The day after my husband and I got married we quickly realized the honeymoon was over. Actually, we didn't have a honeymoon until our first anniversary because we were so broke. We were in debt and had to learn to make a dollar stretch to ridiculous proportions. This is where my love of inexpensive things began. It wasn't until I had no other choice that I realized how much money we wasted. The three best things I learned: buy store brand, choose fresh frozen or dried instead of canned beans and vegetables, and use foods that are cheap and filling (potatoes, rice, pasta). And just because I'm feeling super nice, here's a free one: check on the top and bottom shelves. These are the best deals usually because they're out of your line of sight. Also, the clearance shelf is your friend a lot of the time.
Broke Ass Menu
Simple Salad w/ Green Lettuce, Tomato, and Avocado
During that time in our lives we seriously only had $20 on food for two people. That was a horrible time. But I did love how much food I walked away with. Often, I'd be way under budget. A typical shopping trip would include a case of fideo ($1.69 for 9 boxes), some potatoes, tomato, avocado, cilantro, some fresh fruits, maybe a block or two of tofu. I tried to get food that could easily be used in a variety of cuisines. We'd do stirfries, pasta, bbq, etc. Okay. Enough about the past, here's how tonight's meal breaks down.
I made the fideo with 1/2 a small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, salt, pepper, 1/2 of a large tomato, maybe a quarter cup of cilantro, and some cumin. The beans were so simple. My mother-in-law only adds salt to her beans so you can really taste the flavor of them. Today I added some salt free spice blend and salt. Season them however you want, though. The salad was green lettuce, tomato, avocado, salt, pepper, and a squirt of lime juice.
Fideo (serves 4)-$0.60
- tomato sauce-$0.07
Pinto Beans (serves 4)-I forgot to check how much it was in bulk so this is based on bagged beans. $0.41
Salad (serves 4)-$1.04
Total Spent on Dinner-$2.05 or $0.51 per person with possible leftovers!
That is kinda shocking to me. No wonder we had it so much. Notice how that damn avocado is so expensive?! But it's oh so very delicious.
Tomorrow, I'm making snacks because nothing says budget friendly more than making your own convenience meals. Holler!
*All price breakdowns are assuming you have basic things like flour, oil, non dairy milk, common spices, etc. Everything else will be factored in. Also, the price listed is based on the amount used in the recipe.