Inside: Frugal meal ideas to help you survive until payday and not spend any money!
A few weeks ago, I had to put off a trip to the grocery store for over a week. After my 12 day vacation, I entered a full-blown no spend mode to get back on track with my finances. +
Which meant I had to get creative with frozen leftovers, canned goods and sparse vegetables, so we could still eat three meals a day. +
Anytime you refuse to spend money, or don’t have any more until payday, dinner can be challenge as you have to think outside the box and develop new recipes. Am I right? +
The Problem With Grocery Shopping All The Time
Even when you have plenty of money, a quick trip to the store for one needed ingredient becomes expensive.
You have to drive to the store, the time it takes to stand in line, and all the other items that jumped into your cart because they were on sale. +
And if you’re like me, with a full pantry and freezer, I can waste money when food goes unused because I forgot it’s there.+
How To Do A No-Spend On Groceries
Regardless if you have $20 in your account to last until payday, or you have to cut costs to get out of debt, or you returned from vacation...
...there are times when we all need to scrounge meals together from the ingredients that we have at home. +
Here’s how to survive until payday with what you have on hand and not spend any money on food. +
Go-To Meals When You Don’t Have Money
I asked my fabulous readers over on Facebook, what are their go-to meals if they don’t have money to spend. +I ended up with some new great ideas on what I could fix for the week. Because, hello, I get into a rut and fix the same stir fry or enchiladas with leftover chicken all.the.time. +
Something from the freezer, quesadillas (we always have tortillas and cheese), or pancakes. Or homemade taquitos. +
I often cook a whole chicken or a large pork roast so I can use the meat in several different meals.
I’ll freeze the leftover meat so dinner can come together in a snap, as Amanda does with her 30 Minute Meals with Roasted Chicken.+
Shredded whatever-meat-I've-got Tacos.
If you have a lot of dried beans on hand to use up, my friends Rachel and Lauren have a collection of bean recipes that all look delicious! +
I can’t get over how a huge pot of bean soup costs less than $2! And with my instant pot, beans cook so fast and turn out perfect every time. +
Breakfast for dinner (always keep popped biscuits, waffles, eggs, bacon, or sausage on hand), stuffed baked potatoes, or red beans and rice.+
Soup or stir fry are great ways to use up odds and ends of veggies in your fridge plus any leftover meat.
Plus, I can use the crock pot or instant pot which saves me time and money in the kitchen. Two for one!+
Need soup inspiration? Check out these mouthwatering soup recipes.
Homemade mac and cheese, canned salmon and whatever pasta is in pantry, pancakes.+
Confession... I have three crock pots. 2 large programmable ones like this one. And a smaller 3.5 quart one. Plus I have an instant pot.+
You guys, I might have a slow cooker obsession, but it’s super helpful to have more than one crock pot on hand. +
I don’t know how many times I’ve made chicken broth in one and dinner in another, at the same time. +
Often I throw a meal in the crock pot before I leave for work in the morning, and come up the stairs to savory wafts that causes my mouth to water and my stomach to grumble when I return home. Hallelujah! +
Fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy. Can you tell I learned to cook in the south?
If you don’t have a crock pot or an instant pot, I don’t know if we can still be friends;-)+
Here are some super frugal crockpot recipes my friend Kimberly cooks. +
As you can see, my readers love to eat breakfast for dinner, when it’s two days before payday, and Jamie has several great breakfast recipes here, 40 Cheap Meals for Large Families That Make Everyone Happy. +
Something with rice.
Helpful Tip: Ibotta is a cell phone app that allows you to earn cash rewards back from scanning your grocery receipts, which I love! It's not all brand items, as you can earn things like $0.25 on any brand of milk. And if you use coupons, you can stack the savings! Get your free $10 bonus here.
Rice or pasta added to a meal can help stretch the meat and your money even further, like this Easy Orange Chicken recipe.
Breakfast for dinner or ham and beans.+
I often will decrease the amount of meat and add more veggies to the meal to minimize the expense. +
So next time you need to do a no-spend week on groceries, these frugal meals will help you survive until payday without the need to eat Ramen every night. +
Now, it's your turn! What do you fix when it's almost payday?
Hi! I’m Charissa. I’m on a mission to help hardworking women overcome money struggles and gain financial peace with a Biblical perspective so they can have the freedom to impact their families and communities. Ready to make some changes that will impact your finances in 2020? Click here to get a free worksheet to help you make it happen!