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When I was in college I wasn't exactly "poor" since I was also working but I didn't have money to throw around, nor did I have a lotof time for cooking.

On payday I would stock up on spices and cheap bulk food. One of the things I made was my own burritos. I found that with an onion, cheese, rice, ketchup, a couple of cans of cheap chili, some spices and flour tortillas, I could make enough burritos to get by for a while.

I sometimes actually miss the challenge, and just a few of the things I created.

Instead of a breakfast bacon and eggs became the basis for "recheck pork fried rice"

That we when I learned to make decent biscuits. Buying the ingredients made the a pretty versatile option.

I find it funny that some folks still like some of their "poor days" cuisine and others swear they won't get eat "this" or "that" again.
 

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Ramen noodles and whatever, I still have that craving even being the BBQ schlep.:rating07:
 

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Here's one for poor recently married people cooking:

Couldn't have been married for a year yet and we pretty much lived from pay check to pay check( although we aren't far from that now) .

Came home from work one afternoon about 2 days til the next pay day.

Wife had this sad look on her face and her eyes were all glistening. Had on some tight leggings and a t-shirt, but you could tel she did a little something extra with her hair and m makeup. But she had this nervousness about her.

So she tells me that dinner isn't going to be great and she is just apologizing over and over saying it's pretty much all we had.

I wash up and sit at the table and she brings me a plate of rice and fried smoked sausage that had been cut up into little pieces and mixed together with a little salt and pepper.
And we had toast. Plain toast with butter and sweet tea.

The whole time we are eating, I can see she is just a hair away from busting out and crying. She was just so upset that she didn't make some fabulous feast for me.


I'm not gonna lie: That was one of the best meals I ever ate, and she never looked so beautiful to me as she did that night: soft eyes, hair fixed a little, but not too much.
She had on a pair of white leggings and a t shirt, but looked hotter than any super model.

But what almost made me cry was that she was so upset over a meal that she thought was below my worthiness.


Okay, rambled enough. To this day, I still loved cut up smoked sausage mixed with rice and only seasoned with salt and pepper.
 

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Here's one for poor recently married people cooking:

Couldn't have been married for a year yet and we pretty much lived from pay check to pay check( although we aren't far from that now) .

Came home from work one afternoon about 2 days til the next pay day.

Wife had this sad look on her face and her eyes were all glistening. Had on some tight leggings and a t-shirt, but you could tel she did a little something extra with her hair and m makeup. But she had this nervousness about her.

So she tells me that dinner isn't going to be great and she is just apologizing over and over saying it's pretty much all we had.

I wash up and sit at the table and she brings me a plate of rice and fried smoked sausage that had been cut up into little pieces and mixed together with a little salt and pepper.
And we had toast. Plain toast with butter and sweet tea.

The whole time we are eating, I can see she is just a hair away from busting out and crying. She was just so upset that she didn't make some fabulous feast for me.


I'm not gonna lie: That was one of the best meals I ever ate, and she never looked so beautiful to me as she did that night: soft eyes, hair fixed a little, but not too much.
She had on a pair of white leggings and a t shirt, but looked hotter than any super model.

But what almost made me cry was that she was so upset over a meal that she thought was below my worthiness.


Okay, rambled enough. To this day, I still loved cut up smoked sausage mixed with rice and only seasoned with salt and pepper.
I don't see the problem, hook me up with seconds!
 
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Early on, the wife and I lived for two weeks on 14 MRE's. 'Twas a miss calculation on my part, I got paid every 30 days but do to a transfer my next check was two weeks late. Every meal was a feast, now we laugh as we look back on it.
 
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We'll still have meals like that where nothing sounds good and I have to look through the pantry and throw something together. I got my wife into that habit as well. About 3 times every 2 weeks we'll have what my mom called " 'speriments ". Most of my ability to cook was borne from necessity.
 

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I learned a bit out of military necessity - not so much from a lack of resources but from circumstance. I was gone a lot, and when not on ships, I was in a quarters in remote bases that, if you were lucky, had access to a shared kitchen and a very limited set of ingredients. It also doesn't help that I crapped out with a wife who doesn' t cook and makes my cooking difficult with her incessant, OCD cleaning, but I digress.....

To this day - I like cooking "cheap". Makes you focus on technique and spices. It's kind of a challenge to find a cheap cut of beef, or maybe create something delicious out of ground beef, or frozen chicken. I eat out way too much for my own good in business anyways, so cooking something simple and cheap from those days is fun and often better for you. My wife still won't cook......
 

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I used to throw whatever I had in the crock pot. The best was frozen chicken hindquarters, lima beans, chick peas, and rice with some hot sauce and seasoning. I have never been able to re create it successfully, not as good anyways.
 

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I don't like the wife's American food. She doesn't like my experiments. I can't follow a recipe to save my life. So we go out most of the time. She does do good Filipino food when she's in the mood.
 

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That's the only way I know how to cook.
 

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There has to be lots of inexpensive and delicious meals we all ate when money was in short supply. I also made and love Red beans and rice for a tasty and filling meal. Real comfort food!
 

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When I was single time was more of a problem than money. I taught myself how to take a chicken breast from the freezer and thaw/cook it by boiling it in water with the seasonings. That way I didn't have to worry about setting anything out before hand, because I never knew if I would be home for dinner from one day to the next.
 
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Cheap cooking is all I can do with a $10 a day food budget, although I usually keep it below $7.
I used to eat a lot of ramen noodles and Hormel chili without beans before I found out how bad (fattening) the ramen noodles are.
If I remember correct, last year there was a thread here about depression meals that had some interesting ideas in it.
 

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When I was first out on my own, it was either learn to cook or learn to starve. Cooking seemed less painful. For a few years while I was in college, the only meat I ate was when a relative took me in and fed me. I refer to that time as "starving my way through school". Didn't really get any support from immediate family, none were available (multiple long stories there). When I was dating my wife before we got married, our luxury date was to go to a restaurant and share an appetizer. We left after that as we couldn't afford a full meal out. I mostly cooked for her on our dates. Turns out she thought that was romantic, even though she knew neither of us could afford anything else. That was almost 25 years ago.
 

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We never had much money and I grew up learning how to cook meals that could be stretched. Don't need a ton of money or fancy food to eat well. I still tend to cook this way, why waste money that can be used for other things?

Corned beef and cabbage (used to be cheap until people found out it was good and it became popular) turned into hash the next day, left over mashed potatoes became fried patties the next day, etc etc etc.

Mac&Cheese, frozen corn, and hot dogs. Usually makes enough for a couple/few meals. Mashed potato volcanoes (mashed potatoes covered with canned veg beef soup), potato pancakes, S.O.S., biscuits and gravy, breakfast (eggs & pancakes), tomato soup with rice and corn/peas, etc. All cheap, filling, and relatively healthy options.

Some of my favorite foods are things that other people turn their nose up at: Ham hocks in red beans/rice, hambone soup, and tuna casserole. All cost between $5-$10 if you're frugal with your buying (generic vs brand names) and will leave you with leftovers.

Which reminds me, I need to pick up some beans tonight, got some goat shanks in the freezer that are begging to be eaten.
 

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