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Poor man substitutes, what are yours?

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posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 07:48 AM
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OK I want to know what are some of the substitutes you have had to make when you had absolutely nothing in the fridge or pantry. How creative did you get?

I know for me I find this as a challenge and a bit hard at times but I always find a way!

For me it's been coffee. I have no money like none! I start a new job Monday and I can't wait to get paid so I can buy my proper coffee goodies oh and FOOD!! It's a good thing I can cook because I would be near death if I couldn't make something out of nothing.

So for now I have had to come up with other ways to enjoy my morning 1-2 cups of coffee. I have no creamer or milk, too expensive and when you literally have $26 to your name well I can't justify spending it on creamer and sugar.

Anyway I had some Ben and Jerry's ice cream in the freezer and a thing of Cool Whip. My son loves ice cream and who knows how long it's been in there! I can't really eat ice cream anymore but this morning I really wanted some coffee. I haven't had any in a week and well it was irritating me. I like coffee for the taste and it's part of my morning routine! I felt off without having it. So I looked in my freezer and saw the ice cream and cool whip. I think ok maybe if I melt these two together I could have a nice creamer. Well let me tell you how DELICIOUS that idea was and is. It is almost like a cappuccino with a little more flavor.


Oh and I don't do black coffee, not even in my most desperate moment to taste coffee!

I also remember when I was in my early 20s and learning to cook and not having anything in my pantry but a box of pasta, can of zucchini and some black olives. No joke! Well I was like ok how would this taste together? I made the pasta and added the canned zucchini, black olives and some grated parmesan. Well it turned out to be very good and something my boyfriend wanted on the regular! Of course over the years I have turned that into a regular meal only with fresh zucchini and some yellow squash and diced tomatoes. It is so very good but the way it started out I would never have thought it would be good.

SO what are your I have no food stories but I came up with this ideas?!




posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 07:52 AM
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Pasta, olive oil,garlic and dried hot peppers, makes for great lunch and supper. Can feed a lot of people and is extremely cheap per servings.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 07:57 AM
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a reply to: mblahnikluver

I'm in the same boat as you with waiting for the new job to start and making the first check or two.
I've recently had to substitute ramen noodles for spaghetti. And made quick flatbread for sandwiches and such.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 07:58 AM
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I once had to resort to cornflakes and sardines because there was nothing else in the cupboard......tasted like crap.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:02 AM
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originally posted by: mblahnikluver
OK I want to know what are some of the substitutes you have had to make when you had absolutely nothing in the fridge or pantry. How creative did you get?


When there's absolutely nothing in there to begin with, well nothing can be substituted with anything (I suppose air works best).


Look up local "food pantry's" in your local. The churches do it they load you up with a couple big boxes of food. All kinds of stuff like the perishables they have to turn over every week (bakery, meat, produce, the fancy stuff in around the produce area, etc), and then all the stuff people return doesn't go back on the shelves it might just go to the nearest pantry. And you name it. They might also order in whole pallets of various canned goods, eggs. Then hand you a whole grocery bag packed with whatever produce in season with the local farmers.
edit on 25-6-2017 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:04 AM
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originally posted by: dukeofjive696969
Pasta, olive oil,garlic and dried hot peppers, makes for great lunch and supper. Can feed a lot of people and is extremely cheap per servings.



OH that sounds good minus hot peppers, can't eat hot foods after I had my gallbladder removed. They say oh you don't need it and I disagree! It's really hurt my food intake!

I have all that and I literally have nothing in my fridge! I took out the last of the chicken I have but I have lots of pasta, evoo and garlic! If I run out of garlic I know I'm in trouble then. I will have to try this for lunch, maybe add some chicken to it!

Thank you for your contribution! I love these kids of threads.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:09 AM
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originally posted by: pfishy
a reply to: mblahnikluver

I'm in the same boat as you with waiting for the new job to start and making the first check or two.
I've recently had to substitute ramen noodles for spaghetti. And made quick flatbread for sandwiches and such.


I have never been this food poor! I open my fridge like it's going to change what's in there!

Pasta I don't lack. I always have pasta but I can't eat a ton of it or it really bothers my stomach, pesky gallbladder removal. Oh ramen. We use to have a major relationship in my late teens early twenties. I remember making ramen and some ground beef and adding canned tomatoes to make spaghetti. It honestly wasn't bad! I can't eat ramen now. It causes me to shake, most processed foods do otherwise I would have a pantry full.

How do you make a quick flatbread? I usually make bread but I have no yeast! I ALWAYS have yeast. I'm so food poor I can't even afford my staples. I can't wait to be able to stock up again. My mom has brought me food lately and is brining me some meatloaf, potatoes, green beans, chicken parmesan and eggplant parmesan today. OH YES! I am waiting for her to show up. I don't eat eggplant but my dog does. You know how hard it is to feed a dog with food allergies! I can't afford his food right now so I have been giving him the canned veggies I had because he needs food. I will be fine. I actually ate french fried onions yesterday as a snack. I found them in the back of my fridge! I was like hot damn these are good!

I honestly just have to laugh because it is what it is. Sometimes life sucks you just have to make the best of it.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:10 AM
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originally posted by: Flatcoat
I once had to resort to cornflakes and sardines because there was nothing else in the cupboard......tasted like crap.


OH wow. I would have skipped the sardines personally. I would probably have to be in the my last days before I put those in my mouth. Oh cornflakes would be great right now because I could make some fried chicken tenders with the last of my chicken!



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:13 AM
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a reply to: mblahnikluver

The best cheap food besides pasta is fried rice. Instead of meat you can make an omelet, chop it and add it to the rice and veggies. A can of mixed veggies should be around a buck. If you want to go even cheaper, replace the veggies with chopped scallions.

edit on 25-6-2017 by Trueman because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-6-2017 by Trueman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Yea we have a food pantry place and Monday after work I am going to stop by there. I didn't know anything about them. I have never had to worry about food before.


Oh and the nothing in my fridge was sarcasm. Compared to what I usually have yea it's nothing. I have a carton of eggs, pie crust, OJ, garlic, condiments, a few potatoes, zucchini, squash and some flat Dr. Pepper. As for my pantry it has lots of pasta, a jar of sauce (can't eat red sauce too much because it gives me heartburn and I have had enough of it to last me a life time in the last month), some gummies and granola bars and a bag of old stale fritos.

So yea to me that is nothing.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:16 AM
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If you can get them, chicken hearts are cheap and will work for almost anything that uses chicken thigh meat. A 1 1/2 to 1 3/4lb package out here sells for roughly $2.25 and when mixed with your pasta, olive oil and garlic will feed this family of three two meals.

We have two or three different pasta dishes and a stir fry we make with them that are quick and easy weeknight meals in addition to adding them to the broth pot along with a few extra livers when we are making soups.

They do have a different texture than regular chicken meat and a slightly stronger flavor.

Also ... eggs. Cheap and can be rationed.

This is also the season for zucchini and yellow summer squash. There is a ton that can be done with them. If you are lucky, you know someone who has a plant or three and is giving them away.
edit on 25-6-2017 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:21 AM
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a reply to: mblahnikluver

When I was a student and had absolutely nothing I survived on cheap pasta with a spoon of jam, its all I had for a week.

I wasn't feeling too good by the end of that week, I never ran out of cash again...



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:27 AM
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My folks were reduced to picking up bottles off the roadside more than once in their poor early married days just to buy meat. Otherwise, they often lived on Bisquick pancakes.

You can make a type of carbonera with your pasta and eggs if you have a bit of cheese - parm works best, but we've used mozzarella before. It needs to melt. It also helps if you have some bacon.

You cook the bacon and reserve it to one side. Husband saves some of the drippings too.

You cook your pasta and drain it.

You beat your eggs and add in the cheese.

Turn the heat to just enough to cook egg and mix the pasta with the egg/cheese mixture, toss in the crumbled bacon, any reserved drippings and return to your pot over low heat. Toss pasta over low heat until egg starts to cook (a la scrambled egg) and cheese melts.

You are done.

You don't need the bacon, but it does add. Otherwise, you can just go with the egg/cheese mixture and seasoning.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:28 AM
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I wonder if you could make some sort of potato, zucchini and garlic quiche type pie with the crust? Dried beans are cheap as is rice. Couple of bucks, some garlic and a few meals.
I've been in your shoes. Food pantries are fantastic! Just don't forget to give back when you're back on your feet.
Good luck!


a reply to: mblahnikluver



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:29 AM
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originally posted by: Trueman
a reply to: mblahnikluver

The best cheap food besides pasta is fried rice. Instead of meat you can make an omelet, chop it and add it to the rice and veggies. A can of mixed veggies should be around a buck. If you want to go even cheaper, replace the veggies with chopped scallions.


I have no rice
I did ask my mom if she had some for me so I will she what else she brings in her food stash today.

I LOVE fried rice. I had my gallbladder removed almost 3 yrs ago and food has been hard because I can't eat many things i once could. It just sucks for someone who loves to cook! Fried rice however, rice in general, is one thing I can eat and it does help my stomach issues. I actually used the last of my rice a few nights ago to make dinner for myself and my dog. I added some veggies and mojo sauce to it. It was good actually! I love mojo! It's cheap and I can get a little bottle at the Dollar Tree! I also like to mix alfredo in with my rice at times.

I am going to hit up the dollar store later today. I want to spend $5 and get some veggies, more rice and maybe some creamer lol. I wouldn't mind a can or jar of alfredo sauce either. MMMMM. If I had milk of any kind I could make alfredo sauce because well I have lots of cheese! I do have to be careful with cheese too but alfredo doesn't bother me as much. I add fresh basil from my garden and garlic.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:34 AM
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originally posted by: mblahnikluver
Oh and the nothing in my fridge was sarcasm. Compared to what I usually have yea it's nothing. I have a carton of eggs, pie crust, OJ, garlic, condiments, a few potatoes, zucchini, squash and some flat Dr. Pepper. As for my pantry it has lots of pasta, a jar of sauce (can't eat red sauce too much because it gives me heartburn and I have had enough of it to last me a life time in the last month), some gummies and granola bars and a bag of old stale fritos.

So yea to me that is nothing.



Make a nice Quiche.




posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:36 AM
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Asparagus from the garden and melted cheddar tacos
edit on 25-6-2017 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:38 AM
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a reply to: mblahnikluver

I go through this every few months, its self inflicted, because I hate going shopping. I hate having to deal with people period.

When it gets down to rice and beans, then only rice, I bite the bullet and head to the store. But only on a weekday and only after 10pm.

Hot sauce is the key to making things stretch.

EVERYTHING is better with hot sauce.



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:39 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
If you can get them, chicken hearts are cheap and will work for almost anything that uses chicken thigh meat. A 1 1/2 to 1 3/4lb package out here sells for roughly $2.25 and when mixed with your pasta, olive oil and garlic will feed this family of three two meals.

Oh ketsuko so nice to see you but I couldn't eat chicken heart. OMG. EEEK! I only eat the white meat of chicken, not into dark meat and it messes with my stomach. Now my dog would be all over that if he wasn't allergic to chicken! I wish he was a junk food dog right now! I took out the last of my chicken last night and I figure it should get by through til I get paid. I never thought I would get sick of chicken! I honestly want a fat steak with some asparagus, rosemary diced potatoes and a caesar salad! Maybe I will treat myself when i get paid. I never crave steak but lately it am seriously wanting some.


We have two or three different pasta dishes and a stir fry we make with them that are quick and easy weeknight meals in addition to adding them to the broth pot along with a few extra livers when we are making soups.

Ok minus the livers lol what are your pasta dishes?




Also ... eggs. Cheap and can be rationed.

OH EGGS. Well before I had my gallbladder removed I could eat eggs daily no problem but now I have to be careful or I end up in the ER in major pain. It sucks! I can do eggs a few times a week and if they are mixed in something like fried rice I'm ok. I can make quiche and it's ok because i add veggies but right now I don't have any HWC or milk to make one or I would because I could eat quiche every single day!




This is also the season for zucchini and yellow summer squash. There is a ton that can be done with them. If you are lucky, you know someone who has a plant or three and is giving them away.


OH I always have them in my fridge! We have a local produce place and their prices are great! I went there a week ago today and spent $7 on zucchini, squash, a thing of mushrooms, two tomatoes, three banana's, 3 red potatoes and a half a pound of green beans. I love just sauteing zucchini and squash in some EVOO and salt and pepper. It's also something my dog can eat. I cut up the ends and pieces I don't use for him and add it to some tuna, out of tuna now though.

Yea I don't know anyone who grows zucchini or squash here. My mom has a nice garden but nothing is ready yet. When it's all ready I don't have to buy produce for quite some time. I just go to her house with a bag!

Thanks ketsuko!!! Nice to see you!



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: mblahnikluver
I can live on tofu, black beans, cabbage for a week... and maybe a few kilos of rice, but it will be a borderline miserable week.




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