This is a great idea! As a college student on a very tight budget, I'm always looking for inexpensive nutritious recipes. Where do you all prefer to shop for affordable yet good quality groceries?
May 2016 Cooking Challenge Is :<= $10 - Page 5
Find a fruit market. Learn how to cook what is in season and on sale. I buy almost nothing edible at the grocery store, though I do look at the sales flyer every week (on line) to see what is on sale in the meat department. I often buy the "value pack" of chicken thighs, take it home and break it down into portions for the freezer. Pork butt is another thing I look for. Pulled pork, pork stews, pork roast...delicious. A whole chicken is another boon if found on sale. Roasted the first night, sandwiches for a couple of days, the carcass saved in the freezer until there is another one to add to it, then into the stock pot.
You don't just need inexpensive groceries. You need to learn how to make inexpensive ingredients live up to their potential for you. Go to the library or check out websites for good vegetarian and/or ethnic recipes that use meat sparingly. I almost never sit down with one of those chicken thighs at the center of my plate. I make lots of soups, stews, and braises and have many go-to lentil dishes up my sleeve.
The Budget Bytes Blog is a good resource:
Leanne Brown's Good and Cheap cookbook was written to help people on the $4.00 a day food stamp budget eat tasty, nutritious food that doesn't take forever to prepare. It's a great project. It is a free PDF and you can find it here:
And, yes, ethnic markets are fabulous for inexpensive and much-fresher-than-you-will-find-in-the-grocery-store spices, for grains & beans, and often for vegetables as well.