We know how daunting it is to be scrapping your bank account so you can keep your kitchen stocked. Whether it is because you’re just not earning enough or you have tons of bills to pay – it becomes the hardest thing to do. That’s why we want to show you how to stock your fridge on a budget.
When you’re struggling to pay rent, take care of your loved ones, or simply achieve financial stability, buying the right food becomes the hardest thing to do. But if you learn how to do it correctly, then it shouldn’t be much of a problem going further.
Here, you’ll learn how to maintain your fridge filled with all the foods you need and more. And of course, we’ll do it taking into account the smallest budget possible.
With the following guide, you’ll learn how to stock up your fridge for less than $100 a month. Keep reading to learn how!
Table of Contents
How to Stock Your Fridge on a Budget
This is not an easy deed, but it is always possible as long as you follow our advice completely. The first thing to do is to consider the type of food you’ll need (and nothing else). Then, you’ll have to learn how to get them all on a budget. Here’s how:
Consider the Type of Food (And Make a List)
Almost all types of food can go in the fridge, so you’ll be looking for nearly anything. When you’re on a budget, whatever fills your dietary needs with a low price is worth considering. For that, make sure you type everything down on a list, considering the next types of foods:
- From flour to oatmeal, quinoa, and pasta – get those first. They will provide you with the essential carbs you need.
- Then go into the canned goods. These are often cheap and easy to find. Focus on tomatoes, beans, tuna, and sardines. This will be a variety of cheap protein with cheap contours.
- Then, go for sugar, baking powder, veggie stock, nuts, and chocolate (if needed).
- Don’t leave seasoning or spices behind. Even though you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to eat your food all-natural. Get those spices, your vinegar and olive oil, mustard, sea salt, and pepper if needed.
By now, you should have a list of all the pantry items you need. But that won’t be enough unless you find perishable items that contain all the other nutrients; vitamins, minerals, essential carbs, and proteins.
- What to look for first? Look for protein first – things like eggs, milk, and Greek yogurt. You won’t need meat or chicken if you’re on a budget – but get them as well if you can afford them (more on that later).
- Then, get things like sandwich bread if possible. This is the cheapest way to have breakfast and to dine at night.
- Finish up with cheese, butter, bacon and/or the cheapest ham. These are optional, but they help keep your fridge stocked, especially in emergencies or situations where you just need something to eat on-the-go.
Produce (Fruits & Veggies)
- After you get all the perishables, mainly proteins and the like – you’ll have to go over the fruits & veggies.
- Produce is often much cheaper than proteins and other items. However, you’ll have to still look for the right foods and the cheapest ones. Getting a pound of avocado per day is not the right way to do that.
- That’s why we only focus on the essentials. That would be onion, lettuce, tomato, and red pepper. For fruits, go for bananas, apples, and lemon. Try to go for more of those you like the most.
Find Cheap Prices
Once you have your list of produce, perishable, and non-perishable items – proceed to take your list to the market.
Perishable & Non-Perishable
Here, we recommend going to the supermarket in search of the non-perishable and perishable.
Why? Because small markets tend to have only a few brands of main foods such as eggs, canned goods, and the like. So don’t go there.
- Instead, go for places where there’s more variety so you can pick the cheapest ones. That would be the super or hypermarkets. Look for lesser-known brands that are often half the price of the most popular ones. This will keep your budget low.
- If you’re getting meats, chicken, cheese, and ham then get the cheapest cuts possible. Often, shredded and ground beef tends to be the cheapest. As for chicken, get only the arms and legs. And for cheese or harm, you will want the cheapest brands out there.
- This will keep your perishable food price point in check. The total budget for the perishable & non-perishable foods shouldn’t be more than $70.
For produce, the story is different. Here, you will want to avoid supermarkets and the like. While they may not be as expensive, they’re still not ideal for your budget.
- Instead, go for the farmer’s market. But instead of buying the ripest and juiciest fruits, go for physically imperfect fruits and veggies.
- These are often the foods that are taken out of the inventory because they either don’t look good enough, are too small, have bruises or dark spots, or look old.
- Ask the owner or seller to show you the imperfect produce. Then, look for those fruits that look good enough for you. These are often half the price or even less than normal ones.
- Try to get enough fruit and veggies for one week’s worth only. That would be an entire banana hand, about ten lemons, and not more than two pounds of onions.
- Go back within one or two weeks to get more of those. Remember, these are perishable, so you’ll want to get only enough, so they don’t perish.
- Your entire budget for this shouldn’t be over $15 bi-weekly or $30 a month. That will be enough to pack up your fridge completely.
By now, you should be well-aware of how to stock your fridge on a budget without dying in the process.
Follow our advice, and you’ll make this possible. Remember, though, if you can afford more than $100 per month – then do so.
But still, try to keep the budget at about 70% for perishable and non-perishable items, and 30% for produce (fruits and vegetables). That will be enough to keep your fridge stocked with all the foods you need, and at a low price.