I remember putting my husband through college. He was working on his Ph.D and we were very poor.
We brought in $350 a month. That paid rent, gas, and food. I had to be creative. You cannot believe all the different ways to cook beans and rice! It helped that I was a vegetarian but at the end of the month those beans and rice dishes were getting old. So, I learned how to create recipes out of practically nothing. Basically, if you have beans, rice, an egg, celery, black olives, chiles, onion, frozen or fresh green beans or any other vegetable leftover, you can create a terrific casserole or omelet. Keep canned or fresh (best) beans on hand along with long grain or brown rice. If you have some basic leftovers or veggies, try creating something. You will be pleasantly suprised. Add a bit of bread and a nice glass of Reisling and there you have it!