If your pantry is well stocked with dried beans, peas, and grains, you should be able to create meals without too much difficulty. Stretch your meals, use the leftovers and see what you can come up with. We recently had a ham dinner. I always buy the bone in ham because it adds so much more flavor to Pea Soup. I also make a fresh Pea Soup when the peas are in season. With dried peas, I soak them overnight to help get rid of a bit of the starchiness and to soften the peas for faster cooking time.
The rest of the ham can be cut off the bone and used in the soup. This ham bone was in the freezer for a few weeks and they keep perfectly fine. I add the whole hock right in-it gives delicious flavor.
I add some chunks of potatoes at the end of cooking and the ham cubes that I cut off the bone. If your soup is too thin, just add a bit of cream, cook a little longer and enjoy.
Tomorrow I do need to go shopping and restock some pantry items. I went through my coupons tonight and hopefully I will do well in saving some money.
Most of these meals can also be cooked in your crock pot on busy evenings when cooking a meal may seem impossible. I've also been meal planning for the week and choosing meals according to my grocery list or sale flyers. Creating meals such as lasagna or Shepherd's pie, that can stretch over several meals really helps to save money too.
Check out your pantry, see what you have, browse some recipes books and be a little creative when it comes to meal planning. In the process you just might save a few dollars.