Sunday, November 27, 2011

Budget Cooking

On the topic of budgeting and saving money, meal time has been completely transformed in our house. Colton and I were so used to going out to eat all the time. He would come down and visit me and we would go out to breakfast, order a pizza for lunch and then maybe drive to St. George for sushi and shopping. We ate what we felt like, when we felt like it, and didn't worry about the costs.

Those were the days.

Fast forward 8 months. I am now a coupon cutting, meal planning, stick to the grocery list kind of girl. We had 15 home cooked dinners on a $30.00 grocery tab. It's totally do-able, and we aren't eating Ramen every night. Here's how we do it.

I get an idea of what we have in the fridge and the pantry, what will expire soon, what we need to make what we have stretch a little farther, and what we could use for more than one meal. For example.

I buy/cook a rotisserie chicken. We use it the first day for a nice dinner with mashed potatoes and rolls. The second day Colton takes it in a sandwhich to work. The third day I use it for fried rice, and then the rest of the chicken gets made into Chicken Noodle Soup for day 4. Not bad at all. We are only cooking for two after all.

I also have to ask Colton what he likes. Then I find recipes for it, and repeat! Sometimes he will ask for the same thing 3 times in a week. I've pretty much figured that Colton will stay 100% happy if he has good food to eat after a long day of work. I can totally keep my end of that bargain. So I come up with a list of meals, taking out anything that wasn't a success before, adding new recipes (thanks pinterest and facebook friends) and using ones I know he loves several times in a month. I write out a grocery list of what those meals will need, collect the coupons, and we go shopping together.

This last month we were able to get food for 45 dinners, plus breakfasts and lunch for $120.00. Something I was very proud of since our old grocery budget was around 100.00 per week.

On our list: Sweet and Sour Meatballs Over Rice, Honey Mustard Mozzarella Chicken, Wingers Wings and Fries (I make the sauce myself), Chicken Teriyaki bowls, Cranberry Pot Roast, Cheeseburger Pie, Ground Beef Enchiladas and Taco Soup, among many, many others.

So as you can see, he eats JUST FINE. If anyone else is trying to save money, I would suggest you try this. It is easy to cook at home, especially when you start stocking up on ingredients, and most of my dinners are five ingredients or less. If you want any recipes, or have ideas for super easy dinners, let me know. Its a new thing we are trying out, but so far its been great. Colt thinks i'm super wife for cooking for him, and I am happy knowing he eats well and looks forward to dinners.

Like I said, we eat great, we just save money doing it. Which works out great, because a lot of times, restaurants were very disappointing anyways. We felt like we spent $30 bucks for a blah meal. Anyone else get that?

That being said, Colton just said "honey, what's for dinner." And my other little man is kicking me in the ribs. I love my little family.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I'm glad to see that my Honey Mustard Chicken made the list :) I like reading all your posts. I could use some tips for this food savings-ness. Love you!