When I am making an extreme effort to cut down my food budget, I usually buy a large amount of rice. Rice is not always the cheapest food, but it is most of the time.
If rice is not the cheapest food in your area, you need to find out what is the cheapest. Then you need to find out how to cook it and try eating it. That way you will know whether you will be able to eat it a lot.
It is possible to eat nothing but rice for a while. There are people in the world who do this most of their lives. I don't think it is a good idea to eat nothing but rice if you can possibly avoid it, because of malnutrition.
You can make whatever else you have to eat besides rice, last longer by putting a small amount of it on a lot of rice. I had to do this for a long time once. It really inspired me to learn what edible plants grew in my area. The rice tasted a lot better with those edible plants on it.
If you are not making much, if any progress with your preparedness, switching to a mostly rice diet to save up a little bit of money may be necessary. Nothing at all except rice will cause malnutrition if you do it very long, so be careful. White rice is not very nutritious, so use brown rice. It may cost more, but it is worth it.
A lot of people have told me that mulberries are not edible. I would be dead if that was true. In order to make the best use of the plants available in your area for food, you will probably need to do some research. Some books even list mulberries as inedible, so you may need to check multiple sources.
I used to live under several mulberry trees. I ate them as long as the trees bore them. They are good on rice. They are not very sweet, but if you cook them on low heat until they get soft and the liquid from them starts to thicken they are sweeter. This works for most fruit.
After the fruit thickens, you can put it on rice for dessert. This can be done if you have no sweetener. After you do without sweetener for a while, you will be more easily satisfied with the sweetness from plain mulberries and other fruit. I think that your taste buds may become more sensitive.
Not everyone will want to do everything I have done to stretch the food money. You can pick what appeals to you and maybe you will think of things that I did not think of that you will like better.
Finding more different ways to cook the foods that I had available made eating more pleasant for me. I read a lot about cooking to find different ways to prepare the same ingredients. A different preparation method can make a big difference in the taste and texture and looks of the same food.
I sometimes invented ways to cook things that I had never found mentioned elsewhere. One of those was with rice. I would put it in a skillet, already cooked. I spread it out thinly on the bottom of the skillet and cooked it until it formed a crisp sheet. I liked it slightly burnt in places. That gave me something crunchy to eat. Sometimes I crumbled bits of the crisp rice on top of other food.
It would have worked to just eat plain rice with little bits of local plants on it, but I enjoyed it a lot more when I did something to make it different. I believe that enjoying your food is worth something.
Varying a diet even by different cooking methods makes it easier to keep eating something like rice when you don't have to. There were times when I was tempted to spend a little more money and buy more food to put on my rice.
It was easier to keep eating the rice when it tasted different. That meant that I was able to save up and buy more compact fluorescent light bulbs and reduce my electric bill.
Reducing my electric bill gave me more money to work with that I could use to buy a large amount of food on sale. That way I got to eat better and better as I saved more money.
I think it was worth it to eat rice for a while to be able to save more money later on. Sometimes you have to make short term sacrifices to make any progress over the long term.
If you look carefully at the way you spend money, you will find changes that you can make that will help you to save little bits of money that you can use to save even more. This way you can make your life better and have money to invest in emergency preparedness.