On hand, you need fresh onions, garlic, herbs, chili peppers.good oil.
Stock your pantry with pasta, rice, legumes, condiments such as vinegar, soy sauce, cheeses.
If you see stuff on sale, buy what you can eat in a week or two, and if something is a bargain, and you have room in your freezer, buy enough for another time.
As an exercise, observe the basket in the picture, and come up with combinations:
1. Salads, with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce
2. Stir-fries, with green veggies, an onion or two
3. A tian, or a layered casserole, with sliced onions, potatoes, zucchini, etc.
4, A pasta dish, with sauteed vegetables and a spicy garlic and chili mix.
5. Taco or burrito mix, using fresh chopped vegetables, some canned beans, cheese, and a touch of salsa.
If you cook a pasta, make enough for two meals, one to each immediately, and one for lunch the following day. Cooking double will not only save you money, it will save you time and energy as well.
Favorite things for me to make in bulk and freeze for another week:
1. Chicken and dumplings
5, Bean burritos
What are your strategies for living well on a budget?