However, being as we're trying to get outta debt (fully funded emergency savings after today!!) , I have a budget to stick with, which means maybe eating out once a month and eating...from scratch...every other day. Which means I sorta' hafta' kinda' cook already!
During the last six months or so--when we really got gung-ho about the budget/debt free thing, I started to take more time to think about what was going to be for dinner. Just last month I took the leap to look at the adds and make a grocery list. I kid you not people, I never thought I'd spend enjoyable time doing this. I joined CVS (I can't remember life without this!). And with the encouragement of a fellow mom...I started (Gasp) planning out meals a week or two in advance. This has taken a lot of discipline, but we actually had money left over at the end of this month! A first in a LONG time, we also sold a car (which reduces money on gas, insurance, and fix-its) so that helped, but I think with doing these few things, one can literally strip $100/month off their budget :
- Plan meals, (don't forget to include ingredients on shopping list if you don't have them!)
- Go to CVS for all toiletries/Rx
- Write out a detailed shopping list, often substituting what's on sale (of said product you need) to what you would have originally bought
- STICK to your list! Ever heard of the "outer limits"? The most expensive places in the grocery stores are the produce, dairy, and meat sections--fresh foods, the best for you, are in the outer part of the store--don't even go to that middle, prepackaged place!
- Get someone (hubs) to watch the kiddos while you make dinner (or vice versa if you're husbands a chef!)--this won't save you money, but it sure makes me happy and more in-tune to what I'm doing. I enjoy the meal and time with family more if I slow down, relax, and concentrate on the food I'm preparing.
Oh yeah, the REASON I started writing this post was to share with you an awesome website: Supercook.com
This is an "intelligent website" that all you have to do (keep an account for easy access--free) is type in what you have on hand and it will tell you what you can make with your ingredients! I always look in our pantry (that has staples, but nothing "good I can use") and with 8 ingredients I could make over 300+ recipes!! How cool is that? Now...if hubbs reads this, he'll never leave me off the hook when I whine, "But we don't havvvve anything!"