16 Cheap (Comfort) Foods That Rich People Still Eat

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What do you do when you’ve reached the heights of wealth but your taste buds are still stuck in your humble beginnings? We’ve all got those comfort foods that, no matter how posh our surroundings become, still remind us of simpler times.

In this listicle, we’re diving into the heartwarming and sometimes quirky stories behind the foods that real people say they won’t give up, even if their bank accounts have ballooned.

#1 – Tomato and Mayo Sandwiches: A Taste of Nostalgia

Italian bruschetta with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and herbs on a cutting board
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For some, a tomato and mayo sandwich isn’t just a sandwich—it’s a time machine back to childhood. A social media user shared how their father, who once knew genuine poverty, still whips up this simple delight even though he’s living in comfort now. The memory of tomato and mayo sandwiches on white bread continues to satisfy his soul, proving that some tastes are truly timeless.

#2 – Taco Love: A Pocketful of Happiness

Mexican food - delicious tacos with ground beef
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Tacos, oh tacos! They’re not just a budget-friendly delight; they’re an instant mood-lifter. There’s something magical about these folded wonders that keeps people coming back for more. Whether it’s the budget-saving magic or the fact that they’re a handheld bundle of joy, tacos are a classic that brings a smile to anyone’s face.

#3 – Popcorn and Ramen: The College Fuel

Partial view of multiethnic friends with popcorn watching film
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College years are synonymous with limited funds and creative meals. For many, it’s a time of embracing cheap eats like instant ramen and microwave popcorn. A commenter fondly recalls their college days fueled by these affordable staples.

The luxurious allure of microwave popcorn stands out in their memory—a true upgrade from popping kernels in a jar. The artificial, movie-theater-like taste added an extra sprinkle of excitement to those late-night study sessions.

#4 – Peanut Butter and Jelly: Never Forget the Basics

Free New Remove BG Save Share Sample New Toasts with jam and peanut butter
Image Credit: AntonMatyukha /Depositphotos.com.

When you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches are like a culinary safety net. They’re there when you need them the most, offering comfort and familiarity in times of scarcity. As per one user, no matter how successful they become, these classic sandwiches are a reminder of the journey they’ve taken and the simplicity that once defined their tastes.

#5 – Rice, Egg, and Soy Sauce: The Versatile Combo

Fragrant pilaf with meat and vegetables.
Image Credit: FineShine /Depositphotos.com.

Rice, the ultimate blank canvas, becomes a masterpiece when paired with a fried egg and soy sauce. It’s a combination that transcends economic status. Whether you’re a student or a CEO, the marriage of flavors and textures in this dish is bound to leave you craving more. And let’s be honest, rice with soy sauce can turn almost anything into a satisfying meal.

#6 – Potato Variations: The Bubba Gump of Potatoes

Mashed potatoes on plate, ripe potatoes in burlap bag in background. Culinary potato eating.
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Potatoes are a true culinary chameleon, coming in countless forms and flavors. From mashed to fried, these humble spuds can be transformed into gourmet dishes or down-to-earth comfort foods. Just like Bubba’s endless list of shrimp recipes, there’s seemingly no end to what you can do with potatoes.

#7 – Frozen Pizza: A Personal Culinary Adventure

Partial view of man with knife cutting fresh homemade pizza
Image Credit: VitalikRadko /Depositphotos.com.

Even when you’ve made it big, there’s something irresistible about a frozen pizza. The sense of control you get when baking your own frozen pie is a small joy that resonates with many. From selecting your toppings to savoring that first cheesy bite, frozen pizza remains a nostalgic treat that bridges the gap between humble beginnings and extravagant lifestyles.

#8 – Affordable Mac & Cheese: A Powdery Pleasure

Round frame of various pasta
Image Credit: VadimVasenin /Depositphotos.com.

Cheap, powdery, and oh-so-delicious—39-cent mac and cheese is a culinary guilty pleasure that transcends financial status. It’s the ultimate comfort food, no matter how many zeros are in your bank account. The simplicity of this dish harkens back to days when budget-friendly meals were a necessity, reminding us that some things never change.

#9 – Pierogi: A Taste of Heritage

Cropped shot of Chinese steamed dumpling and steamed pork bun in a bamboo steamer on wooden table
Image Credit: BongkarnGraphic /Depositphotos.com.

For some, the love for pierogi goes beyond taste—it’s a connection to their heritage and upbringing. One user, proudly Polish, shared their deep affection for these dumplings. Whether stuffed with cheese, potatoes, or other fillings, pierogi are a testament to the enduring power of cultural dishes, anchoring us to our roots no matter how far we’ve come.

#10 – Cinnamon Toast: A Childhood Favorite

Cinnamon sticks
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Not all comforts come from elaborate dishes. Sometimes, a simple slice of warm toast with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar can evoke waves of nostalgia. It’s the kind of treat that might remind you of cozy mornings at home or the delightful surprises that awaited in your lunchbox. Nostalgia truly comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors.

#11 – Costco Hotdogs and Pizza: Bulk Comfort

Father and son cooking hot dog
Image Credit: AlexLipa /Depositphotos.com.

Even as financial status grows, the allure of a budget-friendly feast at Costco remains irresistible. The hotdogs and pizza offerings hold a special place in the hearts of those who’ve tasted them. It’s a reminder that sometimes the simplest pleasures are the most enduring, regardless of the numbers in your bank statement.

#12 – Biscuits and Gravy: A Hearty Heritage

American biscuits from scratch covered with thick white sausage gravy. Selective focus with cast iron skillet / pan in the background over a white table.
Image Credit: StephanieFrey /Depositphotos.com.

Biscuits and gravy—these hearty, soul-warming components conjure images of comfort and tradition. One user shared how the memory of browned sausage bits and pepper mixed into gravy takes them back to simpler times. This dish reminds us that comfort often stems from not just the taste but the memories that accompany it.

#13 – Fried Egg Sandwich: Elevated Elegance

Flat lay with cup of coffee and toast with fried egg and cherry tomatoes
Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.

Eggs are a staple that can be enjoyed at any economic level, but when you’ve reached the top, you might opt for a little extra indulgence. A fried egg sandwich transforms from a simple snack to a luxurious delight with the addition of double eggs and cheddar. It’s a flavorful reminder that even the most humble ingredients can be elevated to new heights.

#14 – Instant Noodles: From Basic to Extravagant

Top view of bowl with noodles, fork, computer mouse and keyboard
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Instant noodles—a universal college student’s survival tool. But even after achieving wealth, the love for these speedy noodles remains. Some may even venture into the realm of “expensive” instant noodles, showcasing that while the budget has changed, the affinity for quick and easy comfort food endures.

#15 – Shredded Cheese on Chips: Guilty Pleasure

Delicious healthy shreded Parmesan cheese on wooden board from above on wooden table. Culinary cheese eating.
Image Credit: eskymaks /Depositphotos.com.

When cravings strike, sometimes you just need to indulge in a little shredded cheese on tortilla chips. It might not be the fanciest of treats, but its simplicity and gooey deliciousness hit the spot. This guilty pleasure is a testament to the fact that even the most basic of culinary creations can be deeply satisfying.

#16 – Grilled Cheese: The Unbeatable Classic

Homemade Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup for Lunch
Image Credit: bhofack2 /Depositphotos.com.

Grilled cheese is a snack that transcends generations. It’s the ultimate combination of crispy, buttery bread, and melty cheese, delivering pure comfort with every bite. From childhood to adulthood, grilled cheese remains a consistent source of joy, reminding us that some things are timeless for a reason.


In the world of ever-evolving tastes and trends, these comments from a social media post remind us that certain foods are more than just nourishment—they’re links to our past, sources of comfort, and testaments to the journey we’ve taken.

No matter how wealthy one becomes, the allure of these “poor people foods” remains strong, keeping our hearts grounded and our taste buds satisfied.

We eat at least 12 of the above comfort foods on a regular basis. How many do you still indulge in? Let us know in the comments.

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This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.