Well when I was first starting out on my own in NYC my combo was something like this.1 bag dried lentils, 1 bag dried red kidney beans, 1 bag of long grain rice (not instant), 5 lb bag chicken breasts (w/skin& bones I did my own deboning), some fresh fruit&veggies, eggs, tub Irish oatmeal, assorted bones (free from the butcher), 2–3 cans of milk, 1–2 boxes of various pasta, loaf of marked-down bread, 1 can of tomatoes, 2 cans of tuna and maybe a 1–2 lbs of ground beef (if I could afford it). All this coupled with whatever leftovers were available and whatever might be available in my fridge and/or pantry. That was more than enough for 2 people at the time.I bought everything in NJ on my day off after I’d drop my Husband off at work. He worked in NJ and had a old 1974 Plymouth Valiant that he used for the commute to work. I’d also do all the laundry that day too. Then I’d pick him up after he got out of work, we filled the car up with gas, paid the toll and came back home and unloaded the car. The food and gas were much cheaper in NJ at that time. The next day I’d stay in all day and cook everything for the week, portion out our meals and then freeze everything I wasn’t using.I also clipped every coupon that I could find, tried patronizing stores that doubled or tripled my coupons, bought the store brands, the dented cans, sale items and marked down items. Sometimes I’d even go to different supermarkets if they both had what I needed on sale. And if non perishable items were on sale I’d try and stock up on it, especially when toiletries went on sale. I used to always be able to buy toothpaste and cereal for pennies, sometimes they were even free. I didn’t do the Costco or BJ’s thing either. There’s only so much ketchup and gigantic cans that I can used before it goes bad.We worked different shifts, he had regular days and hours, my shifts and days rotated.off S/S. We rarely seen each other, in the beginning. But he always had a hot dinner, even if it was heated up in the oven or microwave. We rarely ate out and always packed our lunches too.It’s amazing how far you can stretch a food budget, when it’s done out of necessity as opposed to entertainment. We ate food at home. Going out didn’t include eating at restaurants. Soups and casseroles can be an amazing, hearty, cheap meals and you use up all your leftovers that way too. We had minimal bills, no loans, no cable, no cellphone, no credit cards and 35% of what we made covered all our bills, everything, not just rent.In 5 years we managed to amass enough money to be able to buy our first apartment, in NYC no less and before we were thirty. Try that now. It can be done but it’s not easy, you have to follow a strict budget. It’s also might take awhile longer than 5 years.Edit: I forgot coffee, cheap red wine and the occasional bottle of booze too. It also helped that my Husband used to receive a huge amounts of great, French wine, free at work. They were tips. That really helped out too.