Uber Frugal Month Simplify Finances

Uber Frugal Month Day 5- Eating Down the Pantry

Today’s mantra: I will eat all the things!!!!

Today’s action: Start combing through your pantry, freezer, and fridge and make plans for all the foodstuffs you find.

Eating from my pantry is either something I love or something I hate. Some days I have the inspiration to whip up something tasty, and other days I just stare at my pantry. The days I do have the creativity, I try and come up with as many ideas as I can and record them, to save me during my brain freezes.

I also try and have an arsenal of kitchen-staple recipes. Things like pasta and sauce (either store-bought or homemade from canned tomatoes), stir fry and fried rice, tortilla soup (recipe below), tacos, nachos, etc. These are all things that can be made with long-lasting ingredients from your pantry and freezer.

Stir fries, rice bowls, salads, and burritos are great ways to get rid of random ingredients before they go bad. I have a few templates that I keep in mind to make it easier for me to create meals out of random ingredients. For example, a stir fry needs vegetables, a protein, a sauce and then eat it with a carb. A rice bowl can follow that same template- vegetable, protein, sauce and you can sub out the rice for any other carb- barley, quinoa, millet, pasta, cauliflower rice (okay, that’s not a carb, but you get the idea), etc. Swap out the rice for lettuce and you have a salad. Wrap it in a tortilla and you’ve got a burrito.

When I buy ingredients for a recipe, I try and make sure to find ways to use up the rest of the ingredients, so things don’t go to waste. One of my husband’s favorite recipe combos is fajitas and Philly cheesesteak. The bases are the same- onions, peppers and steak- but the flavors are completely different. With a few tweaks, you can morph your leftover Philly cheesesteak into fajitas.

Have you found any recipe combos that work well together, like my fajitas and Philly cheesesteak? What about favorite kitchen-staple recipes?

Tortilla Soup

My mom is the one who discovered this soup and I can’t track down the original recipe to save my life, so sorry, I can’t contribute it to anyone


1 can refried beans
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can corn
Salsa, to taste

Optional toppings:

Tortilla strips (make by slicing up tortillas and baking in the oven) or chips
Sour Cream
Green Onions


Dump all the ingredients in a pan and heat through. Dish up, add desired toppings and enjoy!

Doesn’t get any easier than that!

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