Today’s post is from guest author Jill Cooper from Living on a Dime. She makes some good points about eating at home.
by: Jill Cooper
Going out to eat frequently is one of the biggest mistakes people make with their money. Most people would experience a radical change in their finances if they would cut back on eating out even a couple of times a week, let alone all together. The main reason that people go out to eat is for the convenience but eating at home can be convenient too.
Make meals easier by using convenience items: Even if you use nothing but convenience items for your entire meal, it is still less expensive than going out to eat. You don’t need to make homemade bread, muffins, biscuits, or cookies. Buy them already made. You can even buy things like French bread that is already sliced and buttered and ready to heat. It’s perfectly OK to use bagged lettuce, baby carrots, or anything frozen. (For great money saving menu ideas, Click Here)
Keep it simple. Our grandmothers didn’t spend as many hours slaving away in the kitchen as we think they did. Instead of homemade bread or yeast rolls, the everyday meal included store-bought white or wheat bread on a plate with butter and jam. Grandma would open a jar of applesauce, a can of green beans or a jar of assorted pickles. She would toss a simple salad and have all her side dishes for that meal prepared quickly. For years our family raved about my grandmother-in-law’s great homemade noodles. One day when I asked her for her recipe, she pulled me to one side, laughing, and said “No one else knows this, but I always use frozen noodles!”
Our grandmothers knew the secret. It didn’t have to be complicated, gourmet, or elaborate for our families to enjoy a meal. It just had to be good, there had to be lots of it and it had to be made with love. It takes only a couple of minutes to slice an orange, apple or banana and lay them on a platter. Throw in some unpeeled small red potatoes to boil, slice pre-cooked ham, heat up a box of fish fillets or lay out a variety of deli meats and cheeses for everyone to make their own hoagies. It can be as simple as that. (For additional money saving dining ideas, Click Here)
Make clean up easy. Consider using aluminum foil or parchment paper when roasting a chicken or baking biscuits, cookies or tater tots. You can even line a casserole dish too. Use paper plates, bowls, and disposable pans on days when you are really short on time. I would much rather see you at home using paper plates and disposable pans with your family than having to work many hours of overtime to pay for dinner out. Relax and enjoy your meal! Your family and your pocketbook will thank you.