I usually try to make sure I have the basics for starting a recipe, like onions, garlic, peppers, olive oil, chicken stock, I've been using Goya chicken bullion packets instead of chicken stock lately, seems like I use a little chicken stock and then it gets to the back of the fridge and that's all she wrote...
I pretty much wander around the meat area and look for whatever's on sale, usually some kind of chicken, quarters, thighs, legs, split chicken breast is on sale for around $1 a pound, sometimes pork chops will be cheap, some kind of combo pack of boneless and bone in ones.
frozen fruits and veggies are good, again, whatever's on sale, some of those steamer brands have brown rice, you can saute some onion and garlic, cut up some chicken or pork, add some frozen veg and you have a nice flavorful meal.
I try to always go with a list, that helps me stay on budget and not forget to bring home the one thing DH is looking for when i get back...lol
Rachel Ray had a list of basic things to have on hand in one of her 30 minute meal books, it was stuff like canned beans, diced tomatoes, jar of roasted peppers, etc. so if you something's on sale that you can use in multiple recipes, you can pick upl one or two and have it in the cupboard. I'll see if I can find the list online.
best to all