No income.....life changing events....severe weather situations...financial downfall...
There are so many reasons to have to really watch your dollars and stretch them further than you ever imagined.
I think we are on the edge of times, that we will have to get creative with WHAT we have and ONLY what we have. I think our deals and grocery options will be very limited in the near future.
If you haven't figured it out yet, this girl likes simple dishes!!!! If a recipe has 10 steps and a dozen ingredients - I am probably not even going to entertain the idea of fixing it! I like simple - but I like variety - and I like stretching my food and money.
Following are many, many ideas for dinners (or other meals) that can be made with foods on hand and for little money. Just remember - not EVERY meal has to be nutritionally sound!!! Some meals can be just for fun!
Being full is the main objective when resources are low. Many of these options can be used for more than one meal.
Think breakfast - any time of the day
Oatmeal, biscuits/gravy, pancakes, waffles, French toast, egg biscuits, breakfast burritos, quiche, any breakfast item at all is yummy!
Baked potatoes - top with whatever you have in the frig (or a can of soup)
Goulash - different in every region. Here it is mac, gr. beef, tomatoes and cheese
Cheesy mac with hotdogs or sausages cut up in it
Tuna salad, egg salad, pasta salad, chef salad - you can make a salad from about anything. Bread pudding (it can be made as a hearty dish instead of dessert) - homemade stuffing.
Bean, rice, cheese burritos, chicken (or other meat) enchiladas (make your own sauce), tacos or taco salad, Mexican soup or casserole
Potato soup, ham and bean soup, split, beef and lentil, veggie soup (load up with veggies - doesn't need to have meat), chicken and rice or noodle (can add pasta or rice to any soup to stretch it)
Serve with bread. toast, or biscuits or cornbread to help fill everyone up.
There is no limit to what can be added to soup. Jazz up plain ingredients with spices and herbs.
Anything you have leftover - whatever you have on hand, add a can of cream of soup, maybe a little meat and/or cheese and bake. Top with some crushed crackers, crushed croutons, etc. Again - no limits to variety.
Fried rice (add whatever you have on hand), stir fry (definitely stretches a tiny bit of meat) and serve over rice
Lo Mein (spaghetti and veggies/meat (or not) & seasonings)
Savory beans and rice - with or without meat
Have a veggie night - meatless meal
BBQ any meat
Serve sides of veggies, salad, biscuits, tortillas, cornbread, fruit - fresh or cooked, rice, potatoes, pasta, etc.
Think about getting a roast whenever affordable - they can make many, many meals (use smaller servings to help stretch). Cook with potato and carrots, then use for pulled pork/beef, BBQ, in tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, stir fry, soups................the list goes on and on.
Use much less meat than normal. If you use a pound of burger in soup - use a half pound or less. Stock it up with other items. Add lots of filler items.
We have been known to have chips and salsa/dip, veggies & dip, cold cut sammies, cheese and crackers, etc. for a meal. We eat to fill our tummies - so it doesn't have to always be fancy!
There are so many ways to stretch the food budget, the dollar, and yet have a variety of good and fun meals.
Never under estimate the value of simple ingredients and a limited budgets.
Do you have any meal ideas for those tight budget days? Please share with us!!!!!