Has anyone ever told you not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Well it’s true, and most people will agree. You crave almost everything you see and in the end you buy unnecessary items. There is a better way to cook and shop while staying on a budget. Buy these staple foods and learn to get creative. Living on a budget does not mean you have to eat ramen every night, but it does mean you need to be smart about what you buy and what you make. Convenience foods are a lifesaver when it’s 6 o’clock on a weekday and you have no dinner plans. Be aware that this list does not take into account food allergies or restrictions.
Eggs – A carton of eggs is a staple fridge item. Creative cooks can do so many different things with eggs. A morning meal can be as easy as frying an egg, toasting some bread and breakfast is served. Hard-boiled eggs are easy and can be put on toast, salads and made into egg salad sandwiches.
Broth – On a cold or rainy day a nice warm cup of soup and some French bread is a great meal option. Throw everything but the kitchen sink in some heated broth or mix with bouillon cubes and water and there you have an easy, satisfying meal option. Broth or bouillon cubes (Better Than Bouillon products are a great option) stay for a while in your pantry and cupboard and are the perfect added flavor to any soup.
Tortillas/Bread – Every home should carry some heavy carb item like bread or tortillas. Toasted bread is great for a side to a soup, lasagna, eggs, salad, etc. If you have peanut butter and jelly around, you have a quick and easy breakfast or lunch. Mixed with some cheese, salsa or pasta sauce, tortillas are great for quesadillas, tacos or mini pizzas. Be careful to check for mold before eating, if you keep bread around long enough it will go bad so get creative and don’t waste.
Cheese – As noted above, cheese is a great mix with bread and tortillas. If you have a cheese grater, it’s simple to throw some tasty cheese on a lunch salad or make a plate of nachos when friends come over. Sliced cheese with apples or crackers is a delicious snack for someone of any age. Melted cheese on a burger makes it great. Grated cheese on a salad for lunch gives it more taste. And don’t forget you can never go wrong with grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.
Rice – Probably the most widely consumed staple food item in the world is rice. You can’t go wrong with rice because it can last for a very long time in your pantry and can be mixed with almost anything. Combined with the right flavors, rice makes any dish a meal. Boil water, throw in rice, let it soften and mix with veggies, meat, soy sauce, spicy seasoning, bouillon cubes, milk or much more, it’s that easy.
Planning a meal around what you have in your kitchen is easier and cheaper than buying takeout or going to the grocery store every day. Cooking websites are popping up everywhere offering frugal shoppers better options for more efficient meals on a budget. Bon a petit!