You are low on funds and that payday isn’t coming that quickly. You have to be thrifty and maybe improvise. It happens! Here are a few things if you have to build with and build on if you are stuck on ideas from the discount store.
Boxes of Paste are a great starter for any meal idea. You get a box of the stuff, hoping to make more than one meal, and all you gotta do is boil it. Spaghetti, Elbows, Wheels, and whatever else can be found in a dollar stores aisles and you can start from there. Besides just sauce or cheese, add things like Shrimp, Meatballs, Hell get a container or Octopus or Squid if you are feeling adventurous. The basics are not that complicated and with a little bit of dazzle they are good on their own but get creative and with a little outside help you can make something amazing
A lot like pasts but more noodly and with more salt. I’ve seen these sell for 5 packs for a buck so it’s also a cheap building block. You can make your own soup or a noodle dish using the “flavor” packs that come with it, but there is lots more to do with it. TV Chef Alton Brown has used this in Casserole dishes so a little mix and match goes a long way with it, even without the powder packets. Another pasta dish you can start with that comes cheap but plentiful.
This stuff just tends to be cheap anywhere in its various forms. Besides the Dollar Store, places like Wal-mart and the big box chains along with the regular old grocery store carry cans of this stuff for a buck, and the other containers aren’t that much more. Even just plain old broth isn’t that bad if you are on a budget. Even worse is if you are nursing sickness or injury and this is the best you got at the moment. Soup can also be turned into sauces, glaze, and toppings if you start getting thoughtful or looking around. I remember being taught how a can of “Cream of Corn” soup makes for a good gravy over mashed potatoes. So even if you fake spuds aren’t tasting so well, these might give them a boost
Another thing that a good dollar store has lots of in plenty of flavors. They make good dessert if you need it. But why stop there? It may not be the healthiest thing you have ever purchased, but that is not the point. You need cheap food! Sandwich cookies with some peanut butter or frosting work out well. Crackers with toppings of meat, cheese, fruits, and veggies work really well too. I’ve seen cookies become part of ham glaze, and crackers become coating for fried foods so again, the possibilities are endless on what you can get out of the cookies and snack aisle.
Odds and Ends
Every store is different and may carry a lot of food items that aren’t stocked up in a lot of places. It helps to look at these and starting to put 2 and 2 together to create something new and amazing for yourself. I would take a taco kit, a microwave rice packet, and a cheap jar of pickles and make TACOS. They were even better with Wendy’s Chilli and cheese to make them extra good! Graham Cracker, Chocolate, and some peanut Butter get you some s’more of a different flavor.
Being thrifty and creative is not a sign that you are doing things wrong, it is a thing that happens when life presents itself. No matter if you are low on funds, starting a new job or school, or if life has dealt you a bad hand. You still gotta eat something. So be creative and make things just that much easier for yourself.