How to deal with a nearly empty cupboard

by | Oct 15, 2018 | Income & Living with Less | 0 comments

Have you a lot of bills one pay week, lost your income or are you only just managing on a shoestring? For whatever reason there are different ways of how to deal with a nearly empty cupboard. First: Don’t despair. Count your blessings. You do have a cupboard after all!. Second: Look around to see what resources you have. It is very important to have sustenance to help you think clearly and make wise decisions too. Make your fluid intake water and remind yourself how healthy that is and which will help clear your head too. Third: Become inventive with what you do have to cook with. Remember the story of “Nail Soup“?

Add up your resources in and out of the cupboard

You may have little protein sources – but if you have beans or lentils with wholemeal grains such as rice you can make some very filling and inexpensive meals. You can use salt and a few spices and you will feel like you have been fed like a king. Gather all the greens you can find – they are the most nutritious item to keep you well and healthy.In the depression era even marshmallow weed, nettles, chickweed and all sorts of herbs came to be used when common vegetables were sparse. So spend some time honing up on the knowledge of what people ate through these times. They were quite ingenious even if they too had a nearly empty cupboard! Do a stock-take as it were of what you have. Start ideas of what you can mix and match together to make meals. Something as simple as pasta with a teaspoon of oil with garlic, salt and maybe some chopped parsley or onion chives or tops (if you have a garden) is quite palatable yet simple. If you have rice – cook and make it a nice savory meal with the flavors that you add to it. Remember you don’t need a recipe to make simple meals – you can invent meals yourself. You are how you eat. So when you do eat – eat slowly and well. Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing slowly helps with enzymes to break down your food. This begets more nutrition for you – so do take note. Not only that – but you will find you will feel less hungry.

Empty cupboard

Your cupboard may be bare but don’t let your spirit be such.

Recipe finders for the empty cupboard syndrome

Whenever you feel sorry for what you don’t have – do remember this. You have access to the internet. Even if you are accessing it through a library and you had to walk there on foot – it is still accessible. If you have enough presently to cover the expense at home remember the following. An older lady about 20 years ago said to those who cried that they were poor – she replied “But you pay for inter-net connection. If you were really poor you wouldn’t be able to afford even that.”

Here are some great recipe finders that are easy to use an inspire by how they are set out and have even simple ideas to get your creativeness going for what you have. Your empty cupboard may be fairly bare like mother hubbard with her many children – but there are ways to locate ideas for recipes that you can make with what you have.

Supercook allows you to choose from categories such as dairy, vegetables, Fruits, Baking and Grains, Added Sweeteners, Spices, Meats, Fish, Seafood, Condiments, Oils, Seasonings, Sauces, Legumes. These as well as choosing ingredients until you narrow it down. It will bring up recipes too with one ingredient missing -just in case it’s something you have access to. The illustrations are delicious and very well presented.

Basket of fresh food

Even if you have a small portion of food   ie the cupboard is nearly bare – there are ways to stretch your food.

Photo credit Pexels


All recipes has an easy add or minus ingredients bar under Ingredient Search just down from the top of their home page. The site for Australian and New Zealand for All recipes had an ingredients list – but put under categories which is not as good as the aforementioned site. However they did break their categories quite a bit more than Supercook above and even included nuts – which was then broken down again. So reasonable as there were not a great deal of recipes to go through. Images of course again – excellent.

My Fridge Food has a quick ingredient list on the front page or you can click to get Show all ingredients. So you list what you have in your cupboard (a la pantry!) and this will show easily what recipes you can make with your food stock take done. Normally you will find it will have only one ingredient missing such as milk for example – simple everyday items you may have missed.

Food pair allows you to put in up to 8 ingredients – ie  To filter by specific ingredients, add them one by one using the Filter by ingredient box. You can also choose by diet, sites and keyword for a particular recipe.

Being poor in itself is a problem to be solved rather than be dwelt on. Let your attitude be one of pro-actively be looking for solutions to change where you are at. Don’t allow that empty cupboard be forever empty – work on changing things! Look for support in however and whatever way you can.

Drop me a line – I’d like to know how you are going. By the way – I know you didn’t ask – but I’ve had a couple of experiences with an almost empty cupboard too.


Deborah Hunter Kells

I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. As noted you will find a variety of topics covered (see Home page) My appreciation goes to my team and others whom I collaborate with to make this blog successful and resourceful. Thanks especially to my team: Sarah, Tina, and Billah (See footer for more of their details)

Old Mother Hubbard may have had problems but there are #foodsolutions #beingpoor #dealingwithpovery #solutionstopoor  #poverty #veryverypoor #littlemoney