Like many people I love to eat out. Not because I can’t cook but because I enjoy that someone else has to do the dishes. I actually love to cook. However, since I’ve been at home the last few months I’ve seen the impact eating in. Eating at home has been key to saving a few dollars even when our income took a little dip.
Well come Monday our family world will be rocked – Mommy goes back to the office. In PR speak my objective is simple: Save at least $50 a week by eating at home four times a week. Here are three ways I hope to accomplish this goal when I go back to my real world:
1) Meal plan. Do you ever find yourself at the store checkout and realizing that while you spent a lot you didn’t get what you need to make one complete meal? No? Well good for you. But this happens to me all the time. Suddenly my cart will be full of snack food (because that is all they ever put on sale!) and no protein to make a meal. I am going to try and rope in this bad habit by making a general plan for what we are going to eat before I do the shopping.
2) Cook a lot at once. I’ve set the DVR to always record Rachel Ray’s Week in a Day” and while the initial grocery store investment for a weeks worth of ingredients can be a little bit shocking, it is a lot cheaper than eating out. Think about it, when we go out to eat we spend about $50 so spending $100 for a weeks worth of meals for two people is significantly less! This helps a lot with my dishes issue since I am forced to do the dishes because in the end everything in my kitchen is dirty!
3) One pot meals. A friend let me borrow her slow-cooker cookbook and the recipes are pretty easy and quick! What is nice about crock pot meals is that typically you only dirty up a knife, cutting board and the crock pot so dish work is a breeze, plus it makes the house smell terrific!
4) Leverage prepackaged items like soup and biscuits. I have never been a huge fan of store bought items but after giving a few meals a try it is SO much easier and you really don’t loose out on flavor if you combine the store bought with something fresh. It is kinda like having an assistant My favorite meal is chicken pot pie, use a cream based soup, add chicken, add cheese, season and bake with a biscuit on top and you are in the money! TIp here is to spend a little extra for the name brand (Pillsbury) because it really is better.
5) Make lunch the night before. My guilty pleasure is eating lunch out. It gets me out of my office and sometimes a worker-bee needs a change in scenery. My plan is to spend a little extra on good rolls and cheese and make sandwiches that taste like I got it at the local deli.
We will see how this goes! Now, if these tactics (gotta get back in the PR lingo) are realistic for my family is yet to been seen! As an added bonus I think having meals planned will allow for more “fun” time with my daughter so that is one heck of an incentive!