Eating out is so expensive, especially if you like to eat at sit down restaurants versus fast food restaurants. On the other hand, it’s so convenient to just go out to eat when you don’t have something thawed or you just don’t feel like cooking and cleaning up. Eating out is probably my biggest money downfall. When I get home after 5:30 PM, the last thing I want to do is go straight to the kitchen and spend time cooking a huge meal. The other night I decided I was going to make homemade ranch dressing that called for mayonnaise, and I decided that I would make the mayonnaise since we didn’t have any. Ha. I had it going fine until I followed the recipe and added too much of the lemon juice/vinegar combo and it broke. I was mad.
I hate cooking because it seems like you spend an hour cooking and then it only takes 10 minutes to eat the food. Not a very good ratio there. Unfortunately for me, I also really like saving money and that trumps me being lazy. I know it’s not financially possible for us to dine out every day. I’ve got to come up with a plan to make dinners easier for me. Here are some of my ideas to make dinners easier and cut back on our eating out.
-Make meals ahead of time and freeze. This would be nice for days when I really don’t feel like cooking, but wouldn’t be so good for nights that I forget to take something out of the freezer. This sounds like too much work for me, but it would be a good weekend project. I could even figure out a few different meals I could make and do some batch cooking.
-Think of simple, easy meals to make, like breakfast for dinner. Meals that don’t take a lot of time to cook are right up my alley! I love eggs for dinner.
-Look more into crockpot meals. I haven’t ventured into this area before, but it would probably work well for us! Of course, now that summer is right around the corner, I don’t know how appealing hot meals are going to be.
-Grill out. Buy some chicken or steak and grill out, using vegetables as the side dish. Easy, and healthy!
-Get better at meal planning. Meal planning is such a pain that I despise doing it, so I put it off. I should come up with 10 or so meals that I know we like, their ingredients, and then make a shopping list from that. That will save me time, money, and stress! This is probably the best idea.
That makes me feel a little better. I’ll need to work at it, but I know it’s definitely something I can do!
How do you balance cooking, eating out, and saving money?