10 Things to Eat When Your Cupboards Are Bare

We’ve all been there: staring bleakly into the blank abyss, hunger gnawing at the gut, head leaning against the open refrigerator door. There is nothing to eat, you whisper. Nothing to eat at all. You lean against the fridge, sliding down slowly until you are seated on the floor, head on your knees, and you declare, “That’s it. I’ll just lie here until I’m dead from starvation, because nothing in this house is fit for human consumption.” You plan on writing your last will and testament on the floorboards, scratched out with a nail.

Before you cause lasting damage to your house and therefore decrease the property value, I have a suggestion. Take a gander at this list of things you might be able to eat when your cupboards have been neglected, when your fridge has become a wild wasteland devoid of nutrients, and when your walk-in pantry might as well be a room for a small child with a fondness for climbing bare cupboards in the dark. This is what I’m here for–I’m about to literally save your life.

The following ideas are based off of things you might usually have in stock, the things that are dusty in the back of the shelves, or hidden in drawers of your fridge. Basically, anything that’s left over when you’re in that desperate strait between grocery runs.

1. Poor man’s pizza.

Do you have anything tortilla-like at all? Okay, if so, grab that. Or use a stale English muffin or old bagel. Everyone has pasta sauce in a jar somewhere, so get that pasta sauce out and spread it on the flat circular disk-like food substance of your choice. If you can rustle up some cheese, sprinkle it on top. There might be a can of olives waiting to be opened and drained. Pop the thing in the toaster oven and whammo, you’ve got poor man’s pizza. Alternatively, fry the tortilla as if it is a quesadilla, and you have a rich man’s quesadilla. It’s all about the branding.

Items 2-4: Saltine Crackers.

These little bad boys have a myriad of uses. Here are things you can put on them. Peanut butter and jelly, to make mini sandwiches. Cheese slices. If you have enough, you can really get full with these. And also, butter. Put buttered crackers in the toaster oven and it’s almost like you have tiny pieces of crunchy toast.

5. Anything involving Nutella.

You can seriously put Nutella on any edible item and it will taste amazing. Do you have a jar of Nutella? Bring back the saltine crackers! Or celery. Or bread. Or tortillas. Or just eat it from the spoon. What? It’s totally got protein.

6. Pudding.

You might be able to find a spare pudding mix or cup in the back of your cupboards. It’s often forgotten in the name of more exciting desserts, but trusty pudding is here to save the day.

7. Cereal.

What’s that, you say? Oh, you don’t have milk? Cereal dry from the bag as a munchy snack is perfectly doable and also, depending on the brand, yummy. The best kind for this approach is obviously something sugary, but you can make do with a Cheerio-knock-off. My favorite is honey nut.

8. String Cheese Sandwich.

So you might not have regular cheese, but you can still make a grilled cheese sandwich. Assuming you have bread, get this out by your nearest grilling surface. Pull the string cheese into meltable sections (usually by thirds) and then lay them side-by-side on the bread. Melt that sucker.

9. Tomato Soup.

I love a good tomato soup, but it can be kind of boring to eat plain. Spruce it up by locating a bag of rice, and DIYing the crap out of it by combining the two to make tomato rice soup. Extra points if you can find some spices or herbs to add to it.

10. Pasta.

Maybe you don’t have pasta sauce, but I bet you’ve got at least one carton of noodles hiding out in your house. I would never suggest you eat pasta plain (the horror!) but you can garnish it with melted butter and garlic from a jar. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

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