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'Fallen on Hard Times' meals
*spin off*

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#1 Bluestocking

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:57 PM

I'm starting a spin off of my own thread!

Many of us would have gone through a time of severe financial strain. So tell me what you ate while pinching pennies?

DH and I were both at uni and had just rented out our first crappy unit. Neither one of us had a job and DH was also paying off a c/link debt so times were rather hard!

Two meals that spring to mind:

Dinner: Buy a large bag of frozen dim sims from aldi. Steam with broccoli and serve. And when times were really tough, surprise visit to the parents!!  wink.gif
Uni student lunch: buy a tin of baked beans, take to uni with a fork and your set!

#2 Casii

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

Savory mince...  so many different ways to flavour it too!
Mince, noodles, random vegies, sauces to flavour!

My daughter asks for this often,  despite the bank balance lol!

#3 Guest_~Coffee~_*

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:05 PM


Edited by *SnowFlower*, 20 February 2013 - 04:52 PM.

#4 LittleListen

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:06 PM

Vegemite sandwiches.

As toast in the morning.

As a sanger at lunch.

Grilled with a slither of cheese for dinner.

Possibly all on the one day  unsure.gif

Thank heavens for Bgroup vitamins...

#5 VJs Mummy

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

Will be watching this thread to get ideas lol, unfortunately hard times always come at the worst but some for me a couple of years ago was
Frozen Vegies,

#6 item

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

At uni - cooked pasta mixed with frozen veg and a jar of pasta sauce could do me for two or three days meals.
Later in uni - for some reason we lived on fish fingers and frozen veg.  Never again.

#7 Becstarinator

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

Slow cooker meals with budget cuts or alternatively done in a pot on the stove over a good few hours (just keep topping up the water).

Baked beans on toast.

Spaghetti beefed out with red kidney beans.

We sometimes do steak (usually rump as it is cheapest), chips, eggs and baked beans for dinner.

Meat loaf using half mince, half sausage mince (dirt cheap).

We try to buy in bulk from the butcher.  Things like chicken breasts with the skin on and then we remove it ourselves (saves up to $5 a kilo).  We try to keep the cost of meat down to $5 a meal.  Hard but not impossible.

#8 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

Rice with soy sauce and egg.

2 minute noodles with frozen vege, mushrooms and egg

Pasta with butter. I used to love this as a kid as well.

#9 lynneyours

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:28 PM

Baked potato with a little of any of the following:  cheese, baked beans, butter, tinned corn, tinned tuna etc

Pasta with cheap jar sauce and frozen mixed vege.

2 min noodles.

I once ate 2 weetbix (dry) with butter and vegemite for lunch.  Every day for 4 months.  Never again.

Eating vegetarian is cheap.  Rice, pasta, noodles, couscous, potato - all are cheap and filling.

#10 Copper and May

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:36 PM

Things with mince: meatloaf, hamburgers, curried mince with vegetables.

curried sausages with sultanas and apricot jam.

pasta dishes which could probably last a few days.

For dessert: Jam roly - which is just some packet pastry rolled out and one side covered with jam and grated apple. Cook in an oven with a cup of water and a cup of sugar poured over the pastry roll.

#11 ~buzz~

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

lots of tuna, pasta, rice, 2 min noodles, frozen mixed veg, mince, sausages, chicken wings would try and mix it up a bit

breakfast was toast and lunch was either leftovers, more toast or 2 min noodles

#12 Lagom

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

I lived on the following for more than a few years while at uni:

2 min noodles + bargain bin veg + some kind of sauce + clearance meat if I could find it = stir fry

Veg and barley soup, sometimes with a little lamb if I could get it cheap

spag bog made primarly with veg

toasted sandwiches:
banana and jam
creamed corn and cheese
baked beans
left over whatever was in the fridge

I'm so glad those days are gone.  May they stay gone!

#13 PatG

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

An elderly family friend used to tell us about eating boiled nettles when times were hard....  the sting is destroyed by the boiling.

Pasta with vegemite stirred through (cheese is a good addition if you are feeling rich).

A pack of cheap sausages lasts several meals - fresh cooked with mashed potato, cold on bread as a sandwich, chopped up and mixed with pasta.

Mince and whichever vegetable is on the clearance table.  Internet comes in handy here,  I didn't have net at home when I was a poor uni student so I'm sure my creations weren't very exciting.  Worcestershire sauce, sweet chili sauce and garlic from a jar would make regular appearances.

#14 librablonde

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

Uni student days: pasta and a jar of pasta sauce would keep me going for a couple of days. When times were tough just pasta and butter. Cheap bread and jam. Porridge with no milk. Two minute noodles with an array of sauces. Lots of cheap asian veggies from Chinatown, also very cheap spices and soap from Chinatown. We made our own fresh pasta sometimes and it worked out so cheap if we could afford the flour. Food items like milk, cheese and meat were guarded fiercely. Yet alcohol was freely shared, go figure  rolleyes.gif

#15 HRH Countrymel

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

When I was at Uni my flatmate and I used to exist mainly on baked potatoes and salad (no cheese, just salt and pepper and butter).

Once a week would be 'meat day' - and depending on how flush we were 'meat day' could simply mean we bought two rashers of bacon to go with our spud!

If we were so decadent to buy a chicken we could stretch that little chap over about 9 meals!

There was a rather traumatic period where my flatmate was dating a body builder - he would wander into our kitchen and drink a whole carton of milk and 4 raw eggs as a 'snack' then waft out again not realising he had just eaten 1/2 our weekly food!

Until DP moved into my life most people I knew assumed I was a vegetarian - no, no I am not, no ethical stance or religious rules, just a financial vegetarian!

I do remember a week in first year uni where something went terribly wrong money wise and I lived entirely on $1.50 worth of 'Devon Bung', a french stick and a carton of custard??????

I was on day 5 of this horror when a classmate (mature age student) realised my plight and invited me home for dinner with her family.

#16 Peridot

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:03 PM

I feel privileged that I've never had to experience such hard times!! We've always had food in the cupboard, and on the odd occasion we didn't have much or couldn't be bothered cooking, we had two sets of parents to visit for tea or a set of grandparents!

But I do enjoy reading threads like these, as you never know when you could be unlucky and face a hard period of time!

#17 FaithHopeLove

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:09 PM

Yup pasta and sauce here too. and 2 min noodles.

At my sisters college a boy got scurvy. all he was eating was toasted sandwiches - if only he'd added some tomato!

#18 namie

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

During Uni I lived on packet pasta and scrambled eggs. In those days I was lucky if I had $50 for a fortnight's grocery shop, with a little leftover to do a bread/milk/vegies top up after the first week.

One of those packet pasta meals with some frozen peas and a tin of tuna, or if I was really flush (lol!) some sliced, fried ham or salami, would last me two meals. Scrambled eggs were a fairly cheap dinner with a slice of toast.

These days we eat a lot of mince (I try to keep it interesting by alternating between Spaghetti Bolognese, Cottage Pie, Meatballs and Spaghetti, Lasagne or Tacos if the budget is a bit more flexible) and sausages (bangers, mash and beans or Devilled Sausages), with some chicken and fish thrown in too.

#19 pitzinoodles

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:11 PM

Much of my uni days was spent eating rice + onion+ dash of soy sauce...something I'm happy to never repeat again!

Gourmet for me was 1cup of boiled water with tspn veggie stock + 1 egg + nest of noodles.

When I'd really run out it was time to visit my parents original.gif

ETA: My weekly food budget was $25 - I thought that was very reasonable! Maybe that is why it's now $250/week for 4 of us!

Edited by pitzinoodles, 11 February 2013 - 06:15 PM.

#20 Lagom

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

QUOTE (PatG @ 11/02/2013, 06:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
An elderly family friend used to tell us about eating boiled nettles when times were hard....  the sting is destroyed by the boiling.

Nettle soup is a delicacy in Korea.  It's actually pretty tasty.  original.gif

#21 FeralBee

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:22 PM

Tin of chickpeas, tin of diced tomatoes, whatever veggies you have handy (peas and corn go well) and herbs for flavouring, cook in a single pot. Easy, delicious and filling!

#22 Magnus

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

I spent about three months eating plain rice with stock cubes and a bit of dried herbs once.

I also did baked beans with a side vermicelli noodles when I first moved out of home. I was working four shifts a week, so I should've been able to afford to live on that (I would easily live off four shifts now). I guess I wasn't well paid.

Lentils or curry with rice are also good, but I made really bad ones during my undergrad days and probably wouldn't have been able to afford "fancy" ingredients like cumin and coriander seeds when I was an undergrad.

MeeGoreng noodles were good too.

#23 GamerMum

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:31 PM

From 16-19 my fortnightly shopping list consisted of:

2 packs Mi goreng
2 packs black & gold 2 minute noodles (one chicken, one oriental)
3 potatoes (to be either baked, mashed or fried)
1 bag black and gold frozen peas & corn
600ml milk carton

If I had extra I'd buy eggs.

When I adopted my cat at 18 (coz that's intelligent when you are broke) cheap cat food was added to the list, and as a treat, tuna (for her, not me).

Once a month my mother decided to be all "parental" and cook me a meal and let me have the leftovers. I liked those weeks. I hid my food in my neighbours apartment because my boyfriend at the time would get stoned and eat everything in one sitting.

Now I go stupid and don't even look at the price of food :/

#24 Canberra Chick

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:33 PM

Student and vegetarian in the UK meant:

Breakfast of one low fat yogurt from Netto (even cheaper than Aldi)
Lunch was a cheese and coleslaw sandwich on white bread
Dinner was often cheap spaghetti with a stock cube, one or two sliced mushrooms and that packet grated Parmesan, or rice with a jar of nasty sweet and sour or curry sauce (with vegetables in the sauce, allegedly), or pasta shapes with a tin of 3p tinned tomatoes

Fridays I 'treated' myself to a cheese and onion pasty and chips from the union cafeteria.

Rest of the diet supplemented with chocolate, the odd loaf of half decent bread from Tescos and beer that was past its sell by date and sold off cheap at the local bottlo.

And I wonder why I got anaemic?!

#25 noi'mnot

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:37 PM

Dahl and rice. I'd go to local Indian or Arab grocers and get the spices, rice and lentils all super cheap.

When very rich, pizza - I'd make the dough, use tomato paste and some cheese on top.

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