Share article Meals to Make When You Think You Have No Food: The holidays are over, and the guilt of having spent too much money is weighing you down. The ...
The holidays are over, and the guilt of having spent too much money is weighing you down. The last thing you want to do is go out to the store and spend a bunch of cash on groceries (forget about eating out). The good news is that, if you get a little creative, you can probably rummage up enough ingredients in your pantry and fridge to make a decent meal -- no money required and you don't need to go out in the cold to get to the store.
To spark your imagination, here are seven meal ideas made with foods found in most kitchens:
1. Breakfast for dinner
This is my usual standby meal between grocery trips. I never seem to have the time or energy to make a full breakfast in the morning (plus a heavy meal first thing in the AM would have me dragging all day), so I kind of like having breakfast for dinner every now and then since it allows me to eat foods I don't get very often.
With a little flour, eggs, and milk you can make pancakes or waffles, and if you've got some cheese and leftover veggies you can make a pretty mean omelette.
With the same basic ingredients (flour, milk, eggs, cheese, veggies) you can make something more dinner-like -- a quiche. If you're lucky enough to have any ham or bacon you can throw that in there too for some extra flavor. Look in your freezer for some vegetables or bake a potato to create a full meal.
There are tons of different ways you can turn plain rice into a tasty dish. With some beans, tomato sauce, and spices you can make Spanish or Mexican rice. Or, combine rice, cream of mushroom soup and broccoli for some satisfying comfort food. If you've got any type of meat you can make a jambalaya or chicken bog … the possibilities are virtually endless.
Similar to rice, you can create endless dishes with pasta and a few basic ingredients. For example, you can chop up some tomatoes and frozen spinach, and toss it together with pasta, olive oil, and parmesan. Try making spaghetti without the meat (you'll hardly miss it). Add veggies, olives, Italian dressing, and noodles for a quick pasta salad. Even something as simple as noodles, butter, and cheese is quite filling.
5. Soup and Bread
Almost everyone has cans of soup in their cupboards, but, if you're like me, you take one look at it and think, "ugh… soup." To jazz it up a little, make some fresh baked bread to go with it. The bread gets the whole house smelling good, somehow makes the soup taste better, and gives you a warm, cozy feeling.
Basically, all you need is some flour, water, and oil for the crust, and then you can top the pizza with whatever you have on hand. Use red or white sauce and top with things like cheese, tomatoes, onions, peppers, spices, and of course pepperoni (if you've got any).
7. Chicken Pot Pie
Again, all you need is ingredients for the crust, some leftover chicken, and a few veggies.
Amazing! These seven meals will get you through the week without setting foot in a grocery store. If, by chance, you don't have any of these ingredients, then it's probably time to go shopping. Even college student needs to have some staples in their kitchen -- it's a great way to save money.