I Love My Ducks–Cheap Foods

Here’s some of the typical basics:

Cereal • Cereal is always on sale. Keep looking down the isle, you’ll find a box for $2.50 or less most anywhere here in Eugene, I promise.
Noodles • Don’t make me end the nameless things you can do with them.
Blocks of cheddar cheese • if you wait until they’re on sale you can find them for $5 or $6 here in Eugene.
Frozen Veggies
Frozen Fruit • seriously go to Winco for things like this. Why would you go anywhere else? But if for some silly reason you can’t go (like you don’t have a car….like me) then Market of Choice actually has a great selection of locally frozen cheap fruit.
Bananas• They’re usually pretty cheap.
Hot Dogs
Yogurt • Save yourself some money, get the big tub.
Pancake mix
Popcorn • Get the kernels, they’re cheaper and healthier and you can add real butter.

And then there’s these too:

Garlic • Garlic is super cheap and can add lots of flavor to otherwise boring food. Case and point: saute and add to mashed potatoes.

Potatoes • So many great options with these, broccoli cheese potatoes, twice baked potatoes, bacon cheese potatoes, potato soup. And you can get a whole bag for just over a dollar!

Sweet Potatoes • More healthy than russet potatoes, great for mashing or roasting.

Boil-in-a-bag rice • You’ll spend a bit more money but you’ll thank me on the clean up. Dishes 88% easier (hey, you still have to do them).

Salad shrimp • Often you can find them super cheap.

Fresh Pico de Gallo • We both know you’re too lazy to make it yourself. But hey, pick up some fresh pico in the produce section, it’s loaded with fresh fruits and veggies and even though it’s a little spendy it’s a great snack!

Baby Spinach • Buy the big huge tub. Yeah, it costs like $4 but it will last you all week and you can do whatever you want with it, saute it, boil it, maybe even make a salad with that shrimp of yours.


Cheap Foods is part of I Love My Ducklings, a series of food-related posts dedicated to the incoming ducks at UO & fellow ducks moving off campus.

 What are your go-to cheap foods?


24 responses to “I Love My Ducks–Cheap Foods

  1. These are awesome tips! I’m just starting apartment life this year, and your blog will definitely be one of my go-to places for recipes. Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Thanks! Five years of college living, I’ve got a couple things up my sleeve. There are some things I wish I would have known earlier, like how cheap and amazing garlic is. Or that if you pay attention you can get grapes rather cheap.

  2. Pingback: An Open Letter to the Ducklings « Two Pots of Coffee and A Slice of Pie at Midnight·

    • If you buy bigger things of spinach, you can use the leftovers in either a green smoothie (throw a banana, spinach, frozen fruit, orange juice in a blender) or spinach dal. Great ways to eat more spinach and save money by purchasing bigger quantities.

      Oh and I live in Switzerland where pretty much only potatoes are cheap. I used to live in Eugene though and miss the Tillamook cheddar.

  3. These are great tips! This is my first year living off campus in an apartment and I’m starting to pick out my go to cheap foods as well. I absolutely love the Steamfresh vegetable bags. They’re cheap and usually on sale at Safeway. You just throw them in the microwave and they’re done in like 8 minutes. And you are right about getting a big bag of potatoes! They’re cheap and there is a lot of options on what to make them with.

    • I love those too! I’m much more inclined to add veggies to my dinner or eat them as a snack if I only have to wait a couple of minutes and then don’t have to wash any pots! Oh, and on the veggie note, I forgot, but bags of frozen stir fry are the best. You throw them in the pan with a bit of soy sauce and then a couple of minutes later, ta-da, dinner is ready and healthy!

  4. Switzerland has good cheese but no cheddar. When I am splurging, I buy cheddar from the farmer’s market in the hauptbahnhof (main train station) and it costs about $30/pound. It is imported from England and tastes nothing like Tillamook. At those prices, I would also never put it in mac and cheese, it is strictly slice and eat with apple type cheese.

  5. Your blog seems pretty interesting, but the layout of the home page sort of confuses me. I don’t know what to read first. I’d also be interested in seeing more pictures used.

    These are good tips! As a college kid on a budget I’m always looking for cheap and easy foods.

    My dad used to work the produce section in Wal-Mart, and he said bananas were usually one of the highest costing fruits. Maybe apples should go on your list instead. =P

  6. I’ve been using an airpopper for years; don’t think I can ever go back to microwave popcorn. I love buying the popcorn in bulk and it’s so much easier to regulate the toppings and make popcorn balls!

  7. I really like your blog! And I am a huge Duck fan living in Az. Super glad to find you. You left a comment on my iSee site, but I also have a food blog. Pantry and Fridge here on WordPress. Hope to see you there too’
    Cheers 🙂

  8. Hi Melissa,

    Like you , I also love to cook and experiment dishes. We live in the highlands so most of the local produce here are not just cheap, they’re very healthy too like broccoli, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, and string beans. Leafy veggies like watercress and bok choi are just as cheap:) For me, I like the idea of planting herbs in pots so you don’t even need to buy them. I used to have basil, rosemary, and thyme in my kitchen but I need to start again 😀 Great blog!

    • Thanks so much! I haven’t tried to grow my own herbs. My last foray in plant growing (an adorable little tomato plant) didn’t end so well for the plant. Watercress is amazing! And I love bok choi, especially with the seasoning packet the have as the Saturday market here–it has ginger, sesame seeds and garlic–but it’s expensive. And bell peppers are spendy too, I’m a little jealous. Where do you live?

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