If you thought the struggle was real before, it’s really real now. Natural disasters, pandemics, riots and what have you can sometimes make it impossible, or at least undesirable, to leave your home. But you have to eat and you’re bank account is dwindling. So, what now?

Struggle meals” to the rescue. Recently, someone on Reddit posted they were riding out the aftermath of a natural disaster where they lived and they were looking for something they could make with an existing pantry of ingredients, but also something comforting.

I grew up poor. Very poor. So poor that a week of my current salary is the average monthly salary for a family in my home town poor. But everyone was poor so it didn’t matter. I find that now even though I can afford nicer groceries I still want to eat a lot of my childhood struggle meals. My favorite is my granny’s white beans and cornbread.

With talks of an economic collapse another recession and the tornado that hit my area (Nashville) early Tuesday morning I’m trying to save as much cash as I can and go back to struggle meals to cut my grocery bill. I’ve got a very well stocked kitchen/pantry with just about everything you can imagine, a full fridge, a full deep freezer with meat and frozen vegetables and fruit, a full pantry with just about every non perishable you can imagine. I have a full kitchen cabinet just for my spices alone. So when I say I have a mini grocery store I’m not joking. I also need to use all of this before it expires.

What are some of your favorite struggle meals to help me use up some of my stock pile?

Other Redditors jumped at the chance to share their versions of meals that bring comfort and saves money, while using food most people usually have in the kitchen. Scroll through these 9 struggle meals and take note. The time to learn is now.

1. Always have hot sauce.

My dad used to make what he called “poor man’s meal” – fried potatoes and onion, sliced hot dogs and then scramble a few eggs in with it all in the same pan.

Sounds like an abomination when I type it out but that shit was good with some ketchup or hot sauce. Man, I miss my dad…

zombiealert

2. I’m sorry, this sounds amazing.

Macaroni and canned tomatoes , if we had extra money to buy cheese we would grate some over top.

$2 meal feeds 6 +

tijo12

3. Don’t call it faux Pad Thai.

I’ll never stop eating instant ramen! We add an egg to the boiling water near the end, then let it sit for a minute, drain the noodles, and call the result “eggy ramen.”

Or, add make a mixture of a tsp of peanut butter/a dribble of fish sauce/rice vinegar/soy sauce/chili paste and make faux pad thai.

nervous_lobster

4. Packed full of vitamins.

American goulash- ground beef, elbow macaroni (any pasta would do really) and some canned tomatoes and canned corn. It was one of the few ways I’d eat corn.

Occasionally I’d throw in some canned green beans too.

TheRealEleanor

5. Canned tuna, pasta and mayo. Good on Fridays.

Tuna noodles- canned tuna with some macaroni and mayo. Grandma uses celery but I’m not a fan so I season with celery salt instead.

I always go light on the mayo.

TheRealEleanor

6. Bon appetit.

Fried bologna on toast with butter

shoeboxchild

7. Culinary genius.

Looking back it sounds gross as hell, but I used to love combining 1 can cream of chicken soup with a few cups of white rice to make a porridge, and topping it with crunchy chow mein noodles.

hypbtch

8. Eat like royals.

Corned beef hash. One bag frozen diced potatoes, one onion, and a can of corned beef. Fry diced onion to soften, add frozen potatoes and keep frying until warmed through, add corned beef and fry until the beef is the way you like it…I like mine to have some texture so nicely browned. Salt and pepper to taste. I’ve upgraded the meal since then with the addition of Worcestershire sauce and other spices.

She also made a crap ton of shells and sauce, hamburger-gravy with mashed potatoes, and eggs in the nest.

My kids won’t eat any of this stuff but every now and again I get nostalgic.

DeannaMorgan

9. Hot dogs and peanut butter. No, not together.

Two come to mind: beanie weenies (baked beans with chopped up hot dogs), and peanut butter toast!

I still crave and eat these both on occasion!

lavender_and_mace

So, the next time you make a mad dash to the store to buy all the toilet paper you can get your hands on, make a list of these pantry staples and pick these up too. You’ll eat like you’re still on top of the food chain. And, you’ll save some of that gold you’ve been stockpiling too for when all the banks collapse.

If you have a favorite struggle meal, help humanity and share it in the comments.