One of the websites I follow periodically (okay, and a million others) is Epicurious, and I would like to share a post with you that has really been helpful in figuring out what to buy at the supermarket while still being thrifty. The key to not spending a lot of money is to find out what's in season and let the ingredients dictate what recipes you will be inspired to tackle. If you live in the U.S.A. you know how different each state is in terms of climate, soil, and what you will find at the grocery store. In January, while avocados and tangerines are plentiful and cheap in Florida, they are extremely expensive up in Seattle, Washington at the same time of year. So how do we figure it out? You can always ask your grocer, watching the food specials in restaurants at the time or if you're trying to cook more at home, this is a great resource: Seasonal Ingredient Map.
I live in Seattle, WA, so right now the season is perfect to buy and cook with these ingredients:
So never fret, you don't have to back out of the store disappointed when you see expensive produce, or think you can't enjoy a great meal because tomatoes are $4.99/lb. Just leave yourself open to trying new recipes based on what's in season, and have fun with it!