So you’ve been putting shit on your tab too much and your credit card is maxed out. Whoops. You can’t help it if your blackout self wanted to buy shots for the entire bar. It seems like it was just yesterday that the direct deposit hit. Wait, it actually was yesterday? Fuck. Regardless, just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you have to find a sugar daddy—you can still eat these filling meals for cheap. And no, we’re not talking about ramen. Do you want to get bloated? Didn’t think so. Here are some simple meals you can make even if you’re broke AF that won’t leave you hungry or bloated. #Blessings
1. Pear Waldorf Salad
I know the word salad is in this, but we’re not talking garden variety, so chill out. Get a pear, apple, lettuce, and a bag of walnuts at the grocery store and you can make this four times in a week. If you want to make it more filling you can add a hard boiled egg to it and throw some quinoa in there. This is def a good bring-to-work lunch, and you can cut the pear in the kitchen so everyone knows you’re better than them.
2. Breakfast Burrito
You can make this at home on the weekends for brunch and you’re good until dinner time. Scramble together potatoes, cheese, and eggs inside a tortilla wrap. You can add sausage/chorizo if you’re into that, which is like $3.99 for a package of 5 at Trader Joe’s. Plus if you actually like a bro enough to let him stay over, you can impress him by throwing avocado into the mix.
3. Spaghetti And Meatballs
Pasta is so cheap that kids make jewelry out of it. Cook up some spaghetti and spice it up with pre-made meatballs. Throw mushrooms and onions in with the spaghetti sauce and boom, you’ve got a meal. Remember those parmesan packets you saved when you bought dollar pizza while blackout? Well, you can finally use those to garnish your pasta. See, your drunk decisions always pay off.
If you live in a city with a Chinatown, you can get freshly made dumplings for dirt cheap if you know where to look (Google). Lucky for you, the internet has made finding the best dumpling dealers pretty easy even if you don’t speak Chinese. A bag of 50 dumplings is something like $8-10. If you’re in New York we recommend Tasty Dumpling or Vanessa’s Dumplings. Make your own sauce at home with soy sauce, vinegar, and Sriracha. Obvs use low sodium soy sauce—you might be broke but you have a hot bod to uphold.
5. Japanese Curry Chicken
Get the Vermont Japanese Curry mix from Ranch 99 or whatever Asian grocery store is nearest you (again, if you don’t know—Google). Pick up carrots, chicken, onions and potatoes, and honestly you probably have half these ingredients from making other recipes on this list. If you’re not in the habit of keeping rice around, you can honestly get a box of rice to go at any takeout place for a few bucks and cook with it for several meals—but like, you really should just buy a one-pound bag from your grocery store for like, a dollar. You can add an egg or vegetables to round it out. You can make a huge pot of this and put the rest in the fridge to portion out throughout the week. Or you can be the coolest roommate ever and make extra for everyone.
6. Leftover Stir Fry
Get a to-go box of rice for a few bucks (or, like we said, even more rice for even less money at the grocery store), then throw it into a wok (or the closest pan you have to one) with leftover vegetables from your crisper. If you’ve got tofu, shrimp, or any other meats feel free to toss them in. It’s like how some days you know you need to do the laundry but if you throw on enough clashing items it’s almost like a choice. Same with the fried rice—use your best judgement on what food can go in there, but more than likely you’ll be able to finish off your leftovers while still filling up on a cheap meal.
If you’re not in the mood to cook but you only have $5, fill up on a falafel. This is one of the few things we enjoy both sober and drunk, and even more so when we’re high. A falafel sandwich is filling and cheap. And if you use your charm to get extra white sauce on the side, you can use it to make chicken and rice at home. Very resourceful.
8. Stuffed Baked Potato
You can make this at home easily with a potato (duh), green onions, cheese, sour cream, and anything else you want to throw into the potato. What else do you want us to say about this? It’s a potato. At least it’s not fries.
9. Rice And Beans
Yes it’s a little pedestrian, but rice and beans is probably the cheapest meal that will keep you full and last you all week, or until your next paycheck. Whichever comes first. And it’s extremely easy to make. You buy your aforementioned 10-pound bag of rice. You buy some canned black beans (we will also accept pinto beans—just not refried). You cook that shit up and mix it together. It’s very filling and won’t make you fat so long as you don’t go overboard on the rice. Sure, you’ll probably be puking at even the mention of the words “rice and beans” by the time you’re done with your serving, but as they say, nothing tastes as good as not being homeless feels.
Lentils are a genius legume that literally got me through my study abroad. There are a million kinds of lentils but I studied abroad in Paris, therefore, I ate French Green or Puy lentils. Cook up all the lentils your heart desires with a little bit of olive oil, some garlic, and whatever herbs you have on deck. If you can boil water, you can cook lentils. Eat that shit for the next few weeks. These lentils are super versatile so you can add caramelized shallots or onions if you’re fancy/not that broke, or even mix in some fancy seedy French mustard you have leftover from your last cocktail party. As far as cheap meals go, lentils are pretty much the complete package. They have your carbs, your protein, and your fiber, and again, you can buy them in bulk for super cheap and force them down your throat until you’re no longer poor.
Hooray! You survived. Now try not to blow your next paycheck on fancy dinners immediately. Or do, we don’t care.