How to make do with what you’ve got

My meals haven’t been anything terribly exciting, because I’m still try very very hard to avoid the grocery store unless it’s absolutely necessary. I’ve decided that’s one of the easiest ways to avoid spending money…

Two new tactics in the Battle of the Budget:

1. Don’t make more than 3 servings of any dish. Any more than that, and I won’t eat the left overs

2. Learn how to substitute ingredients. No more running to the store because I’m out of corn or kale


So lots of dinners have looked like this:


1 can diced tomatoes + 1 can of black beans (or chickpeas) + 1 bag of frozen peppers (or other vegetables) + tons and tons of spices = cheap dinner… and leftovers for lunch…

Dinners like this never get old to me. I love soups, and this combo is so filling. It’s also great when you have some veggies on the verge of death (you can easily toss in some zucchini or squash or onions in here).


You guys were SO helpful with grocery budget advice, so I’ve got a new question for you all!

What do you like to make when your produce is nearing it’s end? I’m really going to try to use up all my ingredients before they go bad, and sometimes, that can be the biggest challenge. I like to buy fresh ingredients but they don’t stay fresh for long!

Happy Friday

<3 Liz


  1. I either slice them up and freeze them till I can use them or I make a vegie stirfry!! Thats the best way to use up a lot of vegies fast!

  2. I think you are on the right track with your grocery budget.
    Sometimes, I wish I could do the same with my shopping budget …
    Until I see a gorgeous handbag or pair of shoes.
    Then, I don’t care.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  3. Definitely a big believer in massive batches of soup when all the veggies are starting to go bad… Then I freeze the meals individually as an alternative to my usual work lunches. πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work!

  4. that soup looks amazing!

  5. Soups for sure!! Although everybody has mentioned that. I also use near-dead produce in fresh juices and sometimes grate up zucchini or carrots for muffins πŸ™‚

  6. i SO AGREE on onlyl making 3 servings- i get tired of leftovers FAST!! hmm usually ill grill them cuz when their grilled i dont notice a difference.. or if its fruit ill make a fruit sauce or bake with them!

  7. Depending on the produce, I either freeze it, juice it, or saute it if it’s going bad! πŸ™‚

  8. I just read your previous post too about spending $250 for yourself – nice goal! Did I inspire you? πŸ™‚

    I have discovered bulk buying this month. I’m still playing around with my now $300/month budget. I spent about $180 in the last two weeks, but I really don’t think I’m going to have to go to the store until midweek next week (and that’s just for little stuff too). I bought tons of stuff in bulk at Costco, and I really think it made a difference!!

    • You absolutely DID inspire me! And hearing how much (or how little) other people spend on groceries made me SERIOUSLY take a look at my spending habits!! Thank you for the inspiration! πŸ™‚

  9. ooh im so behind today! I make… black bean or refried beans nachos, spaghetti, annnnd random garbage soups and pasta dishes! hehe. those are my cheapo eats when i’m trying not to shop!

  10. For being on a budget your meals look incredible girl πŸ™‚

  11. I’m definitely working on substituting ingredients to avoid unnecessary grocery trips. It’s worked out pretty well so far!

  12. That soup look sooo good!! I love soups like that πŸ™‚

    When I find a bunch of veggies about to go bad, I toss them in some coconut oil and give them a good roasting πŸ™‚

  13. Mmm…that soup!

  14. Whenever I have ingredients that are on the brink of death I like to make stir-frys! Or soup. Or stew. πŸ™‚ Usually the stir-fry wins though.

  15. I usually roast veggies before they go bad, or make some sort of “kitchen sink” soup!

  16. Oh sooo horrible about running to the store for one or two things. I’m getting much better at (mostly) exhausting my resources before going shopping for meore, though.

  17. That soup looks great! I like to make soup when my veggies are on their way out. Or stir fry, basically anything you can throw all together.

  18. Definitely agree about the more than three servings thing. It’s just me and my boyfriend and so many recipes are designed for families, so I always have a ton left over and get so tired of it after the third day. Cutting regular recipes in half or by 2/3rds is always a good idea.

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