Pasta or rice. Toss with oil/butter and seasoning. Done. (Optional: add toppings.)
Of course I wouldn’t suggest that you eat only pasta and rice; it’s important that you get your vitamins and minerals from meats and veggies. However, sometimes we need to cut back on spendings. To those people like me, I highly suggest you keep pasta and rice in your cupboard.
They are both non-perishable and don’t need to be kept in your fridge. The only other ingredient you need to cook either of these is water, which if you don’t have… you have bigger problems. If you have basic seasonings and cooking supplies, the only thing you ever need to buy at grocery stores is meats and veggies. Simple is beautiful, isn’t it?
As for price, you can buy a 20 lbs bag of spaghetti at Costco for $20. The average serving size of spaghetti is about 1/4 lbs. This means spaghetti costs 25 cents per meal.
And how about rice? You can buy a 50 lbs of rice at Costco for $20. The average service size of rice is 1/3 cups uncooked. Since there’s 3 uncooked cups of rice in each pound, there are 100 cups of rice in a 50 lbs bag. This means that rice costs about 5 cents per meal. Toss this with some butter and seasoning and there you go, a 10 cent meal.
In the picture above, I tossed the pasta with olive oil, salt, pepper, sauteed garlic, and red chili flakes. I cooked a handful of baby spinach and threw it on top. Coated five shrimp with salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika and sauteed it before I placed it on top. For final touches, I sprinkled on some shredded parmesan, fresh minced basil, and red chili flakes. Total cost comes down to under $3.