Last month, my landlord upped my rent. It could’ve been worse...but when I pulled out my checkbook yesterday and wrote the new amount, reality sank in. This rent is my new normal.
I can't help that rent, as well as the fact that my electricity and internet bills all come at the same time each month. But I can find other ways to cut down on my spending. I already cook most of my meals at home, but thoughtfully shopping my pantry or limiting myself to low-cost ingredients like cabbage, tomatoes, or ground beef until payday helps keep my bank account (and me) full. Here are 9 dishes I’m considering for the rest of the month.
This interpretation of a Peruvian classic uses two wallet-friendly staples—frozen spinach and cream cheese—to make a rich, creamy sauce.
Dress up canned tomatoes and eggs with refreshing mint and spicy sriracha for a speedy, satisfying breakfast-for-dinner.
This is for days where I don’t want to feel like I’m budgeting—it's a hybrid baked potato–French fry. It’s so fun to pull apart, and I can customize it to my mood (and pantry) with spicy kimchi, funky blue cheese, or fragrant curry powder. Plus, it’s ready in under 10 minutes.
I’m not letting the fact that I don’t have dukkah in my pantry keep me away from this super-simple salad. I’ll just mix the sesame seeds, ground cumin, caraway seeds, red chiles, and black pepper myself.
Yes, pasta is inexpensive, too. But transforming cabbage into a cozy bowl of noodles makes me feel just a little bit healthier.
I currently have a pound of ground meat in my freezer, just waiting to be morphed into meatballs. And I won’t judge if you use jarred tomato sauce, because I’m doing the exact same thing.
A salad that will actually keep me and my wallet full? Sign me up for two, please.
This lighter, less spicy version of enchiladas will still satisfy my cheese cravings.
My O.G. end-of-month dinner—I am in love with Merrill’s buttery, slightly sweet tomato rice. Plus it’s a one-pot dish. Swoons.
What did I miss? Share your own wallet-friendly recipes in the comments below!