Silhouette of cheese burger and summer garden vegetables

And the saga continues. You’re 20-something and on a static income.  You have just enough to pay your bills but not enough to eat? The government won’t give you food stamps? And there’s no one to transfer money into your account. What do you do?!

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Here are some tips for making it through this time of near death due to starvation.

1. Clean the fridge
There is no excuse. If you have something in the fridge that can be eaten, EAT IT! No matter if its your 5th plate or a bag of ramen noodles – eat it. There will be times when you should consider how healthy these foods are; however, when you’re broke and hungry, throw these notions out the window! Also, get creative with those leftovers. Frozen meatballs and veggies= stir fry, grands biscuits and leftover stews= hot pockets. There is no end to what you can create when you’re hungry

Pot Luck2. Take advantage of office parties/lunches
What?…it’s free food ain’t it?! I’m not saying bring your own Tupperware and plates. I am advising you to set up a game plan when you enter the staff lounge. The first step in making this venture successful is by packing a “lunch” of snacks that can complement any meal. Pack things like yogurt, fruit, nuts, chips, and peanut butter. This way, you’re prepared for these lucky lunches. Say they only have donuts and pastries; break out some fruit. Peanut butter for the bagels, crushed cookies go well over yogurt; be resourceful. Hopefully there is more variety at your workplace, but for some, these shenanigans are unheard of. This is my advice to you all: plan an office potluck. You are friends with at least two of your coworkers. Get together during lunch and exchange recipes one day.

3. Become a professional sampler
Whether it’s the mall or the grocery store, there is always someone waiting for you to sample something. Make their day! One good lap around the place should do the trick. Also, if you go to the deli, you can sample as many cuts of meats and cheese as you want, “in order to help you decide.”

4. Respect the coupon
Not the BOGO coupons (unless you’re splitting the bill with someone), but the coupons that give you a real meal for your money. Paying $2.99 for a $5 meal is never a bad move. I even come across free sandwiches in the junk mail flyers sometimes. I also encourage using various coupons for multiple places. For example, cheap meal here, free drink there, free cookie day over there = complete meal on a dime.

5. BBQ: Bring Back Quantity
I’ve never been to a BBQ where there wasn’t a surplus of food and foil at the end of the event. If you feel uncomfortable taking food home, shake it off and use some variation of this line, “That was some good food! I’m fixing a plate to take to work next week,” and wahlah, food to last you another day.

Never choose between your hunger and your financial obligations. Yes you can have cake and eat it too! Just remember, free cake tastes better than cake you paid for; which is why you might spot me at a kid party near you 🙂