Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cooking at Home

One sure fire way to save money is to eat at home.  We rarely eat fast food because we live 11 miles from the nearest McDonalds.  I consider myself a pretty good cook and prefer to eat at home much of the time.  We usually dine out once on the weekend at a nicer establishment and with a fast food meal for 2 adults and 2 teenage girls topping $22 (which is 1/10th of my food budget for 2 weeks) it just seems a good idea to eat at home.

Successfully saving money by eating at home does take some planning.  I don't plan my meals around what is on sale (which would save me a LOT more money) but I find that too rigid for my taste-buds!

Thoughtful preparation of a weekly menu is critical to success.  I use a loose leaf notebook.  I make a note of what events occur during the week and make sure my menu takes those in to consideration.  If I only have 30 minutes to get the food to the table I need a plan to make that sure to happen.  I plan my weekly menus on Saturday or Sunday so I can grocery shop for any "exotic" or fresh ingredients I may need.  No last minute runs to the grocery on a busy weeknight!  This Dining with Diana post may give you some ideas to help you get into the habit of meal planning

Secondly, it is imperative that you have some basic ingredients on had at all times to use to create a home cooked meal.  By the time I decide what to prepare, shop and arrive at home I am too exhausted to cook!  This prevents that from occurring on a regular basis.  My Blog, Dining with Diana ( has some suggestions on how to stock a pantry. 

Don't these pictures make it look like my pantry is stocked with nothing but JUNK food?

Lastly, I always have a go to meal in the freezer.  It might be a Stouffers frozen pasta meal, a frozen pizza or my meatballs.

If planning a week's worth of menus is too overwhelming for you at first, start by planning 2 days worth of meals.  I guarantee the time you save is well worth the effort.

Happy $aving$!

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