I have memories of being in college and just after and NOT having enough money for “real food”. There were some gang problems going on and I was caught between them all, so my own family people were NOT ALLOWED to send me some money to afford a better standard of living. I realize, MANY young people go through this, and actually even workforce people can. I’m going to write this with a little sense of humor, even though I know in my heart it isn’t funny to be low on funds and have to choose your daily food based on the money you have for the month.
I’ll keep this simple and leave it to you to create your own versions! The charm of my little list of ideas here is most can last days to a week, and are low cost compared to prepared foods from grocery and restaurants. Health conscious, money conscious too. It is about stretching your budget out and still satisfying your belly and even mind. I’m sure you have your ideas too!
Dry cereal with milk or powdered milk with water, even homemade oat water or potato water or juice
Oatmeal or grits with sugar and nuts, or sandwich jelly, or fruits*, or syrup (hot fresh made or overnight version)
Pancakes with butter, fruits, syrups, jelly, granola, or even dried cereal
Tortillas with a variety of toppings
*Fruits can be fresh or dried. Dried fruit can be kept much longer!
Can of soup, packet of soup
Carrots or other vegetables, squashes, potatoes
Bread or crackers with cheeses or spreads or meats* (as sandwiches and finger sandwiches)
Rice dish with vegetables, meats, tofu, legumes
Egg(s) like boiled and sliced for salad or sandwich
*Meats can be bought in bulk fresh and frozen, can be bought in packets and cans too.
Hot dog, sausage, bratwurst and various toppings
Stir fry: meats, vegetables, spices*
Homemade pizza (your own crust or use bread slices with stuff on top)
Various rice dishes (using fresh or canned meats, vegetables)
*Spices add complexity and are not required. My humble suggestion is to buy cheap bulk of just a few you know you’ll use regularly.
Water plain or with flavorings(powdered, syrup, other)
Real Fruit Juices (a little juice watered down really stretches it out)
Tea (plain or with honey, spices)
Coffee (black or with a variety of stir ins)
Wine (actually may kill some e.coli and other things that collect in your system)
Home baked cake, brownies, cookies, health bars from oats and granolas
Yogurt, ice cream, milkshake (even just milk with ice in a blender with a syrup!)
Popcorn plain or with flavors
Late Night Snack
Plain white crackers (with a variety of things you can put on them from spreads like butter, peanut butter to cheeses, sandwich meats)
I wish to note there were years my list was very short and very limited. I was admittedly in a state of being terrorized by angry gang people who must have misidentified me. I actually felt SCARED of buying too decent a food in a grocery store. Still not certain what was going on.