I remember my first year living in Manhattan and my friends and I could barely pay our rent (or share thereof), utilities, etc. We definitely couldn't eat out dinner--we could hardly feed ourselves. Two strategies we used:
1-A rum and OJ ordered (and nursed for hours)at the nearby bar afforded us all the chicken wings we could eat.
2-We would visit each other's apt toting a can of soup and make believe we were eating out--technically, visitors were eating "out". We would compare Progresso soup varieties as the big thrill of the night.
What were your "survival" techniques?