When bad economic news, job loss, or constant job loss threats loom on the horizon, many households tighten their budgets and trim discretionary spending. Food is one place to make budget cuts quickly. If you need to cut costs to survive, mixing certain super cheap foods into your menu can be a significant help.
Here are five cheap foods that provide a lot of bang for the buck during a recession.
1) Little Debbie’s Snack Cakes – Even if you are poor, broke, and in fear of foreclosure, you can still have your cake and eat it, too. Although prices have been creeping upwards, Little Debbie’s snacks still sell for about $1.59 a box. If you need a sweet little sugar fix, you can count on Little Debbie’s Nutty Bars, Snack Cakes, or Swiss Rolls. While you may have to eat cheap, you won’t have to suffer. Little Debbie’s are all dangerously delectable. But, watch out, there are plenty of calories in this cheap food.
2) Jiffy Corn Bread Mix – Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix often sells for less than fifty cents per box. Each little box yields enough to provide a inexpensive meal for your family. If you’ve got to eat cheap chili from a can, you’ll definitely need some cheap corn bread to go with it. But don’t despair, Jiffy Corn Bread tastes great for a cheap food.
3) Ramen Noodles – If you ate Ramen Pride or Nissin Noodles back in college, you can eat them now. They are good for a quick snack or as a side dish. You can also pump them up with additional ingredients for a heart meal. Best of all, you can still find Ramen Noodles for about 20 cents a package. Ramen noodles are the mother of all cheap foods. If you are super cheap, you’ll even save the flavor packets to season other foods.
4) Spaghetti – If Ramen was good, spaghetti is even better. Spaghetti can fill up a family for less than a dollar a box. Add a cheap jar sauce to spaghetti and you can be in business for around $2. Spaghetti is the cheap food foundation of a dirt cheap meal. Spaghetti is perfect for a global recession.
5) White bread – You ate enriched white bread as a kid didn’t you? And, you are still here? Then, it really wasn’t so bad. Most families can forego super high fiber whole grain organic natural multi-grain free range yuppie bread until an economic threat is weathered. You can still get various forms of enriched white bread for around a dollar a loaf. It can also form the basis for many recession lunches and dinners. With butter and garlic salt, it becomes garlic bread. With peanut butter, it becomes a sandwich and, with cheese and butter, it can become a great grilled cheese sandwich.
It looks like we’ll all have to tighten our belts and eat cheap for the duration of the recession. While we can all watch vaunted Iron Chefs on television, we may have to turn to Chef Boyardee for our actual meals. Whether you mix in super cheap foods a little each week or subsist on them entirely, they can make a big impact on your budget.