All of a sudden it is time to go back to school and routines are changing for many of us. Schedules get a little busier and we have less time to cook. The temptation to grab takeout is definitely there, but we can save money and make more nutritious choices by using some shortcuts at home instead.
Meal Planning Done for You
My kids start school in two days. As much as I enjoy the less structured days of summer, I’m ready to get into a routine again. My son will be in 8th grade and will be playing football so I know when he comes home from practice in the evening, he will be hungry! Therefore, I want to be sure to have a plan for what we will have for supper. I do meal planning regularly but sometimes my brain just doesn’t want to think about what to have. Does anyone else feel the same way? On our Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website, we have sample meal-planning calendars that do the thinking for you! The week-long meal plans include 3 meals and 2 snacks per day and recipes are linked. If you eat vegetarian or are just interested in more plant-based recipes, there is a whole calendar of vegetarian meals and snacks.
Meals from a Dollar Store
In my home state of Iowa, there are a lot of us who have a significant drive to get to a big grocery store with a wide variety of food. Trips into larger cities take time and money for transportation. In small towns and certain areas of larger cities, we are more likely to find a dollar store that sells a variety of items including some food. Most dollar stores have shelf-stable foods and some have refrigerated or frozen foods too. I gave some thought to what I could make with the shelf-stable foods my local dollar store carries. Here are some of the products that stood out to me as particularly useful and how I would make them into a meal.
I always look forward to this time of year. As the summer break from school winds down, I like to take some time off work and simply enjoy the end of summer with my children. Sometimes we go on adventures, but a lot of the time we just relax around home. And, to be honest, I do not cook much. This means I am probably not going to make our August recipe of the month – Spaghetti Squash – until this fall.