5 no-shop dinners to make before pay day

  • Share this story
5 no-shop dinners to make before pay day

When your energy is low, recipe inspiration has run dry, and pay day is so close (but so far), do not fret. We have a few no-shop meals just for you, provided you have a few of these dry and canned goods (pantry staples, people) in your grocery cupboard.

Pick a pantry staple and enjoy an early dinner thanks to the no-shop factor in these recipes.

So what’s in the cupboard?

Split red lentils, canned diced tomatoes

Substitutes: Not everyone has red peppers lying around (although they do freeze well if you’d like to stock up in future). For a similar texture (but not necessarily taste) try replacing them with carrots if you have them, or canned corn or green beans.

Try the dhal (lentil curry) recipe here. Or if you prefer beans (and you have a can in the cupboard), try this bean curry recipe here.

Pasta, canned butter beans

Pasta is the perfect base for an empty-the-fridge kind of dinner. You could easily swap the fresh tuna (or salmon) for the canned versions.

5 no-shop dinners to make before pay day

Substitutes: Try salmon instead of tuna; use short pasta instead of long; skip the tuna and add a jar of marinated artichokes. Use dried herbs in place of the parsley.

Try the pasta with butter beans and fresh tuna recipe here.

Canned tuna

Pan-fry these tuna sandwiches for extra decadence (after spreading them with mayo rather than butter). Or, you could lose the bread and heap the tuna mayo onto hot baked potatoes instead.

Toasted tuna mayo sandwich recipe

Substitutes: Try dried parsley or other dried herbs to replace the fresh variety listed, and skip the watercress and celery if you don’t have it.

Try the toasted tuna mayo recipe here.

Canned tomatoes, tomato paste, eggs, chillies

“Skinny eggs” require you cook scrambled eggs using water instead of oil. The eggs take on a beautiful airy, mousse-like texture. Apart from being relatively quick and easy to whip up, this dish is also the ultimate comfort food after a long day at the office.

Substitutes: Swap the ripe tomatoes for canned whole tomatoes. This recipe does require you have a fully stocked spice rack so you don’t skimp on the flavour. It’s a great guideline for stocking up.

Try the skinny eggs with spicy Mexican tomato sauce recipe here. If you want to put in a little extra effort, roasting intensifies the flavour of the tomatoes in this roasted-tomato soup.


Eating more plant-based foods couldn’t be easier when you have a few cans or bags of dried chickpeas on stand-by. They’re a source of protein, carbohydrates and fibre that will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

5 no-shop dinners to make before pay day

Substitutes: Exchange the fresh parsley for dried.

Try the Middle Eastern tomato and chickpea pilau recipe here.

Discover more features here.

Melissa Wentzel Article by: Melissa Wentzel

Social Media

You might be interested in...