About a week ago, we posted an article called “3 Simple Ways To Save More Money.” Since then, we have received E-mail and feedback from you, our readers, regarding the 3rd way for saving money, changing your ‘restaurant habit’. Sounds like lots of people are eating out. It’s a tough one to conquer because people today are too busy, there aren’t enough hours in the day, etc..
I thought I would take this opportunity to post a quick follow up giving you some tips that we have had great success with to mostly eliminate the expense of eating out, while cooking and eating at home, and perhaps they can help you as well.
As far as I’m concerned, organization is the key to being able to successfully prepare dinners at home, and in turn save money. I have to tell you that I do spend a little time on Saturday or Sunday preparing for the work week dinner meals, but it’s worth it.
The simple secret and first thing that I do is come up with my ‘weekly menu’. Since at least one evening is a ‘leftovers’ night, I really only have to come up with 4 dinners for the work week.
A typical week night menu might look like this:
One of the benefits of writing out a menu ahead of time is that it will help you with your weekly grocery shopping. You will be less inclined to buy ‘extras’ that you won’t need for the upcoming week. It will also help you to stay on track throughout the week. Notice that all of the meals are relatively quick to make and with a little ‘ahead of time’ prep work, can be made in very little time.
During the growing season in your area, as well as off season, many of the ingredients can come from your own yard, like the ingredients for the garden and taco salads including the tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce ready to mix with the tacos. The green beans we canned last season and the broccoli I will cut fresh from our yard when I get home on Friday. Don’t forget the spaghetti sauce we made from the tomatoes and froze in quart-size Ziploc bags, and the rosemary we dried and crushed a few months ago!
Any work you can do ahead of time will help you. For example, you can cook the ground beef or ground turkey for the taco salad the night before. Any dicing/chopping of vegetables can be done ahead of time. You get the idea.
It’s really a simple thing, that really works.
Organize – Meal Plan – Pre-Prep.
Also, don’t forget to involve family members when possible to help out and turn it into quality time together as a family. Best of luck!
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