Broke and Hungry

What’s a girl to do when she has to feed a family and has little money? This is the question that has plagued stay-at-home moms — not to mention working moms, single women, their male counterparts, and just about anyone else who finds the month lasts longer than their money — since time immemorial.

Of course we’re not completely broke. And doG knows, with the size of us, we won’t starve any time soon. But money is tight in these times, like it is for everyone, particularly since it’s just after Christmas. So it’s time to start looking for some budget friendly meal options.

I’ve been on a bit of a kick today, checking out sites like the Broke Ass Gourmet, Cheap Healthy Good, A Year of Slow Cooking, and of course the ever-present Epicurious, to find some options. I love recipe sites. I get all sorts of creative urges when I go through recipes.

But it’s challenging looking at them from a budget-minded bent. Old standby items, like chicken for example, are no longer as affordable as they once were. Vegetables are tough to buy fresh because they’re out of season and are also expensive. And some of the other budget standby items just don’t work for us for various reasons.

Still, it’s a fun task if you like recipes like I do. We love food, there’s no denying it, so the prospect of discovering and cooking up something new is always interesting to me.

And ohmydoG, I collect recipes like a fiend. I have an addiction. It’s not pretty. I need to get some sort of efficient way to catalogue these things. I have software, it’s just the time to go through them and enter them into the software that I lack.

But I am game to try some new things. Soups, vegetarian options, things cooked in wonton wrappers and pastry parcels — I’ll give them a go.

But you know what the biggest issue is for me? Bear in mind that I am as cheap as cheap can be. So it’s not the seeking-out of budget recipes that bothers me. Nor is it the planning menus, or the shopping for these items.

It’s the looming “OMG WHAT IF IT SUCKS OR IF BDH HATES IT AND I HAVE TO THROW IT OUT” possibility. He has no problem letting me know (nicely of course; more as a way of learning from things than anything) when something we (or I) have made is not to his taste. Which happens occasionally.

For a cheapwad like me, perish the thought of throwing out perfectly good food! So what if BDH hates it? I’ll eat it all myself!! So what if it’s inedible?? I’ll choke it down!!

Or, the worst of all: “I’LL JUST HAVE IT FOR LUNCHES, JUST LET ME PUT IT IN THE FREEZER…” Where it sits. Untouched. FOR YEARS.

Yeah. I can’t throw it out. Even if I can’t eat it.

So I really have to learn to not only choose recipes that are easy on the budget, but with little possibility of failure. Therein lies my challenge. A fun challenge, but one that’s going to take some time and energy.

At least That Baby is easy to please. When all else fails, puree some frozen veggies and follow that with some yogurt and she is as happy as Larry. But you just know, when she starts really and truly eating what we eat… the rules of the game are going to change again.

Better get those recipes organized sooner rather than later, methinks.

4 thoughts on “Broke and Hungry

  1. What are your standbys? Soups? Chili? I don’t want to offer you suggestions that are CRAP. But, I have some soup recipes that are inexpensive, familiar flavors, and are inexpensive.

  2. I have a great recipe for a mac & cheese casserole that uses tomato soup, macaroni, cheddar cheese, bread crumbs & butter, I just don’t know the amounts off the top of my head. If you want the recipe let me know & I’ll forward it along. It’s really good, and it’s comfort food (the best kind of food!).

  3. I am recipe fiend too – in fact there is no way I could cook all the recipes I have collected in my lifetime – Ha!

    I have a really great recipe for mexican beef has if you want it let me know šŸ™‚

  4. We do a lot of soup and bread, too, especially in the winter. We bought a bread machine a few years back that has made having soup and bread for dinner both easy and an honest-to-goodness treat.

    I can’t remember if I’ve already told you this, but we first became vegetarian because we were broke. Like frozen vegetables and ramen broke. Mac and cheese with broccoli was another standby. And we ate lots of grilled cheese and tomato soup. Actually, we still eat grilled cheese and tomato soup…

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