I thought I’d write a post on cooking and eating as a poor, centrelink dependant student.
Basically, grocery-wise I try to limit myself to about $40 a week. I usually take advantage of those little yellow tags that have my favourite word on them, ‘reduced’. That usually brings my weekly grocery spend down, meaning the rest of that money goes into things like burritos and alcohol. Ahaha not really.. no actually it does. Not that much though.. Just when I go out. Which is not that often because of exams. Stupid exams. >=(
Anyway, There are lots of great foods besides the staple mi goreng and easymac that you can make for cheap. Even when you want a treat (like lamb stew) it doesn’t cost as much as you’d expect. Once you have all the staples that is. For example, I invested in a bottle of $4 red wine, and now I pretty much put it in anything I cook that has red meat in it. Makes the class of the food go up buy 1000000000. Tastes even better the next day. But I don’t eat red meat that often, like 1-3 times a week.. I’m a bit of a vego these days, but I still love meat.
So my kitchen essentials are (drum roll)
– Garlic&Shallots – put them in with almost anything you fry
– Oil – you end up frying most of your food because it’s faster.
– Salt&Pepper – for EVERYTHING. Well not everything, but most things.
– Honey&Lemon – makes great tea when you have no tea. Which is quite often these days..
– Coffee – Buy NesCafe. Or Moccona, but NesCafe is great.
– Pasta – always have a little bit of pasta. It’s on sale quite often so you can always stock up
– Mi Goreng – you eventually start to live off of this stuff, and then you realise you’re not nourished, and then you buy real people food.
– Potatoes – you can put potatoes in almost everything. You can cook potatoes in so many different ways. And they are cheap. +++++
– Onions – buy a 1kg bag, you’ll have a supply for ages.
– Bread – when all else fails, eat toast.
– Ketchup – better than tomato sauce – which essential. Enough said.
– Fried potatoes with garlic and shallots, garnish with salt and eat with anything, like pasta, or rice, or noodles or something.
– Noodles and soy sauce. When extremely lazy
– Spaghetti Bolagnaise – add red wine
– Lamb stew – buy super cheap lamb, and add red wine.
– Stir fries – I use oyster sauce and soy sauce as my base for the sauce.
– Throw everything into the fry pan and do not burn. You can fry pizza. It is seriously the best way to reheat pizza, you get a crunchy base.
– Pesto pasta, buy pesto in a jar, mix with cooked pasta. Add other stuff if you feel like being nutritional
– Steak. Add vegetables for health. For medium steak, fry on one side with minimal oil until you see the brown rise to about halfway, then flip and cool until the blood comes out. Then rest for 5 mins or so. Should be perfect.
– Pork dumplings – this is really cheap and easy. Buy some wonton skins and pork mince, season the mince with whatever you like. I used shallots, garlic, fish sauce, bit of soy sauce, lotsa salt, bit of cornflour. Wrapped about 40-60 wontons and froze them all. Defrost and eat whenever!
– Curries. Literally coconut milk, random garnishes, curry paste, whatever vegetables and meat you can find, put in pot, simmer for a while.
– Omurice. Watch cookingwithdog on youtube. Best.
I cook other things, but I can’t remember what they are anymore. Get a bit experimental, it can be fun when you come up with new ideas!
I found that I started paying attention to the Woolworths sales advertisements on TV when I watch TV.. It’s a sad life.