Before I left Virginia, my dad gave me three pieces of advice:
1. Don't get pregnant
2. Don't eat all pasta
3. Don't waste anything
Number one aside (it would just be bad timing in both of our lives if I got pregnant right now), I've got a question for you guys:
How the heck do you eat affordably and healthily?
After living at home for the past four years, I was spoiled by my parents doing most of the shopping and cooking. When I wanted to cook something on my own, I bought the few ingredients my parents didn't have and made it without spending too much money. I also ate a lot of spaghetti and meatballs (which is my favorite meal ever, though I realize how unhealthy).
The only experience I've had with living on my own was two years in college when I lived mostly on Easy Mac and frozen entrees. I also didn't have anything else to pay for: just food and photography equipment. Nowadays I'm a grownup with student loans, insurance, phone, utilities, and for the very first time: rent! I've only been here a week and I suddenly realize how freaking expensive food is! Not just a meal or two, but enough food to live on! I feel like I've already spent way too much money and am kinda starting to freak out.
So how do you do it? Other than making sandwiches every day, how do you cook a wide variety of meals that are both healthy and affordable? And I don't want anything fancy here; I want to use ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes, ingredients that won't go to waste. I'm already a little proud of myself as I was trying to figure out something to eat with what few things we had in the fridge: so I made quesadillas with cheese, tomatoes, and onions. And I realize that this is something incredibly easy, something that anything can be added to: leftover chicken, vegetables, etc. But I do realize that I have so many tomatoes and onions and even some leftover garlic that I can't possibly use it up any time soon. So I had another epiphany! I can throw all three of those ingredients into the spaghetti sauce that I just bought!
So, the wheels in my head are already starting to turn. But I still need any advice that you guys have to give. Pretty please?