When your money is running low and your cupboards are almost bare, you can either get out one of those short-term loans, or start getting creative. Whether or not you bite the bullet and get that payday loan, the following are great, cheap ways to eat well, without spending all your much money.
A favourite of low-income people around the world, noodles are a cheap, quick and easy way to fill your belly. Instant noodles range in price from around 40 cents to 2 dollars a pack, and for the most part the more expensive ones are substantially better. If you like spicy food, for a quick and tasty meal, buy 2 packets of any Korean instant noodles, boil a pot of water and cook them for about 2 minutes. After the first minute, add two good handfuls of bite-sized pieces of broccoli, let it cook for a further minute, then it’s done. Cover and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes, and then eat! It will easily serve two pretty hungry adults.
For a really simple, cheap and delicious meal, it’s hard to go past risotto. You will need 2 cups of rice (preferably Arborio), one vegetable stock cube, 2 litres of boiling water, 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, one medium diced onion, and 6 medium sized mushrooms sliced. To begin, add the stock cube to 2 litres of boiling water and stir well. Then in a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion for two minutes. Then add the mushrooms and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Add one cup of rice, and mix well to ensure that the rice is coated in the oil, before adding one cup of the vegetable stock. After a further minute add the second cup of rice and mix well, before adding 2 more cups of stock and leaving it to simmer. When the liquid is absorbed, add more stock a cup or two at a time, leaving it to be soaked up each time before adding more. Mix the rice each time you add stock. Once there is no more stock, remove the pot from the heat, leave it covered for 5 minutes, then serve. This meal will serve 4 grumbling stomachs with ease.
If you are looking for something hot, filling and inexpensive, a simple bake will hit the spot. You will need a large sweet potato, 2 large red potatoes, 1 medium size red onion, 2 medium carrots, 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil and some soy sauce. Pre heat your oven to 380 degrees, then dice the potatoes and onion, and slice the carrots. Put all the vegetables into a large baking dish, add 2 -3 tablespoons of cooking oil, and mix it so that everything has a light coating of oil. This is also a good time to add any spices that you like such as salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 45-60 minutes, removing it every 15 minutes to mix everything around. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, remove them from the oven, uncover and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Then serve with a drizzling of soy sauce and eat. This meal is best as a side dish, or as a snack for 3-4 people.
There are plenty of ways to feed yourself and your family for less. If you consider using the ingredients you have in the cupboard as a cooking challenge it can even become a fun thing to enjoy as you try out different meal options using only what you have in the house.