Grocery shopping in the midst of a pandemic is a much different experience—even if your budget hasn’t changed. Whether you are now shopping on a reduced budget, or simply struggling with long-term meal planning it’s important to know which ingredients will go the extra mile in the kitchen (and pantry).
First, think about legumes (like lentils and chickpeas), then there’s the canned goods (low-budget multi-taskers like beans and tomatoes), frozen vegetables, affordable grains like rice and oats and, of course, the versatile egg. Each of these ingredients has a range of applications, is easy to use, and adds more flexibility to your wallet—and gives breakfast for dinner (maybe the best use for eggs?) an excuse to stay in the dinner roster.
Here are 10 simple staples to add to your grocery list—and the cheap meals you can make with them.
Add some eggs
The cost of meat and seafood can add up when used on a steady rotation. Make better friends with eggs—an affordable, protein-rich substitute—and incorporate them into more weeknight meals to save big. In this dish, the eggs are gently baked in a spiced chunky tomato sauce and served with crisp shards of toasted pita. (Kitchen note: Grape tomatoes are called for here, but feel free to substitute with best value tomato.) Get the recipe for tomato and egg shakshuka.