There was one day when the two of us, a newly-engaged and not-terribly-wealthy couple, came back to my (Nick's) apartment one night and decided that the two of us were extremely hungry. As it turned out, there was only an assortment of odds and ends around the kitchen without much to choose from.
A half-hour or so later, I had created my first dish, affectionately titled by the two of us the Poor Man's Meal. It consists of boiled spaghetti (or angel hair), mixed in with canned butter beans, canned peas, garlic, sometimes onions, chick peas, and all fried together into a wonderful mess of tastiness with any kind of oil you can get your hands on along with a good dash of Greek salad dressing.
From that one humble meal, made for the first time three years ago (and still going strong!) came recipe after recipe we developed, using some of the cheapest ingredients available on the store shelves. We might look at an existing recipe and discover that one ingredient on the list is too expensive, so we modify the recipe to do without or take something cheaper. That particular recipe might become ethnically inaccurate in consequence, but it's hard to care when you are on a shoestring budget.
We are here to prove that there need not be complete compromise in food the lower your income gets. Of course, sea scallops won't be available every day, but there is so much awesomeness out there to discover and be discovered concerning food. Our quest for new recipes has actually led me (Nick) to become something of a cook myself, purely because I love doing it.
So just because your income hovers around the federally-determined poverty line does NOT mean that your diet need consist of 90-cent hot dog packages and low-grade baked beans for every meal. There is another way!