7 Budget-Friendly Groceries We Bought on Repeat This Year

published Dec 26, 2022
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reusable grocery bags on the floor in the kitchen filled with groceries
Credit: Joe Lingeman

I love a good splurge as much as the next person, but for everyday shopping I’m always on the lookout for budget-friendly items that taste delicious and, ideally, make my life a little easier in the kitchen. This year my colleagues at Kitchn came through with tons of affordable options in every department of the grocery store: snacks, spreads, pre-cooked sausages, and shredded potatoes (okay, those are actually in the freezer section).

These are some of the best groceries that we kept adding to our carts this year, including a savory bourbon apple chicken sausage for when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry.

Credit: Bridget Gutish

1. Melinda’s Mango Preserves

An excellent reminder not to overlook the pantry selection at T.J. Maxx, Melinda’s Mango Preserves showcase a vibrant mango flavor with big chunks of fresh mango. Add a dollop to tangy yogurt with crunchy granola, slather it on a biscuit with a little salted butter, or add it to your next cheese board alongside herbed goat cheese.

Find it in stores: Melinda’s Mango Preserves ,$4.99 for 15.5 ounces at T.J. Maxx

Credit: Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo

2. Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes

There’s plenty to love about the humble potato: It’s cheap, versatile, and comforting, to name a few of its admirable qualities. If you’re not already stashing a bag of Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes in your freezer, now’s the time to start. I’ve always got a bag on-hand for an impromptu hash brown casserole. In addition to frying them up as directed, you can also fold them into frittatas or use them as a gluten-free quiche crust. 

Buy: Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes, $4.99 for 30 ounces at Amazon

Credit: Katie Leaird

3. Brami Italian Snacking Lupini Beans in Garlic & Rosemary

These beans are made for snacking, as the name implies, and if you’ve never thought of beans as a snack food before, these will quickly change your mind. Redolent of garlic and rosemary, these plump lupini beans are a clever way to get some protein in a bowl of pasta or soup, and they’re a welcome sight on any cheese and charcuterie board (traditional or plant-based). And they’re shelf-stable, so you can keep a few bags in the pantry for any bean-related emergencies.

Buy: Brami Italian Snacking Lupini Beans in Garlic & Rosemary, $3.99 for 5.3 ounces at Thrive Market 

Credit: Alice Knisley-Matthias

4. Melissa’s Organic Peeled & Steamed Red Beets

Beets can be a bit of a chore to prepare (all that scrubbing and peeling!), but the folks at Melissa’s have done all the work for you. Once you open these beets all you have to do is figure out how you want to use them — make a classic beet and goat cheese salad, blitz it into hummus, or bring a pop of color to deviled eggs

Buy: Melissa’s Organic Peeled & Steamed Red Beets, $4.99 for 8 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Jessica Harlan

5. Crab Classic Imitation Crab, Flake Style

Sweet, delicate crab flavor without all the shell-cracking? Sign me up. Available for around $3, this little pack of imitation crab can be a handy snack or the inspiration for dinner. (Try it in a DIY sushi roll night or hearty sushi bake.) I like to use it to make a riff on a crab roll, dressing the surimi in a lemony mayo and then loading it up on a soft roll and sprinkling with fresh chives.

Buy: Crab Classic Imitation Crab, Flake Style, $3.29 for 8 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Taylor Kocher

6. Gilbert’s Craft Sausages Bourbon Apple Chicken Sausage

For a low-effort, home-cooked dinner, Kitchn contributor Taylor Kocher swears by Gilbert’s bourbon apple flavored chicken sausages. A go-to addition to sheet pan dinners, these slightly sweet, individually wrapped sausages also work for a quick lunch over rice or on a bun.

Credit: Hoang Samuelson

7. Hapi Dry Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt

Packing a big, satisfying crunch, this roasted edamame is great for snacking or adding to a kid’s lunch box. They’re gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO, not to mention loaded with protein and vitamin K. And at $2.79 a bag, they’re a steal. In fact, you might want to pick up two.

Buy: Hapi Dry Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt, $2.79 for 3.53 ounces at Instacart

What budget-friendly groceries did you buy on repeat in 2022? Tell us in the comments.