We all know there have been times in our lives, for whatever reason, that we have had no grocery budget. I can remember a time, before I got enlightened, that I ate lots of crackers and macaroni. I lived alone, had no money, and that was what I could afford! Water was my beverage of choice!! LOL!! I survived (thanks to Sunday dinners at Moms).
Today, I feel better prepared, as are most of you. We know that bad times CAN happen and that we need to be prepared. I think most of us can go for a long time, stretching and re-inventing what we have. At least I hope so.
If you haven't been listening and learning - then maybe you can use some advice.
ALWAYS buy a little extra each week. Keep extra can goods and frozen goods on hand IN CASE! This is why we talk so much about pantries! You are always prepared for the worst scenario.
Remember - when you are broke that you can still eat well - just maybe not like the Ritz! YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE ON JUST BEANS AND RICE EITHER (although I love them).
Oatmeal or baked oatmeal
Biscuits or toast (cover with peanut butter and/or jelly)
White gravy - so easy to make and filling
Muffins/sweet breads - can use leftover rice. oatmeal, fruits, or cereal as ingredients
Leftover rice - top with butter and sugar or a little syrup
Grits, polenta - both are cheap and easy to make
Pancakes or waffles (make ahead and freeze to always have on hand) Keep general baking mix on hand!
Homemade breakfast sandwiches - use biscuits or English muffins (or bread) along with egg/cheese/meat - whatever you have
Eggs if you have them (we always keep some frozen) and I keep instant eggs in pantry
ANY leftover!!!!!!! I have had soup, pizza, lasagna, you name it for breakfast!!
Tuna salad on bread or with crackers (or any type salad)
Cheese slices w/crackers
Fruit (canned is fine)
Fried rice (use all kinds of leftovers - veggies and/or bits of meat)
Soup - ANY KIND Veggie, soup beans, potato - no limit. You can add rice or pasta to any soup to extend it GARBAGE SOUP - add anything and everything left in bits and pieces in frig and freezer. It may be the best soup you ever had!
Beans and rice
Dressing/stuffing - is easy to make and is filling and a great meal extender
Bean and cheese burritos
Quiche - use leftovers with your eggs.
Salad if you have fresh ingredients or garden
Pasta salad - pasta w/any veggie or meat and any kind of dressing you have on hand
DESSERTS OR SNACKS
ANY fruit can be sautéed with a little sugar, honey, or syrup for a warm treat
Make a simple crisp
Simple cornbread with butter and warm syrup
Cake mix cookies or bars
In the warm months learn to garden (if only a few things) - also learn to barter with others and forage. There may be fruit trees on empty lots with fruit you can take or nut trees, and learn to forage greens from your own lawn (if no chemicals).
Learn that meat can be an added ingredient and doesn't have to be a main course. A little can go a long way.
Extend casseroles and soups with rice or pasta and 'cream of' soups.
Learn that just about ANY veggie can be fried, sautéed or broiled/baked. Gives you some variety to a limited supply. (Basically the same holds true with fruit)
Use bread crumbs for breading foods to fry - if no bread try cracker crumbs, non-sweet cereal, pretzels, chips, flour, cornmeal, etc. - whatever you have.
Did you know? You can make soup out of those hamburger helper meals and out of boxed red beans and rice, dirty rice, Rice - A - Roni, etc. Just add more liquid or broth and throw in anything else you have and you have a nicely flavored soup. I have done this many times for a nice soup starter.
REMEMBER - a meal doesn't have to involve several courses. We have had many a meal that consisted of finger foods. As long as you get full - that is what matters.
Keep some canned potatoes on hand in case you are out of fresh. They can be fried, used in soups and casseroles, smashed, etc.
We never know what life or the world has in store for us. We can be thrown a curve ball at any moment. BE PREPARED - HAVE AN EXTENDED PANTRY! If you have staples on hand you can live and eat well.
LEARN - read, watch, absorb from others, all the information you can. It may save your life.
Add a little at a time if you are just starting out - JUST ADD!
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX - it can be beneficial to your family!