Welcome again to another edition of my summer re-run series. I am bringing topics from the past back up to the forefront this summer so you don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to sit at the computer and scroll around looking for topics you missed – or can’t recall where to find one you are looking for.
I hope you’ll enjoy this Frugal Challenge today. I thought it was a timely subject since we’re all running around like crazy this summer. It’s hard to resist pulling into the fast food place when you’re headed back home from the lake or beach. But, if you do that even a few times a week the cost really adds up. Take a moment if you will to read this post. This is a classic money saving step for so many of us. Enjoy:
Another Monday, another frugal challenge. Are you ready? This week the challenge is to not eat any “restaurant food”. That means no eating out, no take out, no pizza delivery and not fast food. Are you game?
We hardly ever eat out these days, but that wasn’t always so. When I was working, I was notoriously bad about ordering a pizza or heading through the drive through on my way home from the office. Just the thought of having to cook and then clean up was just more than I could handle after a hard work day. I’m sure some of you are in the same boat.
Here are some thing that helped us make the switch to a homecooked meal existence:
Plan Ahead – If you have what you need at home to cook a fast and simple meal, you’re much more likely to do it and of course you’ll have dinner on the table without too much work or fuss. I make a menu plan for the week and then get what I need in one shopping trip.
Have Some Emergency Meals Ready – This really works well on those days when you’re super busy. Just cook up a few things that will store well in your freezer. Casseroles and baked dishes like lasagna work really well for this. I also like to keep one or two frozen pizzas from Aldi in the freezer for the same reason. I can pull them out, cook them and have dinner ready in about 30 minutes.
Simplyfy – You don’t have to cook a fancy meal every night. My family is perfectly fine with pasta and tomato sauce, a quick stir fry or even eggs and toast or pancakes for dinner. Find a couple of meals that you can put together fast and come back to them on nights when you’re tempted to order out.
Of course dinner isn’t the only meal we tend to eat out. How about lunch, breakfast or a quick snack? Not this week. Pack your lunch and take it with you to work and pack your breakfast or eat it at home before you leave.
Like all of our frugal challenges, this one is designed to develop a new habit that will save you money (in this case by cooking all of your meals and get out of the eating out habit), but this one also has an added side benefit. You’re most likely going to eat a good bit healthier by sticking to homecooked meals.