Ok, It’s that time of the month when we always struggle. It’s 5 days til payday and we are broke. We can’t afford to shop, the cupboards are looking pretty bare but we have 4 of us to feed. I wont lie, it’s going to be hard but it can be done!
I’ve gone through the cupboards, fridge and freezer and at first glance there’s nothing there, but get creative and there’s plenty to feed our family for a week.
Here’s what we have:
In the fridge…
And in the cupboard…
We also have some chicken thigh fillets, sausages, chips, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, Yorkshire puddings, homemade pasta sauce, bread, leftover chilli, leftover lasagne and lots of frozen veg!
In another cupboard we have potatoes, crackers, herbs and spices and a selection of cooking sauces.
At first glance it’s a pretty depressing situation to be in but these are the times when I find I create some of my favourite recipes. It’s amazing how creative you can get when you have to!
So, what will we be eating?
- Oaty banana pancakes
I cooked up some curried chickpea patties today which will be great for lunches for the kids.
- Cheese and crackers
- Jacket potato with cheese
- Pasta with mixed frozen veg and homemade sauce
- Egg on toast
- Chicken pasta bake
- Leftover lasagne
- Chicken nuggets and chips (Yep we all need meals like this sometimes!)
- Leftover chilli and rice
- Cheese and tomato omelette
- Sausage casserole with peppers and butter beans
- Tuna pasta bake
And that’s what we’ll be eating this week! It’s nothing special or exciting but it will cost us nothing and uses just really basic cupboard and freezer staples. Feeding out freezer throughout the month definitely makes a huge difference when we get to the week before payday and have been caught short. (I know, I know, we really need to budget better but, like many families out there, one unexpected bill, birthday or new pair of shoes for the kids needed and it’s enough to throw us.)
With the cost of living going up and the money we’re bringing in staying the same there’s a few tips and tricks that we like to use to ensure we are always able to make a meal out of nothing when we need to.
Money saving tips
Feed your freezer
This one is my biggest tip. There’s very little that can’t be frozen, if you have leftover individual portions of meals freeze them. They’re so handy for the kids when you need an instant ready meal. Cutting sandwiches into fancy shapes? Don’t waste the off cuts! Make them into breadcrumbs and freeze them. Cut and freeze veg before it goes to waste. Not sure if you’ll use meat before it’s use by date? Freeze it! When you can buy in larger quantities, cook in bulk and freeze half. Not only does it save money but it saves time too!
Have a good range of herbs and spices
When it comes to making something out of nothing it’s so useful to have a range of herbs and spices to use. They can turn a dull meal into something special you’ll want to plan to eat again!
If you’re ever in the situation where you feel like you have nothing in the cupboards and are worried about feeding the family take the time to go through your cupboards and write down what you have. Once you can see what you’re working with written down in front of you, you will find that there’s probably more options for meals than you first thought!