If I only had $25 to spend on groceries, there are some very specific things I’d buy that would give me enough food to eat through the week. The other day I was thinking about how tight money was when we were first married. I know there are many young couples and singles out there in that same boat today. Or maybe you’re just starting over and on a tight budget.
If You Only Have $25 to Spend on Groceries
- Take stock of what’s in your pantry that you can use for meals this week.
- Don’t be afraid to take any free food offered. Leftovers from the lunch meeting at work that no one else wants? You’ll take them! Neighbor with too many tomatoes to eat? You’ll take them!
- Study sales flyers to see who has the best price on basics such as eggs, milk and bread. Shop only the best priced items within a short driving distance of one another.
- Create a circle and go to more than one store to get the best price you can.
- Buy vegetables and fruit in season, because it will be cheapest.
$25 to Spend on Groceries
In the Past
I learned a lot of tricks about saving money and stretching a dollar in those early years of my marriage. We had just started and while my husband worked full-time, I was trying to work and finish college. My part-time job and his shoe store manager job just wasn’t enough to stretch at times.
Like many young couples, we also made some financial decisions that resulted in us paying a stupid tax (we bought furniture on one year same as cash, for example). However, being forced to learn how to stretch money is something that has stayed with me over the years. Not only do I seek out the best deals possible, stockpile and clip coupons, but I know how to make a creative and cheap menu plan for the week.
$25 Grocery Shopping List
If I only had $25 to spend on groceries, this is what I would choose:
- Eggs: $1.00 (on sale)
- Bread: $1.00 (buy store brand)
- Milk: $2.00 (almost always on sale somewhere)
- Bologna: $2.00
- Cheese: $2.00 (get store brand)
- Strawberries: $1.99 (round up to $2.00 – in season now)
- Cucumbers: 2/$1.00
- Bag of lettuce: $2.00 (get store brand)
- Whole Chicken: $6.00
- Peanut Butter: $2.00 (store brand or what’s on sale)
- Yogurt: $2.00 (store brand – as many as you can get for $2.00)
- Cereal: $2.00 (generic – whatever is on sale that you can get for around $2)
Making Meals with a $25 Budget
With the ingredients above, you have the ability to make the following meals:
- Bologna and cheese sandwich
- Grilled cheese
- Salad with grilled chicken
- Grilled chicken and strawberries on the side
- Yogurt and strawberries
- Cereal and milk
- Peanut butter sandwiches
- Eggs and toast
- French toast
- Egg sandwiches
While the meals are a bit light on veggies, you hopefully have some canned or frozen options already in stock that you can pull on. It is very hard to incorporate a lot of fresh produce for $25, but using tips like taking free produce neighbors are giving away or shopping only the items in season helps stretch your budget a bit further.
We’d love to hear your tips for getting by on only $25 a week.