There is a movement out there that is for a no spend January. Actually, you are allowed twenty dollars a week for perishables.
We have a full pantry, I am going to fill in today with a pork loin. I wrote a three week meal plan last night. I know that I will need to add eggs and a few perishables. Keep a list of anything you might need to replenish after the month is done. Rotating stock is a good thing.
On to other items, One of the biggest obstacles to eating on. A small budget is how to deal with those down days where your world is, it kind and you just done have the gumption to cook a scratch three course meal.
The thing that will discourage me the fastest is walking into a dirty kitchen, I hate it when children have cooked and not bothered to clean up after themselves. I can't cook in a dirty kitchen, I do keep a few go to easy dinners in my arsenal for days when I am sick, or just sick of cooking, Foster farms makes chicken 🍗 Already cooked and with coupons, can be very affordable, Add frozen potatoes and a veggie or already cut up vegetable sticks and dinner can be made by just about anyone, challenged in the kitchen or not. A few cans of chinky soup bought on sale with coupons is another go to. Or frozen skow cooker dinners that you have made ahead. Many recipes out there these days that take a few minutes in the morning to dump in the slow cooker and walk away.
Planning is the key. We had Belgian waffles for breakfast yesterday. I cooked what we were going to eat. After breakfast and package opening, I made up the rest of the batch. The mix, was purchased for a dollar at grocery outlet. I added oil, eggs, and water. That still made a lot of waffles for about a dollar and a half or less. The rest of the waffles are on the freezer for breakfast for dinner later in the week.
Watching waste is another way to stretch a dollar.