bread.

Read also

Interesting things to do in Port Elizabeth

26. Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Even when broke, it is good to stay healthy. Just buy a few of them and store them in the refrigerator. You can also eat them with a variety of snacks.

27. Canned tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are a cheaper option because of their shelf time. Interestingly, they can stay up to 18 months without going bad. They are ideal for soups, stews, and Italian meals, especially spaghetti and salsa.

28. Frozen veggies

It is vital to eat vegetables irrespective of your financial status. Frozen veggies are cheap in most groceries or supermarkets in South Africa. Currently, 14 oz can go for less than 1 dollar at your local market. You can use them in soups, casseroles, or stews.

29. Cabbage

Cabbage falls under the group of the cheapest groceries to buy when broke. A fresh head of cabbage goes for less than $1, making them a cheap option. Apart from making salads, there are many ways of eating cabbage. For instance, you can serve it with beef or soup. Importantly, store it well.

Read also

Interesting things to do in Ballito

30. Quinoa

What should I eat with no money?
Quinoa seeds are rich in dietary fibre, protein, and B vitamins. Photo: @vie-studio
Source: UGC

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is another cheap food to buy when you are broke. The meal is rich in fibre and protein. In terms of nutritional value, it is better compared to rice. You can serve it with salads, soups, and tacos.

31. Bread

Bread should not miss your bucket list if you need to survive until your next payday. For many years, bread has been man’s staple food. With bread, you can make several meals. For instance, you can make a sandwich or toast.

32. Frozen chicken

Chicken is, obviously, an expensive meal, especially when you are trying to survive on your last R100. However, no meal is complete without protein. Also, looking at it from a different angle, you might find it a great option. All you need to do is to freeze it in the freezer. You will be surprised at how many days you will use it with other cheap meals.

Read also

The best of beef stew recipes

33. Carrots

Groceries should not miss your kitchen even with the increased price of food items. Unlike some grocery items, carrots are cheap and rich in vitamin C. In case you did not know, they can also be used in place of desserts. So, why fill your stomach with junk foods?

34. Baking soda

Yes, baking soda is another item that should not miss in your kitchen cupboard! It may not be eaten directly, as is the case for most meals on the list, but it may come in handy when baking. The idea is to minimize the expenditure as possible. In other words, you can bake your bread at home instead of buying it.

35. Green tea

How can I eat for $10 a week?
Green tea is cheap and boasts many health-promoting compounds. Photo: @pixabay
Source: UGC

Green tea might be expensive if served in a hotel or restaurant. When you are under a budget, you can buy it and prepare it in the comfort of your home. Apart from its wide range of benefits, it suppresses one's appetite. So, you can be sure that you will not have unnecessary cravings.

Read also

How to cook baby marrow: 3 tastiest recipes ever

36. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are among the cheapest foods to live on when broke. Just go to the grocery store and buy one. You can put it in the freezer because you do not want to cook it all at once. If you cannot find whole pumpkins, you can buy the canned ones. Like potatoes, they are rich in fibre and folate, meaning you will not go hungry quickly.

37. Broccoli

Like pumpkins and carrots, broccoli is rich in vitamin C and folate. They are also good at reducing the risk of heart diseases. Imagine you would benefit twice when you include them in your diet – you will save a little money and stay healthy. How do you cook broccoli? You can bake, boil, or oven grill the food.

38. Popcorn

Most people are used to heavy meals, and mentioning popcorn might sound hilarious to others. Popcorn should be on top of your list if you are looking for the cheapest snacks. Just buy the raw ones and make them at home. Add salt and butter to make them spicy and fun to eat.

Read also

Simple melkkos recipe that you must try

39. Spinach

Stock your kitchen with spinach if you want to survive on a low budget. Often, spinach goes well with most meals. Like broccoli, it has several health benefits due to its nutritious components. You can add it to a wide range of vegetables for a tasty meal. It is also suitable for making a salad.

40. Honey

cheap food
Honey is a good source of antioxidants. Photo: @mareefe
Source: UGC

Who said honey is for the rich! Anyone can buy honey even with these tough economic hard times. Some may consider it a luxury, but to others, it is a sweetening dish with several health benefits. Natural honey is much better compared to processed one.

41. Courgette

Courgette or zucchini look like cucumbers but are not in the same family. They are good additions to your diet if you are looking for pocket-friendly groceries. You can choose to eat them raw or cooked; the nutritional value remains the same.

Read also

How to cook chicken livers: 5 tastiest recipes

42. Vinegar

Like honey and butter, vinegar can come in handy if you are trying to survive until the next payday. It is suitable for spicing up less appealing budget meals because, at this point, you may not afford expensive meals. Make sure it does not miss in your kitchen cupboard.

43. Tortilla chips

Tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas. You can make them at home if you want to try something new. Just cut the corns into triangles and bake or fry them. The same as popcorns, they are cheap snack options you can opt for when broke.

44. Orzo

Orzo is a type of soup pasta. It looks like rice, and the method of preparation can vary from one person to another. Like spaghetti and noodles, they are easy to prepare. They also go well with most Spanish sea foods.

45. Sausages

Sausages might seem like an expensive choice, but they are life savers. Just buy a few packets, and your breakfast will be sorted. If you can afford bread, then your stomach will be full all day long.

Read also

The best gammon recipe with glaze

46. Tomato sauce

cheapest food
Eating tomatoes reportedly reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. Photo: @greta-hoffman
Source: UGC

Tomato sauce is a cheap and versatile food item that should not miss in your kitchen. It comes in handy when you do not have enough money to afford an expensive meal. Mostly, it is used in a variety of pasta dishes, cooked vegetables, potato etc. They give even the less tasty meals some taste.

47. Green peppers

The groceries are used to add flavour to a meal. Chop them well and add them to salads, soups, and taste for an amazing taste. They are also cheap and easily available, making them a great choice for someone eagerly waiting for their salary.

48. Peanuts

Peanuts are an excellent source of protein. Peanuts can be used in many meals. You can also use them to make peanut butter. Alternatively, you can just eat them plain.

49. Grits

Grits is a porridge-like dish made from boiled cornmeal. They are rich in vitamin B. Also, they are energy-giving foods. You can find some good recipes online on how to prepare grits at home. It is a simple meal, just like oatmeal.

Read also

10 most satisfying Slime videos ever

50. Kiwis

Kiwis are rich in dietary fibre and vitamin C. The fibre in them makes one full for longer times when eaten. Thus, if possible, you can squeeze your budget a little and buy some for yourself.

The impact of the recent hike in food prices and fuel is being felt everywhere. Nonetheless, one must eat to be productive. The above are the cheap foods to buy when broke to keep you going.

READ ALSO: A list of the top 10 cheapest smartphones in South Africa 2022

Briefly.co.za shared an article about the top 10 cheapest smartphones in South Africa in 2022. Is your budget tight but still in need of a nice smartphone? There are several options to pick from.

Get details of the cheapest smartphones in South Africa and their prices. Check out the article for the latest models that will match your taste.

Source: Briefly News

Online view pixel