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What were your go-to meals/foods when you were totally broke?

  • 14-09-2021 1:26pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭Patsy167

    Was talking to a College student recently and we exchanged memories and tips of meals and foods we had when totally broke.

    Thought it might be a fun topic to hear from fellow Boardsies on.

    What were your go-to meals/foods when you were totally broke?



  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭[Deleted User]


    Liver, onions and potatoes, very cheap, quite healthy

    Also, lots of popcorn.

  • Registered Users Posts: 332 ✭✭trigger26

    spag ball, 1/2 pound of mince, an onion, Tesco tomato sauce and spaghetti, 2-3 dinners for the week out of that

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,005 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

    tomato and cabbage stew with spuds, milk

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,783 ✭✭✭kirk.

    Potatoes in microwave with sweetcorn beans etc

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,260 ✭✭✭cml387

    Spaghetti, minced meat and Knorr's Savoury mince.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,609 ✭✭✭✭retalivity

    Fried mushrooms, on their own.

    Maybe with a bit of salt if I had any.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭Shenshen

    Spaghetti with garlic, chili and cheese (parmesan if I had it, any cheese otherwise)

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,365 ✭✭✭✭McMurphy

    Lentil dahl can be made for about 6€ or so and will feed 8 adults.

    Buy the saffron Dahl spice mix.

    Lentils, red and white onion, garlic, ginger and chilli's. Tomatoes, coconut milk.

    Indian takeaway quality every time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭tropics001

    spaghetti & meatballs

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,504 ✭✭✭ArtyC

    Always a big pot of veggie chilli .

    something like this , I don’t always follow a recipe just what I had in.

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  • Scrambled eggs with sweet corn/baked beans/spaghetti hoops, basically whatever was left from a multipack.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,038 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    beans on cheese on toast

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,064 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Potato skins. Big bag of spuds was about 2 quid in Lidl. Feed you for a week!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,304 ✭✭✭caviardreams

    Cheap tin of tuna and cheap tin of baked beans mixed together - don't knock it till you have tried it!

  • Posts: 7,792 ✭✭✭ Tinley Microscopic Peppermint

    Pasta (on its own) ,or pasta with cheese (if I had some in the fridge)..

    Don't need to be broke though to have those 'cheap' meals.. Could be miles away from a shop, or all shops/chippers in locality could be closed (if up late/early, and hungry 😊)

  • Posts: 7,792 ✭✭✭ Tinley Microscopic Peppermint

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,235 ✭✭✭KevRossi

    Big bag of cheap porridge for breakfast (made with water) and you can make oat biscuits with some sugar and butter for having with a cup of tea.

    Brown pasta with butter and loads of black pepper, or with a small tin of anchovies.

    Big pot of stew; fry onion and garlic in a pot, add tin of tomatoes, plenty of spuds, turnip, barley, soup mix, lentils, chopped spinach, cabbage or kale and indeed any kind of veg. Very filling but most importantly loads of different vitamins, carbs, proteins. Throw in some curry powder, chillies, spices or cheap chopped rashers/bacon/beef for a different taste if you want.

    Ultra-cheap? Spuds or pasta, lentils, barley, soup mix.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 figleaf25

    In the worst week all I could afford was a dozen eggs and a loaf of bread. Later I discovered rice and beans.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,124 ✭✭✭✭Oranage2

    Super market brand pizza, a lot of calories for 1.50

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,901 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep

    At the time:-

    Ham and cheese sandwiches

    Pasta with some sort of badly made tomata sauce and often sausage or sliced pepperoni

    Bottles of lucozade

    A lot of ennui...

    If I knew then what I know now:-

    I'd go Lidl all the way. I'd probably get onions, carrots, olive oil, minced meat, tinned kidney beans and their basic passata or tinned tomatoes, whatever was cheaper. I'd make one batch of bolognese and one batch of the same but add hot sauce and kidney beans for a beef chilli. Serve the one with pasta and the other with rice. If too similar another option would be to use leftover bread to make breadcrumbs and do the bolognese as meatballs rather than just a meat sauce, might give more variety of texture.

    Ideally when you're making meatballs, if you want them to be tender and soft, you use a mix of beef and pork. Being on a budget could actually lend itself to that, as pork products are generally cheaper than red meat. Mix the breadcrumbs and meat with an egg, season etc. and then the trick is to add small quantities of water to the mixture. The meatballs should hold together but be quite wet. A gamechanger of a recipe (Which can be adapted easily).

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,186 ✭✭✭✭dastardly00

    Own-brand Weetabix and milk, bananas, potatoes, cheap sausages, slided pan. Not all at the one time 😄

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,252 ✭✭✭✭the beer revolu

    I have a distinct memory of toasted sliced pan with Knorr Aromat sprinkled on it - no butter.

    To be fair, it was probably just munchies but there was literally nothing else to eat.

    I also remember well, getting 3 meals for 2 of us from one chicken. Roast chicken day one, chicken curry day two and chicken and veg soup on day three. I was a thrifty 19 year old and, when it comes to food, I still am pretty thrifty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,652 ✭✭✭sporina

    was pretty broke all my college life.. (didn't have time to work with 39 hrs lectures/week and hated getting money from my folks).. so basics wer bread, pasta, tomato sauce, cheese, coffee, biscuits... at the start of the week I had chicken/mince.. and veg, to add to the previous... but by the end of the week I did without 'em.. gee I rem getting home on a Fri eve and eating the house out of it.. awe.. those wer the days..

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,048 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!

    I posted this in the Dinner thread but it would also work here. Feed yourself for a week for the price of a bag of potatoes and a block of cheese. 🤗

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,242 ✭✭✭thefallingman

    Noodles, wouldn't even boil them properly, break into a bowl and just poor boiling water over them.

  • Registered Users, Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 2,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭Nigel Fairservice

    I ate a lot of Rice Krispies in college. They were quite filling if you had enough milk.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,533 ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    I have lived on a poor income quite a few times in my life. And I think you do have to adjust your tastes, and imagination to keep things cheap, tasty and nutritious.

    Bread is important, but do try to get the right bread. This is where most of the money might go. I like the Biona organic rye bread, but use other proper wholemeal breads if you can find them. Same goes for any starch, like rice, etc. Spend your money there, because this will be your staple.

    Beans/pulses are the next stop. Get to like them. Lentils are really versatile.

    Canned fish. Try different types. Oily are best. Check out the Polish shops and price around.

    Vegetables: important! Cabbage, onions, carrots, all good. Always have a few apples in.

    Plan around what you have, rather than thinking about dishes that you know. Think picnic style. But keep it interesting! You MUST enjoy your food.

    Most importantly: Avoid food waste. Keep your non-perishables handy, lest you get tempted to blow your budget on take-aways.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,033 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    Speaking of Polish shops, I find they often have some very good fresh herbs at good quantities and prices. Buy them by the bunch and freeze as required, much more cost effective than the regular supermarkets.