Ingredients laid out on a table including cauliflower, lemon, chickpeas and chilli

Whether you’re a student sticking to a budget, or trying to keep costs down while cooking for your family - we’re here to help with this list of budget-friendly ingredients to look out for while you’re shopping.

You don’t have to go out and buy all of these, but if you can get your hands on even just a few, you’ll see that eating well doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A few small tweaks can make a big difference and help your money go that much further. Just make sure to check your cupboards, fridge and freezer before you go shopping so you know exactly what you already have at home, and what you need to buy. 

From making the most of store-cupboard staples to buying wonky fruit and veg, we’ve put together the ultimate budget grocery list with recipes, top tips and tricks to help you shop smart, cook clever and waste less. 

Head to our budget-friendly recipe hub for more inspiration on how to save money in the kitchen.

Store-cupboard staples 

Cheap store cupboard essentials

Keep your cupboards stocked with ingredients that will keep for a long time and that you’ll use again and again. Try cooking with tinned food – like tinned tomatoes and chickpeas – and make the most of oats and dried pasta. These store-cupboard essentials will seriously deliver on the flavour front with minimum fuss. 

Check out our store-cupboard recipes & ideas

Choose cheaper cuts of meat 

Meat can be pricey, but you can choose cheaper cuts that will offer you better value for money while still packing in plenty of flavour. The next time you’re at the supermarket or butchers, opt for budget cuts like chicken wings, lamb shank and neck; and pork chump and cheek. 

Celebrate seasonal produce 

Red and green tomatoes - seasonal July ingredient

Eating seasonally is a great way to keep your diet varied, and it can save you a bit of money, too, as fruit and veg in season is often cheaper than those cultivated out of season. Check out our handy guide on cooking with seasonal ingredients to make the most of the beautiful fruit and veg available in the UK. 

Embrace wonky fruit and veg

Misshapen fruit and veg are often sold at a discounted price in supermarkets, but are just as delicious and nutritious as the more regular-shaped ones we’re used to. Whether it’s a crooked carrot or a knobbly potato, you can enjoy produce in all its shapes and sizes with these delicious veg-packed recipes.

Opt for different varieties of fish

mussels pasta in a bowl on a marble table served with a side salad

Some types of fish are cheaper than others – so how about trying something new? Mussels and sardines are affordable and super-easy to cook with. Have a go at making recipes like this smoky mussel laksa, these creamy Cornish mussels or this speedy sardine spaghetti. Find out how to cook smart and waste less with our fabulous fish ideas.

Plan your week

Keep your costs low by planning your meals around budget-friendly ingredients. With just 10 versatile ingredients, you’ll be able to cook up 3 healthy veggie recipes: jacket spuds & homemade beans, a tasty potato, pepper & broccoli frittata and smoky veg patties. This means less spending, less planning and minimal food waste!

Love your freezer

How to prep food for your freezer

Buying food in larger quantities often works out to be cheaper and, if you freeze it, you can stretch food that little bit further and reduce food waste. Commonly wasted foods like bread, fresh herbs, fruit and veg can all be frozen, so head to our freezer tips and tricks to help you make the most of your freezer

Check out our freezer-friendly family recipes