Chicken: Chicken goes on sale fairly reliably, and the cut of chicken on sale seems to rotate every week, with each cut coming up for sale every four to six weeks. Take notice at your store, and you'll see that one week it's boneless chicken breasts, the next week perhaps it's a bone-in breasts, a cut-up fryer, or boneless skinless chicken thighs (one of my favorites to use in recipes). Chicken freezes great, so stock up weekly on whatever is on sale each week.
In this recipe, I use three large pieces of chicken to feed four people. By slicing the chicken off the bone and serving it fanned on the plate, each serving is both plentiful and beautiful.
Orange Juice concentrate: For recipes, I buy the very cheapest I can find, and then I keep a couple of cans in the freezer. Orange juice concentrate is great subbing in where you might otherwise use lemon, and it's great for using in salad dressings (for instance, making an Asian chicken salad with leftover rotisserie chicken and some cabbage). Or mix some concentrate into your egg batter for French toast.
Fennel: When you buy your fennel, notice if it is priced per unit (versus per pound), and if so, be sure to buy a nice sized bulb. Chop the fronds and use them as you would any other fresh herb, try it in an omelet or in a salad. You can freeze the stalks to flavor a simple fish-based stock next time you make fish.
Cabbage: Cabbage is a great "stretcher" of your dollar, and it's healthy too. Try to get a smaller head of cabbage since the larger ones can end up being surprisingly heavy (and thus pricier). You'll likely use only half the head for the fennel slaw. For a completely different feel, make a cabbage and onion sauté with olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice with the leftovers.
Scallions: Many of you already know one of my favorite "homemaker" tricks – put scallion whites in a glass of water (or plant in your backyard) and the green part of the onion will regenerate. Also, this will keep your scallions from withering.
Potatoes: Russet potatoes can vary significantly in price. You might not notice because they're not all that expensive even at their most expensive. Even so, I keep my eyes open for the lowest prices, because even a dollar or two makes a big difference when you're spending only ten dollars on dinner! I usually find the 5 or 10 pound bags of potatoes to be the least expensive option because they go on deep sale. However, if potatoes are not on sale, I lean toward the loose potatoes and I will buy only what I need for that day (and check next week's 5 or 10 pound bag price).