How to Enjoy Eating on a Tight Budget

If your piggy bank is always starving, then you must not be feeding it enough. How about changing the way you feed yourself in order to satisfy the pig? After all, it is that very same pig that sponsors all those trips you’ve been dreaming about.

As students, we are constantly looking for ways to increase our savings, whether it be for a new book being released, traveling, or just weekend parties. So here are some ideas that satisfy the stomach without starving the pig:

Bread

This may seem boring, but the possibilities (I have recently come to realize) are endless. I believe we take it for granted. If you have a sweet tooth and a growling stomach, try this:

  • Place a slice of bread on a hollow plate and pour some milk over it (white bread and brown sugar is usually more popular). Let it rest until all the milk has been absorbed, and then drench it with sugar before enjoying.
  • If you have access to an oven, spread some butter on a slice of bread and season with cinnamon sugar; place this in the preheated oven and wait until the bread is toasted. Close your eyes, and it will taste just like churros.

For those who cannot stand having that much sugar in one go, here are some saltier options:

  • Buttered bread with potato chips. Just crush the potato chips between two slices, and you won’t believe how delicious it is.
  • If oven access is available, try spreading some ketchup on a slice, sprinkle it with cheese, and pop it in the oven until the cheese is melted. With your eyes closed, it may even hint at tasting like pizza. You can even abandon the ketchup and add some salt to alter it a bit.

There are plenty more where that came from. Believe me, once you start dabbling, you are bound to get creative with the never-ending possibilities of this simple delicacy.

Pasta

It’s an old classic, Mac and Cheese, but nonetheless it does satisfy the belly and the pig. Some flour, milk, and cheese all melted in the microwave or on the stove-top usually does the trick for creating a cheesy sauce to drizzle on the cooked pasta. Unfortunately, it’s easy to grow tired of it. Instead, try keeping things interesting at minimum cost:

  • Add some canned tuna and mayonnaise to the mix, and see if you like the taste.
  • It might be more to your liking if you added shredded chicken and mayonnaise instead (although the pig might not be as forgiving with this option).
  • You can even experiment with dropping the cheese all together and using mayonnaise, cucumber, and carrots instead (for those of you who prefer a vegan option).

I’ve found that tuna mayo with chopped cheese and apple is a personal favorite, but it’s not a favorite all around.

Potatoes

In South Africa we have a saying about potatoes that goes “gesondheid uit die grond uit.” The phrase basically translates to “goodness (or health) out of the the ground” — which doesn’t rhyme as nicely in English, but the truth stays the same: It’s a hearty food that can be transformed into many masterpieces.

Try slicing a potato into thin slices, mix the slices with a little vegetable oil, and spread them out on a microwaveable plate; season with some salt and pepper (which can be varied with whichever seasoning you prefer), and microwave it until the slices become crispy. Depending on the microwave, it usually takes about 3-4 minutes. Even adding simple ingredients like tuna or chicken mayonnaise to boiled potato can surmount to your taste buds and tummy thanking you.

 

Here are only 3 of the most basic, inexpensive ingredients just expanded to more than 10 meals, and I was just scratching the surface. I realize that many of you readers might think I’m crazy for some of these combinations and flavours, but I promise that once you try it yourself, you are bound to like at least one of them. Some of these combinations might not be for you at all, but in return, it will definitely get your mind going about different ingredients that will fill both your belly and the pig’s belly to the top.

It’s time to feed the pig, and the good news is, you won’t have to go hungry any longer because of it.

Zéandri Rautenbach is a high school graduate with her adulthood staring her in the face. Even though her name is hard to pronounce even in her own country, South Africa, she wears it with pride. When she isn’t releasing her emotions in a book, she’s showering them out on paper. Nothing brings her more joy than supporting people through her stories, and she hopes that this will one day amount to becoming a novelist. Other than literature: antiques, classical music, and hysterical puns (even though she can’t make them) are her fuel. She can be reached on Facebook or Instagram: @zeandrirautenbach

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