Dining Out In Your Home
When you struggle financially there are many things you can do to try and reduce your bills. For most families, one of the first areas that gets closely looked at are the food expenses.
(Why is it that people will cut food from their budget before cutting phone and television expenses? Oh well, that is a discussion for another day)
One way you can do this is to eat out less, and eat at home more. Dining out, in your home if you like.
Now this doesn’t mean your taste buds need to be deprived of flavor either. In fact, as your creative skills expand in the kitchen, you may find that your new favorite meals are – YOURS!
There are many ways that eating at home will save you money. And that will EMPOWER you towards a HOPE and a FUTURE. All while strengthening the bond of your family. Now that is a win-win!
Eating meals at home can be as simple as:
- macaroni and cheese
- spaghetti and meatballs
- traditional roast beef dinner
- or as elaborate as a theme night. Whether that is Taco Fiesta Night, your own version of Oriental Stirfry, or even homemade chicken strips.
What does your family enjoy the most?
When my kids were little and I was a single parent, their favorite meal of choice was what they dubbed—Mini Pizzas!
These were inexpensive, fun to make, and involved the whole family. Each child had a part in creating them. I cut the English muffins in half. From there, one child would spread pasta sauce on all of them. Another would put the finely diced onion and green peppers on top. Then there was the pepperoni slices, followed lastly by freshly grated cheese. A tray of these would be gobbled up quickly.
What is your family’s favorite?
Saving On Meat Costs
Dining out in your home saves money. While you learn to make your own versions of your favorite dining out meals, you will find you can make them for cheaper too.
Instead of paying $14-$20 per person at a restaurant or even a fast food establishment, you can cut the cost down to a few dollars per person.
Buy your meat choices when they are on sale and save even more. As meat will be your most expensive component, it is important that you know how to read the meat label. By understanding the meat label, you will immediately identify when meat is on sale. My personal rule of thumb is don’t spend more than $8.80/kg. In addition, try to find it under $5/kg whenever possible. For instance this week, as I’m writing this article, the following meats are on sale and worthy to pick up for the freezer:
- Pork Loin Portions – $3.17/kg
- Chicken Leg Quarters – $4.34/kg
- Outside Round Roast Beef – $7.58/kg
- Lean Ground Beef – $6.59/kg
- and even a proper pound of Bacon for $3.99
And don’t ignore canned meats either. For instance, a pound of Swift Canned Ham is only $2.97 and a can of Pink Salmon is $1.97.
With two cans of the salmon and the addition of a few other ingredients you can make some Crock Pot Canned Salmon Loaf for about $5. And that is enough to feed a family of 4. A meat serving price of about $1.25/person. Add some vegetables or salad and for less than $2/plate you have served up dinner.
Compare that $2/plate to what you would pay at a restaurant serving up family style meals, typically truck stop style restaurants. For something similar it would be $10/plate and higher, before taxes.
Saving On Vegetables
The next expensive part of meal making can be the vegetables. There are ways that you can save money here too. If you are already a Food Bank user, then you probably have several cans of vegetables on hand. Learn to use them in your cooking, whether as a sidedish or a part of a casserole or stew.
However, frozen vegetables are also a good choice and can be found at times throughout the year on sale. When they are, grab extra bags to throw in the freezer. These are then easy to grab a handful or two as you need for stews and casserole dishes.
The ultimate though, is trying to find ways to put fresh fruits and vegetables into your meals. It is possible, even on a tight budget. To get you started, look for vegetables that store well such as:
- and even onions.
Don’t forget the Reduced Vegetable Section of your grocery store either. Sometimes you can pick up great deals, however, be honest with yourself. If it really is too far past its prime, don’t buy it. When you end up throwing it out because it is rotten it doesn’t save you money. However, there are many times you can truly find some awesome vegetable deals on the reduced rack.
Saving Time And Energy
Look at the reasons why you and your family typically eat out anyways. Is a big reason the need to grab something fast? Or perhaps, the idea of cooking after a long day of work isn’t appealing.
There are many reasons why you eat out more than you eat at home. Look those reasons over and see if you can find other solutions to help you cut costs and start dining out in your home instead.
With a minimal amount of pre-planning and by using small kitchen appliances such as the slow cooker and the new Instant Pot you will save your time needed in the kitchen. Additionally, small kitchen appliances use less electrical power than your traditional oven too.
So, dining out in your home can save you time too. You don’t have to envision yourself trapped in the kitchen with an apron and bubbling pots on the stove all day. No there are ways to make delicious home cooked meals while you are away at work even.
If you are looking for ways to get started on that, then sign up for our FREE 30 Day Crock Pot Challenge. You will receive 30 recipes over the span of a month. In that you will get ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even desserts you can make in your slow cooker.
Make use of that, many times, overlooked small kitchen appliance. It is a true time saver, usually taking 5 minutes or less to load up, and uses minimal electricity. Come home to the welcoming aroma of a restaurant quality meal worthy of dining out in your home! And the family bonding time of eating around your own table will be the final win-win!
We’d love to have you join us in our 30 Day Crock Pot Challenge. Simply sign up below and in minutes I’ll send you your first email. Talk to you soon!