Trying to survive on a food budget can be quite challenging, especially at this time of the year. 

Sometimes it’s all about enjoying a decent meal that doesn’t require half of your pay check. And with that said, when it comes to things like food and wine pairings you must create a balance without price being a factor.

If you understand the uniqueness of the wine you are drinking, you can easily figure out which foods would pair best with.

Cookies and the right wine can be a great match.

I stumbled upon this twitter account called @SAVineShare which is a platform for food and wine lovers to share their ‘cupboard ingredient’ wine pairing ideas and budget hints. It's a lifeline to get through #Januworry.

In one tweet @SAVineShare shared: “Seeing that we’re all struggling through the longest month ever, how about sharing your own ‘out of my kitchen cupboard’ budget friendly wine and food pairing suggestions? No fancy restaurants or exotic ingredients- just whatever you have at home.”

When I got in touch with @SAVineShare administrator Roelia Schoeman, she said Janu-worry can be the longest month ever. And it seems as if it is getting worse every year hence they started the save and share group on twitter.

“I got together with some of my fellow wine loving friends during our bi-weekly #SAVineShare twitter chat, getting suggestions about budget-friendly food and wine pairings, specifically with either ‘everyday’ meal items or affordable take away meals, nothing exotic or expensive- just good and delicious food. I’m sure these suggestions will make the last bit of January a lot more bearable”, she said.

Here are some of the food and wine pairings that Schoeman shared with us from the twitter group:

  • Homemade creamy tomato soup with crusty bread, paired with Alvi’s Drift Chardonnay.
  • Steak sandwich (use tenderized steak for a budget friendly option) with caramelized onions, rocket, paired with Darling Cellars Pinotage.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, paired with Fairview La Capra Malbec.
  • Chicken samoosa, paired with Theuniskrall Cape Riesling.
  • Oreos, paired with Leopard’s Leap Carbernet Sauvignon.
  • Takeaway fish and chips, paired with Boland Cellar Sixty-40 (Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc Blend).
  • Home popped salted popcorn, paired with JC Le Roux bubbly.
  • Puffy pasty cheese sticks, paired with a chilled Pinot Noir.

So budget pairings are possible and don't need to cost the earth!