Let me take a moment to set the scene: it’s three days until payday. Dinnertime is fast approaching and you are broke. Broker than broke, even. So broke that when you open your wallet, dust and a stray moth flies out. But still, dinnertime. The family has to eat something. So you check your pantry. You find a lone box of pasta and not much else. No meat. No sauces. What can you even do?
Does this situation sound familiar?
Trust me, I have been there. I have been so broke that I was hunting through my car cupholders for enough change to buy a $1 box of whole wheat pasta. It doesn’t happen as much now that I meal plan and budget, but occasionally I’m still thrown for a loop and things don’t work out as I expected. Sometimes we eat more than I planned for, or some of my ingredients meet an untimely end when a bag breaks. There are lots of little things that can happen to set back your food budget when it isn’t very large in the first place.
Thankfully, I’ve learned a few “bare minimum” recipes over the years so that I can still make the most of dinnertime even when I’m limited by my ingredients!