The Cheapest Food: How to Eat Well on A Tight Budget

Cheapest Food

It is not difficult to eat like royalty and healthily at that, even if you are broke or on a tight budget. You only need to know how to shop, what to shop and where to shop from. When it comes to purchasing food, shopping for the cheapest food can be challenging but it does not have to be impossible.

Whether you are craving fast food or salad or you’re wondering how to stretch that budget to make ends meet while putting food on the table, our comprehensive guide on the cheapest food has you covered.

Cheapest Fast Food Breakfast

Cheapest Fast Food Breakfast

Numerous studies have stressed the importance of having breakfast daily. Not only does a good breakfast improve your energy levels and your attention spans, but it also aids in better weight management by kickstarting your metabolism. Breakfast also plays a crucial role in reducing the risks associated with type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So, the next time you’re in a rush and on a budget, you can fall back on these cheapest fast-food breakfast options under $5.

#1. Dunkin’- Avocado Toast

Price: $3

Toasts have been a staple breakfast option for many and an avocado toast from Dunkin’ is the perfect budget breakfast. Featuring an avocado spread on toasted sourdough bread, along with sprinkles of black pepper and tangy lemon juice, this breakfast option, is a healthy choice.

#2. McDonald’s McGriddle

Price: $3-$4

We are yet to come across a fast-food breakfast option that’s more creative than this. With thick slices of sausage patties sandwiched between two maple-filled griddle cakes, this hearty breakfast packs a punch.

#3. Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell

Price: $3-$4

With this Breakfast Crunchwrap, Taco Bell strikes all the right tummy bells by putting together eggs, cheddar cheese, bacon, or sausage of your choice, along with hash brown, in a perfect drizzle of gooey jalapeno sauce.

#4. Steak and Egg Flatbread from Subway

Price: $4

With an outlet in nearly every corner of the country, Subway is a reliable option for healthy breakfast on a budget. This Steak and Egg Flatbread loaded with ample amounts of cheese, steak, and eggs is a popular best and cheap fast food breakfast option.

#5. French Toast Sticks from Burger King

Price: $2

How about all the deliciousness and fluffiness of a fresh toast in short, cute sticks? These dip-worthy French Toast Sticks from Burger Menu have been around for a while now as a staple fast-food breakfast option and. The added bonus? They’re vegan!

Cheapest Fast-Food Salad

Cheapest Fast-Food Salad

How do you combine health, speed, and taste in a single meal? With salads of course! Not only are they a value-for-money option while on a budget, but they’re also deliciously nutritious.

Here’s a list of a few of the cheapest fast-food salads to give your tummy a healthy dose of veggies along with a satisfying tasty meal.

#1. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad

Price: $4-$6

With a delightful mix of apples, pecans, blue cheese, grilled chicken, cranberries, and pomegranate dressing, this salad packs a good deal where taste and health are concerned. With creamy and crunchy flavors of grilled chicken mixed with the sweetness of the fruits, this can be a great option for a leisure Sunday brunch.

#2. McDonald’s Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken

Price: $4-$4.5

Filled with green lettuce, cilantro-lime glaze, grill seasoning and tortilla strips with chili lime, this Southwest Salad from McDonald’s is a very good option when it comes to fast-food salads. The grilled chicken paired with tomatoes, poblano peppers, black bean, and roasted corn makes for a complete wholesome meal.

#3. Subway’s Chopped Turkey Breast Salad

Price: $5

Talk of fast-food salads and not include the classic Subway salads? No way! Garnished with spinach and iceberg lettuce, along with roasted deli turkey slices and Italian peppers this is a heady mix of crunchiness and tanginess. It also comes with three cracker packs which is huge for a salad and your tummy.

#4. Jack in the Box’s Grilled Chicken Salad

Price: $5

This Grilled Chicken Salad from Jack in the Box comes with an ample number of veggies coupled with shredded cheddar cheese and flame-grilled chicken, this can be your go-to fast food budget option for that cheat day.

Cheapest Fast-Food Restaurants

5 Cheapest Fast-Food Restaurants

There’s certainly no dearth of fast-food restaurants that pride themselves on offering high-quality food at affordable prices.

Let’s a look at some of the cheapest fast-food restaurants across the United States.

#1. McDonald’s

Price per person: $4-$7

Is there a logo that’s more easily recognizable than the famed golden arches of McDonald’s?

Offering cheap and competitive prices, while ensuring the taste and top-notch quality, McDonald’s has a wide range of options when it comes to food choices.

#2. Little Caesars

Price per person: $4- $10

With a little more than 4200 restaurants, Little Caesars is another fast-food chain that you can find in every nook and corner offering low-priced food options.

Their “Hot-N-Ready” pizzas are a clear winner when compared to other quintessential pizza places like Papa John’s and Pizza Hut. While Little Caesars has limited options, the price factor certainly gives it an edge.

#3. Taco Bell

Price per person: $2- $5

Offering dirt-cheap prices on several of its food items, Taco Bell is a fast-food industry leader. Some of its nachos and tacos don’t even amount to a dollar and that’s the reason why it has a cult following among teens and the student population.

Compared to other fast-food sellers with Mexican-inspired menus and high prices, Taco Bell wins by a wide margin.

#4. Wendy’s

Price per person: $1- $5

This one’s another fast-food chain offering a value menu with affordable prices. Awarded for being the best fast-food chain in the U.S., this popular burger restaurant provides a wide range of options like chicken nuggets, chives, baked potatoes with tangy cream among others.

Taste and affordability are the factors that draw in the crowds at Wendy’s.

#5. Burger King

Price per person: $2- $5

Can we call Burger King the king of fast food? With a menu that boasts of a long list of cheap, value food options that are healthy, filling, and reasonable, it has definitely earned the title.

The food chain also offers great combo meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner making it a top choice to satiate your tummy and taste buds without burning a hole in your pocket.

Cheapest Food to Buy

What do you do on those days when your wallet’s almost empty and have barely enough to make it past the week? You have bills to pay and your tummy to feed.

Here’s a list of cheap food to buy without breaking the bank.

Cheapest Survival Food

Cheapest Survival Food

Disasters strike usually without any warning. And you need survival food for times such as these. So, here’s a list of a few of the cheapest survival foods you can count on.

#1. Beans

Average cost per serving: $0.15 – $0.5

Beans may well be the most versatile and budget-friendly food out there. High in protein and fiber, they make for great ingredients in several easy recipes and help keep you full for hours.

#2. Oats

Average cost per serving: $.043

Oats are rich in fibers and can keep you feeling full for several hours. Not only is it cheap, healthy, and a perfect breakfast option, but it can also double up as a complete meal for lunch or dinner. To mix things up a bit, just sprinkle in some spices to play around with flavors and tastes.

#3. Rice

Average cost serving: $.021

The most well-known stable food, rice can be your best option to fix up an easy meal that’s healthy and is also one of the cheapest foods to buy. Moreover, they last for years, sometimes even up to 25 years if stored in the best conditions making it the best cheapest survival food to buy.

Cheapest Organic Food

Cheapest Organic Food

Here’s a list of the cheapest organic foods that are affordable and healthy as well.

#1. Peanut Butter

Average cost per serving: $.066

Not only is this a good source of concentrated energy but it’s also one of the most versatile and cheapest foods to buy.

#2. Bananas

Average cost per serving: $.58 – $.62

Not only does this fruit make for a great full meal in itself, but you can also have them with oatmeal, like smoothies, or even make pancakes out of it.

Top among the cheapest foods to buy, bananas are readily available round the year and can be that perfect go-to choice when you are trying to save some bucks for a rainy day.

#3. Eggs

The average cost of a dozen eggs: $2.75

Eggs are a healthy food option. They’re also affordable and can be used in several healthy recipes. What’s more, you don’t need to have any high-level culinary skills and too many ingredients to whip up most egg dishes.

#4. Tea

Average cost per serving: $2

The organic benefits of tea are worth every penny. Tea is also very cheap especially if you are purchasing loose varieties in bulk.

#5. Beans

Average cost per serving: $0.15

These fiber-rich, protein-filled legumes are good for your health and your wallet.

#6. Organic Frozen Fruits

Average cost per pound: $4

Not only are frozen fruits cheap, healthy, and more affordable than fresh organic fruits, they also last longer on the shelf.

#7. Potatoes

Average cost per serving: $.065

A highly versatile root vegetable, potatoes are not only inexpensive, but they’re extremely versatile and can make their way into almost every dish.

#8. Apple

Average cost per pound: $1.5

An apple a day not only keeps a doctor away but also keeps your expenditure at bay. Most of the varieties of these juicy fruits are extremely cheap and might well be the cheapest organic foods to buy.

Cheapest Canned Food

Cheapest Canned Food

What’s the best solution to calm your grumbling tummy on days when you can’t get out, order, or prepare food? Canned foods of course.

#1. Canned Spinach

Average cost per pound: $3

Canned spinach stays fresh longer and maybe the best option to stock up on. They also contain more vitamin c than their fresh counterparts!

#2. Canned Beans

Average cost per pound: $1.79

These protein and fiber-rich legumes are not just healthy when bought fresh but are also great as canned food. And way cheaper too.

#3. Canned Mackerel

Average cost per pound: $1.3

Full of vitamins like B12 and filled with omega-3 fatty acids, these are great protein alternatives to the slightly pricier tunas.

#4. Coconut Milk

Average price: $1.5- $8

This creamy, smooth liquid is not only vegan, dairy-free, and affordable, but also lasts longer than other dairy alternatives.

#5. Canned Prunes

Average cost per pound: $3

Prunes may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of munchies, but these vitamin c-rich fruits, full of anti-inflammatory characteristics, can be a good snack option.

#6. Canned Diced Tomatoes

Average cost per ounce: $0.13

Tomatoes are versatile and can be used in everything from sandwiches to pasta, sauces, and curries.

List of Healthy Cheap Foods

List of Healthy Cheap Foods

Tight budgets and healthy foods are not the best of friends. But here’s a list of healthy cheap foods.

#1. Vegetables

• Broccoli
• Onions
• Potatoes
• Carrots
• Green cabbage
• Canned tomatoes
• Spinach

#2. Grains and Legumes

• Rice
• Oats
• Canned beans
• Lentils
• Edamame
• Quinoa
• Air-popped popcorn

#3. Fruits

• Bananas
• Oranges
• Frozen berries
• Kiwi
• Apples
• Cantaloupe

#4. Dairy

• Milk
• Yogurt
• Cottage cheese
• Cheapest Freeze-Dried Food

Cheapest Freeze-Dried Food

You’re all set for that trekking trip but there’s one nagging concern bothering you. How do you take care of your hunger? Here’s a list of a few of the cheapest freeze-dried food.

#1. Alpine Aire’s Cheese Enchilada Ranchero
#2. Backpacker’s Pantry’s Louisiana Red Beans & Rice
#3. Mountain House Breakfast Skillet
#4. GOOD TO-GO Thai Curry
#5. GOOD TO-GO Granola

Cheap Foods to Buy Under $5

Foods that taste delicious, foods that reach our mouth in as little time as possible. All these while not being heavy on the pocket.

Here’s a list of cheap foods to buy under $5.

#1. Pancakes
#2. Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup
#3. Salads
#4. Spaghetti
#5. Grilled ham and cheese sandwich
#6. Baked potatoes
#7. Chicken and fries

Cheap Grocery List for A Month

Here’s a handy and cheap grocery list for a month to help you save some bucks on your grocery budget!

#1. Oatmeal
#2. Cream of wheat
#3. Eggs
#4. Bread
#5. Cereals
#6. Bananas
#7. Apples
#8. Beans
#9. Lentils
#10. Rice
#11. Pasta
#12. Potatoes
#13. Carrots
#14. Canned tomatoes
#15. Quash
#16. Onions
#17. Broccoli
#18. Salsa
#19. Chicken
#20. Spinach
#21. Peppers
#22. Frozen vegetables
#23. Garlic
#24. Canned Pumpkin
#25. Peanut Butter
#26. Oranges
#27. Watermelon
#28. Grapes
#29. Frozen berries
#30. Cabbage
#31. Milk

Cheap Foods to Buy in Bulk

Cheap Foods to Buy in Bulk

Buying food in bulk is beneficial especially when you are on a tight budget because it is the best way to get more for less. However, before you decide to buy in bulk, pay attention to their shelf life.

Here’s a list of cheap foods to buy in bulk.

#1. Grains and Legumes

Legumes like dried beans and lentils as well as grains and pasta are a few of the top non-perishable food items with a huge shelf life.

Not only do they last long, but they can also be used in preparing quick, tasty, and nutritious meals, making it a value-for-money deal for those on a tight budget.

#2. Frozen Berries

Frozen berries are the best alternatives to fresh, organic fruits which can be pretty costly along with being highly perishable. Their nutrient level remains intact and since they can be bought in bulk at relatively lower prices, they are good options for people on a budget.

#3. Frozen Vegetables

Like frozen fruits, frozen vegetables can last for months if stored under proper conditions without losing their nutritious value. Not to forget they’re comparatively cheap too.

#4. Honey

Although several storage factors such as humidity and temperature can affect the texture, taste, and aroma of honey, one cannot argue against its relatively high shelf life. Not only does honey have manifold health benefits, but it can also be used in a variety of dishes making it a reliable option for those with tight budgets.

#5. Dry Fruits

Not only are these high in nutrition values like protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibers, it’s one of the perfect pantry items with extremely high shelf life.

Dry fruits like apricots and cranberries can last for more than six months and with the right refrigeration, the shelf life can increase for another six months.

#6. Popcorn

Whole popcorn if stored right can last for more than two years under the right temperatures. It’s also healthy.

Cheap Foods to Buy When Broke

When living on a low budget, we sometimes need to be extremely picky with our choice of food to make our ends meet.

Here’s a list of the cheap foods to buy when you’re broke.

#1. Lentils

Protein-rich, incredibly healthy, and cheap food to buy when broke. Especially dry lentils.

#2. Eggs

Eggs can be your cheapest and healthiest option when it comes to cheap foods to buy when broke. They are easy to cook and full of nutrition.

#3. Potatoes

Not only do these make for great ingredients in several easy-to-make dishes, but they’re also cheap and nutritional.

#4. Chicken

Cheap protein-rich food that can be used in several recipes from soups to salads and more.

#5. Frozen meats

Frozen meat can be extremely affordable as compared to its fresh counterparts, along with having a long shelf life.

#6. Sausages

They come in different flavors and make for a great ingredient in many dishes.

Cheapest Place to Buy Food

To save those bucks, not only does the type of food matter but the place you buy the food from is equally important. Here’s a list of the cheapest places to buy food.

#1. Amazon
#2. H-E-B
#3. Sam’s Club
#4. Aldi
#5. Market Basket
#6. Food4Less
#7. Costco
#8. Walmart
#9. Trader Joe’s
#10. Wegmans Food Market

Cheapest Place to Buy Baby Food

While you certainly can’t afford to compromise on the quality of food that you buy for your baby, you can always choose a cheap and affordable place to buy the food from.

Here’s a list of the cheapest places to buy baby food.

#1. Target
#2. Amazon
#3. Aldi 

Cheapest Food in the World

Cheapest Food in the World

Food is often a reflection of a country’s cultures and traditions. And if these dishes can be easy on the pocket, now that’s a bonus.

Here’s a list of the cheapest foods in the world under $5, that is not only popular but can also take your tastebuds on a joyride.

#1. Nasi Goreng, Indonesia

Average price: $1

Indonesia’s popular stir-fried rice is loaded with vegetables, meat, fried eggs, taste, and spices, and can be the fuel to start a day of exploration.

#2 Fish and Chips, England

Average price: $4

A staple food of old England’s working class, Fish and Chips are one of the tastiest and cheapest foods in the world.

#3. Thali, India

Average price: $2

They say, to perfectly gauge the authentic beauty and beautiful traditions of this gorgeous country, you need to taste at least one of their state’s Thali. A thali is a platter containing tiny morsels of different kinds of foods. Often very cheap on the pocket, they’re a perfect steal deal given the wide variety on a platter.

#4. Lunch Packets, Srilanka

Average price: $1

A Sri Lankan lunch packet can be the best option for a cheap afternoon meal after a morning spent exploring. And if you’re a fan of fiery food, all the better.

#5. Shawarma, Oman

Average price: $3

Filled with beef, mutton, or marinated chicken this highly cheap and tasty food is one of Oman’s most popular meals.

Cheapest Food Delivery Apps (USA)

Here’s a list of the cheapest food delivery apps in the USA that you can fall back on during those days when food craving kicks in.

#1. Door Dash
#2. Uber Eats
#3. Seamless
#4. Instacart
#5. Grub hub
#6. Goldbely
#7. Postmates
#8. Whole Foods Market

A Few Parting Words

From breakfast options to some of the best cheap food in the world, this guide has you covered with the cheapest food if you are broke or on a budget. Slash your grocery budget without cutting down on nutrition and taste with our cheapest food guide.

Nicole Middleton
Nicole calls herself a typical millennial girl and thrives on her share of social media, celebrity gossip, and all things viral content. She’s a big fan of pop music and plays the guitar as a hobby.