Are you determined to reduce the amount of money that you and your family are spending on eating out and convenience foods? If so, there are a few ways in which this can be done without having to feel like you are depriving yourselves of ‘all the nice foods.’
1. Keep a Few Fast Frozen Meals on Hand
Have you had a particularly busy day where everyone in the family will be arriving home later than usual? If so, you may be tempted to hit the drive-thru on your way home or order pizza delivery. However, you can avoid this by adding a few frozen pizzas or even leftover food portions on hand that can simply be reheated when you walk in the door. Over the course of a year, the savings can amount to more than $1,000.
2. Take Advantage of Copycat Recipes
If there are particular fast food or restaurant meals that you and your family enjoy, there is a strong chance that there will be a copycat recipe available online for at least a few of them. While you may not get the taste 100% right the first one or two times you prepare these meals, over time, your skills will improve to the point where you may even end up preferring your version over that from the drive-thru or restaurant!
3. Consider Using Paper Plates and Disposable Cups
If it is the thought of having to deal with a sink full of dirty dishes late at night after dinner that is putting you off of eating at home, disposable cups, plates, and cutlery can be a lifesaver. Although these do cost money to purchase, you will still be spending far less than if you had to pack your family in the car and head off to your local restaurant for dinner.
4. Prepare Larger Portions of favorites and Freeze them
Another way to ensure that you have fast and easy meals on hand is to spend a little extra time preparing a larger portion of family favorites and freezing the leftovers. That way, you will just be able to pull a portion out of the freezer and stick it in the oven or microwave to heat up while everyone washes up after arriving home.
5. Plan Ahead
If you know which days of the week your family will be arriving home late after various activities, it’s a good idea to sit down and plan to have quick meals on hand for those evenings. This will help reduce your stress levels in that you will not still have to worry about what to do for dinner after arriving home.
Implementing the above mentioned hints and tips will not only reduce your grocery bill over time; they can enable your family to enjoy tastier and healthier meal options as well. When preparing a menu, it’s a good idea to get input from the family with regards to which favorite meals should be kept on hand to be heated at a moment’s notice.