Save Money on Food…Get in the Kitchen and Get Cooking!
January 15, 2009 | Peggy Martin
One of the top recommendations for saving food dollars is to prepare it yourself. As a dietitian and a mother of four children, preparing food at home has been essential…for saving money and for healthy eating. This doesn’t mean we never eat out or buy convenience foods, but when we do some or all of the food preparation at home, we are putting money back in our pocket.
I try to look ahead at our schedule and figure out which days during the week I have time to prepare food…whether it’s the entire meal or just part of it. Then I decide what I will cook on those days and stick to the plan. Gradually, I have been able to increase my ‘cooking days’.
One night this week I made homemade pizza for dinner. While it was baking, I prepared a batch of soup to eat the next night when we were going to be on the run with no time for cooking…two meals done for the time of one. Last week I made a LARGE casserole…enough to eat 2 times that week and froze half of it for another time. Cook once, eat twice!
Besides saving money when I cook it myself, I can make it more healthy. I can reduce the salt or leave it out completely, reduce the amount of high fat ingredients as sour cream, cheese, butter or margarine or substitute a low-fat version of that ingredient, use whole grain products like instant brown rice instead of white, whole grain pasta, etc.
If you have any fast meal tips I would love to hear them. — contributed by Renee Sweers