The Tightwad’s Notebook–Lesson 13: When Money is Tight, Get Creative in the Kitchen
This is a basic lesson I learned years and years ago from The Tightwad Gazette. It was one of author Amy Dacyczyn’s basic tenets in her life. Instead of getting anxious when your bank account is lean, get creative. If you have the skills to be creative in the kitchen, you’ll feel like you have more control over your life to get you through the tough times.
When your bank account is flush, it’s easy to become a little too relaxed–a take-out pizza here, spending too much on groceries there — it all adds up. Get creative and use up what you have in your cabinets–cook from scratch and try new and frugal recipes, like the soup at right (click here for recipe). I’m just coming out of a bit of a lean period while we were waiting for some checks to come in and after a semi-unfrugal summer :–). So, I used up a lot of things in my stockpile (and luckily had lots of things I stocked up on for pennies– like coffee, sauces and condiments, not to mention shampoos, toothpaste– some time ago). I baked and cooked and rifled through my freezer and we had some of the best meals!
If you have tomato sauce, flour, eggs and milk, you have the foundation to make a bunch of things. Use tomato sauces for soup bases and bake just about anything with flour, eggs and milk. I taught a coupon class to women at risk and some of these ladies didn’t realize how much you can do with these basic ingredients! Knowing you can do a lot with a little is very empowering.
You will feel more grounded if you have a few tricks in your toolbox to get you through a period of low funds.